Age of Extinction Voyager Class Grimlock Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Dinobot, Movie (2007), Voyager

Age of Extinction

Grimlock General Information:
Release Date: May 12, 2014 (Online); May 17, 2014 (Stores)
Price Point: $24.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Mace/Spear weapon

Images:

*Images and text below from The Official Transformers Web Site:
Grimlock is the ultimate wildcard. The Dinobot leader has the power to decide the fate of Earth almost singlehandedly. His ferocious strength makes him a devastating force in battle. If that strength can be focused and harnessed for good, it could be enough to turn the tide. If not, it might be what seals Earth's doom.
Gear up for massive Transformers action with this awesome 2-in-1 Grimlock figure! This powerful leader of the Dinobots is a terrible powerhouse in robot mode, wielding his battle mace with a double spearpoint. But he's just as scary in chomping, stomping T-Rex mode! Convert him back and forth as the battle rages on! Can any enemy stand against him? There's only one way to find out!

  • Includes figure.
  • 2-in-1 Grimlock figure.
  • Figure converts from robot mode to dino mode.
  • T-Rex mode.
  • Includes battle mace with double spearpoint.
  • Changes in 18 steps.

Voyager Class Series M4 #002 Grimlock. Ages 8 and up. 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 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. Grimlock was the leader of the Dinobots in the original "Transformers" cartoon, and ever since then he has played a prominent role in many incarnations of the "Transformers". This made him a natural choice to appear in "Age of Extinction".

Robot Mode:
Size is one of the issues many fans have worried about with the "Age of Extinction" toys, especially with regards to the Dinobots who are meant to be huge in the film. In Grimlock's case, his size is comparable to Voyager Class figures from the "Generations" toy line such as Springer and Rhinox. It's not a completely fair comparison since other Voyager Class figures transform into very different forms than Grimlock, but in terms of height he's about the same and he does have some nice bulk to him thanks to giant arms and strong looking legs.

Like the other Dinobots in the film, Grimlock's robot mode recalls a different ancient age than his dinosaur form: medieval times. His robot mode is largely designed to look like a suit of medieval armor complete with overlapping armor details along with savage looking spikes and teeth details. Among the parts that really look like medieval armor are the head, waist and feet. The head has a helmet section that comes to a large crest in the center. This leads to thin eyes and a mouthplate of sorts that appears to cover up a row of teeth. This is very reminscent of a design from Grimlock's appearance in the "War Within" comic book series. Indeed, while the helmet shape is distinctly inspired by a knight's armor, the face itself has a very "Grimlock" quality about it. The feet are thin and have pointed toes that angle upward. These are reminscent of Sabatons, though they generally don't point up in the same way.

The rest of Grimlock's design is very much the "Bayformer" aesthetic with some "savage" elements thrown in. There are several layers of armor on the arms and legs, but they are enhanced with details that call back to his beast mode such as spikes on the sides of his lower legs, teeth like details on his chest and even rib cage like designs on the sides of his lower legs. This last detail is perhaps my favorite as it is similar to the design of the legs on "Beast Wars" Dinobot. This design has several beast mode parts showing and it's tough to say how accurate or not accurate this is to his CG model since he' sonly appeared in beast mode in trailers. What I will say is the dinosaur head halves do form cool looking shoulder armor and the dinosaur feet on his forearms enhance the bulk on the arms, giving him a brutish appearance. Overall, I really like the design of this figure. He looks savage and powerful, two key elements that partly define Grimlock.

Grimlock is cast in gold, black and silver plastic. These are classic Dinobot colors and I think it's very fitting that the leader of the Dinobots would have these colors. The proportions are a bit different than the traditional Dinobots, which generally favors the silver colors. Here, the gold makes up a lot of the top half of the figure, with the lower half made up mostly of black and silver. His elbow joints, mid-section and fists are also black. Paint applications are done in silver, gold, black, metallic green and red. The silver is the most heavily used color. You'll find it on the lower half of the lower legs, the shoulder armor, the chest and head. It's a lighter shade of silver than the silver plastic used on the figure, which offers a nice contrast. Gold is used to paint details on the shoudler armor and the knee area. A glossy black is used on the claws of the beast mode legs on the forearms. You'll also see some black accents on the shoulder armor. The metallic green shows in both the beast mode and robot mode eyes (both visible in this form). The red is used for only one detail, an Autobot symbol right in the middle of his body. The deco isn't overdone, and while instinct tells me that there should be more paint on this guy, I honestly don't think he needs it. Any paint would really just be to provide more accents and not really color any significant parts of the figure.

There are twenty one points of articulation on this figure. This includes five points on each arm and leg. The arms have an odd bit of design related to the transformation. The elbows can bend, but they bend inward (making Grimlock look like he's posing for a fitness magazine). If you want to turn them "normally" you can, but you need to detach the tab that connects the beast mode feet to the forearms, then rotate the wrists around so the elbow joint can bend more naturally. Really, it doesn't affect the appearance of the figure too much to do this, and in my opinion it helps the functionality, but it's an odd bit of a design choice. Grimlock's weapon looks just as brutal as he does. It's a staff with a giant mace-like piece at the end. The end piece has three spikes on four sides with blades on the other end. An L shaped piece towards the top has a 5mm peg that allows Grimlock to hold the weapon in either hand.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached.
  2. Swing each of the beast mode leg pieces over the forearms and swing the silver heel pieces back.
  3. Swing each robot foot so the toes point down.
  4. Swing the back piece (complete with the halves of the beast mode head) back.
  5. Raise the small piece in the middle up.
  6. Begin bringing the two beast mode head halves together.
  7. Connect the lower jaw with the upper jaw sections of the beast mode head.
  8. Swing the chest piece up, it won't go all the way, just enough to cover the face.
  9. Swing the middle piece of the beast mode's back down.
  10. Swing the waist armor piece in.
  11. Swing the robot legs back and connect the tabs on the knee armor to the corresponding slots on the chest piece.
  12. Swing the front arm pieces down.
  13. Rotate the legs around.
  14. Connect the toe sections together using the small peg and hole.
  15. The weapon attaches to his tail by attaching the top black section to the tail. There are grooves in the top of the weapon that slide into corresponding tabs on the tail.

*Note: When connecting the two halves of the tail together, I noticed some plastic stressing on the side with the hole. The stressing did not get worse in subsequent transformations, but it is definitely worth noting.

Beast Mode:
Much like the original Grimlock, this version bases his beast mode on a bipedal dinosaur with small arms and a large head. Instead of a Tyrannosaurus Rex however, it seems this Grimlock looks more like a Carnotaurus, with the key details being horn like protrusions behind the eyes on the beast mode head. Another running theory is that this Grimlock is based off a T-Rex, but with design flourishes that would inspire stories of ancient creatures like dragons. Whatever the case, this is one fierce looking creature that helped make one of the most amazing visual shots of the early "Age of Extinction" trailers.

The sculpt on this figure is very intricate, with a lot of sections that have armor panels overlapping others at varying angles. You really get a sense of a this character being a complex machine. Complementing these details are some more organic looking sections. This includes smooth, curved sections on the legs that look almost like muscles and the more dangerous looking sections like the huge teeth in his mouth, the claws on the legs and the bone-like design of the arms. This combination of design elements work together to give Grimlock an almost techno-organic appearance and I really like it.

From the perspective of being accurate to the on screen CG model, there are some clear differences between this figure and the CG model seen in the trailers. First, the CG model appears to have a back section that forms a slope from head to tail, but here there's a bit of a hump in the center (formed partly from the robot head being hidden) so it's a bit less streamlined looking. Also, while the arms on this figure are porportionally tiny, they apear much larger on the CG model.

The overall design isn't the only difference between this figure and the CG model. Based on the trailers, the colors are also significantly different. On screen, it appears Grimlock will largely be a dark, metallic silver color with some black accents. Cool for a big on-screen dinosaur robot, but that one-note color scheme makes for a fairly boring looking action figure. Instead, the gold, silver and black plastic shows through here in similar proportions to the robot mode. You get a bit more gold plastic in the form of the back and neck area, but there's plenty of silver to balance it out on the tail and head sections. With the head assembled, you really get a good sense of how the colors come together on it. Silver is used to paint a lot of the detail, balanced out with metallic green eyes and bits of gold on the sides and nose. Black paint is used for distinctive stripes on the back similar to tiger stripes. Black is also used to paint the claws on his feet and the red Autobot symbol shows on the back of the beast mode. Overall it's a good looking beast mode and definitely encapsulates the ferocity of what has been seen in trailers so far.

There are thirteen points of articulation in this form. Most of this is focused in the legs, which have five points of articulation each. His beast mode arms are both on ball joints, allowing them a wide range of movement. His gimmick involves the mouth. Normally the mouth is set in an open position. Press the silver tab on the left side of the neck and the jaws open and close. While I am glad the designers found a way to integrate the weapon into this form, it looks a bit odd and instead of appearing like a portion of the tail, it looks like exactly what it is: a weapon stuck on the back of the figure. I much prefer to leave it off even if that means the weapon isn't integrated into the figure.

Final Thoughts:
"Age of Extinction" is a fantastic looking figure in both forms. If your primary concern is getting an updated version of G1 Grimlock, then you'll want to go purchase "Generations" Grimlock instead. This is a bold new interpretation of the character and it makes for a fun toy. The figure is not without its issues. The stress marks are a bit worrying and I wish there had been a better integration of the weapon in beast mode, but overall I do recommend this figure as part of your "Age of Extinction" collection!