Series: Robots in Disguise 2.0
Yes, this here is indeed Grimlock. No, you say, canít be. Grimlock is, like, big and gold and silver. Heís got these wings on his back and a big, fiery sword in hand. Or maybe a big mace, if youíre talking about the non-speaking last-minute plot device from Age of Extinction. But this dude here, you say? That canít be Grimlock, can he? Heís black and green, for starters. Heís got a mouth, man! A mouth! Grimlock never had a mouth, no sir. And no sword? Really? How can this be Grimlock? All valid points, yes, but still: this here is Grimlock, the Warrior-class figure from the new 2015 Robots in Disguise series. And yes, heís black and green, not silver and gold. Yes, heís got no sword and sports a mouth. Heís still Grimlock. So letís leave our knee-jerk dislike for non-gold-silver sword-less Grimlockís at the door and look at this figure.
Much like Steeljaw, Grimlock feels a bit streamlined and simplified compared to older Deluxe-class figures, but not necessarily in a bad way. Itís clear heís targeted towards a somewhat younger audience and incorporating the more stylized design of the RID TV series. Itís not quite as daring a style as it was back in 2008 with Animated, but Iíd say itís about halfway there. Despite the simpler design Grimlock is fully articulated. Okay, no twisting wrists, but thatís not a big thing. I like the big shoulders and even the claw hands, while the face Ė despite being very different from previous Grimlock faces Ė looks sufficiently bad ass for me. And fans of Mortal Kombatís Goro can flip forward Grimlockís dino-mode arms from the back, turning him into a four-armed bot. Nicely done and I kind of hope we see him doing that on screen, too.
My one big complaint here is that Grimlock comes without any weapon. Maybe there is an in-series reason for that, what with him being a former prisoner and not fully trusted, but still, Grimlock needs a weapon. Maybe not a gun, but at least a sword or mace would have been nice. Apart from that, though: a nice robot mode, if you can get over the fact that he looks nothing like previous Grimlocks.
One thing hasnít changed and itís that Grimlock transforms into a vaguely Tyrannosaurus Rex-like robotic dinosaur. And he does it in much the same way the G1 figure does, actually. The legs combine to form the tail, the arms become the legs, the dino head flips up from the back and the tiny set of extra arms is there, too. Okay, the dinosaur is, of course, black and green, not mostly silver. Live with it!
The T-Rex is a bit beefier than most versions of Grimlock, being stockier and with wider legs. The tiny arms, which can swivel at the shoulders, are also bigger than usual, widening into big paws. The legs retain full articulation, the tail is static, and the dino head can open and close its big lower jaw (some influence from Animated Grimlock
here, perhaps?). So bottom line: a nice dinosaur mode. Not quite the robotic T-Rex we once knew, but good nevertheless.
Best to forget that the new Robots in Disguise series is supposed to be set in the same continuity as the War for Cybertron / Fall of Cybertron games and ďTransformers Prime: Rage of the DinobotsĒ comics from IDW, where we already saw a very, very different-looking Grimlock
. In the new series Grimlock was wrongfully incarcerated on a big prison ship that crashed on Earth, spilling its cargo of Decepticon prisoners all over the planet. He joins Team Bumblebee to help recapture the other prisoners, presumably to clear his own name or just because he hates Decepticons, I donít know. Seeing as the series hasnít started yet, weíll have to wait and see. Suffice to say that this will probably be a very different Grimlock than those weíve seen previously, but Iím completely fine with that as long as weíre getting a good, entertaining series.
Weíve had this problem a few times before, havenít we? Old character with recognizable name gets reimagined for new series and everyone cries foul. Goes all the way back to the famous TRUKK NOT MUNKEE debate. Fact is, though, this is Grimlock for the current series. And the Warrior-class figure of him is a good Transformers toy.