Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Dinobot Sludge Action FigureHasbro, 2018
Day #1,926: March 22, 2018
Dinobot Sludge Combiner Wars Returns!
Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. E0595 No. E1127 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Rifle, blaster, combiner hand, 1 of 12 random cards Action Feature:Transforms from Brontosaurus to Robot to leg/hand Retail:$17.99 Availability: February 2018 Other: First True G1 Update since G1
A clever co-tool of Slag Slug [FOTD #1,874], Dinobot Sludge is a big honking deal! While there was a Dinobot named Sludge in the '00s, it was a Dimetrodon with no connection to this character. G2 didn't update Sludge, but it came close. There was no Beast Wars Sludge, or Unicron Trilogy Sludge. When the movies came around, Hasbro gave us Slog [FOTD 1,307]. This is why an update of the original Sludge [FOTD #1,807] is so exciting to me - minus some chrome and the King Tut beard, it's a very good update of a classic!
The Diaclone gimmick is gone, which is a shame because the G1 toys' ability to have a tiny robot pilot would have been a perfect fit with the Prime Masters. Instead, Hasbro gives us the undocumented-on-the-packaging Combiner Wars gimmick. I'm very OK with this. The blaster and fist accessories are reused from Slug, but the bulk of the toy itself is new. I would also advise you to take note of the wide-eyed, exasperated expression on our big dumb friend's face.
Packaged in robot mode, Sludge retains the gold (now yellow) eyes of the original and has a much thicker neck in line with his cartoon design. The toy's clear chest compartment is gone, but it's still red. His shoulders and lower legs are recycled from Slug too, but most of the rest of him is new. Articulation is par for the course in this line, with details similar to the original toy. The upper chest sticker is now a lower chest tampo, the waist stickers are gone, and many - but not all - of the leg details are kept. The arms have significantly more movement than the original toy, and certain details like the dinosaur head tuck away much more nicely.
I'm a little disappointed Sludge has no tributes to his original weapons - no red sword, a different black blaster, and no rocket launcher. I'm sure fans are already able to 3-D print one, and with any luck Hasbro will consider offering weapons packs or a new take on Sludge in the future with more G1 accessories. The weapons he does have fit him perfectly, and if you were planning to keep him combined as Volcanicus anyway it's not like you have reason to care one way or the other.
Transformation is fairly simple, with everything folding in more easily than on Slug to give you another bubbly robot dinosaur. The figure loses any ankle articulation, but still has an opening jaw and adds a new neck joint. It's not bad - the original toy had a head that could move up and down, and while this one doesn't it doesn't feel like much of a loss. I love the added paint on the eyes, and it would have been nice to keep the silver legs of the original rather than clear legs with silver and gold painted innards. With the gold bits, it works - with the silver, I am not a fan. The tail also does this silver-in-clear gimmick, which lacks the magic of vac-metal silver.
The alt mode is kind of amazing - back in the 1980s people still used the term "brontosaurus," which was deemed inaccurate and the substitute "apatosaurus" took over. Until recently - another species was discovered and now a brontosaurus is a real thing again. (It's not like the term fell out of total favor in pop culture, thank you Fred Flintstone.) What he lacks in silver he makes up for in red eyes and a decent smattering of grey. I have no idea why they insisted on giving him black legwarmers, but here you go. The arms are twisted around a bit thanks to how it recycles parts from Slug, so it's a good - but not great - dinosaur with exposed tabs and slots. He has a better range of motion than his G1 forebear, but he's still pretty stiff. I wish he had a chrome tail, but I assume the clear with silver may hold up better over time given how some recent chrome toys have gone. If gold flakes, what hope do we have?
The dinosaur alt mode lacks the color of the G1 version, as the back stickers are gone - minus a little bit just behind the hips. The robot toe stickers, the wing stickers, the hip stickers, all of these things have been left for ToyHax to replicate or ignore. I would have liked to have seen them, but it's more of a "I'd happily pay Hasbro another $3" than it is a situation in which I would pay for a $10-$15 sticker sheet.
As limb modes go, it's pretty good. The arm looks like an arm, with a dinosaur head hanging off the side. Silly? Sure. But it works, and articulation is consistent with other Combiner Wars-compatible limbs. The leg is also a distorted pile of dinosaur parts, and it works well. It fills out Volcanicus nicely, but also remember that these are great individual modes so using them in a combiner almost seems like a waste.
Complete Dinobot power was one of the things I was expecting back in 2006 when Classics launched - and all I got was a misassembled Grimlock. 12 years and several Grimlocks later, we now have Sludge, Swoop, Slag Slug, and Snarl - and most of the Transformers I had as a kid have been remade. Some weren't remade well (Huffer [FOTD #1,161]) and I assume some will never be remade (Mini-Spies [FOTD #1,917]) but as main retail characters with names go, they're on track to update pretty much everybody. Cindersaur is "rumored," Flamefeather is not - nor are MicroMasters - but we can hope! With Japan-only characters coming to America after 30 years and Duocons being done as separate combining figures, anything is possible. Sludge was given the power of combination for his first modern remake, and it's pretty great. Other than the sad lack of original accessories, Hasbro did a bang-up job giving him an expressive face and most of the bits that made the original great. The figure is not in and of itself amazing, but it's a good update of an old toy and it does a good job delivering Hasbro's standard combiner deluxe features. This may well be one of the best robot dinosaur toys you buy all year.
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