GRIMLOCK & AUTOBOT WHEELIE
TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)
“Grimlock, Wheelie, and the Dinobots storm the Quintesson Courtroom to save Hot Rod and Kup from Quintesson judgement”
2021’s line-up for the core Transformers product lines is split between Beast Wars and Transformers: The Movie. How about something that’s a nice transitional ground between the two? Yes, it’s Grimlock, leader of the Dinobots. They’re notable for being a group of G1 bots that *aren’t* vehicles in their alt-modes, which was a bit of a switch, huh? They proved to be rather popular, I guess. I mean, I think people like robots, and people like dinosaurs, so I suppose robots that turn into dinosaurs are a safe enough bet. Well, it got me in the door for at least one toy, so let’s look at this here Grimlock figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Grimlock is the entire Leader Class component of the ’86-branch of Transformers: Studio Series. He’s officially numbeded 86-06, making him the last of the Transformers: The Movie figures….so far. That won’t be sticking, though. Whatever the case, he’s the last of the first batch, and is likewise the last of them to arrive on shelves, getting in a few weeks behind the rest. In his robot mode, Grimlock stands a whopping 8 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 workable points of articulation. Grimlock is the largest of the post-War For Cybertron Leader Class figures, going back to almost Prime Wars scaling for the Leaders, which works well for Grimlock’s typically much larger size. And, despite being much larger scale, his construction is still pretty solid, with minimal hollowed out points, which I’m always glad to see. The smaller-scale ’86 Studio Series figures are generally lifted pretty directly from the movie’s animation models, which were generally a little more detailed than the corresponding cartoon models. Grimlock’s was a little more simplified, especially given how little of the film he actually spent in his robot mode. This figure’s robot mode is very definitely G1-animation inspired, but it gains some additional smaller details which bring his design more in line with the Siege/Earthrise figures. That, coupled with the presence of the 5mm ports that the Studio Series figures have by-and-large dropped, points to Grimlock being a figure that was possibly meant for the main trilogy line, before moved over into Studio Series. Regardless of its original intended placement, the sculpt is a very nice piece of work. It’s a nice, solid, chunky sculpt, and a great fit for the character’s design. Like I said when I reviewed Optimus, this isn’t the toy you had as a kid, but it’s as cool as you remember that toy being as a kid. Grimlock’s color scheme was subject to a few changes over the course of production. Originally, he was shown with flat yellow and a clear window piece on the chest. We then saw him with that same set-up, but changing the neck of his beast mode to a transparent yellow. For the final product, however, the neck was back to opaque, the window on the chest is a smokey color, and the yellow was shifted to a metallic gold. The final product’s honestly the best set-up in my mind. Grimlock is packed with a rifle weapon, as well as an articulated figurine of Wheelie, whom he spends a good deal of time with in the movie. Wheelie is a non-transforming figure, but he does get articulation at the neck, shoulders, waist, and hips, can peg into Grimlock’s shoulder, and has his own included slingshot accessory.
Grimlock’s alt-mode is, as it usually is, a robotic (and historically inaccurate) T-Rex. It’s got a pretty nice transformation sequence, and one that’s pretty intuitive and doesn’t have any notable issues or misalignments on my copy. The final product is just as bulky and solid as the robot mode, and features a similar styling to the detailing, going heavy on the G1-look, but with a little bit of extra detailing. He’s fairly posable in this mode as well, with the smaller arms in particular having quite an impressive range on them. In this mode, Wheelie can again be placed atop Grimlock, though he doesn’t plug in quite as securely this way. Still, I doubt he’s really going anywhere in either mode, and Grimlock is certainly impressive in either of his two modes.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Grimlock is one of those G1 designs that has always kind of stuck in my head, even though my direct experienced with him have generally been pretty limited. He’s certainly got a distinctive visual in both of his modes, and I’d definitely been hoping for some version of him to be included in the “modern” lines. This guy’s really quite nice. He’s just a really solidly put together figure, and I’m not sure they’ll be able to top him. Definitely another fantastic addition to the line.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.