Power of the Primes Grimlock Gallery and Review!

Contemptuously (and maybe a little arrogantly) speaking truths in the Allspark Studios that perhaps we don’t want to hear this morning is none other than Power of the Primes Grimlock!  He may be slow (and fearsome), but does he make the grade in all 3 modes?  Tune in after the break to find out!

Grimlock was the figure I always wanted as a child, but never owned.  My brother did have him, however, receiving him the same Christmas where I got Perceptor, I believe (thanks again, Aunt Faye).  This would be the cue for much sibling conflict, as Grimlock was so much fun I had to get my hands on him every chance I could. Oh the memories (and maybe a few bruises).
The reveal of POTP Grimlock was met with much excitement.  The last two Generations lines have simultaneously delivered a pretty faithful “G1 with articulation” vibe while also revamping and updating older gimmicks that have been a hit with kids…at least the ones I know.  Much hope was pinned that we would finally get the “whole” team, a feat never truly accomplished since they debuted over 30 years ago.  Once we saw more pics and knew we would be getting a combiner, I began to worry a little that we might see a few sacrifices on what might be our best shot ever at a truly faithful Grimlock update.  Fortunately, it appears that Grimlock is mostly sacrifice free, and a pretty good update for the new millennium.

Dino Mode
I’m not going to lie, this mode appears to be where the what I consider to be minor sacrifices are made.  From the waist up, this figure is almost identical to the G1 Grimlock figure, with some sculpting updates.  He’s actually close in size and proportion from the waist up as well.  The issue is that to get the right proportions in robot mode, his dino-pelvis™ has to be large enough to work as his robo-chest, and his combiner mode chest. With no way to pair that down, POTP Grimlock ends up being a little disproportionate from the waist down.  Is it a deal breaker?  By no means at all, as it only seems to look bad from a few specific angles, and I plan in displaying him dynamically in one of the better angles.
The only real complaint I have is a general design issue.  Split parts that support limbs, such as a pelvis or a chest, really need to have some way to secure solidly.  It is annoying to have a chest (or a car hood) that splits open with minor pressure.  As you can see in some of the gallery pics, there are times when it comes apart even with minor handling.  I place this on my list of Transformer design no-noes, just behind #2 (perma-curl fists) and #1 (shoulders that do not peg solidly into the torso).  Fortunately, it is not as bad as it could have been, and I am not super rough with my figures while posing them for shelf display, but I could see this being an issue for kids that actually play with their figures.

Transformation to Robot Mode
This is fairly simple and closely approximates the G1 transformation:

  • pop the dino head from the body and rotate it towards the back
  • separate the dino chest halves and rotate them backwards
  • pull the dino-pelvis™ halves apart and rotate them upward, then connect them again to for the chest
  • rotate the fists out from inside the forearms
  • rotate the tips of the dino tail behind the legs
  • separate the lower halves of the legs
Me Grimlock going as me Grimlock for Halloween. No one guess it me!
Robot Mode
This mode is where the figure shines the brightest.  It’s a pretty close to perfect G1 Grimlock.  He has the right look, the right proportions, and the right colors.  He also has all the range of motion I would want any figure to have, as long as you move his “wings” back far enough.  He looks amazing, and he is super fun!  This is the Grimlock 9-year-old me dreamed of having.  I love this figure!  Thank you, Hasbro/Takara!

My love for this awesome Grimlock aside, I will bring up a few minor issues, but we will end this on a positive note.  The “wings” inhibit the range of motion of the arms slightly when they are not moved fully behind the body.  This is due to two tabs on the back of the shoulders that are needed for the combiner mode.  Not a huge annoyance, but it is slightly disappointing, as it changes the classic look to have to move them back so far.  The other minor issues is one that really confuses me: ball jointed heads with little range of motion.  As far back as the 90’s, Transformers have had ball-jointed heads that could look up and down in addition to sideways.  It is one of the few things the current design team doesn’t always do well.

Aside from that, there is one major issues deal with, and that is stickers.  Hasbro, please drop the stickers like you dropped chrome.  The stickers are thin, cover up molded details, and in general are not very durable, sometimes coming “pre-peeled” in the box.  Tampographed details are nice, clean, and stand the test of time, and you have been doing some amazing things with them, like the details you added on Misfire and SlugslingerPlease make all of our figures as wonderfully detailed as they were.
I want to wrap this part by thanking Hasbro for not covering Grimlock in chrome.  While chroming the inside of the chest and dino head might have worked well, I am happy not to have to worry about flaking, and the current metallic gold and silver being used on these figures is pretty enough that I don’t feel like they need extra shiny parts to begin with.  Good job, Hasbro!

Transformation to Combiner Torso
Here is how you make Volcanicus:

  • lower the crotch plate located on the back of the figure
  • rotate the pelvis 180º
  • rotate the lower legs around at the knee 90º so that the combiner joints are facing forward
  • unpeg the robot torso from the waist and lift, rotate the torso forward to plug the front of the chest into the waist
  • pull the arms forward until you feel them click into place
  • lower the wing halves and secure them to the robot shoulder tabs
  • rotate the dino head forward and lock it into the chest
  • rotate the robot fists inward
  • rotate the forearms backwards, locking them into place with the combiner joints facing upward
  • rotate the gray panel on the neck area upward and forward, locking it into place in the back of the dino neck and revealing the combiner head

I do not have extra Dinobots so I had to make Volcanicus with other figures, or with the fan mode of using the combiner feet and hands to make him semi-complete until the rest of the team arrives.  Even so, I have to say I am fairly pleased with Volcanicus as a combiner.  His torso isn’t perfect, but it looks great in combined mode, even more so if you plug the extra hands into his sides to beef him out.  The parts stay pegged most of the time, unless you are really rough with him, so that is a huge plus.  The only downside is the setup of the legs and pelvis, which remind me of Combiner Wars Menasor.  There is a fan mode that looks better than the one from the instructions, and I think I will try it once I get the last two members of the team.  In spite of the slight awkwardness of the legs, I still think this turned out to be a good combiner.

Brute Mode
I love how versatile the feet and hands are for the combiners in this series.  One of the coolest things, in my opinion, is the ability to augment the robot and alternate mode with them.  Grimlock can get either very stompy in dino mode, or very punchy in robot mode.  It is a neat way to repurpose those parts, especially since Grimlock does not come with any other weapons.

Me Grimlock like STOMP STOMP!

Brute Mode Robot Form!
Overall Thoughts
POTP Grimlock may not be perfect, but he is pretty close.  Even the negatives noted above do not dim my affection for this figure.  The design team gave us a phenomenal G1 Grimlock in robot mode, a serviceable Grimlock in T-Rex mode, and a fairly solid combiner torso I never even knew I wanted.  This figure is full of win, a 9 out of 10, and I definitely recommend.  He is out there in the wild, depending on your nation of residence, and also showing up at many e-tailers.  Add Grimlock to your must buy list!