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Ganon578's Review: Platinum Edition Dinobot Set

Platinum Edition Dinobot Set

This really is an odd set. Five molds from the Age of Extinction line, painted in near Generation 1 colors, and featuring retooled Classics-style heads, today we have the Platinum Edition Dinobots Set. I get the feeling that the ĎPlatinum Editioní subset of Transformers is really becoming the catch-all for random releases that donít really fit into any given line.

These figures were previously released under the Age of Extinction banner at mass retail with horrid color palettes; the toys themselves were not that good (seriously, check the reviews on this site). Assembling a full set of Dinobots was a novel idea, but the colors really killed it (and not in that good 'killed it' way). If you were in the market for a set of 'Fruit Loop' Dinobots, you were in luck. Hasbro made an attempt at a 'full' set (with AoE heads) in 2014, with an HTS exclusive G1-coloration of four of the Dinobots. But that set was a rather limited release for SDCC. Another attempt on a set was made with the more muted 'Dinobots Unleashed' collection. Those figures featured AoE heads as well, and were released under the Platium Edition banner (see? Catch-all line). WHEW. There's probably a couple re-issues that I'm missing!

If you havenít been bludgeoned by these Dinobot molds yet, look no further! The newest iteration of these figures is done in grey/red/black/chrome/gold with all-new heads. In my opinion, the heads and colors save the set a little, but the toys remain their same olí below average selves. At least now you can have a full set of the five original Dinobots, in the closest iteration of a Generation 1/Classics style Hasbro release to date. Be warned: you'll find a lot of negativity in this review, but don't let that dissuade you because I still really like this set.

Name: Swoop (Strafe)
Function: Dinobot
Subgroup: Platinum Edition
Size Class: Deluxe

Few bots can outmaneuver this aerial acrobat.

Pteranodon Mode:

Swoop's alternate mode is a two-headed (and two-tailed) Pteranodon. Why the AoE design team decided to go two-headed is beyond me, but I suppose when you have robots that transform into dinosaurs, everything is going to get a little far-fetched. It's not necessarily a problem, but quite nonsensical; it looks like some Siamese twins. Goofy looks aside, the alternate mode is quite fun. The mode doesn't do a whole lot, but the wings are nice and large and they feature some small clawed hands. The wings have a joint at the 'hands' which allows you to spread or contract them, and the shoulders are on all joints allowing for decent movement. There are also some ports on the underside of the wings for clipping on a couple transparent plastic weapons (swords?) that came with Swoop. Sadly, there isn't a very good spot for pegging in the crossbow he came with. The heads can swivel around for a few different looks, and the jaws open and close. The heads and body are sleek and compact, but the legs (which can be folded back for flying or pivoted down for standing) are quite chunky and look a bit out of place. The arms are also out of place, as they simply peg into the bottoms of the wings, making the wings much thicker than needed.

For coloration, Swoop's wings take up a vast majority of the space, and they're done in chrome. His chest and neck areas are done in dark red and black. The heads are a mix of red and transparent colorless plastics, with yellow painted eyes. The legs are done mostly in grey with a little black and some of that transparent plastic. The tails are black and made with a rubbery material. I think there's enough color variation on Swoop to keep things interesting, but not so much that it feels like a color mash-up.

Robot Mode:

Swoop is the easiest of the Dinobots to transform, and doesn't have any parts that bump into each other. Simply swivel the legs down from the knees and flip them around at the thighs. Un-peg the forearms from the wings and swivel the arms into position. Unhinge the two heads and swivel them down towards the chest. Pop up the head and Swoop is ready to go.

In robot mode, Swoop is well proportioned. He's suitably lanky, with thin arms and upper legs, thicker lower legs, and a compact chest. the wings can be folded into a semi-compact area or they can be opened up. Either display is fine, it really just depends on how much shelf space you have. I'm not too fond of the two heads on his shoulders, more making for a three-headed 'bot than anything. I don't know where they could be stuck anyways - it is what it is. The 'middle' head mold is brand-spanking new, with a G1/Classics style. It fits the aesthetic OK; it was designed to homage the G1 figure, but I think it also has enough tweaks to fit the AoE aesthetic too. It doesn't come off like the buffoonery that was Brawn's head on Bulkhead's body from the Prime (Cloud) series. Coloration in robot mode is mostly red - which is just a touch darker than the other Dinobots. The red is darker than it needs to be, and the chest is also painted a bit, in a slightly lighter shade. It's almost like the design team (or rather the production staff) couldn't get the shade quite right and said 'Screw it, move on'.

Articulation is where Swoop suffers the most. He's got decent joints all around, and there isn't anything terribly hindered. However, I really don't like his arms. He's got swivel joints on the upper arms, and hinge elbows, but his wrists are an atrocity unknown to mankind. They swivel, but just barely, and when they do, they come off at an odd angle. It's supremely frustrating to have Swoop hold his crossbow and never manage to point it anywhere but straight ahead. That said, he also comes with two 'swords' which can clip into his impotent arms, or peg into his wings.

Overall Swoop falls into that 'meh' category. There's tons of potential there, but he crashes and burns.

Name: Slag (Dinobot Slug)
Function: Dinobot
Subgroup: Platinum Edition
Size Class: Deluxe

If he's not blowing Decepticons up, the Dinobot can usually be found melting them down.

Triceratops Mode:

Holy chunkiness Batman! Slag has got to set some sort of new record for most immobile Triceratops. The body shape reminds me of an American bulldog - squatty, fat, and with stumpy legs. I suppose that's fairly indicative of a typical triceratops. The triceratops mode really does... nothing. Wait! You can open his jaw. Awesome! And his legs wibble a bit. And... you can peg in some weird 4-bladed sword 'things' to make him look like a skewered triceratops. Well, that covers the play features.

With Slag, everything is spiky everywhere, and there are ridge lines all over the entire body. He's even got two spikes on his chin! Like most of the Dinobots in this set, the design is quite skeletal. The triceratops mode is mainly composed of chrome, with little bits of red here and there, grey, and some black... and some random blue? Odd, as he's the only bot in the set that has any blue on it. Anyways, there's a lot of detail going on here, and some minor touches (like painting the eyes gold) on display, showing that Hasbro didn't totally phone it in with these figures.

Robot Mode:

Slag's transformation is a little fiddly here and there, and it's not that much fun. The first step is unplugging his sides from his back area to free up his arms, followed by unfolding his chunky his legs down and flipping out his elf-shoe feet. His hands fold out from his giant sides, which then close back up to form some rather Popeye-like forearms. This is where things get a little tricky, because you also need to split the triceratops face and open that up, while rotating the arms via the chest, and shifting the front dino legs into his back. There's really tight clearance all around, and some of the parts rub against chromed parts. I don't care for how close everything is, and it's really a chore to get it right. However, once it's done, you can flip part of the crown of the dino head down and you're ready to go.

Slag's robot mode has really funky proportions. Whereas the triceratops mode is appropriately chunky, the torso of the robot mode is ridiculously thin. Slag has huge lower legs, Popeye-like forearms, bulky shoulders (because of the dino head), but a Barbie-like thin chest and waist. The tail just sort of hangs out in the back with no place to go. There's a lot more red and black to be seen (since it was all covered with the chrome dino parts), but there's still some chrome around in the shoulders and arms - almost like he's split into two separate aesthetics. The head mold has a nice, Classic-y feel, but doesn't have as much design touches like Sludge or Snarl, so it doesn't blend as well with the AoE look.

Slag has some pretty decent articulation, especially in the arms. You would imagine that the arm movement would be pretty hampered with the large shoulders, but they are situated on ball joints underneath the shoulders, and are rather free. The upper arms have swivels and the elbows hinge, but like Swoop, the wrists are dead in the water. The legs have a decent range of movement and the feet are large enough to support some great poses. Slag also comes with two rubbery 4-blade 'swords' which I'm not fond of.

Overall, Slag, like Swoop, fits into the 'meh' category. A motionless dino mode and oddball robot proportions don't help this guy at all.

Name: Snarl
Function: Dinobot
Subgroup: Platinum Edition
Size Class: Deluxe

An explosion filled battlefield is his idea of paradise.

Stegosaurus Mode:

Snarl's dino mode is probably my favorite of the bunch. It seems well proportioned, and looks really neat. The only real problem is the designers gave him shark fins instead of plates on his back. I guess that gives him a much meaner look, but I always thought of stegosauruses (stegosauri?) as rather docile creatures. One of my kids' Dinosaur Train books even features Morris the Stegosaurus who seems like a pretty chill hippie-type dude. Snarl is none of that. Shark fins, skeletal body, and snarl-y sharp teeth peg Snarl as one mean dinosaur. The color palette features mostly chrome with a bit of red, grey, and black, with some random colored-transparent plastics thrown in for good fun. I'm nearly positive Hasbro ordered too much transparent plastics and just decided to randomly add it to figures. One major complaint I have is Snarl's transparent robot head. The design has good detail, but, c'mon man! Why?!

As with all the other Dinobots, there's not much to do here. His legs wibble a bit and you can open his mouth. His spiky tail is actually one of his robot mode weapons, and he also comes with some sort of a fin/blade dealie that clips onto his back. At least his weapons are more well hidden than Slag-on-a-skewer.

Robot Mode:

Another Dinobot, another frustrating transformation. Most of Snarl's transformation deals with pulling apart the sections of dino-body, which means you'll have to put pressure on his plates. I nearly cry every time, as I feel like those shiny chrome-fins will snap off and/or flake. They've held up so far, but be warned: you need to take care with these things! Open the tail and remove Snarl's club, then start to move his arms out (hind legs). The middle section of the back can be moved on a single hinge, but his legs (front shoulders) need to be opened as well, much like the tail. The head/neck tucks into one of his legs after swiveling his feet out. There's a second, curious grey head/neck tucked into the other leg, but it doesn't appear to have movement, nor can you swivel it out to my knowledge. I don't own the original toy, so it seems really odd to me to include it here. Anyways, you need to do a little waist shifting around to get him upright, then you can twist his arms around and flip his head up for robot mode.

Snarl's robot mode has a bunch of potential to be cool and fun, but the dino parts are hanging all over his body. While that sometimes isn't a problem, Snarl ends up with two large 'wings' connected to his shoulders which hamper movement, and take up a ton of shelf space. The 'sail' on his back isn't in the way, but it definitely isn't hidden at all. I find these things as annoyances, but when comparing the design to his original toy, they have a similar look, so I suppose that's good? The head mold is one of the better ones of the bunch, and the design tweaks on this one are a great blend of the Classics and AoE styles.

The frustrating issue with the robot mode lies in the forearms/hands. Since the hands double as his back feet, they're locked at a rather odd angle. When Snarl holds a weapon, it's oriented upwards near his shoulder. His hand swivels back and forth, but that really just moves the weapon into a different odd angle. You really have to work to get it to look right. Snarl comes with two weapons: his tail/club and a weird blade-thing that folds down which has a hand peg in the middle. It's not a shield, not a sword, just a... thing. On the plus side, Snarl's legs are rather free for movement, and his feet are semi-poseable and big enough to accommodate some nice poses.

Snarl is like the other two deluxe-size figures in this set. A lot of potential, but most of that is killed with issues here and there. I think the head mold is great, and there's just enough movement out of the legs to make him fun. And he looks like a really angry stegosaurus!

Name: Sludge (Slog)
Function: Dinobot
Subgroup: Platinum Edition
Size Class: Voyager

What he lacks in smarts he makes up in strength. Just make sure you don't accidentally get stomped.

Apatosaurus Mode:

As fiddly as Sludge can be in dino mode, he might just be my favorite of the set. If I remember correctly, this mold was released far after the other Dinobots when Age of Extinction had it's run. Sludge is appropriately sized in the Voyager class, and I'm glad they designed it that way. If this guy was in the Deluxe class, there would be some serious issues.

Sludge's alternate mode is an Apatosaurus. I'm glad I did some research before writing this, because I would have simply called him a Brontosaurus since, well, that's about the only dino like this that I know of (that and Brachiosaurus). The dino-mode is done really well, and stylized with that AoE spiky flair. I'm not a huge fan of the rubbery spikes along his back, but they're not a deal-breaker. The dino mode is chunky, with a nice round mid-section and thick legs. His tail is somewhat short, but his neck is nice and long. The majority of the dino mode is done in chrome and grey, with some black around and minimal red. The neck and head are (oddly) done in a transparent yellow and metallic gold, respectively. The whole look of the head is a little jarring at first, but I've softened to it.

Sludge's dino legs have a little more freedom of movement compared to Snarl and Slag, and you can kind of get him into some 'running' poses. The tail doesn't move, but the neck swivels back and forth, and the head can move up and down while the jaw can be opened. So far, this Dinobot has the most freedom of movement of the set (save for maybe Swoop). Sludge comes with a couple of sets of weapons: one set is some sort of spikes/guns that peg into his front shoulders, and the other set is two lances that peg into other pegs higher up on his shoulders. They're odd little buggers, but I think they work better in dino mode than they do in robot mode.

Robot Mode:

Sludge's transformation from dino to robot has a lot of twists and turns, flips, and do-hickeys, none of which I'll go into detail on since it will take up too much time. However, while at first I thought the whole thing was rather confusing, after getting the hang of it, it's probably one of the more enjoyable and interesting transformations of the set. There aren't any bumping chrome parts (basically because there really isn't any chrome, but a durable silver painted plastic) and all the moving parts have good clearance. The downside is that the upper parts don't really tab or click in tightly around the back and shoulders, so the robot mode is just a little fiddly in the end.

The robot mode is well proportioned (not like Slag at all) and is appropriately sumo-esque. Whereas Grimlock ends up quite tall and lanky, Sludge is a brute. He's got thick legs, thick arms, a thick chest, and a large, round-ish head. Speaking of which, I think Sludge definitely has the best head of the set. It's got a Classic-y feel with a good amount of detail that blends nicely into the AoE aesthetic. The coloration on the whole bot is done well, with more red, gold, and black appearing (though I'm definitely not a fan of the gold boat-feet).

The legs and arms have a great range of movement. The ankles are a little loose, making balance a slight issue with the heft of the figure. I like the arm movement, but just like the other Dinobots, his wrists are locked, making weapon holding (in a natural way) a chore. It's better to peg them into his shoulders and leave it at that. Otherwise, Sludge is pretty fun, and the design is pretty spot on of a big lug of a Transformer that isn't too bright.

To me, Sludge is the highlight of this set. The dino mode does more than the others, the weapons aren't too off-putting, and the robot mode has some pretty good aesthetics, proportions, and range of movement.

Name: Grimlock
Function: Dinobot Leader
Subgroup: Platinum Edition
Size Class: Voyager

One of the most respected - and most feared - warriors the universe has ever known.

Tyrannosaurus Mode:

As usual, big bad Grimlock's alternate mode is a Tyrannosaurs Rex. But this time, he comes with horns!!! The design is right in line with the rest of the set - skeletal and bony, but Grimlock is less spiky than the other Dinobots. He's in good scale with the rest of the figures in the set, and right up there with Sludge for aesthetics. For coloration, Grimlock is the most mixed of the bunch, with chrome, grey, red, black, and transparent gold blended all over. The T-Rex mode ticks all the right boxes, save for a hump on his back created by the transformation and hiding of some of the robot parts. In some ways, he looks like he could be The T-Rex of Notre Dame.

Grimlock has a couple of fun play features in dino mode. He's the only Dinobot in the set to feature a button-press chomping feature! The jaw is set on a spring, so most of the time it's open, but you can close it with a button located on the side of the neck for some good ole Me Grimlock! chomping action. The legs have a fair bit of range to them, so you can pose Grimlock in a few different ways (provided you can get him to balance). His little stubby T-Rex arms move around as well since they're situated on ball joints. Grimlock's giant club weapon clips onto the back of his tail for the second dumbest feature in this set (second only to the unforgettable skewered Slag mode). Overall, you get a decent looking (if a bit hump-backed) T-Rex mode with a decent ability for play.

Robot Mode:

Grimlock has a rather simple transformation, somewhat akin to Swoop. The tail un-pegs and splits to reveal the robot legs. The T-Rex legs need a little swiveling and flipping around to become robot arms. The neck of the T-Rex (the yellow part) hinges open, allowing for the head to split in half. The only tricky part is the hump-back, which requires a tight squeeze through the split head. After that, everything swivels into place and locks in snugly.

Grimlock's robot mode colors bring out a little more of the black in the legs, leaving grey and chrome as the primary colors, with a bit of gold on the chest and some red in the torso. Luckily, the chromed parts are relegated to the shoulders, leaving them out of the way from most parts you will move around for play. The head mold is done well, but it doesn't have as much flair to it like Sludge or Snarl's. It's a bit to rigid and boxy, which fits the Classics-style, but doesn't help it blend with the AoE aesthetic.

Grimlock has a great range of movement and the ankles are on pivot joints so he can accommodate wider stances. The only issue I have is a continuing theme: the wrists. To his credit, Grimlock's wrists do swivel (sort of) in a useful way, but this is only accomplished by un-pegging the dino feet from his forearms, leading to some hanging kibble. Otherwise, Grimlock has a decent robot mode, and a giant club to swing around. Sadly, the club is designed that Grimlock can only wield the club via a 5 mm peg situated right up by the top. It's unfortunate that he can't wield it from the lower portion of the shaft, or wield it with two hands (in a true fashion).

Grimlock is one of the better figures in this set, right up there with Sludge. He's fun, has decent articulation, and doesn't suffer from some of the transformation issues that the Deluxe Dinobots have.

Final Remarks on the Dinobots: If you read through this in it's entirety (Congratulations!!!), you'll see a lot of negativity. However, as I wrote this review, I found that I still really like this set of Dinobots. There are flaws with each figure, such as the fiddly transformations, poor articulation design (especially in the wrists), and possible future issues with chromed parts. The head designs don't always mesh with the overall aesthetic, and it won't be everyone's cup of tea. I'm willing to let it all slide for the facts that you get a matching set of Dinobots, the coloration is great, and they're good fun. While this set won't fully match the rest of your Classics/Universe/Generations collection, at least they all match each other, and they turn into dinosaurs, not vehicles. From that perspective, I think the aesthetic is fine, and they'll look good on your shelf.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 4. Nothing on any of these figures will leave an impression on you. The big issue is that several parts are chromed, and those parts have little clearance to move around. The transformations on all five Dinobots arenít that fun or inventive, and can be fiddly at times.

Durability: 6. Several parts feel thin and ready to break. Coupling that with tabs that are a bit too tight will lead to issues down the road. Chromed pieces look nice, but flaking is surely going to happen. Anytime transparent plastics are used, they donít seem quite as robust as normal plastics. Nothing on any of my figures has broken, but I feel like itís only a matter of time. I was surprised at how much parts were made with rubber.

Fun: 8. You can have a full set of Classics-colored Dinobots with G1 styled heads. And theyíre dinosaurs! What's more fun than dinosaurs? While they donít do a ton, and their weapons are rather unimpressive, I still think you can have a good time with them.

Aesthetics: 7. The driving force with this set is the coloration and heads. They donít 100% blend into a Classics collection, but at least they turn into dinosaurs, so I'm willing to overlook the aesthetic difference. The heads are done well enough that they have a Classics feel while having just enough flair to blend with the bodies.

Articulation: 5. All the Dinobots have joints, but some are simply swivel joints. Thereís also a lot of hindrances throughout the set, which really kills this score.

Value/Price: 6. I was able to find the set for ~$50 USD at a discount store, which I think is quite fair. The original MSRP on the tag showed ~$150 USD which I think is an atrocity. Iím fine with ~$10 USD per figure, but anything higher is an affront to the consumer base.

Overall: 5. For the scarcity and lack of things these figures do, itís a hard sell. For a full set that will look pretty on a shelf and is still quite fun, I think this set is a win. The comments on these figures are relatively low, but that doesnít mean I dislike them. Flaws aside, I like the Dinobots rather well, but I canít justify anyone hunting this set down.
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