Cliffbee.com: Grapple Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Grapple
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Architect
Alternate Mode: Crane



CRANE MODE
Height: 6.5cm (27cm if you extend the arm right up) Length: 15.5cm (23cm if you extend the arm) Width: 5.5cm

   Grapple is an orange truck mounted crane, with an extendable crane arm on top. The hook at the end is chromed silver. This hook is quite delicate - a lot of second hand Grapples, including mine, come with broken hooks. The headlights, grill and rear ledge are also chromed silver. The windows on the cabin are transparent plastic, as are the strobes mounted on top of the roof. There's an Autobot symbol sticker on the front of his cabin, and he has a rubsign on the cabin roof. The rear platform under the crane assembly is die cast metal.

   This is now a pretty old model of truck, it'd be early 1980s. While he doesn't look antique, it is a little dated. The sides of the truck are formed by the robot arms and there's a hollow bit in between them. Whilst it's not very noticeable, it's there.

   These drawbacks are relatively minor, and he has some very cool bits. The first is the fact that the arm extends, and has a chromed support arm that can clip underneath the outer sleeve or swing out and rest on the back of the cabin roof to support the crane. You have to unclip and reclip it when lifting the arm, since it actually clips the head piece into place. The cabin can fold forward to reveal a seat inside (for a Diaclone pilot). There are orange and black warning style stickers on the arm and its base.

   In terms of play value, Grapple has with six wheels that roll, with rubber tyres, as well as the cabin and arm as mentioned. There's not really too much more you could ask, aside from a metal hook, since this one is quiet fragile. It can grip stuff, but considering how many are broken out there, I'd recommend against putting much weight on it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Spread the rear wheels slightly, then pull down the wheelbase and fold it forward 90 to form the legs. Fold the feet forward. Unclip the arms from the side and swivel them forward. swing the arms down and fold back the silver tabs on top of his shoulders. Insert his fists (or missiles) into his wrists. Fold the crane arm back to reveal the head, swing the head up and attach the head assembly to his chest.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 17cm Width: 8cm

   Still largely, Grapple's robot mode has a fair bit of black thrown in, with the chromed headlight & grill section now on his waist. His groin, fists, knees and head are black. The chest & waist are the front of the truck, and he has tyres on the uppersides of his feet and on his hips. The show gives Grapple an orange head, so the black head may count against this toy, although strictly speaking the cartoon made the change. The undersides of his feet are die cast metal.

   His face is silver and well sculpted, there's a fair bit of detail. His eyes are yellow. Behind his head is the base of the crane arm.

   Grapple's got a couple of weapon options. He comes with a black handgun as well as three chromed silver missiles which can insert into the wrists, which double as missile launchers. If you like you can take one fist out and give his a missile launcher/laser as he had in the cartoon. You can always give him two but then he has no hands.

   All of Grapple's poseability is in his arms. His wrists rotate and his elbows bend. There's two sets of joints in his shoulders, giving him full poseability. Combine this with the missile launchers and he has some play value. The missile launchers don't shoot all that far, it must be said. In fact they're really only token, with springs that only get weaker over time.

   Weak missile launchers aside probably the only weakness to this mode is the lack of a waist. The wheels on the sides are the widest part of his torso, and sit at about where his waist should be. Otherwise this is a decent robot mode. I wont hold his black head against him, since it's not really a flaw of the toy that Sunbow took creative license and changed stuff.

VARIATIONS

   Shares his basic mould with Inferno. Released in 2001 in limited number by Takara. Hauler is a repaint of Grapple's mould. The reissue has ratcheting joints at the base of the crane arm and waist.

OVERALL

   A pretty good toy, Grapple has no major flaws aside from the weak hook. Both modes look cool and the colour scheme is good. The black head might bother some, but makes no difference to me. I rate Inferno slightly higher since he's more durable - 7.5/10

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