"Age of Extinction" SDCC 2014 Exclusive Snarl Toy Review

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

Age of Extinction

Snarl 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.

Snarl has the distinction of being one of the few Dinobots left who still retains the name from his Generation One counterpart. However, he does not appear in the film, but rather he's part of the "off screen" mythology of the live action film universe. Interestingly enough, this release of the figure actually precedes its mass release version, so this is the first time I'm getting to review this sculpt.

Beast Mode:
Like his G1 counterpart, Snarl is a Stegosaurus in beast mode. However, while G1 Snarl was angular and rounded in many places, "Age of Extinction" Snarl is sharp and angular in appearance. His head comes to a point at the end, each of his legs come to points on the top and the plates that run along his back are triangular in shape (as opposed to the pengatgon shaped plates on G1 Snarl). Like modern day interpretations of the Stegosaurus his mouth has a beak at the end and his tail has spikes at the end. Like most "Bayformer" designs, Snarl has layers of armor plating sculpted on him. This includes panels on the front, on his back and even the tail. It's a very dynamic and awesome looking sculpt.

Using G1 Snarl as the basis of his colors, Snarl is cast in smokey grey plastic, silver, red and black. Vacuum metallized gold and silver are used to add dramatic visual flair to the figure and pay homage to G1 Snarl who also had several vacuum metallized parts. Even better, the way the colors are laid out roughly approximate how the colors are laid out on G1 Snarl. For instance, the plates on the back of G1 Snarl are vacuum metallized gold, as they are here. G1 Snarl had parts of his head and legs cast in translucent smokey grey plastic and the same can be said for this incarnation. Some of the panels on the sides in the front half are vacuum metallized silver, a visual reference to the silver on the front half of G1 Snarl. The back section has some red plastic showing, a callback to G1 Snarl's rear section which had red parts showing. Overall the designers really did an amazing job replicating the look of G1 Snarl on a modern day sculpt.

Quite a bit of investment went into the plastic colors and vacuum metallized parts, so it's not a shock that he's not exactly choc full of paint decos. Silver, gold and red are used for paint detailing. The silver is on the beast mode head and the eyes are red (similar to G1 Snarl). The gold paint is used on the claws on each foot. Truth be told, the overall colors are so dazzling on this figure that I don't really think he needs more paint deco at all.

There are thirteen points of articulation in this form. Three on each rear leg, two on each front leg. The neck can swing down. The head itself can swing down and the jaw can open. It's actually a good amount of articulation for a beast mode. I was surprised the neck and head had so much movement. It really helps bring the figure to life and make it expressive.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Pull the top most plates on the back off and swing them out to form a blade weapon. Set it aside for now.
  2. Split the tail and swing each half out.
  3. Remove the weapon from the tail halves and set it aside.
  4. Swing the middle section of plates back.
  5. Pull the robot head up.
  6. Rotate each of the front legs up against the sides of the beast mode.
  7. Swing up each of the rear legs to form the robot arms.
  8. Swing each of the tail halves forward, connecting the groove on each tail half to the tap on the back of each upper arm.
  9. Swing the halves of the middle plate section out.
  10. Swing the front half to the beast mode forward then down.
  11. Split the front half of the beast mode to begin forming the robot legs.
  12. Swing the robot feet forward.
  13. Swing the beast mode head/neck in against the lower left leg.
  14. Each weapon can be put into one of his fists or they can be combined.

Robot Mode:
When it comes to Transformers with beast modes, sometimes certain beast modes only allow for so many transformation possibilities. In many respects, "Age of Extinction" Snarl transforms very much like his G1 counterpart. As a result, the general layout of the robot mode on this figure is very similar to the G1 Snarl. This includes the halves of his beast mode tail winding up on his back, the central plates in the middle, the front of the beast mode forming the legs and the back of the beast mode forming the torso. It's really awesome to see a live action movie figure so similar in design to the character it is based on.

Of course, the "Bayformer" aesthetic is quite different than G1 the G1 figure. There are lots of angles and sharp looking details including some spikes on his forearms and turbine like designs in his chest. Particularly striking are the way the plates from the beast mode stick out on the lower legs and on the back. His arms are designed in such a way that they curve a bit at the elbow, creating a pose as if he was posing to look strong like a bodybuilder. Unfortunately his hands are in a weird, angled position. They can rotate around (thank goodness) but I wish they had more articulation so they wouldn't be at an angle. It's not a deal breaker for me, but I can see how it would be annoying for some fans. The robot head design is interesting with a shape that calls back to the pointed shape of his beast mode head. The head has four backward sweeping points that evoke the spikes on his beast mode tail. It's a cool design and I like the way it visually connects to the beast mode.

Snarl's beast mode colors carry over here, except this time out red and black make up most of the torso and thighs. Red is also used for the feet. His arms are a combination of translucent grey and black plastic. The vacuum metallized parts all wind up on his lower legs and back. Silver and red are used to paint the head and an Autobot symbol is tampographed in the center of the chest - just like the G1 figure. Like the beast mode, the designers certainly could have added on more paint deco, but they're really not missed. The only other spot I can think of that could use more paint is the chest, on the turbine-like details. Like the beast mode, the color layout on this figure is very similar to G1 Snarl and looks fantastic.

There are seventeen points of articulation on Snarl in this form. This includes four points on each arm and leg and his head. As mentioned above, you can combine his weapons into one "super weapon" or keep them separate. I really like the crescent weapon. It's nicely detailed and it's uncommon among Transformers. The hands have standard 5mm pegs, allowing the figure to hold weapons with 5mm pegs.

Final Thoughts:
Snarl is a fun sculpt and I really like the way the design mirrors G1 Snarl in many ways. Add in the G1 based colors and this Snarl has an amazing color scheme. The only awkward part of the figure is the design of the hands, which wind up at odd angles depending on how you have them positioned. Overall a good figure, but not perfect.