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Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Combiner
Year: 2004

We love to munch Decepticon metal!
Primitive in thought and simple in speech, what Grimlock and Swoop lack in intelligence they make up for in strength. They have given the Autobots the tactical upper-hand in battle time and again sending Decepticon legions retreating in fear. Swoop will often use his impressive aerial maneuvers to confuse and distract an enemy while Grimlock sneaks from behind and stomps that enemy before they even know what hit them. They then use their combined strength to ensure that there is little left of their unfortunate prey. Although they are armed to the nines with powerful weaponry, Grimlock and Swoop prefer to take down their enemies with razor sharp teeth and talons.

Review by Tobias H:

Prelude: A lot of Transformers fans have wondered over the years how a Dinobot Combiner would be like. After all, there were five Dinobots in Generation 1, so the notion of them combining wasn't that far off. In fact Generation 1 kind of fulfilled that wish, because Japanse fans had exclusive dibs on a Combiner called Dinoking, whose individual robot components were outfitted with dinosaur-type Pretender shells. But that wasn't really a Dinobot-Combiner, seeing as he was a Decepticon and the alternate modes of the individual robots looked more like abstract art rather than dinosaurs.

But who'd have thought that the wish for a Dinobot Combiner would be fulfilled after all. Many years after Generation 1 was over the Energon toyline brought us Megadinobot, the first figure in Transformer history that can honestly be called a genuine Dinobot-Combiner. Which is a pretty good reason to take a closer look at him and give him his own review.

Robot Mode: It's not exactly unusual for an Autobot from the Energon toyline to combine with another into a bigger robot. But usually just about any Autobot can combine with any other, which kind of goes against the classic combiner grain. But Megadinobots components can only combine with each other and only in a certain way, which results ina new character instead of simply a powered-up version of an existing one. So one can call this a genuine combiner in my book.

Even though Megadinobot is composed of just two individual robots, he is quite tall and looks very big and massive. In fact, though, he is incredibly fragile, because the connection between Grimlock and Swoop is minimal. Is this a disadvantage? Well, depends on how you look at it.

On the one hand this makes Megadinobot a tad unstable and it takes a while until you figure out all the tricks, such as, for example, that the wings need to be hooked onto the horns on his shoulders and mustn't be moved in order to keep the back portion of the Combiner in position. If you fail to do that, the part comes loose, which causes the hip to lose stability and the entire robot folds over backwards. Which makes for a somewhat unfortunate design.

On the other hand it's exactly those parts that give Megadinobot a large deal of his wholesome look. In fact he looks like a giant Samurai warrior or maybe a big mech from some Japanese anime series. Megadinobot offers so many great-looking details that it's hard to count them all.

For example, there are the heads of the two alternate modes of the individual robots; the giant shoulder horns, which emerge from Grimlock's lower body; the new head, which was previously hidden in that of the T-Rex; the wings, which stand out like big sickles above the shoulders of the robot; the list goes on. The entire thing is also very nicely sculpted and the choice of colours hits the spot, making Megadinobot look interesting without overdoing it. So a big plus here.

Posability isn't lacking in Megadinobot, either. Arms, legs, and head are as posable as you'd expect. There is one little problem with the legs, though, which I'll go into next. Maybe you noticed that, even though I keep talking about Megadinobot's great posability, I didn't change the robot's pose much for the different pictures. Well, there is a reason for that. There is one spot where Megadinobot is actually TOO posable. His legs are made from Swoop's legs and body, which is split right down the middle for this transformation. Which means the legs get an additional joint. And that's the problem.

This additional joint costs Megadinobot his stability. It is almost impossible to balance this big, wide robot, who already has balance issues because of his various extremeties. Dynamic poses are pretty much unthinkable. This is a pretty heavy design flaw and drags this robot down quite a bit. Too bad that they couldn't have found a way to stabilise the legs.

Another, though much smaller flaw is the lack of weaponry. Would it have been too much to ask to supply each component robot with a weapon? Maybe a repaint of Energon Starscream's arms, which could have been combined for this mode into a giant gunblade, which would have fit Megadinobot to a T. As things are, though, he remains unarmed.

What's the bottom line? Megadinobot isn't bad, but maybe a little bit less would have been more here.

Alternate Mode: Megadinobot doesn't have an alternate mode as such. Instead he splits into his component parts Grimlock and Swoop, who transform into a mechanical Tyrannosaurus Rex and a flying dinosaur respectively. Both these robots are well-done in both modes, so there is nothing to complain about here. The full reviews of these two robots can be found in the Energon menu.

Conclusion: It's not easy to rate Megadinobot fairly. On the one hand he's a great execution of the long-sought Dinobot-Combiner and he combines great posability with great looks. On the other hand, though, the designers tried a little too hard here, I guess, because the figure pays its dues in terms of stability.

How do you rate a Transformer that looks really great, but is less stable than a single spaghetti stood on end? Well, I'll try it this way: I subtract a full rating for the stability problem Megadinobot has and subtract a little more for the missing weapons. So in the end I award a well-meant...

Rating: B-
Toy DB Link

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