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Series: Masterpiece Hasbro Edition
Allegiance: Autobot
Year: 2010

Weakness offends Grimlock. He considers none so weak as those who refuse to use their full strength to command victories. As a result, he's never had much respect for Optimus Prime. He barely even considers himself and his Dinobots to be part of the Autobot army most of the time. He only grudgingly helps the heroic Autobots because the tyranny of Megatron offends him even more than weakness. He longs for the day when Optimus Prime makes a final mistake, leaving a vacancy that Grimlock will be more than happy to fill.

Robot Mode: One thing worth mentioning right at the get-go: Masterpiece Grimlock is, of course, a lot bigger than his G1 incarnation, but at the same time he’s quite a bit shorter than Masterpiece Megatron or Optimus Prime, about the same size as Masterpiece Starscream. At first that kind of prejudiced me against this figure (especially seeing as he was originally quite a bit more expensive than the aforementioned figures), but now that I have him here, I find that he’s just the right size to interact with the Classics/Universe figures, seeing as the Dinobots were originally depicted to be quite a bit larger than your average Transformer in the early days of the G1 cartoon.

Issues of size aside, at first glance Grimlock’s robot mode is easily recognizable, as it looks nearly identical to the original G1 Grimlock. Aside from the whole being able to pose thing, of course, as well as being a lot more detailed. The general body design is pretty much identical, though, except for a few details here and there. The biggest being that MP Grimlock no longer has the split ends of his dinosaur tail hanging off the sides of his legs, but rather incorporates them. A subtle, yet very nice difference.

As I already mentioned, posability is not a problem for Grimlock. His large feet give him a stable platform and he can easily move with the best of them. The only slight downside is that you need to be a bit careful in the hip/torso region, as Grimlock’s chest occasionally comes loose. Not a problem as such, just something to keep in mind. Otherwise, no problems at all. Grimlock can bend his ‘wings’ back far enough that arm movement is not impeded and a ball-jointed head completes the movement package.

In terms of gimmicks Grimlock has quite a bit to offer, though most of them are subtle. The most obvious one is the LED light in his right hand. Put his sword or blaster in that hand and a button on the right shoulder will make the weapons glow. His left hand doesn’t have that feature, but unlike the right one it’s articulate, which is a fair trade. Another gimmick is that Grimlock’s eye/visor can change color via a lever on the back of his head. Blue or red, depending on whether you prefer his look from the cartoon or the comic books.

Not so much a gimmick as a nice bit of sculpting is Grimlock’s flight capability. If you remember the Dinobots, unlike most other Autobots, were flight capable in the cartoon. So Grimlock has two slim rocket boosters sculpted onto his back and also features exhaust muzzles in his feet. A subtle, but very nice bit of detail that I as an old-school cartoon fan really enjoy, especially as it’s also present in dinosaur mode (see below).

I could probably go on and on for quite a bit longer, but I think you get the message. Grimlock’s robot mode is just supremely awesome. There is nothing dragging him down, the weapons are cool, the look is just fantastic and everything fits together really well. So bottom line: Best Grimlock in robot mode ever.

Alternate Mode: Transforming Grimlock into his alternate mode is pretty much the same process as it was for his G1 toy. There are of course differences in the details, but basically it’s the same transformation scheme as it was in days of yore.

Grimlock’s alternate mode is, of course, still a Tyrannosaurus Rex and unlike, say, the Classics version of the character, the Masterpiece figure retains the somewhat archaic T-Rex design that the original figure used, which is just fine by me. Here, too, the original G1 figure is copied almost perfectly, but again the T-Rex is a lot more posable and detailed. Case in point: Grimlock’s tiny little T-Rex arms. Whereas they could only swivel at the shoulders back in the day, they now have a shoulder and elbow ball joint each, as well as three individual finger claws per arm.

The legs are posable as well, of course (being the robot mode arms) and here, too, you have sculpting to emphasize Grimlock’s flight capability, as he has exhaust muzzles in these feet as well. Grimlock’s tail is a tiny bit posable, as the end can swing side to side a bit. Through a mechanism this causes Grimlock’s dinosaur head to move side to side, too. A nice, but in my opinion somewhat superfluous gimmick. Could have done without it.

Grimlock’s eyes can change from red to blue and back again in this mode, too. Just open up the plate on his cranium and switch the eyes around, no problem. Additionally there is a button that causes his jaws to snap shut. Inside his jaws is a muzzle suggesting a blaster or maybe a flame thrower, yet another nice piece of sculpting. So while the dinosaur mode doesn’t offer quite as much to see and do as the robot mode, it’s still a fine piece of engineering and detail work. Two thumbs up and no real complaints.

Add-Ons: There are several different versions of Masterpiece Grimlock out there, each with a different set of accessories. For the Hasbro version most of them were left aside, leaving only Grimlock’s weapons and the golden crown he wore in the Marvel Comics during the time he was Autobot leader. Personally, I am down with that. Most of the accessories of the other Grimlock versions were nice at best, superfluous at worst. The crown is cool and it’s all Grimlock really needs.

Remarks: Do I really need to write much about Grimlock? Leader of the Dinobots? Me, Grimlock, king? If all that leaves your mind blank, then welcome to the world of the Transformers as you’re apparently a complete and utter TF virgin. So the short version is: Grimlock is a strong candidate for most popular Generation 1 character ever (though he lost the Fans Choice Award in 2010 to a non-G1 character, Beast Wars Dinobot), played a big role in all three seasons of the G1 cartoon series, is known as Simon Furman’s signature character in the G1 comic books, and has appeared in just about every G1-related toy line and media ever. He hasn’t been seen much in most other series (except Animated), but if you’re even remotely a Transformers fan, odds are you’ve heard of Grimlock.

And this figure right here is the ultimate Grimlock toy, no other way to put it. It originally came out in Japan only, appearing in two different versions with different accessories (apron, brain transfer helmet, crown, serving tray, etc.) for quite a hefty price, before this version here appeared on Western toy shelves, though it did so exclusively at Toys R’Us. My buddy Caked-Up got one for me right off the shelves and I am eternally indebted to him for it, as this is quite simply one of my favorite Transformers ever. So for what is only the third time ever, I award Masterpiece Grimlock a perfect score. If you’re a Transformers fan, you need this guy.

Rating: A+

And for a second opinion, the review by Caked-Up:

Overview: All hail the arrival of the mighty Grimlock. After many months of patience and dutiful searching, I have finally found him. His presence is glorious and his strength is epic. Do not invoke the wrath of King Grimlock and read his review.

Robot Mode: Masterpiece Grimlock is the Grimlock of everyone’s dreams. He is the very image of strength with his broad chest and large arms. His coloring is reminiscent of his original toy all the way back in Generation One. His body is mostly gray with a red pelvis and gold chrome chest. There are smaller colored panels on his legs, crotch, and arms that are almost the same as his first toy. A major change from the first toy is the Autobot symbol on the chest. The G1 toy had a sticker in place, but in dino mode it would transition to the groin. For the Masterpiece version it is on a panel that pops up when the chest locks in place ala Headmasters. The colors are well done and are accurate, mission accomplished.

In the sculpting department, Grimlock is again at the head of the line. There is no mistake that this toy again follows the G1 aesthetic. There is plenty of detail to be had, but it is much smoother and robotic than compared to today’s toys. He retains the wings from his dino body, but the tail pieces are hidden away instead of hanging off the side. In fact, most of the transformation is true in nature to the G1 toy. His head sculpt is a dead ringer for the Dinobot Commander. As with the coloring, the sculpting and appearance are also accurate so again, mission accomplished.

The posability and size are the two other main draws of the Masterpiece line besides accuracy. I had the G2 Blue version of him as a child and he was a brick. I remember shoulders, knees, and I think a waist joint, but I could be wrong. Masterpiece Grimlock on the other hand has a much greater range of motion. He isn’t a dancer by any means, but when does Grimlock need to dodge. He’s Grimlock! Grimlock smash puny Decepticons! With that being said, the only limitation I don’t like is that he does not have a waist joint. His shoulders interfere with themselves when they try to swing outward, but the double elbows and wrists make up for it. On his right hand, only the thumb moves, but his left hand has the thumb, index finger, and the others on joints. There is a hole for the weapons to peg into to reduce any stability concerns. His joints are nice and stiff, but his hips need to be stiffer because the weight of the die-cast pushes his hips outwards causing him to fall. This would also be a good reason to have some rubber treads or other similar material on his feet. All in all, Grimlock succeeds again in posability. As for size, he is massive compared to his old toy. For another perspective, he is about the size of a leader class toy.

My only complaint besides the hips is the overall stability of the figure. He is well built and made to last in a collections, but the tail to head gimmick we’ll discuss later makes for a looser chest. It stays up just fine, but it kind of has a bobble head feel to it. In reality it is a small gripe, but one worth mentioning.

As for accessories and gimmicks, this is the Hasbro version so I did not get all of the useless junk that I would end up losing. He only has one Energo Sword, a double barreled blaster, and the Dinobot Crown of Leadership. This crown was the accessory that people wanted most in the Takara release. Hasbro was nice enough to include it in their release and it looks sharp. I haven’t decided if I will display it on him, but it is accurate and well made. You can plug in both of his weapons in either fist, but it is the right fist that has the gimmick. Pressing the button on the back of his shoulder activates an LED in his fist, lighting up whatever weapon is in hand. This is a bright LED folks, so do not shine it in your eyes. His final gimmick is related to his eyes. You can change the colors to reflect either the toy (Red) or the cartoon (Blue). This is a nice touch from the designers.

This figure’s robot mode alone proves that there are some designers at Hasbro/Takara that really love their Transformers and what they do.

Dino Mode: To complement his superior robot mode, Grimlock transforms into a much needed update to his original T-Rex mode. He retains the tail dragging model instead of the newer incarnations, but this adds to his charm. Again he is mostly gray like the first toy, but he has fewer colors than the robot mode. You will find silver chrome on his tail, arms and teeth, while his crotch is covered in gold chrome. There is nothing to complain about.

There is about the same level of sculpting in dino mode as the robot mode, but since those parts have moved to different places it looks a lot cleaner. They did mold a flamethrower in his mouth so he shoots imaginary fire. Just like the paint job there is nothing to complain about.

His legs can bend with the best of the T-Rex transformers, but it is his arms that break the mold. Instead of just rotating at the shoulder, they have elbow and finger joints. Add in the fact his tail actually has a joint and you have a limber tail- dragging behemoth. Due to the die-cast parts in his butt, he will sit down on his own after a while.

Finally we get to the gimmicks of the dino mode. The first one is that his eyes can change color. Sounds familiar, but it is still a nice touch. The second is the chomping motion. Open his mouth and then press the left cheek and he will “chomp”. Due to safety reasons a snail will escape his jaws before they close. Finally, his third and most intrusive gimmick. Swinging his tail side to side will cause his head to rotate. This isn’t a bad gimmick, but I would rather have a ratcheting head joint for poses. This is the gimmick I spoke of earlier that leaves the chest all wobbly.

Masterpiece Grimlock is an outstanding T-rex, but is different from others of his kind. I do not categorize him with the likes of Botcon Cindersaur or TFA Grimlock because of the different theories on how the T-rex walked makes for a drastically different beast mode. Without question though is the quality dino mode that he possesses. It is the perfect complement to the main course that is the robot mode.

Conclusion: Accurate paint job. Check. Accurate construction and sculpting. Check. Updated posability and gimmicks. Check. Godzilla size proportions. Check. He might not be as large as Optimus Prime’s Masterpiece/20th Anniversary figure, but he received just as much, if not more, attention. This is the one and only Grimlock figure you will ever need to purchase! I highly recommend him to everyone who can find him.

Grade: A+
Toy DB Link

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