Cliffbee.com: Dinobot Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Dinobot
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Frontline Combat
Alternate Mode: Velociraptor



VELOCIRAPTOR MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 18cm Width: 7cm

   A pinkish-brown raptor with brown on his head, legs and back, forming a solid line down his spine but in stripes elsewhere. He has yellow eyes and white painted teeth. He has a transparent orange belly, which is actually the robot shins, and you can clearly see the pink robot feet on his throat.

   Aside from the kibble on his underside, this isn't a bad raptor, although the feet do get in the way of his lower jaw. He's also sports a random post sticking out of his back for no good reason. It looks like it might be there so he can stow his weapon on his back in robot mode, since there's a similar sized hole on his weapon, but it's not actually the same size. I don't think Kenner ever actually gave an explanation for this mystery post. It's a minor thing, but it's worth mentioning since it has absolutely no reason for being there.

   As with most of the original Beast Wars toys, Dinobot has a pretty good sculpt. He has wrinkled skin and his forelimbs are webbed. The inside toes of his legs are hooked as velociraptors' were - this was for ripping through flesh. There's a few unpainted spots that really hurt the overall effect, though. As mentioned, the spine is painted brown, but just behind his hips is a double hinge that's an unpainted pink, and there's a panel on the back of his neck that's also unpainted. This is a flaw that ran right through the various incarnations of this mould, but it looks worst on the original Dinobot.

   Poseability is reasonably good. His forelimbs are on ball joints, and while they're restricted to some extent, they move in pretty much any direction you'd expect a bipedal predator's to anyway. His lower jaw opens and shuts, it's painted red inside which is a nice touch. Lastly, the hip are swivels with hinges that swing outwards, the knees bend and the front and rear toes on the feet are hinged.

   Dinobot has some really good points, a good choice of colour scheme and decent poseability. Having said that, this beast mode is hurt by the robot kibble and unpainted spots on the back. As it is, this is a nice beast mode, but not as good as it could have been with a little more work.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail and set aside. Fold the tail's base over onto his back, fold the robot legs out from his belly, rotate them and fold down the feet. Flip out the heelspurs, rotate the side panels 180. Flip the beast head down over his robot head and onto his chest. Fold the front claws up onto his back, rotate the arms down to his side and fold down the claws on his hands. Open the two halves of his tail, detach the sword inside if you like, arm him. Lastly, you have the option of leaving his mutant head closed or opening it to reveal the robot head. I suggest taking the two halves off, placing them in storage and never retrieving them.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 7cm

   Again largely pinkish-brown, Dinobot has a fair spattering of brown paint on his chest while his shins are orange. The orange is a transparent plastic, which has a strange oily finish. It looks pretty good in this mode, but since it stands out on the beast mode, I'm not certain it was the best colour choice. The mutant head, which looks awful, is made of the same transparent orange. The robot head is brown with a blue mouthplate and orange eyes. The heelspurs are also transparent orange, but otherwise he's basically pink.

   As you may guess, I don't think a lot of the mutant head. I bought my Grimlock without the mutant head and didn't care it was missing - it's just not worth using. Dinobot's robot head is the one featured in the cartoon, and it's easy to see why. Brown with a blue face is better than a weird bubble-shaped oily transparent orange mask. The chest is his beast head - the brown crest is the front of his chest, and it works well with the brown of his robot head.

   Dinobot has some problems in this mode, perhaps more than most Beast Wars toys. His shoulders are higher than they should be - on either side of his head. The head itself is kind of surrounded by torso - there's a ridge behind it and the side panels on either side with the shoulders attached. His forearms are formed from the raptor legs, but rotated. They went for the cheap option of putting holes on one side of these limbs, and so his forearms have big holes on the sides, which looks pretty bad, and was easily avoidable. He doesn't have actual hands, rather he has opposable claws, which can wrap around his weapons, so they end up working reasonably well.

   Dinobot exhibits a fair bit of poseability in robot mode. His shoulders are swivels, but have hinges so he can lift his arms to the sides. His elbows are also dual joints, and his opposable claws open and shut. His head is on a ball joint, but it's got a lot of plastic around it so it's effectively a swivel. The hips and knees are also ball joints, and these are far less restricted. Add the hinges on both his feet and heelspurs and you've got a very poseable robot mode.

   The sword sticks into a hole between his claws and follows the line of his arm - he holds it as a stabbing weapon, not a slashing weapon. The other weapon is a spinning blade affair, and the two halves of the tail fold out to form a large blade with a red top surface. What's really cool about this is that pushing the button on the base of this weapon in causes the blade to spin quite rapidly for about 3 seconds. It doesn't go on and on like the show, but it's certainly an effective close quarter weapon, that would beat up any opponent in reach.

   A good colour scheme and great play value mean that while this mode has proportion problems, it's a fun robot mode. It's not entirely show accurate, since it was sexed up by Mainframe, but it's got it's strong points. Just remember to forget the mutant head.

VARIATIONS

   Repainted as Grimlock, repainted again in gold as part of the Fox Kids! line, Dinobot also saw a 10th Anniversary reissue (which I've photographed above) which dispenses with the transparent orange, replacing it with a darker metallic brown (also on the sword). The knees, face and inside of the spinning blade. The addition of blue and loss of orange make a big difference - making Dinobot more show accurate and creates a better colour scheme overall. TFU Grimlock is also a repaint of Dinobot.

   Hardhead from Beast Wars Neo is a retooling, and Dinotron is a repaint of Hardhead. Thrustol from Beast Wars Second is a major retooling of this mould.

OVERALL

   Both modes have some great elements, but both have problems that drag them down. Dinobot is one of the cooler characters from the Beast Wars show, and the good outweighs the bad on this toy anyway, so I do recommend him. The annoying thing is that most of the flaws he has are things that could easily have been avoided, which counts against him - 6/10 for the original, 7.5 for the much improved reissue.

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