"Transformers Adventure" Slug Toy Review
Release Date: March 21, 2015
Price Point: $25 (Depending on retailers)
Retailer: Japanese Retailers
Tech Specs: (Translation by Goktimus Prime)
A Dinobot warrior, Slug was captured by his enemies until he was freed by Grimlock, thus becoming a staunch ally with him and his company. A warlike character, Slug will challenge friend or foe. Encountering Bloody Knockout on Earth has awoken Slug’s feral warrior nature; Slug now continues to hunt Bloody Knockout in order to destroy him. A ressurected triceratops in the modern age, Slug moves forward with his magnificent form, pouncing on the Decepticons!
One of the first characters we meet in the "Robots in Disguise" (aka "Transformers Adventure") cartoon is Grimlock. Unlike other versions of the character, this one is a former Decepticon criminal who wants to change his ways (I have my theories on why that is, read my 3 Step Changer Grimlock review to see what I think about that).
That didn't stop Takara Tomy from making Grimlock Dinobot leader once again in their toy line! One of the other Dinobots released in this line is Slug. Slug is the "current" name of the character that traces its roots back to Generation One's Dinobot known as Slag. Years ago when the word "slag" fell out of favor (due to its negative connotations) the character became "Snarl" (another Dinobot name from G1) in the "Animated" toy line. Now that sculpt has been given a new deco as Slug in the "Transformers Adventure" toy line. Check out my original Snarl review for a detailed look at this sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Slug is an interesting combination of influences. His beast mode has its roots in "Generation One" Slag, the actual sculpt is "Animated" Snarl but this time out the color scheme comes from "Age of Extinction" Slug! While "Age of Extinction" Slug was colored mostly metallic grey and silver in the movie, almost all the mainline toys created to represent the character used a purple, red and silver paint scheme. It is that color scheme that this version of Slug uses as its inspiration making this one meta Dinobot!
The primary plastic color on Slug is a purple plastic that looks like it has a matte finish on it. It's an interesting choice as it gives the figure texture it would not have otherwise. The secondary plastic color is black plastic (under certain light it looks almost like a really dark grey). Soft silver plastic is used for his horns and there are bits of translucent orange plastic peeking out here and there.
There are some extensive paint applications on this figure. Orange is used on the sides and the head. I really like the orange around the edges of the frills on his head. He also has orange around light blue eyes and a stripe running down the sides of the head. Right int he center is a red Autobot symbol. Yellow is used for smaller rectangles on the rear legs. There is extensive use of silver paint from the head all the way to the tail. What I love about this deco is that many of the details are taken straight from "Age of Extinction" Slug. This includes the orange lines on the sides of the head and the silver tail.
All the joints on this figure are still nice and tight. That's not much of a shock since the tooling has not been reused many times in its life.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Pull the rear legs out to the sides, separating the red mid-section of the dinosaur body and then reconnect them to the middle of the body using the pegs in the red panels and the holes right under the "collar" around the robot head on either side.
- Swing down the front legs and connect them together in the middle.
- Flip out the robot heels from the front beast mode legs.
- Swing the dinosaur head up on the chest and collapse down the horns.
- Swing the hip piece up so the notch faces the armor panel under the beast mode head and connect them together.
- Swing the top panels on the rear beast mode legs to the front to form shoulder armor.
- Flip out the robot hands.
- Split the beast mode tail in the back and swing the halves out to the sides.
Slug's robot form doesn't show much that wasn't visible in beast mode. The newly exposed robot parts include the hands, thighs and head. The hands and thighs are black while the head is purple plastic. This mode has some really intricate deco on the head. The face has a black outline with silver around the mouth/chin area. The eyes are painted light blue even though there is translucent orange on the back of the head for light piping. The rest of the details all come from the beast mode including the orange on the shoulders and silver on the feet. It's a really cool looking deco. The finishing touch is a scannable symbol on the left forearm that can be used with the "Transformers Adventure" mobile app.
This mode also really helps solidify this sculpt as a good choice for this line. The "Animated" line had a very different aesthetic than most "Transformers" toy lines, making the sculpts from that line difficult to redeco and insert into other lines. Since the "Transformers Adventure"/"Robots in Disguise" (2015) line has a unique aesthetic that straddles more traditional designs like "Generations" and more animated designs like "Animated" this figure manages to fit right in.
All the joints in this figure are tight, however there has been one omission to the play factor: a weapon. The "Animated" Snarl had a club weapon made out of translucent plastic. This figure does not include that accessory, which is odd. I'm guessing it was a cost cutting measure. While the omission isn't ideal, I have to admit I don't miss the club a lot. It had nowhere to really store nicely in beast mode and it wasn't the coolest weapon in the world. What Slug does still have are the translucent "flame blades" that pop out of his shoulders. Just press the button on the back of the shoulder armor and they pop right up. Then push them down to lock them back into place.
Slug is a fun redeco and I really dig the paint job on this figure. I also think it's cool that Grimlock now has Dinobots to lead (though they don't appear in the cartoon). If you're into this aesthetic at all (and not everyone is), this guy is definitely worth adding to your collection!