I never really cared for or liked Grimlock’s character much (fanboys jump me now). The Dinobots in general just never really appealed to me; I’ve always preferred the vehicular Autobot cast. That being said, I never really had any intention of picking up a Masterpiece Grimlock, even if I was going for a mold-completion collection. However, by some crazy stroke of luck, he actually came packaged in a bundle deal with another Masterpiece I was eagerly hunting down – MP-10 Optimus Prime.
The bundle I snagged on eBay included out-of-box versions of MP-10 Optimus (U.S. Version), iGear Hench, ToyWorld Bii, Generations Warpath, and this big guy here. While I sold off the three non-Masterpieces in the bundle after taking ‘shoots for them each, I decided to hold onto Grimlock since it was one of those why-not-I-have-it-anyway things.
Starting with the fairly unorthodox mecha T-Rex mode. As I’ve kind of alluded to above, beast modes aren’t really my thing. Grimlock really does look like a very toy-ish dinosaur, and I suppose that’s what they were going for here.
The dino mode is fairly fun to play around with – Grimlock sports all the little gimmicks you’d expect in a toy T-Rex. The jaw opens, the arms flail, and the legs have a fairly good degree of motion, in addition to being thick enough to support its weight most of the time.
One of his cheeks can also be pressed to snap the jaw shut, though I imagine this feature was much more exciting on the Japanese release. I’m pretty sure American toy standards nerfed the spring, making for a very soft, slow, and anticlimatic jaw snap in this version of the figure.
The arms are actually very free-moving, and each of the three claws on the hands are chromed and articulated. I have to admit the shiny bling for these parts and stuff like the teeth do add a nice touch to the figure overall.
Speaking of, the tail is actually very neat in how it comes from the robot mode transformation and retains a good amount of convincing articulation. I like how only the giant middle stub is silver while the tip and everything else is gray.
An interesting gimmick that’s hard to show lest I do video is the head-to-tail swing action. By turning Grimlock’s entire rear half, the head will spin side to side, hence why the neck tends to look a bit lopsided. It’s a neat gimmick to be sure, but not really up my alley.
Color changing eyes are also a pretty big thing with this figure. I’ll get to the biped mode’s feature in a moment, but for now the dino mode has the entire cranium flip up and open to reveal a spinning contraption that allows you to swap between blue or red eyed Grimlock.
I prefer the blue out of no other reason than aesthetics; I never owned Grimlock’s original G1 toy and never really liked his character enough in the cartoon to be partial to which version I’d want to pay homage to.
Grimlock’s biped form, which he seems to prefer much less than his T-Rex form.
To be honest…I actually cared so little for this figure when I got it in the bundle I mentioned above that I only transformed it once…and even then it was only from the packaged T-Rex form to robot mode so I could have him properly displayed with the rest of my Masterpieces. I actually had to struggle and spent a good few minutes in the middle of this photoshoot trying to figure out how to transform it again. It was only moderately embarrassing as a Transformer fan.
I actually really like Grimlock’s biped form – much more than his T-Rex mode. There is a substantial amount of dinosaur kibble on his back, but even that’s relatively well-hidden, especially when viewed from the front.
I should take a moment to mention now that this is indeed the 2014 Toys R Us reissue of Masterpiece Grimlock. I actually had a bit of a tough time figuring this out, since the seller I bought this figure from on eBay didn’t include packaging or instructions, or any indication of which version this was. It took some serious scrutinizing of online comparisons between all the different Masterpiece Grimlock variations to finally figure out that the green tint on the clear plastic of my figure meant it was the newest release.
Grimlock comes with a clear-bladed, chromed-red sword for kicking Decepticon butt.
I’m really liking how free-moving Grimlock is, thanks in no small part to his massive ball-jointed shoulders and multi-jointed legs, but he can also feel pretty flimsy at times. His legs are actually pretty weak thanks to a distinct lack of die-cast parts in them, while the upper body pretty much sports all the metal that makes for a bit of imbalance when posing.
And Grimlock’s neat double-barreled blaster.
I should also point out now that those big golden dino toes on his forearms are all die-cast metal…and they have no way of folding anywhere, so they’re pretty much giant wrist guards.
A very interesting gimmick that I haven’t seen since Armada Super Optimus Prime is the use of an LED in the palm to light the accessories. There’s a button on the back of Grimlock’s shoulder that needs constant pressure to activate, and thanks to this feature the right hand is pretty much stuck as a peg-holder hand.
The left hand is a standard Masterpiece jointed manipulator, though because the weapon handles are all perfectly round pegs to accommodate for the right hand, the left can’t exactly hold the handles securely. To counter this, a small peg is featured on each weapon near the handle, which slots into that tiny pinhole shown above on the left hand. Kinda cheating, but it gets the job done.
And of course, I mentioned above that color-changing eyes are a big thing with this figure. There’s a switch behind Grimlock’s head that allows you to swap between a very shiny metallic red or metallic blue visor.
The fact that the Autobot logo on the chest doesn’t pop all the way up into the slot in the chest also really bugs me. I feel like it should actually slot into that opening in the chest, but nope it just lingers right behind it, eternally unbound. I’m 90% sure I transformed it right too, and it’s kind of just like this.
The crown kind of just sits on the top of the head…it doesn’t actually peg in or secure itself to anything, so it can fall off pretty easily if mishandled.
At first, I honestly wasn’t sure if Grimlock was in scale with the newer Masterpieces or not. If he wasn’t, I had no intention of keeping him, hence why I sold off my MP-01. I only wanted to collect the newer Masterpieces, since they were all officially in scale of each other.
This sizing between the two wasn’t too bad. I could buy it at first, so I kept Grimlock. Technically, Grimlock should be bigger than Prime, but they’re almost the same height so I let it slide.
But then I recieved the brand-spankin’-new MP-22 Ultra Magnus Perfect Edition, and I knew something was terribly wrong with keeping Grimlock in this line-up.
Being as tall as Prime is one thing, but being completely dwarfed by Magnus is another. I was running out of room in my Masterpiece shelf anyways with Magnus on board, and this pretty much confirms that Grimlock really isn’t in scale with the newer line-up, so I finally had an excuse to sell him off. Call me a picky collector, but I feel little remorse when I never really liked this figure much anyway and only had him as a product of a bundle.
All things considered, Grimlock’s really not a bad figure. I think he’s worthy of the Masterpiece title, even if I was never fond of his character. This particular figure is very gimmicky, and while that personally isn’t my thing, it probably appeals to others. Both the biped and dino mode are solid, even with the occasional flimsiness of the robot form. There’s a rather ludicrous amount of variations for this figure though, so I’d choose carefully when scoping out the options.
. . .
AT DAWN WE RIDE…!!!