Hasbro Transformers Age of Extinction Snarl Hasbro, 2014
Day #1,110: February 4, 2015
Snarl Get the Point?
Transformers Age of Extinction Generations Deluxe Class
Item No.: Asst. A6508 No. A8113 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Axe head (plates), Spiked Club (Thagomizer) Action Feature:Transforms from Stegosaurus to robot Retail:$14.99 Availability: October 2014 Other: M4 Series #010
On one hand, the "movie" Snarl is pretty great. It feels a lot more sturdy than the Comic-Con gold version, which is pretty but the gold paint seems to flake off in your hands. This figure is an interesting specimen in that it's a "movie toy" that doesn't appear in the movie - the same can be said of a few other toys from this line, plus it was a fairly late release in the compressed fourth movie toy line. As of late 2014, some of the toys hadn't yet hit in the USA leaving some doubt as to when or if they would. Given the massive resources it takes to build a toy line and the difficulties coming from movie-specific toys being designed 18 months prior to its release, based on unfinished concept arts and even incomplete scripts, I can't help but wonder if this may be a sign of things to come. Will movie toy lines have less variety of characters, but more flavors of the heavy hitters like Optimus and Bumblebee? Could we see a turn to what happened with video games - Batman and Marvel movie tie-ins are quickly becoming a thing of the past, with games being games, and movies being movies. Could "movieverse" Transformers be adopted into a main line of multi-generational toys someday? Probably not soon, but given how cool Snarl is despite not being in the movie it seems like it's not a huge leap to envision that sort of future.
Anyway. Packaged in dinosaur mode, the nearly 8-inch creature is quite a departure from previous Snarl toys to the point where, other than for trademark purposes, one has to wonder why the name was even brought back. The figure is green with translucent plates, including a folding "axe head" piece that supposedly should fit in a groove on his back. Oddly, the hole is too tight for it, resulting in the piece popping out - I didn't have this problem with the aforementioned gold version. Everything else fits in place nicely so you've got a mostly stable and solid figure that doesn't quite tab together at the mid-back region. It's neat to look at, though, and the head has an opening jaw. Of course, even weirder is in the transformation in that a second head becomes visible for reasons unknown.
When you start popping this guy apart to transform him, you'll tuck his head into the torso in order to form the robot mode legs. However, his right leg features an undecorated and unarticulated stegosaurus head and I can't explain why - there's no known reason or in-joke for this to be here, but there it is. Aside form the fact that this may cause confusion later, popping apart the dinosaur is painless and getting him into robot mode takes mere seconds. It's nowhere near the pain in the neck the vac-metal Comic-Con version was, and I freely admit that much of that is out of fear of causing more paint to flake off even faster. Again, let me reiterate: that's the SDCC version. The green one I'm reviewing today doesn't flake off.
The 5-inch robot (at the tip of his head) has stiff joints that aren't too stiff, making this a fine example of a figure that can stand and be posed without being a pain in your neck. In terms of joints and engineering goes it feels good - real good. Sure, we could have more articulation here but the robot does have 19 points of articulation and can generally look pretty cool if you take a minute to pose him. The sculpting is good, with winglike plates on his back and pointy shoes just like the other movie Dinobots. I don't know why this is, it's distinctive but certainly odd. His head sculpt has a purple "visor" with sculpted eyes inside, but thanks to the dark color of the grey crest on his head it's not immediately obvious that there are peepers in there. The robot head has wonderful grey teeth, which also blend in to the background thanks to the grey colors on the head. White, silver, or another color would help them pop but as it is, it's OK. It's not awesome, but it's OK.
His weapon - or weapons - offer you options. The spiky tip of his tail becomes a nice club, and the removable plates become a sort of a hatchet weapon. They can be combined into a single, nasty sharp weapon of death that looks both cool and goofy. Purple and silver deco on the figure's body really do a great job bringing it to life, and it helps the mostly green figure from being bland. The arms and legs are almost completely green and could benefit from more color, but it's still pretty nifty. The technological stegosaurus is also fun, but he doesn't feel as much a part of the team as the other movie Dinobots.
My only legit gripe is that the plate axe part doesn't seem to fit perfectly in his back, but aside from that this is a nice figure that simply just works. While a black Autobot symbol is the only thing that really makes it feel like a true Transformers toy, the design is fun and sturdy enough to make me want to spend more time playing around with it. It may be in circulation as the third wave is about all that may be left at a store or closeout shelf near you, so get it if you're so inclined. It's fun enough to be worth your time.
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