Hasbro Transformers Studio Series Grimlock Hasbro, 2018
Day #1,955: May 2, 2018
Grimlock Transformers: Age of Extinction - Studio Series #07
Transformers Studio Series Leader Class Toy
Item No.: Asst. E0703 No. E0773 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Display Backdrop Action Feature:Transforms from "Dinosaur" to robot Retail:$49.99 Availability: April 2018 (preview launch in February) Other: Good robot, uh, let's say it's a good robot
Could we possibly need another movie Grimlock? I thought no. I'm assuming I'm right. The very sizable Leader-class robot is a new mold with a gorgeous dark metallic green paint job, deep red eyes, pointy teeth, and a truly weirdly alien (for this line) appearance. You can't help but see shades of Guyver in the design, especially in this color - most American Grimlock toys were brown or silver. This is true to the movie and a gorgeous execution, lacking in faction markings or the like. It's just a big weird alien robot toy, with a pretty rotten dinosaur mode.
Complete with backdrop (itself the same as Stinger's) Grimlock lacks a club or a staff, but he does have a mace fist on his right hand which is sufficiently awesome. It becomes the tail.
The 9 3/4-inch robot is big and awe-inspiring, with a spectacular head sculpt, big arms, a broad chest, and a helmet with an articulated spike on top. Grimlock comes slightly mistransformed so he can fit in the big box. Take special note of his left hand when you open the box - the kibble was set strangely, and if you compare it to the photos it can be configured much more nicely. I love the toy's arm movement and bending elbows, with a 5mm fist just in case you need it. You're going to love the sculpting and how sturdy it feels, with parts tabbing in place and satisfying ratchets for joints. It's a big satisfying robot with a scraped-up green metal paint job that's just the best thing we've seen Hasbro do on pretty much any toy in this line to date, and that's a long-running line. It's impressive - the parts that are merely molded in color pale in comparison.
Transformation is easy, but a little weird because you go from a robot made of dinosaur bits to a dinosaur with weird robot bits - it's less intuitive than other Grimlock toys, and I am glad it includes clear instructions. You can probably still figure it out on your own, but it's not always obvious what that final dinosaur should look like.
I like the robot mode in all the ways I dislike the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The dinosaur is... uh. Well, they tried. There's a lot of articulation in the knees, but it doesn't really help contort the creature in any way that doesn't look like the robot legs are no weird dinosaur legs. The dinosaur arms were kibble on the robot arm, and the dinosaur head was one of two heads on the shoulders - you don't get a half head. You get four half heads. The other one forms part of the tail, along with some of the armor bits. You can open and close the jaw on the exquisitely designed head, but the body is very gappy with holes - and as far as I can tell, it's transformed correctly. It doesn't look a lot better in toy show gallery photos or even official shots. They just pick a better angle. Hasbro alluded to these toys being designed with the best possible robots in mind... and you had better believe them. Never have I seen sculpting this gorgeous, a paint job this lavish, a creature's head this perfect on a toy with a body that is, to put it mildly, kind of crap.
Depending on how well you avoided previous movie Grimlock toys - and I avoided most of them - you may be inspired to buy this one. If you display everything in robot mode? It's gorgeous. It's wonderful. It's some of the best movie work we've seen with well-integrated kibble and amazing articulation. I'm just kind of awed by how the dinosaur mode isn't very good, but compromises tend to have to be made. I wanted to recommend this highly so bad, but I would steer you to the other size classes first. The toy has given me an increased and newfound respect for the movie design and renders, just because you can see residue of how much care went in to something bizarre and wonderful.. about 40% of which made it to the toy. If Hasbro learns anything from the toy in terms of deco and sculpting, I'm convinced we'll get something truly breathtaking in a few waves.
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