Tuesday, 6 September 2011
G is for Grimlock
The Winning Toy
"Grimlock more than lives up to the reputation of his Tyrannosaurus Rex mode. Ill-Tempered, powerful, and always ready for a fight, he loves to throw his weight around. He likes the way the ground shakes as he stomps around, and the way people scatter when he roars. He's happiest on Dinobot Island, where he can stomp and roar to his Spark's content, shattering trees with his tail, and breathing jets of flame into the sky. Every once in a while, though, he prefers to find the biggest, most powerful Decepticon he can, and smash its chassis to pieces.
*Fire Breath can melt granite.
*Created on Earth.
*Just as Strong as Megatron."
Toyline: Animated US
Size Class: Voyager
Function: Dinobot Leader
Quote: "Where are Decepticons? me Grimlock getting hungry!"
Grimlock's robot mode is very well designed, in my opinion, and does a good job in emulating the character from the TV series (as is the case with all Animated figures, due to the design process occurring at the same time as the series production
Grimlock's build is meant to emulate a well built man, and is even able to tower over even some other Voyager figures (and of course his Deluxe sized Dinobot team mates). Grimlock can also rotate at his waist on a pivot joint 360 degrees
Grimlock's head is able to rotate about 45 degrees left or right, but otherwise has no other articulation. His eyes have blue lightpiping that activates from the back of his head. His jaw is a sharp toothed jaw plate (similar to Bulkhead's) but doesn't do anything.
Grimlock has a few design cues from the original characters, including his head shape, and his "wings" which even include his Tyrannosaurus Rex Head as well. Grimlock also has 2 Autobot insignias, one on his chest window and one on his left shoulder
Grimlock's legs are made from his Dinosaur mode back and tail. The legs are connected to the groin area by a pivot-hinge joint which only allows it to move back and forth slightly, however he can perform the horizontal splits by extending his legs sideways. He can also move at his knees by a pin joint up and down, plus he can move his knees outward by about 45 degrees...which looks quite painful frankly... His feet as very stable thanks to the formation of his feet from his Dino-mode back and would have no issues on any reasonable surface
Grimlock's arms are created from his alternate mode legs, with the feet becoming hands. The arms are connected to the torso by a ball joint at the shoulders to give it full articulation, however his elbow can only move up and down via a hinge joint. The lower arm is connected via another hinge joint, which can move at 90 degrees only. The hands however are partially articulated (due to them being created from his Dino-feet) so his Thumb can move outwards and be tucked in, which his 3 fingers on each hand can be flexed out and tucked in as a group. Both wrists can also rotate fully. The top of the black section of the arms are also able to slide into the shoulder section, so he doesn't look so lanky as well
Grimlock can also hold his supplied sword in either hand, however, when holding it in his right hand you can activate it's flaming effect by rotating the wrist (as a small rod is extended which pushes a button inside the handle to flip out the hidden flames. You can close down the flames by pulling on a small lever on the side of the blade with the screw heads showing
Grimlock's Dinosaur mode is actually quite fun, because of the design, and the Transformation scheme used for this figure this mode actually has quite a bit of articulation in itself.
The nails on his feet can be adjusted, as well as the ankles, to be suited for any terrain, and his knees and hip joints can be repositioned to give him to illusion of walking (especially in stop motion animation)
His tiny arms are just for aesthetic decoration and can't actually do anything (unlike other T. Rex style arms like with T-Wrecks or Magmatron). Grimlock's tail isn't able to move in any real way, but is used for balancing purposes (as it adds more mass to the rear so the figure won't just fall on his face repeatedly)
The colour scheme is also meant to emulate his G1 equivalent's and not a real T.Rex, wherein he is mostly grey and gold
Grimlock head is the only real part of his alternate mode that has a gimmick. By pushing down a button on his neck you can make his lower jaw open up, making it look like he's talking/about to eat something. So if you really want to, then you can throw a Decepticon's arm in there and pretend that Grimlock just ate the poor little buggar.
Grimlock's alternate mode's head is also quite odd, as it has it's own lightpiping port, separate from his robot mode's head, which is located right on the top of head (this is available in both modes by the way)
This version of Grimlock was created (in the series) as a new body for Megatron originally, but when the body gained sentience, thanks to the Allspark Powered Key he, and his two team mates went on a rampage, resulting in them being sent to an island to roam free, being called upon occasionally and sometimes allying with the former Autobot, Black Arachnia, whom they worship as a Goddess
Now of course, as any long term fan would know, his isn't the first incarnation of Grimlock to appear in the franchise. He began in the G1 Marvel comics and Sunbrow TV series where he led the rebellious Dinobots, and even became leader of the Autobots themselves after Optimus' first death in the comics, until his own death during the Underbase Saga. Afterwards he was revived as a Pretender, and once again became leader for a short time after Optimus died in the battle with Unicron, until his revival at the hands of The Last Autobot. Grimlock has also appeared in the Dreamwave, Devil's Due and IDW Transformers comics in various roles, from the leader of the LSC and Defector to the Decepticons in Dreamwave, a member of Perceptor's team in Devil's Due, and the now missing leader of the Dynobots in IDW. Grimlock also appeared in the Beast Wars The Gathering and Ascending comics, where he played the role of the Powerhouse warrior of the team
In the Shattered Glass universe, Grimlock was a mindless drone who was granted sentience from the Omega Terminus (Vector Sigma) in the Dungeons and Dinobots prose story, after which he gained a greater intelligence, and a British accent whilst in robot mode
A character called Grimlock has also appeared in Robots In Disguise...but with an excavator alternate mode instead, meaning that he has absolutely no connection to the original at all. Also, a funny note, in the bizarre Ocean dub of the Headmasters series, the character Raiden was also occasionally dubbed as Grimlock....this made no sense what-so-ever, but then again, these people also called Blaster, Billy....
Is he Cool?
TFA Grimlock is very cool, he has a good robot mode and Dinosaur mode, both of which are able to both emulate the original character from the 80's, AND also look distinctly different enough to be a different character.
I'd say that the only disappointing part about this character, is the undercarriage of his Dino mode, as you can see his robot mode torso and head from the bottom which could have quite easily been covered by a removable piece that could become a shield or something for his robot mode.
If you can find this figure in the shops, then I'd suggest buying him, he does look good, and would work as a replacement for G1 Grimlock if you can't afford the Masterpiece version. However if you do buy him, then be prepared to buy Snarl and Swoop as well, since he looks best in a complete group set