Cliffbee.com: Dinobot Team Toy Review

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Individual Review






Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me this set, making this review possible (I have since acquired the Dinobot team - keep reading to find out why...).



Name: Knockdown
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Triceratops

TRICERATOPS MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 7cm Width: 3cm

   A brown and lilac Triceratops with some yellow and metallic blue painted details and a silver Autobot logo on his rear left flank. Okay, so I can't prove that Triceratops wasn't brown and lilac, but if it was, I'm fairly confident it wouldn't have been brown with lilac hindlegs and a lilac head. I think we can safely rule out the metallic blue, as well. The purple and brown really clash here, although thankfully both are quite muted. I wouldn't mind so much of the colours were laid out smarter, but as it stands this is an ugly colour scheme.

   There are powerlinx ports on the sides of his tail, they're quite visible without really standing out too much. The bodyshape is essentially smooth and organic although Knockdown's details are actually fairly robotic. The bodyshape is pretty good generally, although his mouth protrudes far more than it should

   Sadly there's no meaningful articulation here. It's a disappointing beast mode really. With bad colours and no movement overshadowing a decent shape and sculpt. The weakest beast in this set by some distance.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Split the tail and swing out to the sides to form shoulderpads. Rotate the hindlegs to form his arms. Pull down the beast's throat to form his groin, fold down the forelegs to form robot boots. Flip up the beast forehead to form his head and rotate in the beast mouth.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 8.5cm

   Now brown at the bottom with lilac chest, head and arms and brown shoulderpads. And he's still ugly. The yellow has more or less evaporated now, the metallic blue is still visible on two horns on his chest while Knockdown's face is blue with red eyes. The colours at least form a coherent theme now, even if they don't really go together. Despite this improvement, the arms are the hollow insides of the beast legs, the shoulderpads are far too big, the horns on his chest just look wrong and the legs are weirdly shaped.

   Knockdown is a mess, but at least he's slightly more poseable now. His arms lift up - the shoulders are actually ball joints, but since they attach to the shoulderpads (beast tail) behind the arms, there's not a lot of real movement. Hips hips swing as well, and he even gets little heelspurs, which is ironic since he lacks defined feet.

   I get the feeling the designer concentrated making a good Triceratops and just threw together whatever they could for Knockdown's robot mode. It's nine shades of ugly, being both malformed and in poor colours. Strange that the colour map seems to be built around this mode, too.

OVERALL

   The loser of the set with awful colours, an ugly robot mode without much movement and a reasonably well sculpted beast mode which is a statue. Frankly he looks bad in either mode - 2.5/10
Name: Swoop
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Pteradon

PTERADON MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   A red pteradon with grey plastic along the front of his wings, gold detailing on the wings and white on his cheeks. There's a gold Autobot logo on the left wing, facing backwards. The colours blend well and resemble those of his G1 namesake. There's a distinctly robotic feel to this beast mode, which helps differentiate him from the other red pteradon, BW Terrorsaur - which I appreciate since his teammate has that name. There are too many Minicons who have randomly appropriated G1 names, so I'm really pleased that Swoop's name fits well as a tribute.

   Swoop's bodyshape is good, and the details are great. His feet hang out the back with three little toes each, his head has moulded eyes (sadly, unpainted) and the head has a crest hanging off the back. There are even moulded fingers on the front of his wings. There's a powerlinx port underneath, on his belly.

   Swoop can stand on his feet, which fold down. His head can also fold down, allowing him to stand in the same pose as his G1 counterpart. The wings wiggle around a little, but this is more since they don't hold as well as they should, rather than a case of poseability. The lower jaw opens and shuts, adding to play value which exceeds what I'd ask here.

   A great beast mode despite the minor issue of wing stability. The posing is fun, the G1 tribute in endearing and I really like the fact that this guy uses a G1 name with focus.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the beast head right down, so that it overextends to reveal the robot head. Flip up the panel in the middle of his back, swing the wings down to form legs, fold up the wingtips. Detach the red sections from the grey legs and rotate around to form his arms, ensuring the beast feet are deployed as hands.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A short red robot with grey legs, Swoop is notably shorter than most Minicons. The white is mainly visible on his face, which is largely hidden underneath the giant crest, which protrudes from his forehead. There is some gold on his groin, the Autobot logo is on the outside of his right shoulder. The colour scheme is again well laid out - although it's not quite as nice as the beast mode. There's no longer any real semblance to his G1 namesake, but the transformation is vastly different.

   This robot mode's shape is limited now. While his body is short, it looks nice enough from the front. The wing sections hanging off the back of his shoulders, beast tail on his neck and that giant crest really hurt from the side, with the crest also covering his face from above - which is a problem on such a short toy. The arms are short, and his wrists look odd. While he's not a disaster, the limitations really make it obvious that the designer focussed on his beast mode. There's not much poseability - the shoulders are ball jointed and that's it.

   Terrorcon Blot pointed out to me that the arms are actually meant to swing the other way, so that tips of his wings form hands - there are crappy moulded hands under the wingtips. Which leaves the beast feet protruding awkwardly. I'm still going to stick with the beast feet as hands, even if it is wrong.

   The weaker mode by some distance, but is still better than Knockdown's messy robot mode. The crest is his main flaw, really, and while I would have liked some leg movement, this would likely have impacted on the beast mode holding together.

OVERALL

   A great pteradon mode is tempered by a limited robot mode. Still, the colours are well focused and laid lout well, the play value in beast mode exceeds expectations and for once we have a Minicon which makes good use of a G1 name. My favourite in this set, on the strength of his beast mode and the focus in his theme - 7/10
Name: Terrorsaur
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Tyrannosaurus rex

T-REX MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 3cm

   A grass green T-Rex with charcoal plastic at the base of his tail, some red paint on the sides, silver ankles and yellow eyes. There's a silver Autobot logo on the back, facing backwards. It's a fairly simple colour scheme which belies the robotic sculpt of this dinosaur. I don't especially like the green on a robotic dinosaur, although it's not a bad colour scheme as such.

   It probably goes without saying, but this ix a T-rex which walks with the more modern gate (i.e. he's not a taildragger). The legs are fixed aside from swinging hips - the forelimbs hang there in one position only. The hips offer the only real play value here. The sculpt is reasonable with some rivets and metal segments here and there. Terrorsaur has powerlinx ports on his hips, which integrate quite well.

   While it's a not a great dinosaur mode, there's really not much wrong with it. The green is less than ideal, but not bad in any way. He's a mini statue with some decent aspects. Sadly, my dog has chewed his leg... and it's borrowed.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Flip up the tail, stand him up on the hindlegs, which simply _are_ the robot legs, which is a bit unimaginative. Open the mouth, which basically splits the head open to reveal the robot head. Rotate the waist 90, rotate the head halves around and down to the sides to form robot arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A green robot with a grey groin, a red patch on the left side of his chest and a silver face. The shoulder struts introduce some more grey plastic while the eyes are tiny red dots. His ankles are again silver. The colour scheme is nice, although I find the tailhinge underneath his groin awfully distracting. The arms are kibble, pure and simple. The right arm is the lower jaw - and forelimbs - of the dinosaur, while the left arm is the upper neck and upper jaw of the beast. The colour scheme is good, but the layout really doesn't make for an attractive robot mode.

   This is a lazy robot mode. Sure, the legs work fairly well, but then they're simply the beast legs. The arms are awful, even accounting for the fact that his shoulders are ball joints. The head is well sculpted, at least. The powerlinx ports on his hips are again on his hips, which is kinda cool. I've pretty much covered the articulation here, namely his shoulders and the swinging hips. The left wrist is hinged, but only so the arm straightens has he transforms. The waist rotates, which is for the transformation but still useful nonetheless.

   I'm really not a fan of this robot mode, mainly because I hate the arms. The legs are okay, the colour scheme is okay, but the arms are just awful. They're clearly kibble, and they don't really look like arms at all. The tail is not dealt with well, either. Oh, and he has bitemarks....

OVERALL

   The beast mode is decent but unspectacular, yet still better than the robot mode with it's awful arms. While the transformation is unusual, it's also quite awkward. He's not as bad as Knockdown, but still the robot mode holds Terrorsaur back quite a bit - 4/10
VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

TEAM OVERALL

Two poor toys and one good one, really. Swoop is quite nice, and while his robot mode has some issues, neither mode actually fails. Terrorsaur has one decent mode, Knockdown doesn't work too well in either mode. Swoop is the only one I'm really keen on, but he's not enough to make the set worthwhile on his own. Of course, thanks to my dog, I'm going to have to buy the set now anyway... 5/10

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