Cliffbee.com: Wal*Mart Grimlock Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Grimlock
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Power Shovel

Note: I don't actually have the original Grimlock - I have Build Hurricane, the Car Robots equivalent, and so I reviewed Build Hurricane previously. For ease of comparison, I will refer to the original as Build Hurricane.



SHOVEL MODE
Height: 8cm Length: 13cm Width: 7cm

   Grimlock is a yellow power shovel with black treads while the shovel arm itself is also black with a yellow shove. There's a brown "dirt" wash on this treads and the bottom of the yellow sides. The cabin's windows are transparent blue, with an incredibly badly positioned giant Autobot logo stamped on the outside window. As on his teammates, there are some random silver paint applications on the main yellow body, which don't look so good - although they're not as bad as the Autobot logo. The basic idea here is good, but the added paint elements don't suit the mould, or the vehicle itself.

   The cabin sits on the left side of the vehicle while the arm attaches to the right. The central block turns, although the rear of the lower platform is hollow, so you're better off moving it a little rather than a lot. The arm hinges at the base and midway, while the bucket swings back and forth. The hinge at the base doesn't quite move far enough for him to scoop up dirt, but I don't really plan to use him for that so I can deal with this restriction. There are small wheels underneath the treads, but they're too small for him to really roll, and the treads don't hold together as well as I'd like anyway.

   The level of detail here is pretty good, as you'd expect of a Robots in Disguise mould. There's grip on the front of the platform, engine covers around the vents, moulded pistons on the arm and teeth on the bucket. The treads have moulded links and the sides have moulded driving wheels and such as I've already mentioned.

   I'm slightly disappointed by the hollow back and the treads that don't quite hold together, but they're minor compared to that Autobot logo - which just doesn't belong - and the hopelessly random silver paint. While yellow makes more sense than Build Hurricane's pine green, I prefer the paint job on that toy. The RiD version - the original Grimlock - also has the Autobot logo, mind you. The play value doesn't work as well as the other deluxe members Landfill limbs, but he's still fun.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the shovel arm and set aside. The treads contort to become his legs, and there are about twelve joints involved. The central block opens up to reveal the chest and head, with the cabin becoming the left forearm and the yellow section opposite becomes the other forearm. The shovel arm becomes a sort of melee weapon, which can deploy over his head or fits into his left hand. The hands are actually claws that fold out from the forearms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   The yellow isn't so prominent now - the shoulders and forearms are yellow but much of the torso is painted silver while the elbows and groin are silver. His head, hands and legs are black while the face is silver with a midnight blue eyestrip. While I understand that blue eyes was a common theme in this repaint set, midnight blue does not work on a black head. The silver chest is an interesting idea, but comes off looking a little cheap - I would have preferred some of that silver paint on his entirely black legs. It's not a bad colour scheme overall, but the repaint effort is a little lazy.

   Grimlock is both poseable and unstable, which isn't such a great combination. The idea was right, but it doesn't work quite as well as you might hope. The head turns, the shoulders rotate, the elbows are ball jointed while there are hinges at the bottom of the long elbows, and the claws swing back and forth. The hips and knees are restricted ball joints, working as swivels and hinges respectively. The groin is formed from an assortment of silver pieces, none of which clip together - it's held together by the tightness of the transformation joints. Combine this with a lack of heelspurs and you get a robot mode that should be poseable but isn't really capable of much other than relaxed poses. The arm poseability is fairly good, but the claws limit the imagination. There's some mould degradation on the joints holding the groin in shape, so that area is a mess this time.

   With long, straight legs and long chunky arms, Grimlock is a little muddled visually, although the lopsided claws and shovel-arm weapon mean this works as a theme rather than a mess of parts. The brow above his head simulated the lip of a shovel and the shovel itself has a silver "claw" that pops out, giving him a giant claw-weapon.

   While the robot mode on this mould has some problems, the most significant issue here is mould degradation on the groin. The colour scheme works reasonably well despite some lazy repainting, but this is his weaker mode, and probably the weakest repaint job in the set.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Sold in a boxset with Heavy Load, Hightower and Wedge at Wal*Mart stores. This boxset also made its way to Target in Australia.

OVERALL

   The shovel mode is pretty good and the idea of the colours is good, but the robot mode drags the toy down and the added paint really finishes the job. The repaint could have been really good with some more focus, and while the mould isn't bad, there's just nothing to save Grimlock from mediocrity - 5/10

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