Cliffbee.com: Pretender Grimlock Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Grimlock
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Lieutenant Commander
Alternate Mode: T-Rex



T-REX MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 10.5cm Width: 5cm

   A matte grey tail-dragging T-Rex with a gold panel on his rump and a black spine (relics of the simplification of the original Dinobot). Grimlock his large orange eyes, which almost look like bug eyes. The underside of this dinosaur is the black and gold robot mode, so don't look from below. There are some red stickers on his shoulders and knees. While it's a very simple representation of the character, this is broadly true to the Dinobot, although without the chrome.

   The dragging tail may not be accurate to the T-Rex, but I'd rather that a toy paying homage be character accurate than revisionist. There's a lot of mechanical detailing in the mould, although most of it is fairly generic. His teeth, claws and some hoses in his tail are the only instantly recognisable details, but at least the toy _has_ mould detail.

   The poseability here is kind of disappointing, although it's not far behind the Dinobot's. The front limbs swing at the shoulders, although these limbs are straight and lack the more relaxed "bent elbow" look of the Dinobot. The hips swing and the head can lift up although this will create a gap in his neck. The hip movement is useful although without bending knees it's best to just leave the legs in their default position if you want Grimlock to stand flat on his feet.

   Compared to the original Dinobot this thing is like a Happy Meal toy. If you're after the lumbering character you saw in the cartoon you'll hate this mode. It's very simple and lacks any chrome or transparent plastic. As Pretenders go it's slightly below average - I'd upgrade that to average if he had some more colour.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail, set aside to form his handgun. Fold back the head onto his back, flip up the backpanels to form the robot boots. Swing the dino head flush against his back, fold back the dinosaur forelimbs and stand him up. Clip the handgun onto either fist if desired.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 9cm Width: 5cm

   Now a mix of grey, black and gold, Grimlock has grey boots and arms, a gold chest and black thighs and groin and a black head with an orange face. The gun is a giant grey block that fits over his fist and angles up, so he's best holding it with his arm pointing slightly down. The entire face is painted orange, which hides the fact that this head is a pretty decent (if simplified) version of Grimlock. Red or blue eyes would have gone a long way, but I suppose by this stage in the line Hasbro were cutting costs. While it's clearly Grimlock, his face suffers and the red groin is gone. Again, it's a simple version of the character, but at least now Grimlock has more colour.

   Poseability is okay. His arms swivel at the shoulders and his knees bend. The knees are part of the transformation and it's not really possible to stand him with bent knees. There's a giant black pin between his knees, bridging a wide gap between the boots, so even if he had hip joints they'd be useless. Despite being a separate piece of plastic, the head does not turn.

   Grimlock has very short and narrow thighs, and the gap between his legs is wider than it should be, but above the hips the proportions are okay. The hindleg claws hang off the back of his moulded fists but don't really get in the way. The twin-barrelled gun spices things up a bit, but this is still a simple robot without much play value.

   Considering how simple it is and how different the transformation is, this is again a pretty good representation of Grimlock. Having said that it's a very boring robot mode now and the legs don't quite work for me. The gun is huge but at least it adds a dimension to this dull boot mode.

The Pretender Shell

   As with the toy itself this shell is based around grey - although it's a lighter shade than on Grimlock himself. There's some claret and blue detailing on the torso and off white on his face. He has brown eyes and hair, and the eyebrows are also brown. The arms are brown plastic with blue elbows, the helmet is also brown with a single crest that reminds me of a Roman soldier's. A tasteful humanoid form that uses a good mix of dark and light colours, without the abundance of bright colours that plagues some Pretender shells. The face is rather pale, but otherwise it's a well done colour scheme.

   There's not much play value here. The arms swivel at the shoulders, you can attach the backpack to his left shoulder, and attach the grey tailgun and black bayonet in either hand - the latter is specifically for this shell. I don't really expect much more here, mind you. The crest on his head, and similar spines on his shoulderpads make for a visually appealing shell which is all I do expect, really.

   A decent effort and while it's nothing spectacular there are plenty of worse Pretender shells out there. This is one of the Pretender shells that we saw a lot of in the Marvel comic, which will add to it's appeal for some.

VARIATIONS

   None I'm aware of. The inner robot was sold sans shell as a US K-Mart exclusive.

OVERALL

   The simplified inner robot is a good reproduction of Grimlock considering they've totally redone the transformation, but the simplicity makes it fairly dull. The shell works quite well and together they make for a decent if unremarkable set. If you're a fan of the character I'd recommend the Dinobot version over this, but if you're a Pretender fan then I'd say Pretender Grimlock is worth getting - 5.5/10

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