"Generations" Power of the Primes Snarl Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Deluxe, Dinobot, Generation One, Generations, Power of the Primes

Generations

Power of the Primes

Snarl General Information:
Release Date: February 2018
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Sword, Prime Armor, Prime Armor cover

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:
The Autobots and Decepticons use Prime Masters to wield the incredible powers of the most legendary bots who shaped the universe: The Primes. Prime Masters carry the spark of a Prime, allowing them to share a Prime's godlike ability with other bots. How will the surly Dinobot Snarl wield this epic power? Anything is possible and everything is at stake when the Power of the Primes is unleashed!

Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe Class figures are 5.5-inch-scale figures that come with a Prime Armor accessory. Insert a Prime Master figure (not included; each sold separately) into the accessory, attach it to the figure, and imagine Dinobot Snarl wielding the power of a Prime. The robot action figure also comes with a blaster accessory. The Deluxe Class Dinobot Snarl figure converts between robot and stegosaurus mode in 13 steps. Combine it with other Power of the Primes Dinobot figures Swoop, Slug, Sludge, and Grimlock (each sold separately) to form Volcanicus!

Power of the Primes Deluxe Class figures work with Prime Master figures (not included, each sold separately, subject to availability). Fans can collect Prime Master characters and imagine Dinobot Snarl using the godlike abilities contained within the Prime Masters. See how Dinobot Snarl might use these amazing powers with the included collectible character card. Prime Master figures are not included, each sold separately, subject to availability.

Nothing brings joy to the sullen spark of Dinobot Snarl than war. The ferocious Dinobot warrior believes happiness can only be found in the throes of battle. The 12 Prime Masters carry the god-like abilities of the Primes: powers including time travel, infinite knowledge, and the ability to seed new life forms. How will Dinobot Snarl wield their incredible power?

Figure Specs:

  • 5.5-inch scale Generations Deluxe Class figures feature the details and articulation fans look for in a Transformers robot figure.
  • Dinobot Snarl figure changes between robot and stegosaurus mode in 13 steps.
  • Attach the Prime Armor accessory to the Dinobot Snarl figure.
  • Prime Master figures (not included, each sold separately) can fit inside the Prime Armor accessory.
  • Combine with other Power of the Primes Dinobot figures Swoop, Slug, Sludge, and Grimlock (each sold separately) to form the Dinobot Combiner super robot, Volcanicus!

In 1985 the Generation One toy line and cartoon introduced the Dinobots. These Autobots transformed into robotic dinosaurs. Dinosaurs have a timeless popularity and having Transformers that turn into them was an obvious (and fun) choice. Over the years the term "Dinobot" has been applied to a sub-group of Maximals during the "Beast Machines" era and of course, a Maximal character in "Beast Wars". However, fans have wanted the original five Dinobots in new toy form for quite some time. Fans have sort of been teased over the years such as having a Voyager Class Grimlock (but none of the other Dinobots) and of course a line of Dinobots in the "Age of Extinction" toy line. However, it was not until "Power of the Primes" where we are being promised all five original Dinobots in new forms!

Snarl was most recently given a nod in the "Age of Extinction" toy line and the name was "borrowed" by another Dinobot in "Animated" but it has been a long time since "G1 Snarl" had a proper release. We came somewhat close with the 2003 "Dinobots" sub-line but this figure is the first in ages that uses the Generation One figure and animation model as its design foundation.

Packaging:
The Deluxe Class figures for "Power of the Primes" are packaged in a blister bubble glued to a card. The card continues the current trend of having a red Transformers logo set vertically on the right side (if you are facing the card) with the "Generations" logo above it. Most of the card is covered in character artwork. In Sludge's case his artwork shows him in beast mode. The figure is in robot mode inside the bubble with the accessories to the side. The insert inside the bubble has the "Power of the Primes" logo on it with the character's name. The back of the packaging shows Snarl in his various modes including having the Prime Armor attached. On the right side it shows the Prime Armor attached with Micronus inside the Armor. The cosells are various Prime Masters (Alpha Trion, Alchemist Prime and Vector Prime).

The "Power of the Primes" figures from Legends Class up come with collectors cards. However, unlike the "Titans Return" cards which featured tech spec stats, these focus on what ability the character gets if they connect to a specific Prime Master Spark. This means there are thirteen potential card variations per character (one for each Prime)! In my copy of Snarl I received a "Prima Snarl" card indicating will relentlessly fight to defend Cybertron. A friend also gave me the card for Vector Snarl which oddly indicates he can travel back in time to the time when he "inhabited Cybertron".

Accessories:
Snarl includes two accessories. The larger one is his "Prime Armor". This piece is designed to connect via 5mm peg to either Snarl's chest as armor. There is a clear plastic panel in the middle that you can remove to attach either a Titan Master in head mode or a Prime Master in "Spark" mode. The Prime Armor features spikes on the bottom. These are actually the "knuckles" for the Prime Armor's hand mode for Snarl's combiner limb form (more on that later in this review).

The other accessory is a clear sword based on the design of G1 Snarl's sword. There is a rectangular hilt piece which leads to a blade that widens towards the top, then narrows into a triangular shape. Right where it narrows are two protrusions sticking out to the sides a bit. The sword has a 5mm peg with a rectangular tab on the side to attach to Snarl himself.

Robot Mode:
When Hasbro and Takara sought to create new versions of the Dinobots, they looked to the original G1 designs as the foundation for these new designs. Snarl's outline is based on his G1 counterpart. This includes rounded shoulders on a bulky torso, the halves of his beast mode tail on his back and the beast mode legs sticking out on the sides of the lower legs. A lot of the smaller details on the figure also come directly from G1 Snarl as well. These include:

  • The head features a central crest with two "horns" on the sides that angle towards the top of the head.
  • The upper part of the arms are round and feature a series of horizontal line details.
  • The center of the chest has a clear panel with an Autobot symbol on it. However look more carefully and you will see an oval with a cross pattern on top. This detail comes from one of G1 Snarl's stickers!
  • There are vertical rectangular outlines on the sides of the chest and under those are trapezoid outlines under those. These come right from the G1 toy and animation model.
  • The top of the waist section has rectangules with lines inside of them based on stickers from G1 Snarl.
  • In the section between the legs has a tiny triangle on top with a series of vertical lines at the bottom. This is based on a sticker from G1 Snarl's toy.
  • The hip sections have a series of thin, horizontal lines on them based on a sticker from G1 Snarl's toy.

Snarl is cast in silver, red, black and gold plastic which are the "standard" Dinobot colors. The silver makes up most of the body with the black used on smaller parts like the fists and head. The torso section is red plastic. Clear plastic is used in interesting ways on this figure. There is a small piece in the center of the chest, which calls back to G1 Snarl's toy. Also, circular parts at the top of the arms are clear plastic but painted silver on the inside, giving the impression of a silver layer of armor overlaid with some type of clear material. This is a design element that comes right from the G1 Dinobot toys and I love the way the designers found a way to work it into the figure!

Silver paint is also used on the crest and face (the eyes are red). There are several parts paitned gold including the forearms and lower legs. My favorite parts of the deco involve tampographs on the chest and lower legs. In both these places there are tampographs which directly call back to stickers from G1 Snarl. Between the sculpt and these tampos it is really cool to see just how much detail from the original toy carried over into this one!

There are fourteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three on each arm and leg. he also has waist articulation. Some of these points (including the shoulders and hips) are ball joints, allowing for a good range of movement. His joints are also nice and tight on my copy of this figure. On the chest there is a 5mm port allowing you to attach the Prime Armor. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing him to hold the sword.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  4. Swing the back section (including the tail halves) back.
  5. Swing the head back into the chest.
  6. Swing the halves of the tail together, then swing the entire tail over the section where the head was.
  7. Bend the robot arms at the elbows, forming the rear beast mode legs.
  8. Raise the plates on the back up.
  9. At the back of each leg, swing the gold panels out.
  10. Swing the lower legs back over the thighs, then swing the gold panels back together.
  11. Push the lower legs and beast mode head halves together.
  12. Swing the beast mode head up.
  13. Move the front beast mode legs forward.
  14. Prime Armor can be attached to the sides of the rear legs. You can also attach the sword there for storage.

Beast Mode:
Like Generation One Snarl, this new version of the character transforms into a stegosaurus. Like G1 Snarl, this beast mode is entirely mechanical instead of being "techno-organic", so all the design elements are machine-like in nature. Several parts have hard angles such as the plates that run down his back and there are lots of small details on him that look like machinery. Many of these details are inspired directly by G1 Snarl including:

  • The head and legs feature an interesting design where the outside is smooth but the inside is shaped like mechanical details. These parts are mostly cast in clear plastic with gold painted on the inside. This gives it the layered look the G1 toy had in the same area.
  • Behind each of the front legs are a series of details including wires. This is based on a sticker from G1 Snarl.
  • On each side, towards the middle are a series of five vertical lines. These are based on sculpted details from G1 Snarl.
  • There are some rectangular details sculpted into the rear half of this form that are based directly on similar details on the G1 Snarl figure.

There are some differences between the original and this figure, some for the better. For instance, the original had a very round shaped head whereas this figure has a more pointed head, which is shaped more like a real life Stegosaurus head. Also, each of the plates running down his back have some nicely detailed line details on them. Overall this sculpt is beautiful and a very nice modern interpretation of the character.

Like the G1 Snarl, the front half of the beast is mostly silver while the back half is a mix of red and silver. The plates running down his back are gold. As mentioned above, several parts are clear plastic with gold painted on the inside. this includes the head, front legs and parts of the rear legs. Black paint is used on the sides and the head has an Autobot symbol on top (inspired by the G1 figure) and the eyes are painted red. The tampographs from the robot legs wind up on the front half of the beast in this form, another detail carried over from G1 snarl. Gold paint is heavily used on the inside of the clear parts as well as the rear legs. While there could have certainly been more details added, overall the figure looks great. I am especially fond of the tampographs on the front half or the beast.

There are ten points of articulation in this mode. This is mostly thanks to each rear leg having three points, but realistically the most useful joint is the knee joint. Each of the rear legs has a 5mm port, allowing you to attach weapons and/or Prime Armor to the sides. For even more play value, you can swing out the top most plates on his back to reveal Prime/Titan Master pegs! I love this added play value, and I appreciate the designers finding a way to integrate it without ruining the aesthetics of the figure.

Transformation to Leg Mode (Starting in Beast Mode):

  1. Swing the beast mode head down.
  2. Swing the rear legs up, connecting the rear leg to the side of the beast mode using the tab and corresponding notch.
  3. Swing the middle plates on the top of the back out to the sides (this step is not in the official instructions, but I think it helps create clearance).
  4. Swing the tail up.
  5. Swing the Combiner connector piece up.
  6. Connect a foot piece to the area where the beast mode head was located.

*Note: While the official instructions do not include a step of splitting the tail out, I prefer to do this as it gives the connection point between any "torso" Voyager Class figure and this figure more clearance. I also prefer the aesthetics of having the tail halves swung out to the sides.

Leg Mode:
Between the two limb modes on this figure I much prefer this one. Here Sludge looks solid and his beast mode neck and head manage to swing down and be fairly unobtrusive. I also appreciate the ability to plug additional weapons in on the sides. He also has a good amount of bulk, which makes sense for a leg supporting such a large and powerful Combiner.

Thanks to having a fairly bulky beast form, Snarl makes a good sized leg for a Combiner. I particularly like the way the plates from the back of the beast mode face forward, so I can imagine being kicked by him in battle would cause quite a bit of damage! The Combiner connection joint is a ratchet joint so it offers a nice, stable connection. You can bend the Combiner at the knee or have the leg turn in and out thanks to this joint. You can connect weapons to the sides of the rear beast mode legs, giving your Combiner some additional firepower! Snarl does not include a foot piece, so you will need one from a figure like Grimlock.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in Beast Mode):

  1. Swing the beast mode head down.
  2. Swing the tail section forward (again, you don't have to but you can swing the middle plates out to the sides to create clearance).
  3. Split the tail halves out to the sides.
  4. Swing up the Combiner connector piece.
  5. Swing the front beast mode legs up.
  6. Swing the gold panels on the underside of the beast mode's front half out.
  7. Swing the front half of the beast mode forward.
  8. On the gold piece connected to the right leg, swing out the port at the end that the fist will connect to.
  9. Swing the gold leg panels together.
  10. Push the lower legs together.
  11. Rotate the forearms around, then swing the robot arms back and connect them to the red tabs on the sides.
  12. Swing the front beast mode legs down.
  13. Rotate the top half of the arm to the left or right (depending on which arm you are trying to form).
  14. Attach a fist iece at the end.

Arm Mode:
Funny thing about this mode. When I first got this figure and transformed it into "arm mode", I honestly did not like it much at all. However, as time has gone along and I've gotte more used to it I have come to really like it. There is something savage about the look about all the plates and spikes on it (and of course the spikes on Volcanicus' fists). Also the thickness of the sculpt makes it look like a powerful, muscular arm befitting a Dinobot Combiner.

From a functional standpoint you can still attach an extra weapon to the side of the rear beast mode legs. The hip/knee joints from the robot mode are perfectly fine in robot mode, but in this form they are not quite strong enough to hold up a Legends Class figure in weapon form without moving the elbow closer to the body and bending them. Of course, given that the hip articulation is made up of ball joints your mileage may vary.

Final Thoughts:
Snarl is a great update of the original G1 toy and character. It has been far too long since this character received a proper update and I am very glad we finally have one! Recommended.

Pros:

  • Design incorporates many of the elements from the G1 toy into its design including small details.
  • Good deco.
  • Fun play value, especially when attaching extra stuff to the beast mode.

Cons:

  • I do wish the figure had included both a blaster and sword.
  • Could use a tiny bit more deco.
  • Availability has been extremely spotty during the second quarter of 2018 making the figure difficult to find.