"Age of Extinction" Power Attacker Snarl Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Dinobot, Power Attacker

Age of Extinction

Snarl General Information:
Release Date: November 2014
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 Amazon.com:
Gear up for power-punching action with the Power Attackers! This mighty Snarl Power Attacker figure converts from robot mode to dino mode, just like Snarl always has. But when he's in robot mode, his hammer strike attack will clobber any Decepticon who gets in his way! When he needs more than strength, he converts in 7 easy steps to hard-charging dino mode! Convert and attack with your Snarl Power Attacker! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Late 2014 brought about a new wave of "Power Attacker" Transformers. These figures are the middle ground between the simpler "One Step Changers" such as Optimus Prime and the larger, more complex figures like Leader Class Grimlock. Power Attackers focus on an action feature along with a simplified transformation scheme. The character of Snarl previously saw release as a San Diego Comic-Con exclusive, but that was the "Generations" style figure. This is a different sculpt altogether.

Robot Mode:
I discussed Snarl's general design in my SDCC Snarl review, but in short Snarl is perhaps the one "Age of Extinction" Dinobot whose design is closest to his G1 counterpart. The halves of the stegosaurus tail wind up on his back, the rear of the beast mode becomes his torso while the front half becomes his legs. He also has the bulkiness of the G1 Snarl design. His shoulders are wide, his chest is thick and his legs are also wide, giving him the stance and appearance of a true warrior.

Of course, being a movie design, Snarl has many design elements the G1 figure did not. Many of the armor plates on Snarl have a curved shape on them leading to points at the edges. You'll find this everywhere from his shoulders to his legs. His feet have the points on them that many of the Dinobots in "Age of Extinction" feature. This detail reflects inspiration from the armor of medieval knights. The torso area features turbine-like details on his chest and some more squared off details such as a set of shapes in the middle that resemble a "six pack" on a human being. The head design is quite distinct, with a face design that comes to a point at the chin and sweeps back to points towards the back of the head. He has visor eyes with a mouth that looks like it's set in a permanent, scary grin. I really like the design of this figure. It is a good middle ground between the "Bayformer" look and a more classic G1 aesthetic.

Snarl is cast in green, black, purple and yellow plastic. The shade of green used on this figure is darker and less "neon" looking than the one used on his Deluxe Class counterpart. In my eyes this is a good thing as he looks more like a military robot than a fanciful day-glow robot. Purple and black are used on smaller parts such as his shoulder connection pieces and panels on the sides respectively. Yellow is used on the armor plates on his back. There is a good amount of deco on this figure. Silver, yellow and metallic purple are the primary paint colors used with a bit of red. The silver is found on the head and the sides of the torso. The purple is used on the eyes and abdominal area. Yellow is used for all the plates except for the ones on his back, so that color appears on his back and legs. The bit of red appears as an Autobot symbol on his left shoulder. While these are not colors I would've thought to throw together on a figure, they do work as a whole. Part of what looks good is the contrast between the darker green of the figure and the brighter yellow paint. I also really like the metallic purple which has a rich appearance.

There are eight points of articulation on this figure, one on each arm ad the shoulder and three in each leg. This includes a ratchet joint on the hips that allows the legs to swing outward, something that surprised me as I was expecting more limited articulation. The action feature on this figure involves the plates on Snarl's back. As such, the plates are cast in a softer plastic for safety reasons. On Snarl's back, you'll see a purple tab. Push that down and the plates swing up and forward. His attack is referred to as a "Hammer Strike" on the packaging, and I guess you could interpret the designs as thin hammers, but they look almost more like ice picks to me. Either way, they definitely look like they could put some hurt on a Decepticon!

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Swing the robot feet up.
  2. Push the two lower legs together.
  3. Swing the dinosaur legs on the lower legs back.
  4. Holding the robot legs (now the front of the dinosaur mode) as one piece, swing it up with the hinge being the purple piece on the torso.
  5. Rotate the robot arms up.
  6. Push the top half of the robot body against the front section of the beast mode.
  7. Swing the halves of the beast mode tail out and back then push them together.

Beast Mode:
Like his G1 counterpart, Snarl is a Stegosaurus in beast mode. The sharp and detailed aesthetic of the robot mode carries over into this form and again it defies expectations as to what a "simplified" Transformer sculpt should look like. The overall look is a mix of smooth parts that look almost organic (or a machine attempting to replicate an organic look) while others are straight up machinery. The more smooth parts include the legs and portions of the beast mode head while the more mechanical bits come into play along the length of the main body which features vents and hard angles near the front legs. Not surprisingly, more sharp detail comes into play on the armor plates on his back, which are all shaped to sweep back. He has similar spike like details on his tail and legs. The head has horns that also sweep back at the same angle. It's a very dramatic design and it looks fantastic.

The same colors used in the robot mode carry over here. There is some extra yellow paint on the sides near the front legs. the eyes are painted purple and his teeth are silver. The neck area has been painted gunmetal grey, which helps accentuate the mechanical nature of the creature. You'll find more gunmetal grey on the back of the figure on the rear half, helping to make this mode a bit more distinctive.

The onle posability in this mode are the front legs, which can move up and down. The action feature does not work in this form despite the purple tab showing prominently on the back. You could split the figure and activate it, but that winds up looking all sorts of awkward.

Final Thoughts:
So far I've been very happy with the strong showing in the "Power Attackers". I've found the scupting and deco to be very nicely done and the action features are fun. Snarl is no exception. Recommended if you're looking for something simpler than a "Generations" style figure but not a One Step Changer.