Blackjack's Review: Slug
Out of the four Dinobots that appeared in the fourth movie, Slug was the one that interested me the least. Grimlock was, well, Grimlock. Strafe had the most screentime out of the non-Grimlock Dinobots and was a two-headed pterodactyl monster that had an extended battle scene alongside Bumblebee. That left Scorn and Slug as the two crowd-fillers… and Scorn had a couple of scenes where he did this thing where he rolls around to stab people with the row of spines on his back. I also own Scorn’s toy before watching the movie, making my love for him far more profound.
That leaves only Slug, whose only notable scene was to jump into the air and bite a chunk out of a Decepticon ship or something, and the other notable scenes he was in was him getting his fat ass pulled up by Lockdown’s ship magnet. Twice.
Still, he was an armoured Triceratops with spiky teeth and a horned lower jaw that sorta splits sideways as well. It’s a completely mental concept and maybe, like Scorn, he might win my heart by having a good toy. After all, Slug comes fairly close to being a counterpart of the G1 Dinobot Slag, sharing both his (non-offensive, trademark-friendly) modern name and alternate mode.
Shame it was not to be, really.
Slug transforms into a triceratops. Or an approximation of one, at least. Instead of a proper triceratops’ beak, as mentioned above Slug has a mouthful of sharp, carnivorous teeth – something a triceratops is definitely not – as well as two horns that stick out of his lower jaw. In the movie the lower jaw is also kind of able to split apart somewhat. He’s also got clawed toes while as far as I know triceratops have clawless feet comparable to, say, an elephant or a rhinoceros. And that’s not in addition of all the spikes that jut out of his crest, tail, spine and legs.
Slug’s proportions in beast mode always throw me off. His front legs are these dinky affairs that doesn’t look like it can support that big-ass belly of his, whereas his rear legs are extremely thick. The end result is an awkward-looking triceratops that tries so hard to be scary with his impressive-looking monster face, but ends up coming up short thanks to his tiny feet.
He’s got an awesome head sculpt. That cannot be stressed enough.
He’s predominantly a pleasing shade of purple, with a beautiful shade of red painting his crest and the area around his eyes – probably the blood of all the enemies he’s gored down. The eyes themselves are painted blue. His secondary colours are a shade of dark grey (his feet and part of his spine) and light grey (his lower jaw, face horns, tail, and assorted robot bits peeking out of the chinks in his armour). While the purple and red look great, the light and dark greys don’t give Slug an impression of cohesiveness. Combined with the misproportioned legs, he just looks awkward all around.
Articulation-wise? Slug’s head, again, it’s brilliant. It can hinge up and down at the neck (though not sideways), and his mouth opens so he can bite you while he gores you to death. His lower jaw can even sorta split as well due to the entire head splitting during transformation. The rear legs, on the other hand, are blocky affairs that barely hold on to the ceiling made up of his spines, and any attempt at moving them will dislodge the grey piece on top and reveal that he’s got nothing but his fat thighs in that area. His tiny front legs? They bend well on the elbow and the wrist, but the shoulders are a bit trickier. His shoulders end in these silver-painted spikes that end up hitting his head-crest or the fat abdominal details.
The end result is a mostly static, slightly messily coloured triceratops monster with an awesome head… and that’s kind of a letdown.
The instructions allow him to store his two robot-mode swords by plugging their hilts into the two unsightly holes on his sides, turning Slug into an equivalent of those war chariots whose wheels have blades on them. Except, you know, Slug is already a fire-breathing psychotic transforming carnivorous robot triceratops from space. This generally looks awkward and felt a lot like a random concept when they made the Dinobots knight-like which somehow made it into the final product.
To be fair, like his wavemate Crosshairs, Slug’s robot mode was misstransformed in stock photos. The tail that hangs off his butt can actually fold up halfway… and then up again. But doing this second fold it’ll end up on his back and will interfere with his waist articulation. And that’s not to mention his two skinny front legs that just… peg onto his sides without making any attempt to hide the gaps. They don’t look like part of his abdomen, just a bunch of legs just randomly dangling off Slug’s armpits. You can fold them and hide them behind Slug’s massive shoulders, but the aforementioned spikes jutting out from the beast mode legs’ shoulders will end up nullifying a great deal of Slug’s robot mode shoulders.
So you’ll either get an extremely messy-looking robot with a slightly nice amount of articulation, or you’ll get a slightly-tidier messy robot with a compromised amount of articulation. I prefer the latter.
Slug ends up looking very skinny, with all the bulk from his beast mode ending up on his lower arms and legs. And thanks to the massive lower arms, he can’t hold them up for very long. His feet end up in these clown-looking curved boots that knights wear, and his helmet is designed by what the wiki tells me is a ‘stechhelm’ which is something knights on horseback wear. I don’t particularly care for the knight theme, it’s all obscured by how terribly messy Slug is. The palette is a bit more organized in this mode if you ignore the hanging dinosaur legs – Slug’s main torso is dark grey, his limbs and head and whatnot are predominantly purple, and his hands, biceps and thighs are light grey. It’s still a messy and extremely skinny robot, however, a far cry from the armoured knight that we saw in the movie.
Slug has all the articulation you’d expect from a deluxe class toy – neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, waist, thigh, knee and ankle… shame a lot of them are just compromised by the layout of kibble in robot mode.
He comes with two swords, each made up of two blades that end up looking like a shorter lance. They’re rubbery and are pretty good accessories – certainly look better here than sticking out of his dinosaur mode’s sides, but it really doesn’t absolve Slug of any of his other numerous problems.
Marks out of ten for the following:
2/10 Slug’s transformation is pretty poorly conceived, resulting in a robot mode that not only does not look good, has kibble all over the place, will end up with parts scratching one another and can hardly make use of the range of articulation he has. Parts have to compete with space when transforming him… It’s easy to do, but ends up being terrible.
4/10 Slug’s swords, tail and lower jaw are made of really rubbery plastic that feel very easy to warp. His spiky-tail thing will also end up rubbing a lot against his spine spikes if you point it upwards.
3/10 Slug’s a relatively pretty purple monster Triceratops, far impressive in my opinion than the poop-coloured Grimlocks. But even then both the amount of colours and his dinky feet make him less impressive than he should be. And his robot mode? Ugh. So messy all around. He’s got kibble and colours all over the place.
3/10 Slug has all the joints, but the presence of the massive tail kibble is either going to make him look ugly or nullify his waist joint. The spikes jutting out from the dinosaur feet that either end up on his sides or behind his shoulders are going to impair his shoulder articulation. His lower arms are pretty heavy and his lower legs have to support a relatively flimsy spine, so he has balance problems all over.
4/10 He does come with two swords and transforms into a triceratops, so there’s some fun in that in itself, but the amount of the problems with this toy make it really hard to appreciate him.
2/10 Easily one of the worst deluxe class toy I’ve bought, for sure.
2/10 An easy pass. Unless you collect him for the sole purpose of displaying him in his triceratops mode, Age of Extinction Slug is a horribly flawed and designed toy.