"Age of Extinction" SDCC 2014 Exclusive Grimlock Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Comic-Con Exclusive, Dinobot, Generation One, Voyager

Age of Extinction

Grimlock General Information:
Release Date: July 24, 2014
Price Point: $159.99 (In a boxed set with the Ark playset, Grimlock, Slug and Strafe)
Retailer: San Diego Comic-Con 2014 and Hasbrotoyshop
Accessories: Blade weapon, Club weapon

Images:

*Text below from Hasbrotoyshop:
Deep beneath Mount St. Hilary, from the command center inside Autobot headquarters, Grimlock orders his Dinobots to attack! They emerge from the primordial sludge, charging forward to swoop down on the Decepticons with a terrifying snarl and the sheer will to turn the toughest Decepticon into slag.

The battle between the Dinobots and the Decepticons is on again in this San Diego Comic Con exclusive 4-pack! This is a force of Dinobot figures you can only get at SDCC, and it's chock-full of dino rage! Your Grimlock figure will lead your Strafe, Dinobot Slug and Snarl figures into battle, and all 4 convert from robot mode to dino mode and back. Dino up with the Dinobots Generation One exclusive 4-pack!

Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Includes 4 Dinobot figures and instructions.

  • Dinobots Generation One 4-Pack includes 4 Dinobots
  • Includes Grimlock, Strafe, Dinobot Slug and Snarl figures
  • Ages 8 and up

"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.

Almost as soon as they were announced, fans wanted these new Dinobot toys in the familiar silver/black/red/gold colors that were used on the original Dinobots. After much waiting, Hasbro announced that there would be a San Diego Comic-Con 2014 exclusive featuring just that! Included with this set is a special box that folds out into an incredible playset based on the Generation One "Ark" as seen in the animated series.

You can't have a set of Dinobots and not include the most famous Dinobot of all: Grimlock! This boxed set includes the Voyager Class Grimlock in a new deco based on his G1 counterpart. This same sculpt was also used for the Toys R Us Evolution 2-Pack. Check out those reviews for my thoughts on the sculpt and design. This review will focus on the changes made to the sculpt for this release.

Beast Mode:
Being the largest figure in the set, it would be surprising if Grimlock's deco wasn't eye catching - and it is. The figure is cast in silver, translucent gold, black and red parts. Several parts are vacuum metallized in silver and red. The designers also did the best to emulate the color layout of the original Generation One Grimlock figure. In concert with G1 inspired deco, Grimlock does a great job of evoking the original Grimlock toy. Among these details that do this are:

  • The head is vacuum metallized silver with red eyes. While G1 Grimlock's head is just plain silver, the eyes are red as well.
  • The neck area has two layers of plastic (which was not obvious on previous releases). The inner layer is gold, and the outer layer is a smokey grey plastic. This is similar to the neck detail on G1 Grimlock.
  • The dinosaur arms are painted silver, reflecting the vacuum metallized silver color of the G1 Grimlock's arms.
  • The front claws on the beast mode feet are translucent gold, a call back to the vacuum metallized gold claws on G1 Grimlock's feet.
  • The robot chest piece is painted gold. On this figure however it's on the back of the figure instead of the area between his legs, but the callback works nicely.
  • The end of Grimlock's tail is vacuum metallized silver. This is a direct homage to the G1 Grimlock toy's tail end, which is also vacuum metallized silver.
  • The top of the legs have a black and red tampograph on them. This is similar to a sticker detail on G1 Grimlock's legs.

While not direct G1 homages, the rest of Grimlock's deco is no less striking. He has several red and vacuum metallized red parts distributed throughout the figure. His back also has a large vacuum metallized silver piece. His lower legs are painted silver. The weapon end has been cast in black, just like the previous releases, however the staff itself is red. The net effect is a fantastic looking figure with or without a G1 homage.

All the joints on the figure are nice and tight. His jaw chomping mechanism works without a problem. The weapon can still be slippped onto the tail for storage, though I still find it extraordinarily awkward looking. I did this twice during the course of writing this review and there was no evidence of the vacuum metallized plastic being rubbed off. I am paranoid however that if you do this enough times it will wear off, but I figure it would take dozens of times before it would be come an issue.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Swing the beast mode legs up.
  3. Rotate each of the lower beast mode legs around, then swing back the beast mode feet to form the robot arms. Be sure to push the tabs on the beast mode feet to the corresponding groove on the forearms.
  4. Swing the beast mode arms down.
  5. Swing the panels with the beast mode arms up.
  6. Swing the tail/robot legs down.
  7. Separate the halves of the tail.
  8. Swing the ends of the tail up to form the robot feet.
  9. Swing the panel behind the robot head down.
  10. Split the top of the beast mode head and swing the halves up.
  11. Push the back panel down, then swing the halves of the beast mode head up to form the shoulder armor.
  12. Place the weapon in either hand.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode the designers were able to mirror many of G1 Grimlock's details. The color layout is very similar. The chest panel is gold, the waist area is red and his thighs are black. Meanwhile the rest is silver. Even the beast mode claws on his forearms calls back to G1 Grimlock's beast mode claws being on his wrists. The head is painted black with red eyes and an Autobot symbol is found on the section under the chest. The middle section is painted silver and the Autobot symbol is red. There are some blue details on the lower legs under the knee armor. These are based on blue sticker details on G1 Grimlock. The red color used on the weapon reflects the red color of the sword from the G1 figure. The deco heavily favors the original Grimlock toy more than his animation model, but to me that's a huge plus. This figure looks fantastic (and I won't lie, I find myself wishing this was how he appeared in the movie).

All the joints on Grimlock are nice and tight, no worries on functionality here. I will say this however, the vacuum metallized parts are shiny enough that I'd recommend having a microfiber cloth nearby to wipe it down form fingerprint smudges or if you really want to go nuts, use rubber gloves when handling those areas.

Final Thoughts:
Grimlock is a centerpiece of this set, and rightfully so. He looks amazing and elevates the sculpt from a good figure to an awesome one. He won't come come cheap however since this set is sold out now. If you want it, the secondary market is your primary option, but if you're a hardcore collector with a love for the G1 Dinobots, this may just fit your bill.