"Age of Extinction" Voyager Class Slog (Amazon Exclusive) Toy Review

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Amazon, Autobot, Dinobot, Generation One, Voyager

Age of Extinction

Slog General Information:
Release Date: January 2015
Price Point: $34.99
Retailer: Amazon Exclusive
Accessories: Lances x 2, Blasters x 2

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
The largest of the original Dinobots, Slog brings brutal power and unmistakable force wherever he goes. This evolution of the Cybertronian Apatosaurus is the fifth and final member of the G1 Dinobots and completes the team in a truly powerful statement. Gear up for massive Transformers action with this exclusive 2-in-1 Slog figure! This Dinobot warrior's cool Generation 1 deco makes him a collector's item and he's only available on Amazon. He's a heavily armed dynamo in robot mode, taking vicious swipes at the Deceptions with his 2 swords. But he'll trample them flat when he's in rumbling Cybertronian Apatosaurus mode! Convert him back and forth as the battle rages on! Can any enemy stand against this brutally powerful Dinobot? There's only one way to find 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 Dinobots 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. Dinobot Slog can trace his roots back to the G1 character named Sludge. The name change is most likely due to trademark issues but it is neat to see the character referenced even if only indirectly as Sludge hasn't seen the kind of attention of the years that other Dinobots like Grimlock and Swoop have. The name "Slog" traces its origins back to the days of Generation One where it was used for a Decepticon Pretender.

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! However, Hasbro couldn't fit all the Dinobots they wanted into that set so Slog wound up being released as an Amazon exclusive. While preorders went up in mid-2014, the figure did not actually ship until the end of December 2014 with most fans receiving it in the mail around the first week of January 2015.

This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. I recommend checking out my original Slog review for thoughts on the sculpt and design.

Packaging:
While his fellow "G1 themed" Dinobots were given a special box that transforms into the Autobot Ark base, Slog fans have to content themselves with a reprint of the regular Voyager Class Slog release's box. The only difference can be found on the bottom, which lists this Slog as "18 of 30", referring to the "Thrilling 30" campaign from 2014. Even the photography of the character on the back features the mass release and not this special release.

Robot Mode:
Slog is a separate release from the SDCC 2014 Dinobot set, but the "spirit" of the redeco remains the same. The designers took the original G1 toy and did their best to replicate the deco on this figure. To start with, the designers chose iconic Dinobot colors for the base plastic colors. This includes silver, black and red. The silver makes up most of the figure, with black used on smaller parts like the fists, head and thighs. The placement of these black sections roughly corresponds to G1 Sludge (ex: G1 Sludge's head and thighs were black, so are Slog's). Much of his armor is silver, including the waist piece, forearms and lower legs. Several of the silver parts have vacuum metallized parts on them. This includes his shoulder armor, the armor over his wrists and the front of the lower legs. Vacuum metallized parts were part of the standard design of the G1 Dinobots, so the use of it is very appropriate here.

Structurally, Slog is very different than G1 Sludge. However, the designers did their best to paint some colors into areas that serve as visual callbacks to Sludge. Perhaps the most obvious of these is the torso. The center is painted gold and the panels on the sides are red. This is very similar to Sludge's torso which featured a smokey grey translucent panel on his chest surrounded by a red torso section. The translucent part on the torso had some gold under it, so the gold color used on Slog is a darker shade, looking almost like a mustard color. Also, the pieces which form a "belt" on his waist area have small red paint details that remind me of stickers on Sludge in roughly the same area. Finally, the feet are painted gold, calling back to Sludge's gold feet. A bit more silver appears on the face and his visor eyes have been painted blue.

The dual cannons included with the figure have been cast in red plastic, so they really pop visually when you attach them to the figure. The lance weapons are red as well with black handles. These splashes of red really add a lot to the figure, giving him a needed tone and brightness that also relates to a traditional Dinobot color scheme. Overall this figure looks fantastic. He's not quite as "G1-centric" as some of the other Dinobots from the SDCC 2014 set, but he will fit right in with the group.

All the articulation on this figure is just as tight as my first release of Slog. Given that Slog has at least three separate releases it's good to know the tooling isn't having any issues.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach all the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Push each fist into the outer part of the forearms.
  3. Swing each of the belt=like pieces on the waist area out.
  4. Pull the upper half of the body up, swinging it out on the central hinge piece.
  5. Swing the vertical hinged sections of the robot arms in, then swing the "rib cage" sections of the chest out. Tabbed sections in between both sections should be connected.
  6. Swing the robot head down and straighten out the beast mode neck/head.
  7. Rotate each of the forearms around.
  8. On each leg, swing up the knee armor piece.
  9. On each lower leg, swing out the panels with the spikes on them.
  10. On each lower leg, swing the panel with the spikes forward (along with the robot feet), revealing the rear beast mode legs.
  11. Rotate the hip joints around then rotate the rear beast mode legs so they point forward.
  12. Swing back each half of the tail.
  13. Swing the rear section halves down, connecting the two halves of the tail.
  14. Swing the two sections with the spikes on them together. The two halves should tab into each other, but the soft plastic may make that slightly challenging so take it slow.
  15. The soft plastic panel on the front of the chest tucks into the grooves where the robot shoulder armor meets the torso.
  16. Attach the blasters to the shoulders on the front beast mode legs.
  17. Attach the black handle 5mm peg piece on the lance weapons to the black ports that stick out at the base of the neck.

Beast Mode:
As with the robot mode, this figure's beast mode has some design callbacks to G1 Sludge, but overall the design is not slavish to its source. The most obvious G1 homages are at the ends of the figure. The neck and head are cast in translucent gold plastic with gold parts painted underneath. This is an intricate homage to G1 Sludge's neck and head in beast mode. Both have a translucent plastic layer and then a sold layer underneath. In a nod to the G1 cartoon, Slog's eyes are painted light blue. Swing to the other end of this figure and you'll find the tail is vacuum metallized silver, just like G1 Sludge's tail. Most of the middle section is painted silver, with several vacuum metallized silver parts such as the rear lower legs and parts of the front legs. Though the placement doesn't match Sludge, it does echo the way Sludge had vacuum metallized parts on his back in beast mode while other parts were cast in silver.

All of Slog's articulation points are nice and tight in this form. All the weapon connection points are snug as well. I don't see any mold degradation issues with this figure.

Final Thoughts:
If you're down with the Dinobot designs from "Age of Extinction" at all, then this is a must have in my opinion. This figure is big, it has a ton of weaponry and his color scheme is a wonderful callback to the G1 Dinobots and Sludge himself. Highly recommended!