My knee-jerk reaction toward the simplified toys is usually "that's neat, but I don't need one." I had some store credit expiring, so I decided to blow it on Grimlock. It turns out he's quite good - the figure measures about 8-inches tall and can be transformed in about 10 seconds if you're a little clumsy. The engineering is really something, even if the toy won't impress you with its articulation or accessories. I am actually somewhat surprised to see rows of them in stores unsold, given that it's actually a lot of fun.
As a dinosaur, Grimlock has little in the way of paint and no faction symbol. His tail snaps into place once you open the box, but there are no accessories to speak of here. Most of the pennies for deco went into giving him a swell dinosaur head, but you'll notice a generous slathering of green on his back as well. Other Grimlocks offer more in paint - even the Warrior-class figure has some gold and black on the legs plus more black on the tail - but when it comes to articulation there's not a lot you can do. Knees, maybe. A jaw, perhaps? This figure doesn't have either of those, but at least he can stand easily and look cool while being imposingly large.
Transformation is fun and fast. I got this toy around the same time as the Leader-class Ultra Magnus, but I transformed this one dozens of times while only changing up Magnus once. The simplicity of the toy makes it a lot more fun. Just split the dino jaws, fold down the legs, rotate the torso, and you're pretty much done. There are some hexagonal peg holes on the toy, but as to the purpose they serve I have no idea. But let's not worry about that, instead let's talk about the robot mode.
The lack of paint largely carries over here, with a great head on a pretty simple body. Grimlock's dino legs become two big arms, while his dino body becomes his feet. The figure has very limited articulation in this form, because once the torso locks in place all you've really got here are moving robot arms. With no accessories, it's sort of a brick - but man, it's a fun little brick. I hope someone develops swords or guns for him to use, but even if they don't the big robot has a nice sticker on his chest to interact with a smartphone game most of us will ignore.
While simple - very simple - it's a lot of fun and it's the kind of thing I'd buy more of if faced with some store credit burning a hole in my pocket in the future. I'd love to see toys like this sold in the USA with the "classic" characters too, but I'm actually very happy with this in the way I'm generally not with the one-step guys. If you have a chance to buy one of these on sale, I'd bet you'll enjoy it. It's basically impossible for the collector to look at this and say "this is better than a Combiner Wars torso" but as a stand-alone toy, I wish we had more stuff like this.
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