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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review of: Grimlock

Name: Grimlock
Function: Dinobot Commander
Quote: Me, Grimlock! OR Why everyone always underestimate me?

Fan-favorite Grimlock returns yet again! Although the other Dinobots have seldom had original toys since their debut, Grimlock remains a relative mainstay. Even so, the Classics version lurches over the other offerings in quality.


Before Beast Wars Megatron ever took the form of a tyrannosaur, there were Overkill and Trypticon. But before they were, Grimlock was. This newest version accomplishes something that previous forms don’t: articulation. Unlike the previous tyrannosaur-mode Grimlocks, this one swings. The tail swivels back and forth on four separate joints, and thanks to numerous joints in the legs, Grimlock can manage many imposing stances. The only bit of useful beast-mode articulation omitted is the neck: instead of being ball-jointed, Grimlock’s head moves up and down only. The reason for this is that the head forms the feet for the robot mode. Not a big deal, really…

Of course, the missile launcher for the robot mounts on the back. Though somewhat odd at first, Grimlock remains a mechanical dinosaur this time, so ordnance ornaments can’t be thought entirely out of place.

Probably the nicest aspects of the dinosaur mode are the subtleties. ‘Rough’ detail paints around the torso give it a worn look, and the eyes glow red thanks to a light-pipe. Spiffy!


Even though Grimlock persists as a popular character from both the comics and the cartoon, he has always been under-represented by quality toys (Binaltech aside). The original mold, while a product of the era, lacked articulation. The Beast Wars version was merely a repaint. The Energon version was… not fantastic.

Classics fixes all this. Grimlock both looks the part and can improvise it freely. He has the thick, robust frame you’d expect, but also has the articulation to make use of it. Even though his feet have been rearranged (the relative positions of the dinosaur head and tail have essentially switched from the original toy), it’s still undeniably Grimmy.

The only complaint I have about the robot mode concerns the construction of the shoulders clamps (the black flaps on the top of his torso). They just don’t work that well. They don’t cause much of a problem since the pins that swing the shoulders around are very tight, but it is a bit of an oversight on an otherwise fantastic figure.

For the curious, the hand peg for the missile launcher doesn’t rotate down like the tail/sword of Fangwolf/Snarl from Galaxy Force/Cybertron. Fangwolf can use his weapon as either a sword or a gun: Grimlock’s weapon is basically a gun with a bayonet. The tail can be used as a whip though, and both weapons can be stored on Grimlock’s back during robot mode.

Transformation: 8. Really ingenious way of giving an old dog a new trick. I do wish that the shoulder clamp things worked more securely, though.
Durability: 10. I’ve already dropped him several times, and he’s no worse off.
Fun: 10. Best dinosaur Grimlock yet!
Price: 9. Good value at the $10 retail price. Grimlock ships short-packed though, so actually finding in retail could prove a problem.
Overall: 9.5. Classics Grimlock accomplishes what his previous toys never have: he has the Zen of detail, articulation, and durability that make him appropriate for kids or collectors of any age. Fully recommended.

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