Cliffbee.com: ROTF Legend Grindor Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Grindor
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: MH-53 Pave Low Helicopter



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 9.5cm Width: 3.5cm, rotorspan 9.5cm

   A pale blue chopper, Grindor is a repaint of Blackout. His cockpit windows are gunmetal colour while the six blade rotor is black, along with the smaller rotor on the tail. There's a mid blue paint on either side, in a blocky "techno" pattern, which is highly irregular but symmetrical from side to side. The engines, refuelling probe and pontoons are unpainted, unlike on Blackout. The colour scheme is trying to differentiate from Blackout despite similar colours, and while it manages to look different, it loses realism, which is disappointing. The pale blue and black do work well together, at least.

   Ironically this is a better chopper shape than the larger toy in some ways. Firstly it doesn't have that awkward and loose cage under the tail for the scorpion accessory. Secondly, the problems at the front caused by the automorph slipping teeth aren't an issue, since Legends don't have automorphs. Of course, we lose quite a bit of detailing at this scale, but the gun and refuelling probe at the front are both present.

   Play value is minimal as you might expect. The rotor spins quite well considering that it's made of two collapsable pieces. There are no wheels underneath, but Grindor has been designed to lay flat on the table, which I appreciate. The tiny tail rotor also spins freely.

   A good chopper mould, but in trying to separate him from the similarly coloured Blackout a lot of realism is lost. The colours still look nice, but Blackout's colours just work better. Colour issues aside, as Legends go this is a good chopper mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the rear sections of the underside out and rotate back to form boots. Swing the rotor back, fold up the tail - the rotor ends up forming a three-pronged backpack. Split the cabin and fold down to the sides forming arms and revealing the head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8.5cm Width: 6cm

   A pale blue robot with black thighs and upper arms, Grindor has a gunmetal and mid blue chest, although it's not quite the false front of the larger toy. There's also gunmetal on his shins while his face is mid blue with red eyes. His fists are moulded within the chopper nose halves, but sadly they're unpainted. There's a silver Decepticon logo on his chest. The paint mask here generally pretty good for a Legends toy, save for the lack of paint on his hands. We don't have a point of reference since we don't really see Grindor's robot mode in the film, but this colour scheme at least separates Grindor from Blackout without venturing into the use of weird colours.

   There's some simplification as you'd expect, but the shoulders are quite well replicated and the head is similar to the full sized version. The arms end up with some kibble on the outsides - the cabin halves - but overall he does okay. The backpack is smaller than on the bigger toy, since there's no gimmick housed there.

   The poseability is quite limited for a toy with six ball joints. The ball jointed shoulders provide most of the poseability, since the elbows hinge sideways. The hips and knees aren't much use, since the knees can't swing back and the footprints aren't large enough for the poses offered by the hips. So we have lots of ball joints, but only swinging arms.

   While this mode isn't as strong as his chopper mode, it's not a loss either. Grindor is more static than I'd like, but the colour scheme works alot better here, so I actually prefer his robot mode despite the mould's shortcomings in this mode. The sculpt is decent, and he lacks that cheap feel that we see on many Legends toys. They've done a good job of differentiating him from Blackout, too.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although he is a repaint of Legends Blackout, as mentioned.

OVERALL

   While Grinder has good chopper mode, it's dragged down by a colour scheme that tries a little too hard to be Not Blackout. The robot mode uses the colours a lot better - partly because the designer had more room to be creative with the differences in paint job, and despite it being the weaker mode of this mould, I think it works better than Grindor's vehicle mode. Neither mode is a failure here, mind you - not at this pricepoint - and I would recommend this repaint over the Voyager if you're after this fairly minor movie character - 7/10

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