Hasbro Transformers Age of Extinction Slog Hasbro, 2014
Day #1,115: February 11, 2015
Slog Not Sludge, but Slog
Transformers Age of Extinction Generations Voyager Class
Item No.: Asst. A6513 No. A8117 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:2 swords, 2... coral things? Action Feature:Transforms from Apatasaurus to robot Retail:$24.99 Availability: August 2014 Other: M4 Series #005
While it took a while for Slog to proliferate on shelves thanks to the abundant numbers of the first four Voyagers, he eventually made it out - and by most measurements, he wasn't as hot as he should be. He was slashed in the $9-$13 range most of last December, prior to the delayed release of Amazon's own exclusive "G1" version. Having paid north of $20 for him, I can say that $12 is about right. This isn't as solid as your average deluxe toy and even though I basically like the look and love Sludge - he was my first Dinobot - Slog is not a good toy.
I simply adore the name. I'm predisposed to liking Dinobot figures and this is one of my favorite dinosaurs, but the toy itself is sort of a mess. The use of rubbery plastic panels and unnecessary spikes, growths, and pillars leave me wondering what exactly they were going for. The spines or faux feathers on the smaller guys basically worked, but here it's like Slog is covered in various growths that are just sort of in the way. As a dinosaur he's cute, charming even. If this toy sits on your shelf and you never play with it, there's a lot to like - the robotic head is nice, and red panels look sort of like veins. There's a lot of red detailing and little lights or guns decorated throughout, as well as a silver panel on his head and bright blue eyes. It's quite lovely. It falls apart at the torso if you pick him up, and there's really not much you can move around other than his neck and jaw without problems. It's not the lack of articulation that bothers me so much as that I expect a figure to not fall apart in the alt mode, and this one is tough to keep together under the gentlest of play.
Transformation is a mix of clever and frustrating. His dino chest is soft rubber so it's sort of cheaty, and numerous panels shift and rotate to not quite lock into position. I'm quite keen on how the robot legs come to be, but his dinosaur tail looks like a pair of schlongs dueling over his codpiece. And they're bright red-tipped too. It's just... it's not right, man. By and large it does most of what you might expect, but this is one of those few times where I, as a spatially-flawed person who rarely if ever can really offer criticism on a transformation, could go to town. Why not integrate the "swords" into the dinosaur neck? Why not have the tails not look like reproductive organs in robot mode? Why not take a few more minutes so the slots and tabs actually hold together if you move a hip or knee joint?
As a robot he's squat and wide, standing and stable at 7-inches tall. Either mode stands fine on a shelf, but the robot mode feels overall less likely to fall into disarray if you played with it. Even still, the various elements shift easily - the legs in particular. Seeing the dinosaur neck hang off the back is nothing new, but a giant spoon backs Slog's robot head and it's just sort of annoying. The wrists don't rotate and the robot arms are kind of wonky, as are the two big red ribbed poles which I believe are meant to be used in a joust. The knight motif remains slightly, as do the curly shoes, with a robot head that's just kind of acceptable. Even if the engineering on this figure was tops, the dinosaur mold is the better-looking of the two and after a couple of transformations you'll want to leave this figure on whatever display shelf or box you may use.
As a heavily discounted figure it's a treat to get Slog. You feel like you've accomplished something when you get a clearance toy, and at half price it's a nice encore to the toys you may have already purchased. The deluxe toys are better, as is Grimlock, so get this one as a non-movie movie figure only if you must. At full price or a markup, I don't think you'll be happy with yourself as a person for buying this. Although if you just leave the dinosaur mode on a shelf and never tough it, it's a pretty wonderful little sculpture. Just promise me you won't buy this for your kids.
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