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

Name: Grimlock
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Commander\Warrior

Grimlock was one of the moulds I never got the chance to own from the first batch of Classics. Grimlock was initially short packed with Mirage in a 1:2 ratio and being the more popular of the two, quickly became scarce. He was the Concept Bumblebee of the Classics Line, fetching twice his retail for quite some time.

My chance to own this mould came almost two years later, when I finally decided to acquire the Henkei version. Almost all Henkei versions of Classics have more accurate paint applications in relevance to the cartoon and [most of the times] oddly placed chrome, which undeniably leads to eye-catchers on the collection shelves.

Beast Mode

Grimlock measures a good 20 centimetres from snout to tail and on average 13 centimetres tall when the bayonet is attached on his back. His size rivals that of Voyager Optimus [Classics\Henkei version] when in truck mode.

Grimlock has an amalgam of colours blended on his sculpt. He's got dark gray, light gray, splashes of red here and there, some gold and silver\golden chrome. Following the tradition of the Henkei Line [possibly to evoke a vintage 80's toy look], parts of Grimlock are chromed. Many fans agree that the placement is rather random, with silver chrome on the lower neck\upper body and toes, coupled with golden chrome on the claws and upper neck.

The sculpting on the figure is not bad, with ridges, bolts and panel lines all over the main body and legs. One has to note, however, that this version of Grimlock is more "raptor" like than T-rex. The head and snout are a bit squashed down and the figure is clearly designed with a running pose in mind rather than the traditional "sitting straight up" the G1 figure had.

Due to the nature of his alt mode, Grimlock has more playability than the rest of the Classics bunch. He's got a whooping 20 points of articulation, six on each leg alone. Most of the joints are cut joints or basic swivel joints, meaning they'll loosen quicker with time, though.

Grimlock's bayonet can fire by pressing the clear red trigger. Contrary to popular belief, I don't think the bayonet is obstructive or looks "out of place" on the dino mode.

Overall, Grimlock's isn't without a nice beast mode and is one of the few classics with play value in their alt modes.

Robot Mode

Transformation from Dino Mode to robot mode is [unnecessarily] complex and not really satisfying. The end result is a stocky, well-proportioned bot that stands around 15 centimetres tall.

No new colours are introduced for his robot mode. Almost a complete opposite from his G1 toy, the dino head becomes the feet of the robot, with the tail base serving as the "backpack". Coloured much better than his Classics counterpart, Grimlock features gold and gunmetal gray on his chest armour, with the torso and waist being coloured red with black and gray. Gold paint is added on the forearms with gunmetal gray patters on his shoulders. His fists are now coloured gunmetal gray and the legs are of course chromed. Red is also added to his elbows [when viewed from the side] and the upper shoulder part is again, gunmetal gray instead of black on the Classics version.

Grimlock has strong, bulky, stocky limbs and a relatively thin body. He's got lots of articulation, with around five points on each leg, including knee and ankle articulation due to his transformation method. A waist joint is also featured but is higher than it should be [just below the chest]. His arms have four points of articulation each [forward and sideways movement at the shoulder, elbow articulation and a swivel just above that] and the head rotates freely 360 degrees. Overall Grimlock is moderately articulated.

Grimlock can use his beast mode tail as a very thick whip [the tail has lots of turning points but is still too thick to be considered a sleek weapon] and the bayonet can be held as a launcher. Unfortunately, there's no swivel joint for the handle and this can't be held as a sword. His fists are a tad smaller than the universal Energon\Cybertron standard, so he can't hold the really cool swords from the Energon Cruelock figures.

And to make mention of some...negative points. Some key joints on the figure are loose. Both ball joints [where the legs connect to the waist] are universally loose [not just on mine] and needed nail polish to stiffen. The waist joint is also loose. The right shoulder on mine rotated very loosely and I had to fix that as well. Lastly, due to faulty engineering, the black tabs next to his head do NOT really clamp on to the shoulders. Moreover, since the head joint is too stiff, turning the head resolves in the entire black collar turning as well because it's not locked down to the shoulders as it should be.

Overall, Grimlock is not without fault. I got him out of curiosity to check the mould out and got less than I bargained for. Had the designers followed a less complex transformation scheme [especially on the upper body] it would have resulted in a more stable, playable figure. As it is, it makes a pretty decent stand-in on your classics shelves.

Transformation: 8. Complex enough for a deluxe figure, and sadly without a need for it.
Durability: 7. Nothing prone to breaking, but many joints were loose and the chrome might chip away if not careful.
Fun: 7. He's the Grimlock of the classics universe and the dino mode is actually fun, more so than the bot mode.
Price: 10. Classics Grimlock retailed for 10 USD and now costs 15 minimum, the average being around 20-25. For 22, you get a much better detailed and painted version of the same mould.
Overall: 6. Can't really recommend a figure that has parts too loose to pose and is generally sub-par when compared to its contemporaries. Do get the Henkei version if you're in need of this mould, but don't get your hopes up.
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