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Series: Masterpiece
Allegiance: Maximal
Year: 2018

Prelude: For all that he was one of Beast Wars’ most beloved characters, saved all of humanity, and was the first fans’ choice for entering the Transformers Hall of Fame, Dinobot had to wait a very, very long time to get a good toy. Because let’s face it, his original Beast Wars figure never did figure out where to put the robot legs in beast mode, no matter how often it was repainted. Now we got a Masterpiece figure of him, though. Is he worth the hefty price tag he came with?

Robot Mode: One of the first things I noticed about this Dinobot figure is that it’s big. I’d say he’s about Leader-class size, meaning he towers over other Beast Wars figures, even Masterpiece Optimus Primal. At first I thought that he was out of scale, but checking screenshots from the Beast Wars TV series actually reveals that the size is quite accurate. Dinobot was easily the tallest of the Maximals. He is actually in near-perfect scale with Thrilling 30 Rattrap.

In terms of resemblance to the TV character, one can only say that he’s perfect. Just about the only thing that is not identical to his TV appearance is the back of his torso, which bulges out a bit due to the sheer number of stuff he has in there for his transformation (see below). Otherwise, though: perfect. This is Dinobot from the Beast Wars TV series, having stepped right out of the screen.

Dinobot is a highly articulated figure with lots of gorgeous detailing. He comes with his two trademark weapons, the spine-like sword and the tail that opens up into a slashing rotor. Both weapons can also be combined and stored on his back, too. The weapons are actually a pretty straight-forward adaption of those carried by the original BW Dinobot toy. He also comes with exchangeable faces, featuring a grin, an angry yell, a neutral expression and one with transparent eyes. All four faces have an opening mouth with sharp teeth, so you can give Dinobot a wide range of expressions if you wish.

The transparent eyes come into play when Dinobot uses his laser-vision, his only long-range weapon in the TV series. Entering two little battery cells into his head makes his eyes light up. Now it works with all four faces, but the one with the transparent eyes works best, especially if you add the light-tubing piece to his eyes that simulates his laser vision (see 10th picture). Press the button, his eyes glow red. Hold it down, they glow green. A very nicely done special effect for this figure.

Overall there is really nothing about this robot mode I can complain about. He’s big, he’s heavy, he’s got every single feature Dinobot showed in the TV series. He’s simply gorgeous. So two thumbs up and on we go.

Alternate Mode: Dinobot transforms into a Velociraptor. Now the original BW figure was also a Velociraptor, but one with a very visible pair of robot legs just hanging off its chest. Not so this time. MP Dinobot manages the near-impossible and faithfully reproduces Dinobot’s TV transformation. He does this by basically turning inside out. The only parts of the robot that become parts of the raptor are the robot arms, which become the raptor legs. Everything else folds together into the raptor’s torso, while the raptor’s head and arms emerge from what used to be the robot’s torso. A few cheats are included, such as the flattened raptor head on Dinobot’s robot chest not actually becoming the raptor’s head, but overall the transformation is very unique and very original. And, most importantly, it gives us a raptor without visible robot legs.

The resulting raptor looks very show accurate and is very nicely articulated as well. Both the legs and the tiny arms are fully articulated and the raptor’s tail as two joints as well. The head can turn, the mouth can open, and the tongue can move. Dinobot has facial expressions in this mode, too, as you can open up his head and rotate out the normal eyes for narrowed ones. Dinobot’s raptor claws can easily hold the golden disk if you want and the display stand allows for numerous poses, too. So overall, a very good raptor mode, the result of a truly outrageous transformation.

Add-Ons: Dinobot comes with the golden disc that played such a crucial role during the first two seasons of Beast Wars and in his own personal fate especially. He also comes with a pretty big display stand that allows you to mount the figure in multiple poses. There are two clear-plastic pieces for the stand, one to mount him in robot mode, one in raptor mode. The stand is also compatible with most other Transformers figures.

Remarks: Dinobot was originally a Predacon, but quickly defected to the Maximals at the beginning of the Beast Wars series. He had his problems fitting in, though, and his near-constant arguments and fights with Rattrap remain one of the many highlights of the series. Eventually Dinobot sacrificed himself in what is arguably the best Transformers episode ever to air, Code of Hero. He stopped Megatron from changing the future and wiping out humanity, thereby forever cementing his legacy as a hero.

When Dinobot was announced as the next Beast Wars Masterpiece figure, there was much rejoicing. Said rejoicing was somewhat reduced, though, when the price tag of the figure became apparent. At well over 200 bucks, many fans originally figured there’d been a mistake, that maybe the price was for a shipping box with two Dinobots in it or something. Of course by now a 200+ MP figure seems almost a bargain, but in early 2018 it was excessive. Which, of course, didn’t stop people from buying him in droves and making him almost impossible to find if you hadn’t preordered early.

Personally I waited a long while before finally succumbing and ordering Dinobot for myself. Overall I have to say that he is worth it to me, despite the hefty price tag. That depends entirely, of course, on whether or not you are a fan of Beast Wars in general and Dinobot in particular. If you are not, then this is not a figure for you, because without the character value attached, it really isn’t worth the price. For fans of Dinobot, though, this is the very first figure that fully and completely captures the essence of Beast Wars’ most complex character. So if you haven’t already, go and buy him, even if you have to forego food for a month or two.

Rating: A-
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