"Age of Extinction" Slog Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Age of Extinction, Autobot, Dinobot, Voyager

Age of Extinction

Slog General Information:
Release Date: August 2014
Price Point: $24.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Lances x 2, Blasters x 2

Images:

*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Slog is low on brainpower, even by Dinobot standards. He's slow, lumbering, and absolutely gigantic. When you're that big, most problems get stamped out pretty quickly, sometimes before you even know they're there. But what Slog lacks in brains he makes up for in brawn. Anything he tramples snaps under his massive feet. The Dinobots know that he can clear a path through any enemy line...as long as they point him in the right direction first.

Gear up for massive Transformers action with this awesome 2-in-1 Slog figure! This Dinobot warrior is a heavily armed dynamo in robot mode, taking vicious swipes at the Decepticons with his 2 swords. But he'll mow them down when he's in rumbling dino 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!

"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. 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.

Robot Mode:
Slog continues the theme of the Dinobots in "Age of Extinction" resembling robots wearing ancient Japanese armor. Perhaps more than any of the other Dinobots in this line, he has a very bulky appearance thanks to many panels forming on top of each other in this mode. Slog is meant to represent a gigantic and brutal member of the Dinobot team, and the bulky appearance of the figure succeeds in giving that impression. His chest is wide, his arms are rounded and "muscular" looking and his legs are thick and look like they would make the ground tremble as he stomped around. There are some pieces that evoke the aforementioned armor including the panels that wrap around the waist area, evoking Haidate. While they are rounded and not rectangular, there are panels on the outer parts of the upper arms that remind me of Suneate.

All that said, Slog has a very distinct look all his own. The chest is particularly alien looking with what appears to be rib cage pieces on his chest and a head design that could be a helmet of some medieval warrior from Europe (including a mouthplate and thin, visor eyes with thin crests on top of the head). Some of the smaller details also add to the alien appearance including lines on the shoulder armor (with spikes in the same area!) that resemble large veins and a row of bone like spikes sticking out of each lower leg. While most of his details have hard angles, there is a very organic appearance to the figure that I like a lot. It sets him apart from a lot of other Transformers figures. There's something really alien and brutal about Slog's design and I think it's fantastic.

Slog is cast in silver, black and red plastic. The silver is the most heavily used color making up the torso, head, waist plate, lower legs and shoulder armor. Black is used on smaller parts like the forearms, thighs and feet. Red is focused on the accessories, however there is plenty of red paint coloring in details including his knee armor, the "veins" on his shoulder armor and details on the chest plate. The head has teal colored eyes with silver on the mouthplate. Perhaps one of the nicest decos on the figure are found on the waist armor pieces which have a bright red that fades into the silver plastic really nicely. Interestingly, out of all the Dinobots released in the main "Age of Extincton" toy line so far, Slog is the one that most resembles the "mostly dark silver" coloring of the Dinobots in the film (though a more "movie accurate" version of the Dinobots is due out later this year as a boxed set).

There are eighteen points of articulation on Slog in this mode. If you want to count the ability of his lance weapons to connect to ports on his back and swivel then add two more points. Most of these are nicely done including ratchet joints on the shoulders and waist articulation. Unfortunately his hands suffer from the same weirdness other figures in this line do: the inability of the fists to be positioned in such a way that he can hold his weapon in hand and bend his elbows down at the same time. Instead you would need to bend his elbow outward, which looks awkward (though functionally it's fine).

Slog comes with four weapons: two blasters and two lances. The lance weapons are particularly welcome as they are very unusual weapons for a Transformer and they give him weapons that are bigger than the average melee weapon just as he is bigger than the average Dinobot! Each lance is cast in red plastic with a red handle section. The design mimics that of his body with layered armor overlapping on each other down to the hilt. Each lance has a 5mm peg at the end as well as a 5mm peg on the black handle piece. This means he can hold the lance using the peg on the lance itself or "underhand" using the peg on the black section. The lance weapons can also be attached to slots on the back of the figure, giving Slog back mounted shoulder cannons! I love the dual use of these weapons.

The other weapons included with the figure are a pair of matching dual barreled blasters. They also have the "layered" look of the lance weapons along with some spike like protrusions on the edges. The barrels are actually set at angles, enhancing the alien look of the character. Each weapon has a 5mm peg, allowing you to either attach it to connection points on Slog's shoulders or place them in his hands. Like the lance weapons, these are also cast in red. I like the idea of Slog having smaller weapons to go with the larger ones, and the design of these blasters is quite unusual in the pantheon of Transformers weapons. I also dig the ability to connect them to his shoulders or have them held in his hands.

Transformation to Robot 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:
While there have been tons of Theropods and Ceratops styled Transformers over the years, one type that hasn't gotten a lot of attention are Sauropods such as the Brachiosaurus. To make him the largest Dinobot, this was the mode given to Slog (relatively speaking, of course there is a larger Leader Class Grimlock figure and the "Stomp and Chomp" figure). The packaging doesn't call out which specific Sauropod he is, but he does have many of the key features you'd expect including a large, round body, four legs ending in trunk-like legs, a long neck and a small head. He even has some of the smaller details you'd expect like claws/nails sculpted into the base of each foot, a "beak" on his mouth and even tiny teeth sculpted into the inside of his mouth.

Of course, this isn't meant to represent an organic dinosaur in beast mode. This is a metal monstrosity and it shows. Almost every inch of Slog is covered in some type of armor that has a spike or weapon sticking out of it. Some of these spikes are huge like the ones running across the flanks on his back. Others are a bit more subtle like those on the edges of his tail. Other structures are simply bone-like such as the armor panels that run up the length of his neck. Even his head appears to have an armor plate on top of it and running down to the neck. So not only is Slog heavily armored, but he's built to repel any direct melee attack!

Silver is the dominant color in this mode, making up almost the entire body except for smaller black parts like the top of the hind legs and the mounts that his lance weapons attach to. Black paint is used on certain sections like his front legs to provide some color balance. His eyes are the same teal color as the robot mode eyes and there is a copious amount of red paint used on his back and tail area. The colors look fantastic and while many of the "Age of Extinction" figures feel like they could use a deco app or two more, Slog looks great just the way he is.

Slog has twelve points of articulation in this form. This includes three in each front leg and four between the head and neck. I'm particularly happy that his neck can swivel side to side which allows for more of a variety of expressive poses. You can add two more if you count the ability of his lance weapons/cannons to move up and down. This touches on another awesome aspect of the figure: the weaponry. The rear beast mode legs each have small dual barreled cannons sculpted into them. Then his lance and blaster weapons point forward, giving him a total of ten barrels of firepower in this mode! Even better, there are 5mm ports on the sides of the lance handles, allowing you to attach even more weapons.

Final Thoughts:
Much like the other Dinobots in "Age of Extinction", Slog's "medieval armor" look is very different figure than what most people may picture as a Transformer. He's definitely not for everyone. If the aesthetic turns you off, then walk away. However, if you like the look of the figure, you'll find an unconventional transformation to go with the unconventional visual design and some really cool weaponry. He's not perfect of course. I don't like the soft plastic "flap" on the front of the figure that just kind of hangs there and I wish his fists had wrist articulation so they could rotate, but overall this is a really awesome toy in my book and makes a great addition to your Autobot army.