"Age of Extinction" Deluxe Dinobot Slash Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Deluxe, Dinobot, Movie (2007)

Age of Extinction

Slash General Information:
Release Date: June 2014
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Scimitars x 2

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
There's no situation Dinobot Slash can't escape. He can carve an opening and slip out undetected, or battle his way out with his razor-sharp claws! Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Dinobot Slash figure is a high-powered fighter whether he's in robot mode or raptor mode. With a scimitar in each hand, he'll be a match for any enemy in robot mode. And when he converts to vicious raptor mode, no enemy can hope to deal with his razor-sharp claws! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

"Age of Extinction" features a kind of Transformer that fans have been wanting to see on the big screen since the first movie: Dinobots. Originally introduced in the "Generation One" cartoon series and toy line, Dinobots have appeared again and again over the years in the "Transformers" toy line. Going as far back as "Beast Machines", the Dinobos have represented a sub-group of characters that often played by their own rules and generally represented great power. The Dinobots Grimlock and Swoop even made an appearance in the "Energon" toy line. In more recent years, the Dinobots even made an appearance in the "Power Core Combiners" line as well as the "Generations" toy line.

While other Dinobots in "Age of Extinction" such as Grimlock and Slug can trace their roots back to a G1 character from the 80's, Slash is a new character altogether. He still maintains the Dinobot naming convention of having a name that begins with the letter "S". Slash is one of the "off-screen" Dinobots who does not appear in the "Age of Extinction" film, but does have at least two toys coming out in the toy line.

Beast Mode:
In his official description, Slash is described as a "raptor" in beast mode. This is a very generic term that covers a lot of different species of dinosaur and birds. In general, what you can expect of this beast mod eis a highly stylized version of a Velociraptor from "Jurassic Park". Like that famous Hollywood creature Slash has an oval shaped head, two small arms and powerful looking legs. Each of his feet has a large claw "toe" the the central body is rather sleek looking. However, fitting in with more modern day representations of a raptor, there are several details on the arms, legs, back and tail that resemble "feathers" (though honestly many wind up looking more like blades and spikes). Now add in the "Bayformer" aesthetic of sharp looking layers of armor sitting on top of one another and you have one seriously dangerous and cool looking creature. You'll find these all over the figure from the neck to the main body down to the tail. The end of his tail comes to a very sharp looking point and you can really imagine him taking enemies down in all directions between his sharp looking teeth, blades, spikes and tail.

Much of the "sharp" parts on this figure are cast in a PVC plastic that makes them soft and safe while still giving the figure a very clean, dynamic appearance. There are some spikes and "feather" details that are cast in regular hard ABS plastic, but it's unlikely you'll get hurt by touching them.

Dinobot Slash is cast in three primary colors: dark teal, bright yellow and black. The teal makes up most of the beast mode including the head, neck, arms, mid-body and lower legs. The softer yellow PVC plastic is used on parts like his tail and the feathers on the sides of the legs. This lets them look sharp while not actually being too sharp. Black plastic is used on smaller pieces like the thigh ball joint and small hinges on his back.

Gunmetal grey is used on several smaller details including the sculpted lines around his face and his claws. It's also used on a beautiful spray pattern used on the underside of the neck. There you'll find a bright yellow pattern on his chest fading out at the sides. His tail is cast in the yellow PVC plastic but it has teal paint details on the top portion. The fading pattern on them looks fantastic and I love the constant contrast between yellow and the figure itself. The face has red eyes and silver teeth, both lending a threatening air to anyone who would dare challenge this Dinobot! Overall I like the deco quite a bit. The designers worked in a lot more detail than I had expected and I'm a sucker for fading patterns on paint schemes which this has aplenty.

Slash has fourteen points of articulation in this form. This includes the ability for the top and bottom of his mouth to move and five points of articulation on each leg.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Slide each of his weapons out from the dinosaur arms and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the "rib cage" sections from the sides out.
  3. Swing the section with the dinosaur arms down.
  4. Split the neck/head sections of the beast mode.
  5. On each neck/head half, rotate the underside of the neck around and swing up the robot foot piece.
  6. Rotate each leg around.
  7. Swing each lower half of the beast mode legs back to reveal the robot hands.
  8. Rotate the beast mode feet around on each forearm.
  9. Swing the section with the beast mode "ribs" and arms all the way up to finish forming the torso. The rib cage pieces will form pseudo shoulder armor.
  10. Swing the beast mode tail back to reveal the robot head.
  11. Each weapon can fit in one of Slash's fists.

Robot Mode:
As mentioned in my reviews of Voyager Class Grimlock and Deluxe Slug the Dinobot robot modes are modeled after ancient warriors, mostly knights. For Slash, the designers went into a different direction. Instead of suits of armor, Slash seems more inspired by warriors such as the practitioners of Te Mau Taiaha who have been known to don grass-like skirts as part of their traditional outfits. Truth be told, the biggest indicator of this is the "upside down skirt" on his legs that looks like a "grass skirt" (I use the term loosely, I'm no expert). When I asked about Slash's form at Botcon, the Hasbro reps mentioned to me he was more based on a tribal warrior than a Medieval Knight, and I see that a bit. However, take away the feather/skirt type details and he actually looks more like a bulky construction worker. His head design looks like he has a construction worker's helmet on with a mouthplate that has slits for him to "breathe". His arms are big and bulky looking, like he has significant upper body strength and his torso has layers of armor that look more mechanical than medieval or tribal. None of this is a bad thing. Indeed, I really like a lot of his detail and I think he has a very powerful and striking looking silhouette. Regardless, he looks like a brutal warrior, well suited to be a Dinobot.

Slash's beast mode colors carry over into this form, but things are a bit darker since his brightly colored tail is tucked behind his head now. A lot more black and gunmetal colors come into play thanks to his fists, torso and robot face. His eyes are red in this mode (reflecting the red eyes of the beast mode) and this mode gives us another look at the gorgeous paint patterns from the neck of the beast mode as they now face front via his legs.

In this form, Slash has fourteen points of articulation. This includes three in each arm, four in each leg and even waist articulation. The "grass skirt" interferes a bit with the waist articulation, but since those pieces are flexible you can turn his waist fairly easily. Each of his weapons attaches to a hand, but you need to rotate his forearms otherwise it looks like he's holding them out to the sides. While the weapons are called scimitars on his official description, to me they resemble a pair of axes a lot more. Either way they're cool looking with blades in the front and spike like sections on top that look like they'd be extra deadly to any Decepticon or Vehicon who takes him on!

Final Thoughts:
Admittedly, Slash isn't my favorite of the Dinobot figures so far. He deviates a bit too much from the "knight" theme for me, so he winds up being the "odd man out". Also his theme seems only half hearted and a tad confusing. However, as a figure he's solid. The beast mode looks great and I dig the way the designers worked "feathers" into it, making him a more contemporary raptor than the ones we saw in "Beast Wars". I also like his bulky appearance in robot mode and the creative use of PVC plastic. Recommended, but be warned he's going to stand out a bit from your other Dinobots.