Sunday, August 25, 2013

FOC Voyager Grimlock Review

For the next couple of weeks, I will sort of go with a dinosaur theme with my figure reviews, starting with Grimlock. Fall Of Cybertron Grimlock was released in 2012, and has been a figure I anticipated amongst other Voyager class toys from the FOC Line. However, as far as classic toys goes, this particular version really tests how much a fan truly loves Grimlock.

Grimlock's dino mode actually has some great aesthetic appeal. His traditional G1 colors are somewhat reused for this one, but has changed significantly in appearance for the Fall Of Cybertron video game. After comparing the figure with the video game screenshots, there is an immediate resemblance by an estimated 75%, while the staggering contrast is made up of disproportionate body structure amongst other things. The new design of Gimlock sports a variety of armored components on the body such as, what seems to be, red carbon fiber mixed a type of metal; integrated with some gears and industrial insulation. The most favored detail, of all places, is the molded insulation running through Grimlock's segmented tail because the gold color brings to mind, symmetrical engravings seen in a Pharaoh's apparel or jewelry. 

Grimlock has a cool gimmick to complement his dino mode, which is the switch located behind his head that lights up his eyes and mouth red, when that switch is pushed down.

However, what makes this alternate mode suffers is, first of all, the proportions of this toy; the most obvious is Grimlock's short but fat tail. Unfortunately, the length of Grimlock's tail had to be sacrificed to make his robot mode transformation possible. In addition to Hasbro's staggering shortcuts, is Grimlock's bulky chest and abdomen that had to be eliminated, leaving a huge gap underneath, so that his head and neck can tuck into the cavity in robot mode. The second problem with the dino mode is that there really isn't that much articulation to fiddle with. The arms are on a ball joint, and can basically move in almost any direction wanted, but the legs can only bend at the knees. There is absolutely no pivoting movement of those legs at the hip and that hinders any poses of walking forward. Keep in mind that all the drawbacks mentioned here are absolutely necessary to make the toy work at it's best, while maintaining a standard of video game (appearance) accuracy, but those decisions overwhelmingly took back a lot of fun consumers could potentially have when playing with Grimlock in dino mode.

Grimlock seems to heavily make up for whatever void was left from the alternate mode. Just like his dino mode, Grimlock's robot mode preserves some of his G1 colors; the head has a striking resemblance as well. The only kibble on this robot is the (dino) head and neck backpack sticking into Grimlock's back cavity, the toes around the wrists (if that counts), and the tail seen inside the calf. The most favored feature in this mode, is the red light piping inside Grimlock's eyes. They sure do look epic when glowing under a light.

Also, flipping the switch in Grimlock's back will make his chest light up red. Fans looking for accuracy, just may be pleased with the overall bulk of this toy. Grimlock has big, broad shoulders and chest; large forearms and calves; and a slim waist and thighs.

Grimlock is rigged with all sorts of ratcheting and tight joints in all limbs, which is appreciated due to the robot's top heavy weight. However, sometimes bending the knees can be a little cumbersome because the calves tend to detach once in a while. Another design issue is Grimlock's arms having a tendency to flop around at the shoulder due to his transformation.

Included in this set is Grimlock's very own pair of a sword and shield, which were used in the Fall Of Cybertron video. Both accessories are made with translucent red and dark grey plastic. Grimlock's sword can peg into any hand, while the shield pegs into both holes in the forearms.

Although Grimlock seems lackluster when in dino mode, he makes a great display in his robot mode. This toy is a decent upgrade, and I think other collectors just might have a blast with what Grimlock has to offer. If you can get past the gaps, I do recommend FOC Voyager Grimlock.

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