• Transformers: Age of Extinction Grimlock (Voyager) Review

      Hasbro's Transformers: Age of Extinction products are now available through online retailers, and coming to brick & mortar stores this weekend (May 17th), so we thought we'd take another look at one of the movie's new Voyager-class figures, Grimlock.

      Grimlock is one of the brand's most iconic characters, leader of the mighty Dinobots and mangler of the english language. For this 4th Transformers movie, Michael Bay and his crew finally decided it was time to bring the Dinobots to the big screen, and made Grimlock one of the earliest images viewers would see by putting the insanely-scaled robotic T-rex into the Super Bowl teaser trailer - if you haven't seen it, Optimus is riding his dragon-like dino mode and is utterly dwarfed. In other words, this ain't the Grimlock you're used to, it's bigger and more extreme.

      Packaging:

      This package varies considerably from the deluxe by having the brand name more prominent, no character art aside from a larger alternate-mode wrap-around design, and a longer bio. The figure is attached to the tray chiefly by a new kind of clear-band that uses T-shaped ends to slip into holes in the tray, it still stretches and so far seems to be less damaging to the toy than full wrap-around bands; there are a bunch of 'em.

      Robot mode:

      Grimlock is around 7.5 inches tall, so he's not small for this scale. He has a good amount of articulation as well. As with some other figures in this line, I get a samurai impression from the design.


      He comes with a big morning star (a mace with spikes) that has a blade at the opposite end; the weapon is almost as tall as the figure, can be held in either hand or stowed horizontally via one of the screw boss holes in his back if you can stomach that. The morning star's head is easily detached.


      Pros -
      - striking overall appearance
      - interesting paint / deco, nice use of green and silver paints
      - decent articulation
      - interesting, imposing weapon


      Cons -
      - not much detail and a soft sculpt, especially frustrating for a character that's supposed to be so large
      - a touch gangly
      - hip articulation is frustrating to use due to waist armor getting in the way of other parts
      - large claw pieces stuck to outside of fists
      - not very robotic-looking for a Transformer

      Transformation:
      There are a few interesting things going on with Grimlock's shoulderpads-to-head transformation, but it takes a few passes to enjoy this transformation largely because the instructions leave out the Robot-to-Alternate-mode transformation entirely, so some stuff seems downright confusing at first. And then there's the elements so simple and so imprecise you'll think you've not finished them. Finally, there are a few tabs not in the instructions which are engaged in both states, some for the better and some for the worse. So, a mixed bag.

      Alternate mode:

      Grimlock in the movie turns into a skeletal-robotic dinosaur with dragon touches. This figure isn't screen-accurate, sporting the larger head and shorter neck of a classic T-rex.

      The morning star weapon is hollow on top so it can be slipped over the tail to make a much... longer... tail.

      Pros -
      - pointy teeth and spikes, and plenty of 'em
      - detailing is more evenly-distributed than robot mode
      - adequate leg articulation, movable arms, top of head can tilt up, ears/horns can be lowered
      - sculpted eyes are very interesting
      - an action gimmick unmentioned on the packaging, press a button on the left side of his neck to snap the jaw closed


      Cons -
      - detailing in some areas like chest feel unfinished and forgotten, while robot head and chest and upper legs are obvious
      - panels and whole sections dislodge easily, especially tail and ventral chest halves
      - colors are far off from screen version such as the mountain of gold and the green eyes, and just a bit garish
      - neck and tail can't move
      - that tail weapon thing is beyond ludicrous

      Overall:
      Voyager Grimlock has some interesting properties but also some notable drawbacks in both modes (detailing for robot mode, integrity for dino mode, instructions missing the vital out-of-the-box transformation). Grimlock isn't terrible but isn't brilliant either, but there is a hint of personality and charm which brings it up to a rating of 6/10.

      This review sample was supplied by Hasbro.


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