Leader G2 Universe Grimlock There were 3 released G2 Grimlocks, this would have been the fourth
Transformers Legacy Evolution Leader
Item No.: No. F6956 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Blaster Action Feature:Transforms from t-rex to robot Retail:$55.00 Availability: July 2023 Other: Based on an unreleased mid-1990s Generation 2 concept
As of my writing this, G2 Universe Grimlock is the only one of the Walmart G2/Toxitron Capsule I haven't seen in a store with my own eyes - mine came from the website. I wouldn't say I always wanted one, but when I saw the painting of him and Ramjet it immediately became my second monitor's desktop wallpaper (and still is.) The yellow painted box art looked amazing, and it was one of those toys that was always a sort of "Wow, I wish they could have made that even though I would likely not have had the money to have bought it in the 1990s." But now it's 2023 and there's a big giant $55 banana Grimlock, and it might be in a store near you. I was driving around like a crazy person until the pre-order went up for this one, because if you see it in person (like I did at SDCC 2023) you will immediately need it. Nothing can prepare you for seeing a display case filled with them - I was already on board, but I haven't seen anything quite this colorful in ages.
It is just a repaint, but it's a good one. Studio Series 86 Grimlock [FOTD #2,276] came out in January of 2021 to very excited fans. He sold well. He got expensive on the secondary market. (Hopefully, he gets reissued.) That release also included a sidekick Wheelie figure, which this one sadly left out. I like these Dinobot toys because they're big and pretty simple with good articulation, but I'm annoyed they lack the launchers and swords from the original toys. It's just the animation model, done as a toy, done in the colors of a forgotten, abandoned prototype. It's kind of perfect.
While not 100% the original painted artwork, it's amazingly close and far closer than it needs to be for a toy that picks up an abandoned, nearly 30-year old concept. There's an Autobot symbol tucked on the top of his chest, under his chin. There's a purple bit between his legs. There are some sticker details they left off, and it's probably all the better for it. It's a more cohesive looking toy that seems like something a goofball American designer came up with during the era of "subtlety is for losers" that was the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. The bright yellow figure has some turquoise details - some molded, some painted - and a brightly painted silver head that absolutely stuns. He also has a clear chest window with a fake sticker decal. I don't know why they picked it, but it was a good choice. The metallic paint used for the robot chest pops nicely too, and I assume this is one of the best-looking toys you'll buy this year. I like classic Dinobot colors just fine, but they've got nothing on this. It's incredible.
Articulation is same as the previous release. You get swivel wrists, tilt ankles, a rotating waist, a moving neck, it's just marvelous up and down the whole toy. All the joints ratchet nicely (as needed) and he has no problems standing thanks to his giant boot-like feet. When I got the G1 movie version of this mold, I thought it was good but not perfect. In these colors, I can honestly say, I don't know why I'd want to buy another Grimlock toy (short of one in wacky blue or something from G2.) It's a good, sturdy, 8 1/2-inch robot toy that looks like nothing else in my toy boxes, and I got a lot of toy boxes. I may need to build a special display case for him and his pals. He's just so, so impressive.
Converting Grimlock is pretty easy. It's sort of - but not entirely like - the original toy, and you can probably do it without instructions. That's a good thing - I don't need wacky puzzles, I want a toy I can play around with, and this does it. I have no complaints.
Our t-rex pal has blue hands, blue feet, blue tiger strikes, and some other highlights. There is a clear neck with visible stuff inside - a nod to the original toy painting - and you can mount a blaster on his tail to keep him together. The neck turns, the mouth opens, you can even have him "breathe fire" if you have the right accessories around. They even gave him jointed elbows - it's an expressive toy with the classic tail-drag design that will most likely be worth your money. The yellow plastic absorbs so much of the sculpted detail, but that's probably just fine. You're not here for panels and rivets, you're here for a Crayola-esque assault on the optic nerve. In dinosaur mode, he's mostly sturdy - but the blaster really does keep his feet together to form the tail. Without it, he's a little less stable. It delivers everything I imagined.
You're probably not getting your money's worth, as this release drops the Wheelie and backdrop from the cheaper original release. On the other hand, it's yellow G2 Grimlock - a toy you were never meant to get, and if you did, it would probably be $100-$200 as a BotCon exclusive. And it's only $55 at Walmart if you can find it. Clearly I'm going through mental gymnastics to justify a silly purchase, but that's what this hobby is all about. Is it stupid? Yeah. Do I want it? Yes. I paid $55. If it were a more expensive convention exclusive, I would probably pay the market rate to own it. It's so unusual, so distinctive, so singularly not-a-toy-designed-for-fun-hating-collectors that it's one of my absolutely favorite purchases of the year. Never mind the fact I have the original release of this mold and could play with it any time I wanted, I had to have this one. That's how you know a toy company did a good job - they override any sense of reason you have and you run out to the store to pay them, again, for a toy fundamentally no different than what you have at home. It's a toy so big, so weird, and so fascinating that if Hasbro ended Transformers tomorrow I'd say this was a perfect note to go out on.
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