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Series: Generation 1 Commemorative Series
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Autobot Car
Year: 2004 (original from 1985)

Beauty is in everything except war.
On Cybertron Grapple's buildings are considered works of art. On Earth his ideas are limited by war. Takes pride in his works, prone to severe depression if they're destroyed in battle. As crane, can lift a 35-ton object and position it with precision and grace. As robot, has high-temperature arc-welder rifle. Can launch rockets 4.5 miles from wrist socket. Prone to breakdowns in vehicle mode.

Prelude: Grapple uses the same mold as Inferno. Seeing as it's been over four years since I've reviewed Inferno, though, I do award Grapple the honor of a complete review of his own.

Robot Mode: Though it is hard to believe from today's point of view, Grapple - who is about the size of a Deluxe class figure - was among the biggest Transformers of his time. Most Transformers in those first two years were rather small and Grapple stood out among them. He's a tall, lean robot with giant feet and a torso that makes him look a bit fat, but he really isn't. His body is nicely sculpted and offers lots of details to the eye.

His posability is, of course, pretty limited, as was the norm in those days. Grapple can move both his arms pretty freely, but from the waist down he's almost a brick. I say almost because he can move his feet a bit, so you can at least hint at a dynamic pose with him. It isn't much, but at least as good as most other figures from that time.

Grapple carries a black pistol and several missiles, which he can shoot from his wrist sockets. He can also shoot his fists, of course. They inevitably end up underneath the sofa, where our cat finds them and then carries them off to her secret stash of goodies somewhere beneath our bed. Anyway, Grapple has less parts to lose than quite a few other G1 Transformers, but they're still there.

All in all a nice, solid robot mode, though. For some reason I like it a bit better than Inferno's. Not sure why.

Alternate Mode: Grapple transforms into a truck very similiar looking to that of Inferno, but instead of an extending ladder he's got an extending crane on top. The crane can extend to nearly twice its length and it's got a hook at the end, too. I haven't tried lifting anything with it yet, but it should work without any problems.

The truck looks pretty realistic overall. If looked at from the side you can't help but notice the arms of the robot mode along the sides, but with a little imagination they integrate nicely into the whole, so no complaints. Grapple's cockpit can open up and there's a seat for a Diaclone type driver figure inside. So the bottom line: A good vehicle mode, no real flaws.

Remarks: Grapple appeared without explanation during the second season of the G1 cartoon series. He was the architect among the Autobots and had his turn in the spotlight during the episode "The Master Builders", where he and Hoist were tricked by the Constructicons to build a giant solar tower for producing Energon Cubes. Grapple came across somewhat naive and somewhat eager to get his name into the history books, but he remained a sympathetic character.

As a toy Grapple isn't really that much better or worse than Inferno, but of the two of them I can't help but like Grapple a bit better. Maybe it's because the character got more of a chance to shine, I don't know. Certainly not a revolution or a must-have among G1 toys, but if you can find him for a decent price (such as I did with this Commemorative Edition), there's no reason you shouldn't snatch him up.

Rating: B-
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