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Series: War for Cybertron: Kingdom
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2021

Prelude: Dinobot might well be the most famous non-G1-Transformer there is. First fan-voted character to go into the Hall of Fame, starring character in what is generally considered one of the best Transformers TV episodes of all time (Code of Hero), and famous for being one of the best characters saddled with one of the worst toys in the original Beast Wars series. Now Kingdom brings us a new Dinobot figure that is neither a horrendously expensive Masterpiece, nor has robot legs hanging off his chest in raptor mode. But is that enough? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let us start with the robot mode, which is about the most perfect depiction of the TV character we have ever seen. Overall I would say he looks even more like TV Dinobot than Masterpiece Dinobot does. Maybe not from the back, where he carries a bit of a backpack, but apart from that he’s simply great. The head especially looks so much like TV Dinobot, it boggles the mind. So in terms of resemblance, no complaints at all. Superb!

As for the figure itself, the articulation is top-notch and the detail work also offers no grounds for complaint. Unlike the Masterpiece version, the beast mode’s raptor head actually becomes the chest of the robot here, at least the center of it. As mentioned above Dinobot has a backpack, actually part of his raptor tail. Just about the only complaint I have here is that the robot’s hip seems a tiny bit wobbly to me. Not a problem right now, but it might impact the longevity of the figure. Not sure.

In terms of weapons Dinobot comes with his classics arms, the tail-turned-rotor-slasher weapon and the bone-sword hidden inside it. Both weapons look good, though the rotor slasher looks a bit plain. Could have used a few more details, maybe a mechanism for rotating. Also, just like with the MP version, the sword is pink. Not sure why, it wasn’t pink in either the TV series or the original figure.

Overall I really adore this robot mode. It’s Dinobot, no mistake, and at a much better scale than that humongous Masterpiece figure. So two thumbs up for the robot mode.

Alternate Mode: The main problem of the original Beast Wars figure was that it had no clue where to put the robot legs in raptor mode. The Masterpiece version solved this pretty well, but how about the Kingdom figure? Well, you can still somewhat see the robot legs here in raptor mode, but they are hidden much, much better than with the original. The thighs form the raptor’s chest (instead of sitting on top of it) and you can kind of see the robot feet from the sides, but overall it’s done pretty well. Probably as good a solution as can be done without doing the complete inside-out transformation of the Masterpiece.

Now a lot of people have complained about this raptor mode, not about the robot legs, but rather about the raptor’s head and hands. On the latter, yeah, they really don’t look that great. Kind of like spaghetti hanging off his wrists. That could have been done a lot better. As for the head, well, it does not resemble the TV raptor’s head as much as it could, but otherwise I personally don’t have a problem with it.

Quick look at articulation: the tiny arms have three joints each (I’d have been good with two and better hands), but the legs can only move at the knee and below, the upper legs are basically fixed in place. The tail is also stiff, no movement here. The raptor’s head can’t turn, sadly, but can nod and open its jaws. So bottom line: a better raptor mode than any previous Dinobot figure except the Masterpiece, but with some room for improvement.

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. And if the preceding paragraph seems familiar, I copied it from my Masterpiece Dinobot review. Hope you can forgive me.

Final verdict on this figure: very nice. Sure, the raptor mode falls short of the absolutely brilliant robot mode, but in terms of what you get for your money, this retail figure far outstrips the Masterpiece. Hey, you can buy half a dozen copies for your Dinobot clone army and still come away cheaper than the MP, just saying. So bottom line: a perfect Dinobot in robot mode, an okay Dinobot in raptor mode. Overall, fully recommended to all Dinobot fans.

Rating: A-

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