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Numbat's review of: World's Smallest Grimlock

Name: Grimlock [Commander] (World’s Smallest Transformers – Justitoys 2006)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Dinobot Commander
Sub-Group: Dinobot

Quote: “Among the winners, there is no room for the weak.”

Most fearsome and powerful Dinobot. Although dedicated to the Autobot cause, resents authority. Cold merciless, but a valiant warrior. Has contempt for the weak, including all humans. Great strength, uses jaws to break almost anything in two. Carries energon sword and galaxial rocket launcher in Dinobot mode. Other than arrogance and lack of speed, has no real weakness.

[Bio lifted from US G1 release. Tech specs on box identical, although presented in an unusual order.]


The World’s Smallest Transformers (WST) series aimed to produce miniature versions of G1 toys – identical right down to the transformation. Unfortunately, this line waned and ended, with Takara stopping production in 2005. This was a terrible disappointment to those Transformers fans who prize excellent quality tiny Transformers above all else…

Luckily, Justitoys, a small fledgling company, decided to take on the challenge of continuing this line (unlicensed). They actually aimed to produce figures of an even greater standard than Takara, and chose a fan favourite group to begin with – the Dinobots! An excellent way to grab the attention of fans, and get even the most skeptical of us to take a serious look at what they were offering. Their first release, Snarl, demonstrated that they were attempting to produce figures of an exceptional caliber. Unfortunately, it would appear that they had jumped in a little deep, and a number of quality issues were evidenced. (Stickers and loose joints primarily.) Still, it is testament to their attitude and the potential fans saw in this figure, that the line continues and has a solid (albeit small) market.

Being a small company, there are lengthy delays between releases, but Justitoys launched both WST Slag and Grimlock at the 2006 Iacon One Convention. Both are leaps and bound beyond Snarl, and are of a standard above anything Takara or Hasbro have ever offered at this scale. For one, they use die cast parts, and are scaled with the other Takara WST releases so as to be G1 anime accurate! Great for display, and the first time we have ever had the Dinobots tower over Megatron!

Still, Snarl and Slag are small fish when measured against the fan following Grimlock has garnered over the years. It is undoubtedly with this release that Justitoys will be judged.

All eyes on Justitoys WST Grimlock…


Alternate Mode:

No matter his other incarnations, Grimlock has always been a robotic Tyrannosaurus rex. Even in the G1 cartoon, Grimlock prefers this mode to his robot mode, and is increasingly portrayed as a dinosaur. There’s little wonder why, given how much kids (and, erm, some adults…) love dinosaurs, and for those of us born before Jurassic Park, the T-rex has always been the favourite – no competition. My favourite dinosaur was the Stegosaurus when I was a wain, but T-rex was a happy inclusion anytime. And, having the four dinosaur Dinobots when I was little, Grimlock and Snarl did tend to get most of the action…

So, it is this iconic representation of an iconic character who turns into an iconic dinosaur that Justitoys have taken onboard as a miniaturisation project.

This is big stuff!

And Justitoys do not disappoint.

This version of Grimlock turns into a perfect miniature replica of the G1 T-rex (with a few allowable, and even welcome exceptions, which we’ll get onto in a moment). Measuring just 4 ½” (11.5cm) snout to tail, you would not believe how detailed he is – and how solid he feels! The Justitoys WST Dinobots are far and away in a quality category of their own. At least, the intended quality hinted at by WST Snarl has been realized with Grimlock and Slag.

Everything that was chromed is chromed, and there is twinkling machinery beneath the transparent gold neck. The rest is a perfect grey – matching the original. The most notable difference in this mode are the eyes. Instead of blood red, as with the G1 toy, the WST version has blue eyes, making him more show and movie accurate. I personally prefer the blue, for those reasons and for the fact it does make him a little less demonic!

The only other difference is the gold metal bolt in his leg (grey in G1 release) at the ankle. The gold breaks the monotony of the legs, and somehow looks classy.

Articulation is identical to the original, right down to the chomping jaws, and his centre of gravity allows you to select a pose that suits your opinion on T-rex. If you have one. If not, pose him anyway Grimlock ever was (allowing for articulation constraints). He is the most poseable of the Dinobots, come what may. And, at last, he can chomp down on WST Thrust happily in midair!

The missile launchers are not included in the set, but are to be made available (through token collecting, and no doubt exchange of currency) with the fifth Dinobot.

Unlike the Takara releases, Justitoys include mini replicas of the G1 sticker sheets. This is great, as it allows you to pick and choose the level of detail you’d like. I keep mine in line with the anime and at a similar level to the Takara WST releases, but the sky is the limit! Alas, the sticker sheet provided is rather faded, and cut poorly. Still, it is a marked improvement on WST Snarl.

However, there is an alternative: Reprolabels produce a superior sticker sheet for this figure, at the grand price of $5 (£2.54) delivered. Plus, it provides a great bonus option...

The toy of Grimlock diverges from his cartoon incarnation more in significant respects than any other Dinobot. Reprolabels, going above and beyond the sheets offered for WST Snarl and Slag, have included stickers to allow you to decorate WST Grimlock anime style!

These stickers do fit precisely, and so a steady hand, tweezers and a wee screwdriver are helpful aids when applying, but the result is fantastic! To me, this is the definitive representation of Grimlock – right down to the Autobot insignia on the centre of the dinosaur’s chest!


Robot Mode:

WST Grimlock’s transformation is identical to the G1 figure. Nicely inventive, and still fresh to this day (in my opinion), it works well on this smaller scale. The only fiddly point is pushing the head forward to lock the chest in place. (Note: the majority of photos floating about online seem to be mistransformed. Do not fear! The body fits in place fine, and there is no gap between the head and upper chest – check out the photos alongside this review for a correctly transformed Grimlock!)

The resulting ‘bot is fantastic!

Standing 3 ¼” (8.5cm) tall, he towers over WST Convoy / Prime, and can clobber WST Megatron with ease! The colours are all identical to the G1 release, again with the exception of the eyes, which are blue, and nice and shiny! The stickers allow you to decorate him as much as you like (and choose where to place that all important Autobot insignia…). The level of molded detail is perfect, and really works well at this scale.

Of course, by using the Reprolabels stickers you can bring him in line with the TV show incarnation, with those traffic lights on his legs!

WST Grimlock comes complete with his Energon sword (although it’s chromed, rather than red) and Twin Stunner Lasers. Being a miniature version of a G1 figure, he is a bit rigid when it comes to poseability, but he’s still fantastically displayable (and fun)!

The only slight niggle is that the holes in his hands are located a little too close to his wrists, making it a bit tricky to get his sword to stay put.

Still, WST Grimlock is a real success story. Both modes are fantastic fun, and he displays very, very well. Thanks to Reprolabels, you can have him toy or show accurate – catering for everyone! The quality is staggering – if WST Slag is taken as the benchmark for such figures, then Grimlock must be close to absolute perfection!


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 8 – Perfectly done on a miniature scale, and just as fresh as it was over 20 years ago!
Durability: 8 – He feels very solid, and has no fists to lose (only weapons). Still, those stickers are a problem…
Fun: 10 – Wee Transformers do not come more fun or displayable than this!
Price: 7 – Costing you $17.95 from TFSource, you are paying a fair price for an excellent quality figure. Given international postage, it costs more for the UK, but I managed to get him for around £10 (including postage) in a set with the other two WST Dinobots released to date.
Overall: 9 – He is an absolute must for all collectors of wee Transformers, and would be great in any collection. If you are to have just one WST figure (Takara or Justitoys) in your collection, it should be Grimlock!

 
 
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