Dark of the Moon Dualor Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Generation One, Mini-Con, Mini-Con

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: September 2011
Price Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Big Bad Toy Store, Limited Exclusive (Ollie's etc.)
Accessories: None

When Hasbro creates toys for the retail market, there are different segments. You have the "big retailers" such as Toys R Us and Wal-Mart who order tons of stuff. They generally get the main line stuff. However, there are other store chains which may not be as gigantic but still want to carry "Transformers" items on their shelves, but competing with larger stores would be quite difficult so they ask Hasbro to create smaller, cheaper toys for them. The solution often time takes the form of exclusive redecos of smaller figures in these markets such as last year's Mini-Con releases including Brake Neck and Swashplate.

For "Dark of the Moon", redecos of several Classics Mini-Cons were put out in limited release (initially as a Big Bad Toy Store exclusive). Each of these were beast based Mini-Cons with their colors based on the Generation one Dinobots! One of these releases is Dualor, based on Terrorsaur from the Dinobots Mini-Con team. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Dualor is a name that has its roots in the beginning of the Mini-Cons as a sub-group. Introduced in "Armada", the name "Dualor" was used as one of the members of the Destruction Team. I don't think this is meant to be the same character. Indeed, I'm sure the name was reused partially to keep the trademark in Hasbro's hands. Even though the deco is clearly based on the G1 Grimlock/Dinobot color scheme, I doubt Hasbro would want to use the name "Grimlock" on a sculpt that's so dimunitive.

Beast Mode:

Like his G1 inspiration, Dualor is cast in red, gold and dark silver plastic. The silver is the dominant color, as it was on the G1 Dinobots. In a bit of cosmic coincidence, the gold winds up in the middle section of his body, partly forming the "belly" area where the same color was found on G1 Grimlock. The red plastic appears on the back, and although it doesn't quite match up to the G1 version of the character, the color did appear on G1 Grimlock and fits the "spirit" of the Dinobot color scheme.

The paint colors on this figure are largely inspired by G1 Grimlock's animated appearance. His T-Rex arms are painted white, the eyes are blue and there are gold details filling out a lot of the sculpted details such as the claws on his feet. It's a really nice color scheme and there's no doubt just who this meant to be a homage to. It's easily one of my favorite decos of this sculpt.

All of the joints on the figure are nice and tight and the details are still visible. Despite several reuses already, this sculpt looks like it's holding up very well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the tail up against the back.
  2. Swing the legs down.
  3. Split the upper part the head from the lower part, each half swings out.
  4. Turn the upper body around so the robot head faces forward.
  5. Move the arms around so they face forward.

Robot Mode:
I have to give high kudos to whoever came up with the deco for this figure. In robot mode, Dualor practically matches G1 Grimlock's deco part to part. His torso is gold while his waist area is red. The head is painted black with blue eyes. His arms and legs are silver with gold edging on the sculpted details on his arms and legs. Black paint can also be found on his chest where it is used to paint a Mini-Con symbol. If you want to use toys as continuity fodder, this solidifies Mini-Cons as a "canon" part of the Transformers race as their own sub-group in the live action movie universe.

Once again all the parts on this figure are nice and tight. This includes the ball joints on his arms, which were the ones I was most worried about.

Final Thoughts:
I think this is one of the best redecos out there right now, and it came out around the same time as the Power Core Combiner Dinobot five pack, making Dualor an ideal add on for that set! Highly recommended if you're a G1 or Mini-Con fan.