Cliffbee.com: Henkei Dinobot Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Dinobot
Series: Henkei
Allegiance: Destron (allied with Cybertrons)
Alternate Mode: Velociraptor

Thanks to kup for loaning me Dinobot for this review.



The Universe 2.0 version of this toy.

VELOCIRAPTOR MODE
Height: cm Length: 23cm Width: cm

   A brown raptor with light brown bands on his body, head, tail and hips, Dinobot is essentially an update of the original BW toy, in a darker set of colours. He has white eyes with black pupils, silver teeth and claws while there's some copper paint on his feet. Aside from a visible set of silver claws under his belly (the robot hands), it's a very focused colour scheme. We do see some hints of blue on his legs (purple on the Universe toy, as in the picture above), but the brown is very much to the fore here. There's a reptilian skin sculpt on almost every surface here. Dinobot does have allegiance symbols, which I'll come back to shortly.

   While Dinobot received a much more focused repaint for Beast Wars' 10th anniversary (including some changes to match the changes to the character instigated by Mainframe), this is a totally new mould. The prominent ribcage formed from the shins is no longer present, and while the extra claws take the same position, they're less obtrusive. The tail is also longer and has a moulded kink near the tip (this kinked area lacks the banding, incidentally). He's quite lanky and lithe as raptors tended to be, and the inner claws on his feet are hooked and raised - two aspects which are more accurate than on the original toy. The random post on the back of the original is, unsurprisingly, absent here.

   There's a nice, understated gimmick on top of his head. There's a panel which rotates to reveal either a Cybertron (Maximal) or Destron (Predacon) symbol, giving you the choice of a more accurate, skin-sculpted patch or flat panels displaying either his original faction or adopted allegiance. Dinobot's poseability is good - his hips and shoulders are ball jointed while his lower jaw opens. The forearms are composed of a soft plastic, and while this doesn't provide poseability as such it makes popping them off tricky, and snapping them almost impossible. The knees are hinged while the ankles are restricted ball joints. His tail is fixed with that permanent kink, but does act as a counterbalance for walking poses and the like.

   While I don't see the need for an update of what was already a decent toy, I have to admit that there are some good improvements here. Getting rid of that ribcage is a definite plus, the hook claws make a big difference and the more slender shape is also welcome. While the 10th anniversary edition improved the colours, the colours here are also nice. Perhaps my favourite element is the switching allegiance symbol, which shows that a lot of thought went into Dinobot.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

  

Detach and set aside the tail. Straighten the legs, fold down the back of the beast feet, rotate forward to form robot feet. Pivot the beast thigh panels down behind his shins, wrapping the false-claws around the shins. Open the side panels, swing out the robot arms, fold the beast head down to form his close and close the side panels. Slide the hips together. Straighten the arms and unfold his claws. Swing the beast forelimbs down behind his shoulders. Swing away one of the inner claws to reveal a hand, open the tail up as a weapon and place in this hand.
ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 6.5cm (ignoring the big weapon)

   A brown robot with copper thighs and a copper head, Dinobot has silver claws, silver false claws on his shins and waist. His knees, ankles and face are blue while his eyes are red with a very good lightpipe, which gives them a distinct glow. The weapon opens up to reveal red insides and a chrome silver missile (or brown inside with a transparent red missile on the Universe toy, as in the photo above). The colours match Dinobot's cartoon appearance nicely and work well visually. Overall they're very similar to those on the 10th anniversary repaint, and look much better than those of the original.

   I'm somewhat disappointed that Dinobot's tail is still a big unwieldy weapon, but at least this kibble can be left aside, I guess. The false claws on his shins look good and the awkward shoulders of the Beast Wars mould are replaced by more natural shoulders here. The face bears a closer semblance to the cartoon as well since it doesn't have to deal with a mutant head (let's be honest - the hinges - I think everyone removes that one now). The allegiance symbol panels sits on his chest, and is perfectly placed. The side panels help integrate the beast head into his torso very nicely.

   There are two gimmicks here. The first is the allegiance symbol tick, carried over from beast mode. The second relates to his hands. You get the option of giving Dinobot claws as in the show (and on the original) or swapping out the inner claws for actual hands, which allow him to hold weaponry such as his flower-like tail weapon. To be honest, I prefer the claws (and leaving the giant weapon aside), but I love the fact that we get the choice, and that the claws aren't burdened with a hole for the weapon to plug into. By the way, you _can_ plug the missile into his hands, and it's sculpted to resemble the sword of the original. The transparent red hilt looks pretty silly, mind you - and I can't imagine the completely red missile of the Hasbro version looking any good as a sword.

   Dinobot has excellent poseability. His head turns while his waist is fixed. His shoulders, hips and ankles are ball jointed while his knees and elbows bend and feature rotators. The claws on his hands open and close, while the hands themselves are fixed. The heel and heelspurs move - the feet on their own set of ball joints, giving Dinobot a wide range of stable poses, even with that giant weapon affecting his balance. The original was quite poseable, so I wouldn't say this version is a significant improvement in this respect.

   A good robot mode with improved shoulders, a very detailed head and some nice colour choices such as the hints of blue. The tail weapon is limited but the poseability makes this robot mode a lot of fun. It's not quite the same leap forward as his beast mode, but is a distinct improvement on the original nonetheless.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, the Henkei version (which I have in front of me) has blue plastic, silver claws and a silver missile, while the Universe 2.0 version has purple plastic, white claws and a transparent red missile. From what I can determine, the Universe version has mustard plastic in place of copper on his head and thighs.

OVERALL

   A very good update to a popular character. While the original mould had much improved colours for its 10th anniversary, this is a new mould which solves many problems of that mould. The weapon is more kibbly than the original's - and deviates away from the cartoon character. Everything else here brings him _closer_ to the show, however. If you have the 10th anniversary toy (as I do), this toy will be less compelling, but it's still a clear improvement in engineering, so I'll endorse Henkei Dinobot. To be honest I can't say the same for the Universe toy with it's random use of mustard and purple taking it _away_ from the show accuracy Hasbro gave the 10th anniversary toy, and the garish red missile, which would have been better in mustard (copper). I'd skip the Universe 2.0 toy, but if you have the means and inclination, I recommend Henkei Dinobot - 8.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.