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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:

Sir Auros' review of: Grimlock

Name: Grimlock
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Sub-Group: NA

While all the fanboys are crying blasphemy over Grimlock being reformatted as a 2005 Ford Mustang instead of a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex, I'll be right here saying that this is the best Alternator to hit shelves yet. It's not just that there's so much good about Grimlock or that there are so few negative things I can think of about the figure, but that this mold really raises the bar for future Alternators to live up to.

Vehicle Mode:
Grimlock's alternate mode had me excited as soon as I saw the prototype pictures online and managed to restore my interest in Ford's Mustang. The 2005 Mustang Grimlock's alternate mode imitates is a retro homage to a time when the Mustang was actually a worthwhile muscle car instead of the emasculated vehicle you'd see girls driving, or even worse, the stunted little thing that looked like an Escort in the 90's. No, Alternator Grimlock is a new imagining of a classic, powerful car. In a way, Grimlock's new alternate mode is a lot like his old one. He's still an imitation of a dinosaur.

The actual toy does a good job imitating the vehicle and I don't mind having the figure on display in this form. The seats could have used a little more detailing and the rear windshield is divided in half, but neither of those things could really be amended without drastically changing the figure's design, so they're easily overlooked. The edges of the doors towards the rear of the car sometimes fail to align properly even if the front edges do, and this is one avoidable flaw. The tiniest of tabs or pegs could have gone a long way towards helping keep the doors under control. This doesn't happen every time, but even with a perfect transformation I've seen this happen on occasion.

Robot Mode:
I love the vehicle mode and I think it's great for display, but this is how I have to have this figure most of the time. The robot mode is big and manages to give off Grimlock's presence apart from just sharing a head and name. The arms and legs look strong, the chest is large, and the legs keep that unique shape. The legs are worth noting because they're made of the rear of the car without using the rear of the car as the feet. The driver and passenger seats become the feet and give Grimlock a lot more room for posing than some of the other figures in the line.

Grimlock has tons of articulation. I'd say he's (somewhat ironically) easily the most articulated Alternator on the shelves. Clay pointed out that Grimlock uses more ball-socket joints than the other Alternators, and I'm inclined to agree. The joints do lead me to the single problem I have with this mode. Grimlock's head is not agreeable to staying attached to his neck. Perhaps it's simply that this is the one part of the figure's transformation that I haven't mastered, but nearly every time I transform Grimlock, I pop off his head and have to reattach it after I have the neck in the right place. Hmm, now that I think about it, there was another problem with this mode and that is that the head on mine doesn't seem like it's screwed together tight enough. The head is in two halves, the side with the face and the side with the back of the head and the seam is very evident in mine and I'm thinking of tightening the little screw on the back of the head to see if that will do anything.

My favorite thing about this figure though is the weapons. The one really redeeming thing about Tracks' robot mode was his numerous weapons, but for Grimlock, it's just icing on the cake. The figure comes with a double-barrelled gun made from the Mustang's engine and a sweet energy sword. The gun is pretty nifty and stays in the figure's hands well. The sword looks cool, but is a little on the short side so it almost looks like the figure's holding a toy weapon. I mean, he is holding a toy weapon, but it looks like a toy for him. Ultimately though, it's forgiveable because it can still be used for badassery and it's better than not having a sword.

Transformation: 10 - The real joy of this line is the complex Transformations and mastering them. It almost makes Transformers like a game and I often find myself picking up an Alternator and transforming it just for fun. Grimlock's is no exception and is both clever and manages to hide a robot mode inside a detailed alternate mode.
Durability: 9 - The head keeps popping off mine, but it's just another pop to put it back on.
Fun: 10 - Great for playing with and divine for display in either mode.
Price: 10 - $20 is a great price point for such a high-quality toy.
Summary: 10 - Hard to give a perfect 10 when not all the other scores were perfect, but this really is the best Alternator you can buy right now.

 
 
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