Friday, July 11, 2014

Transformers G1 Snarl Review

I recently saw the new Transformers movie (AOE) with a couple of my friends, and am still going through my Dinobot phase. This time I'm reviewing a classic Dinobot toy from the 1980's. Without any further ado, here is Transformers G1 Snarl!

Dino Mode

Snarl’s dino mode is a stubby (short in length) stegosaurus. He is actually a retool of Takara’s Diaclone Stegobot toy. The original figure (Stegobot) has the backend painted black with a black transparent window/door for a mini Diaclone driver figure. The G1 adaptation, however, has the backend painted red to match his Dinobot comrades, while doing away with the Diaclone driver figure altogether. All that remain is the driver’s window.

Due to the amount of die cast used on this toy, Snarl is quite heavy. He is mostly comprised of grey molded plastic, red painted die cast, gold and silver chromed panels/limbs, and transparent armor that show some inner wiring. There are also stickers along the sides of Snarl’s body that replicate hydraulics and other mechanical elements. The set of stickers above those hind legs look rather like buttons of a command board. One minor issue is the clipped sprue marks seen on the chromed parts like the feet, shoulders, and neck.

The proportions may not look accurate to an actual Stegosaurus, but the appeal certainly comes from the retro robo designs that reminisce the 1980’s. The dinosaur has a simple flat surface shaped armor with curves kept at a minimum.

Snarl has some articulation. All four legs are rigged with ratchet joints and can rotate at various ranges, but not 360 degrees. The front set of legs also has hinges that allows them to bend.

Robot Mode

For a toy this old, Snarl looks really cool. His head is properly aligned with his shoulders, an issue that G1 Grimlock has had. The chest, arms, and legs are really bulky, but those proportions actually, in most cases, seem to emphasize the massive weight and strength Snarl possesses. One minor gripe though, would be how big Snarl’s feet look from the side view. The detailing in Snarl’s head sculpt expresses a lot of character, through those red coated eyes and smile enhanced with silver paint apps.

In terms of paint job, Snarl has a great balance in color. The amount of grey, that makes up for most of this robot, isn’t overwhelming, and the use of red, black, and gold chromed pieces accomplish an effective compromise.

Over time, these tight joints can get worn out, depending on how the figure was handled. In this case, the ratchet joints in the arms are fine, but the waist, hips, and shoulder joints are loose, leaving Snarl with a slight bobbling issue. Even the stego arm kibble on Snarl’s right arm cannot keep itself folded, and instead dangles from the elbow.

The robot in this review seems too bare, but be assured these toys did come with a sticker sheet that will cover them with as many extra printed designs as one pleases.


Snarl comes with his very own energon sword, electron cannon, and a spring loaded rocket pod with three missiles. The missiles do lock in the rocket pod, but the spring just doesn’t build up enough potential energy to really propel those projectiles. These problems could be limited to just this toy. The rocket pod can peg in either side of Snarl’s hind legs.


Figure Specs

Size Comparison


Anyone, who feels nostalgic or really appreciates the toy's vintage style, cannot go wrong with this figure. The bulky proportions and use of die cast is something to be admired, for their sense of resiliency. The proportions are fine for what they are, and the color choices are very suitable. However, what kind of condition does one prefers their Snarl to be? You may choose a Snarl that is still in tact, but has some wear to them, like this figure, or spend more money on one that is near mint or mint condition with minimum wear and stiff joints. The choice is yours.

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