"The Last Knight" Knight Armor Grimlock Toy Review
Release Date: April 28, 2017 (Official Street Date)
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below are from Amazon.com:
The explosive Transformers saga continues with Transformers: The Last Knight. With the fate of Earth at stake, new heroes must rise in an epic struggle to forge a future for all. Join the action and experience the thrill of quick conversion with Transformers: The Last Knight -- Knight Armor Turbo Changer figures. Switch this Turbo Changer Grimlock figure from robot to T-rex mode in 3 exciting steps. Flip the knight’s helmet over the figure’s head in robot mode to activate Knight Armor. Imagine charging into battle with this Transformers: The Last Knight -- Knight Armor Turbo Changer figure. Grimlock is a rampaging beast of destruction who leads the ferocious Dinobots. He is one of the most powerful warriors in the universe. All those on the side of evil should fear the thundering strength of Grimlock. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The term "Turbo Changers" has been introduced in "The Last Knight" to refer to simpler figures, separating them from the more "Generations"-esque "Premiere Edition" toys. These figures are then further sub-divided into different categories. Taking a cue from the "Robots in Disguise" line, the "3 Step Changer" style of figures has been adopted into "The Last Knight" as "Knight Armor" figures (in some cases they were referred to as "Armor Up" figures). These figures are roughly 8 inches tall in robot mode and feature a simplified transformation. In addition to that these figures have an extra bit of armor that pops up over the character's face. One of the first figures released in this sub-line was Grimlock.
Not only is the concept of the 3 Step Changer carried over to this line, so is the style of packaging. The Knight Armor figures are attached to a bubble which is in turn attached to a cardboard box. The box has a flat backing that shows off character art and the Transformers logo. It then wraps around in front of the figure showing the Knight Armor action feature, the Beast Mode and the movie logo on the bottom. There is no bubble or anything over the figure, so you can see the figure in packaging unobstructed.
For those curious, this figure is not a redeco and/or retool of the "Age of Extinction" "Flip and Change" Grimlock. The transformation mechanism is different and the sculpt is also completely different. Sure the two figures share details by virtue of representing the same character, but they are completely different toys.
From a visual standpoint, what strikes me about this sculpt is that it seems to evoke a lot more of the savage nature of the character. Many of the details on this figure appear a lot sharper and more exaggerated than they were on previous versions of the character. For instance, the "teeth" on his chest armor look a bit more jagged and sharper than previous Grimlock figures. The same can be said for the teeth on the dinosaur head halves on his shoulders. On top of that his feet have large claws on them that are spread out a bit wider than those on say, the "Age of Extinction" Flip and Change figure. There are also some really nice small details including cables on the mid-section of the torso and beautifully sculpted and layered armor on the arms and legs. Overall I am very happy that being a "Three Step Changer" did not mean the designers having to sacrifice the sculpted detailing on this figure.
Anyone who remembers any of the "Age of Extinction" Grimlock figures (such as the Voyager Class) will recall that the figure used gold as its primary color. However when the character appeared on screen, he was largely shades of silver with a greenish tinge on some parts (which Takara Tomy went whole hog on when they announced Grimlock as part of the "Movie The Best" line). This figure veers more towards the silver colors, using a shade of metallic grey and silver as the two primary colors on the figure. The metallic grey makes up a large portion of the figure including the torso, arms, head and legs. Silver is found on the outer edge of the shoulder armor and the feet.
Surprisingly there are quite a few paint applications on this figure. Silver is used on the head, chest and legs, filling in details such as the mouthplate, the "teeth" on his chest and the top part of the thighs. A very dark shade of grey (almost black) is used for his crest and mid-body. Interestingly red is not only used for the robot mode eyes, but also the eyes of the dinosaur head halves that form his shoulders! I had not expected this level of tiny details in a figure of this class but there it is. The finishing touch is a red Autobot symbol on the right side of the chest. Overall the deco for this figure looks great, especially considering its "simplified" nature.
Like most "Three Step Changers" there is not a lot of articulation to speak of with this figure. The forearms can move up and down and his feet can swivel out or in, but that's it. The hands are cast with 5mm ports, so you can attach weapons from other figures if you'd like. On the back of the figure you will see his "Knight Armor" helmet connected to a black button. Push that button and his helmet swings forward. On my copy of this figure I had to move the shoulder armor down a bit to get it to work but it was worth it. Like th rest of the robot mode the helmet has a savage look to it. The design has horns going out to the sides and two sticking straight up in the middle. These "horns" have cracks sculpted into them that make them look more like ancient bones than Cybertronian armor and I really like that. The sides of the helmet look almost like they have eye sockets and jawlines, as if they were formed from the skeletal remains of a dinosaur. I love this detail and I think it looks great. Adding a splash of color to the helmet are some jagged bright green lines.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Straighten out the arms.
- Swing the battle mask back if deployed.
- On the back of the figure, hold the tail piece firmly and pull it down. This causes a few things to happen once you snap the tail in place. The torso panel will slide up while the robot arms swing in. The two halves of the beast mode head will also come together. You may need to manually push the two halves of the beast mode head together to finish the transform.
Like the robot mode, this beast mode sculpt seems to lean more towards giving Grimlock an extra savage look. His jaws are set in a position that look like he is roaring at someone. Running along the sides of the figure are details that look like rib bones and at the end of the tail, the "Knight Armor" helmet winds up adding a spiked barb weapon! I really love some of the intricate details that come out in this form including the layers of mechanical and semi-organic looking bits on the sides of his neck. I also love the gear that shows on the sides of his legs. This is a really fantastic sculpt and I am impressed by how much work went into it.
This mode uses the same colors as the robot mode, but you get to see more silver plastic on the front and tail sections. Silver paint is used all over including the neck, "ribs" and legs. His eyes are painted red. Dark metallic grey is used on sections like the beast mode head, offering some color contrast with the silver plastic. While Grimlock is not exactly colorful in the traditional sense, the colors used here look fantastic.
Grimlock has four points of articulation in this mode. This includes the arms, which can move up and down and his feet, which move out and in. That's really it, though to be honest most kids using this Grimlock figure to run through their Decepticon hordes probably won't care.
"3 Step Changer" style figures are always tough to whole heatedly recommend because their articulation is so limited and they generally do not have accessories. However for younger kids it is a great way to give them a good sized Grimlock with a neat action feature. He also transforms easily making for fun play with friends. I think this figure is great for kids, but older fans will want to focus more on Premiere Edition figures.
- Detailed and powerful looking sculpt.
- Good deco.
- Fun action feature.
- Easy transform.
- Limited articulation.
- No accessories.