Transformers Review - Grimlock (Masterpiece)


Intro:

            Hello everybody, welcome to another edition of TF review, and today we will be reviewing one of the most popular characters from the G1 era – Masterpiece Grimlock. Thus far, I have managed to collect all molds used in the entire Masterpiece line. The first was of course my 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime DVD edition, whose mold is identical to that of Masterpiece Convoy (MP-1 & 4) & Masterpiece Ultra Magnus. The second was that of Hasbro’s Masterpiece Starscream, whose mold is identical to Takara-Tomy’s Masterpiece Starscream, Thundercracker & Skywarp. So when they announced that they were going to produce a Masterpiece version of Grimlock, there was never a doubt in my mind that I was gonna get him.
            Throughout the G1 years, Grimlock has been one of the most well-received characters and has been a constant present in the entire G1 continuity. When he first appeared, he was depicted as one of the strongest Transformers, whose strengths far exceed even those of Optimus Prime & Megatron. His fellow Dinobots were loyal only to him, and would go even to oblivion for their captain. His character, from a gigantic mighty warrior, was regretfully relegated to comic relief right on the aftermath of the 1986 Transformer’s movie. It was sad to see such a great character, only to function as a waiter with an apron and a bowtie. However, despite his demotion and humiliation, Grimlock would still remain as a huge fan favorite.
            When Takara-Tomy announced that Grimlock was to be release, I had put quite high hopes on him. I had anticipated it to be very big, at least to the size of Optimus or Megatron, if not bigger, as depicted in the animated series. But after I saw what they did to Starscream, I was beginning to doubt the worst.

Robot Mode:

            Just as Starscream, Grimlock comes packed in robot mode. The box is as huge as Optimus and Megatron’s. But Transformers are after all – More Than Meets the Eyes – and the box was nothing more than a deception. Grimlock was more in scale with the Classic line rather than the Masterpiece. He looked rather diminutive when compared to Prime & Megatron.
            However, size comparisons aside, the overall articulations are amazing. The head swivels on ball joints; articulated shoulders which are also on ball joints; the elbow has two points of articulation, and are able to turn around; wrist articulation; the waist turns; 2 points of hips articulation; 1 point knee articulation; and then the ankle articulation. Grimlock is also unique for the fact that his hands’ articulations are unique for both left and right. His right hand doesn’t have any articulations at all while the left only has a thumb articulation and the fingers move in and out simultaneously.
            Grimlock is again predominantly grey with more gold & black appearing. The head, hands and upper legs are black, his chest and predominantly gold and the hips are red.
            In this mode, he is perfect, and though as I’ve mentioned before he is small, he is definitely show accurate, and probably has one of the most best looking robot mode in recent history.

Alternate Mode:
 
            For a figure that cost 500 big ones, which currently reigns as the most expensive piece in my entire collection, his transformation is disappointingly simple. I would’ve thought that if it wouldn’t be as complicated and intricate as Megatron’s, at least he would’ve been at least as complicated as Starscream’s. However, that was never the case. Still, I guess it was unnecessary for them to come out with a complicated Transformation since, even the original G1 figure was already very show-accurate, and the main objective of the entire Masterpiece line was to produce show-accurate robot and alternate-modes, without considering the transformation sequence. In that respect, Grimlock achieves just that – he is very show-accurate.
            In his T-Rex mode, Grimlock only stands at a meager 9-inch tall – quite diminutive for a supposedly huge guy. In this mode, he is predominantly grey, with silver on arm, teeth and tail; and gold on his toes and lower belly.
            Articulations are amazing, with points on the jaws, shoulders (which are on ball joints), elbow, individual finger movements, hips, lower waist, tip of tail, 2 points knee articulation, twisting feet joint just above the knees, and individual movements for all of his 3 toes on each of his feet.
           
Gimmicks:

            There are a few interesting gimmicks available in both modes, and we shall begin with the T-Rex mode.
            It this mode, its lower jaw has 2-level opening. 1st level opening doesn’t reveal anything, but 2nd reveals a small nozzle which in his numerous TV appearances, shoots fire. Also, in whichever opening of the mouth, there is a button on the left side of the face, which when you push it, will immediately snaps the jaws shut.
           The tails can wag, and when you do so, in will cause Grimlock’s head to shake his left to right and vice versa. Grimlock also has 2 sets of eyes – blue or red, depending which you prefer, whether you want them to be show-accurate or original figure-accurate. 
            In this mode as well, you have a few accessories attachment at your disposal. First are the apron, bowtie & tray set. Obviously for it’s quite silly for me, as it is a testament of how low the character have fallen, and a later stage of his character development, although some other fans may argue this. Second is the intelligence transfer helmet, which Grimlock used to transfer his intelligence to his newly created Computron.
            In robot mode, similar to his T-Rex mode, Grimlock too has 2 sets of eyes – blue & red. The right hand has a concealed LED gimmick. When you insert in his double-barrel blaster or his flame sword into the hand slot, at a press of a button at the back of his right shoulder would activate the LED in his hand, and thus light up the weapons internally up to the their tips. Very unique, and to me, this is the first time I’ve seen a gimmick was designed as such. 
High points for that. 

Overall:

            Grimlock is really up to your preferences. As far as I know, Masterpiece Grimlock is one of the most highly sought after action figure in Malaysia, and he is very difficult to come by. And I have been lucky enough to manage to persuade my supplier to hand in their last stock to me. But Grimlock really doesn’t come cheap – which is the major let-down of this figure. At RM500, he is the most overpriced Transformers figure to date, and the designs definitely don’t justify that price tag. He is way smaller than his cheaper cousins MP-1 Optimus & MP-5 Megatron; plus with absolutely no die-cast part; not-so-spectacular gimmicks and accessories definitely cannot justify the high price tag. Honestly speaking, at most this figure should fall at a price-bracket of RM250 or so, and even that is seemed pushing the border.
            The figure itself though is great, but not brilliant – good articulations and very show-accurate designs are major plus points here. Kids would probably enjoy the figure along with the accessories, if their parents could afford such expensive toy (geez, I hate using that term for Transformers).
            Overall, all things considered, I do recommend it to professional collectors such as myself, if you have the cash to spare. Parents may need to avoid buying it for their children as this guy is a bit too expensive to risk being destroyed. For those collectors who would look for figures to buy, and to sell after certain amounts of years, Grimlock may be able to fetch quite a hefty sum in the future… So, buying Grimlock is really up to your own professional discretion. And that is all I’m gonna say about that.

Overall, I give Grimlock 8/10. 

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