"Cyberverse" Scout Class Grimlock Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Dinobot, Scout

Cyberverse

Grimlock

General Information:
Release Date: July 2018
Price Point: $7.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

*Images and text below from BigBadToyStore.com and Target.com:
"Picture this: me, on Earth, still cooler than everyone this side of Optimus Prime, but I've got zero memories. Now I'm on a mission to recover my memories and discover all of my awesome powers. I'll have to battle Decepticons, outrun an explosion or two, and be heroic- basically, I'm in for one epic ride across the Cyberverse."
-Bumblebee

Grimlock, legendary Dinobot King, uses his strength to fight alongside the heroic Autobots. Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from robot to dinosaur mode in 5 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Grimlock figure's signature Chomp Jaw Action Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps.

Look for other Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite Cyberverse characters! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In late 2017 it was revealed that a new Transformers cartoon would be replacing "Robots in Disguise". The series focuses on Bumblebee with partial amnesia attempting to regain his memories. A blend of G1 and modern characters combined with a more kid-friendly animation style results in a show that leans more towards a younger audience than even "Robots in Disguise", something which is reflected in the toy line. The toy line was released in countries outside the United States such as Australia around late June 2018. A few weeks later it would be released in North America.

Among the first waves of figures released were the Scout Class figures. Unlike Scout figures of the past such as Firetrap or Arcee these figures are smaller (in general taller than a Legion Class figure but shorter than a One Step Changer). These figures have a robot mode, but do not fully transform into an alternate form. Instead, they become a part alt mode/part robot "attack" mode.

Packaging:
Scout Class "Cyberverse" figures are packaged on bubble cards. The cards have a new design which takes cues from more recent Transformers packaging. There is still a vertical "Transformers" logo on the right side, above it is a symbol (Autobot or Decepticon based on the character) and the character art is at the top of the packaging with the "Cyberverse" logo under it. Perhaps the most distinctive part of the packaging design are the colors, which utilize yellow and light blue helping them stand out against the black and red colors used for "Generations" packaging on shelves. The back of the packaging features the figure with its action feature called out. In Grimlock's case it is his "Chomp Jaw" feature. There are also of course cosells (Grimlock's cosells are Starscream, Bumblebee and Megatron).

The insert on the packaging notes a recommended age of "6+" which is important to keep in mind with this Class of figure. Contrast that with a "Generations" Deluxe (such as Jazz or Sunstreaker) which have recommended ages of 8+. This age recommendation is more along the lines of "Robots in Disguise" Legion Class figures such as Bisk. This (partly) explains the new play pattern being introduced here, which eschews the traditional "robot to alt mode" play pattern and instead focuses on a partial transformation with an action gimmick.

Robot Mode:
Grimlock has a new design in "Cyberverse" that uses the G1 Grimlock design as its foundation, but then it changes things up quite significantly in some places. Like G1 Grimlock the beast mode legs become the robot arms, so details like circles on the sides of the shoulders and claws at the wrists make an appearance. Then moving down, the legs ostensibly form the rear of the beast mode so they are narrow near the knees then widen towards the bottom. There are also squares on the front of the legs that are reminiscent of similar designs on G1 Grimlock's legs.

All that said, there are many new features in this design. The tops of the shoulders have rocket launcher pods on them. The face design features "teeth" which call back to his "War Within" design. The chest is multi-layered instead of having a flat panel. Each lower leg has spikes running down the sides. I really like these new design elements. They really add to the fierce nature of Grimlock as a character.

Grimlock is cast in silver and metallic orange plastic. Silver makes up most of the figure, with the orange used on the back and hip joints. Gold, black, red and light blue paint are used to provide detailing. These are all iconic Grimlock colors and they look great.

Grimlock has four points of articulation, the arms (at the shoulders) and the legs (at the hips). This is pretty standard for this Class of figure. The fists each feature a 5mm port, allowing him to hold weapons from other figures.

Transformation to "Beast" Mode:

  1. On the back you can see the best mode head and neck, hold on to them and swing them up.
  2. Swing the halves of the tail out to the sides.
  3. Swing the tail halves together.
  4. Swing the robot arms up a bit and tilt the figure forward.

"Beast" Mode:
You will note that I put the term "Beast" in quotes. That is because this is not a true beast mode. Instead, it is an intermediate mode, part robot/part beast. The result is...odd looking. It looks like Grimlock got stuck while transforming, and what bugs me the most is that it would have only taken two more steps to transform him fully into a dinosaur. If the legs had swing up and the forearms could turn, the figure would have had more articulation and a full transformation.

The best mode head reflects some of the new "Cyberverse" Grimlock aesthetic. While it is a mechanical looking dinosaur head, the middle has a series of spikes on it. The tail also has spikes running down the top and bottom. I like these design changes and it makes me want a full beast mode even more.

The gimmick on this figure is...unremarkable to say the least. Push the tail down and it makes the mouth open. Inside the mouth you will see a small red flame piece. The thing is, the flame piece stays in his mouth, so it just looks like he's opening up his mouth for a dental exam or something. It should have been more impressive if somehow the flame came out to look like he was blowing out fire. As it stands, this could have been accomplished by just having the jaw open the way other Grimlock figures can.

Final Thoughts:
This figure is disappointing because of the sheer amount of potential it had. The robot mode looks very cool and there was certainly potential for an awesome beast mode, but it was squandered for a very unimpressive gimmick. In contrast, Starscream's gimmick at least is dramatic and sort of makes sense in the context of his alt-mode. With Grimlock it's just...his mouth opening and that is a tough sell for $7.99. Throw in a few more dollars and you can have a much larger, fully transformable and more articulated "Authentics" Grimlock. Not recommended.

Pros:

  • Robot mode design is great, incorporating elements of G1 Grimlock with some new features.
  • Deco looks great in robot mode.

Cons:

  • Partial transformation and weak gimmick detract from play value.
  • Limited articulation (though that is somewhat expected at this price range nowadays).
  • Price point is too high for what you get.