"Age of Extinction" One Step Changer Grimlock Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Dinobot, Movie (2007), One Step Changer

Age of Extinction

Grimlock General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
Grimlock is back, and he's scarier than ever! This Grimlock changer still fights the Decepticons every time he can, but he converts so fast they'll never be able to keep up. Pull him to convert him from mighty robot mode to dinosaur mode in just 1 step, then convert him back again when the battle calls for it! Decepticons will never be able to handle your fast-changing Grimlock figure!

  • Includes figure.
  • 2-in-1 Grimlock changer
  • Figure converts in 1 step
  • Converts from robot mode to dinosaur mode when you pull him
  • Ages 5 and up

As part of its drive to appeal to different segments of the toy buying audience, Hasbro has introduced different sub-lines of "Transformers" figures for the "Age of Extinction" toy line. One of these are the "One Step Changers". As the name suggests, the idea behind these figures is the ability to transform the figure in one step, keeping them in spirit with G1 toys like Jumpstarters and Battlechargers. One of the first figures in this sub-line is Grimlock. If a simplified figure isn't your preference, check out my review of Voyager Class Grimlock which covers my thoughts on a more complex Grimlock figure and gives you my thoughts on Grimlock's overall design.

Beast Mode:
To accommodate the "One Step Changer" gimmick, Grimlock's proportions in this mode have been changed a bit from what's been seen on screen and in other versions of the character. His hips are rather wide, with thick armor sections above the legs that stick out to the sides quite a bit. The top of his head is shortened compared to other versions of the character. In particular the top part of his snout has been pushed in a bit. The front half of the beast mode becomes the robot legs, so the designers did their best to streamline this section. This means the beast mode arms are scrunched up against the body.

Balancing out these proportions are some really nice details. His head has some nice teeth sculpted inside the mouth, ridges on the top of the snout and the "horns" over the eyes. Running along the back are raised armor plates and his tail has a series of armor panels layered on top of each other. These details really help enhance the look of the figure and they help ensure the changed proportions on the figure don't become the figure's most noticeable features.

Grimlock is cast in gunmetal grey and gold plastic. Some silver is used to paint details around the head and gunmetal paint is used on front to middle sections of the body. A gunmetal Autobot symbol appears on the front of his left hip armor piece. The beast mode eyes are painted blue. Overall the colors look great and I'm glad to see a good amount of paint on the figure despite its simpler design.

There is no articulation to speak of in this form. Grimlock is pretty much in a static position facing forward and locked in the (now more scientifically accurate) T-Rex pose where the head to tail is set horizontally while the legs are vertical, forming a rough "T" shape. From snout to tail, Grimlock measures roughly 6 inches (15.24 centimeters) long. From table to head he stands at about 2.75 inches (6.9 centimeters).

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Hold on to the hip armor and pull it out to the sides. As you do so the robot mode will form with the head becoming feet, the neck/body becoming legs and the robot head swinging up. Once the hip armor "locks" into place the robot mode is complete.

Robot Mode:
Speaking of proportions, Grimlock winds up looking a bit funny in this mode, but not in a horrible way. Mainly this is focused around how big the upper body is in proportion to the lower body. His shoulders are wide and the way his arms are curved, he looks like he is striking a body builder pose, flexing his arm muscles. His chest is wide and the rows of "teeth" on them wind up being pushed out to the sides a bit. His legs on the other hand are thin and close together.

Grimlock still has a lot of his requisite details. There are the aforementioned set of "teeth" on his chest, the crest on his head, the upward "points" on his feet and even the smaller "teeth" details underneath the face plate on his head. He is easily recognizable as Grimlock in this form.

The same colors use din the beast mode carry over here, but now you get to see some gunmetal in the center of the figure. Silver paint is used for detailing on parts like his crest and feet. He also has gunmetal grey parts including his knee armor and upper arms. His eyes are light blue. Grimlock's colors look good in this form and I'm surprised how simple colors can work so well on the figure.

There are two points of articulation on this figure in this mode: the arms. They can move up and down, and that's about all you'll get in terms of action features. The main gimmick here is the "one step" transformation. I do kind of wish the hands had been sculpted so they could hold 5mm peg weapons but alas that is not to be.

Final Thoughts:
This figure relies on its "one step change" gimmick for most of its play value, and in that respect it succeeds very well (much more than Drift). If you're looking for a complex figure this isn't the figure for you. If you want a fun little figure to mess around with at your desk or something your kid can carry in his or her backpack on a road trip, then this guy fits the bill.