Grimlock - Transformers 4 Age of Extinction - Generations Leader Figure

Height: 22cm head height, overall 24cm tall.

Articulation: 25 total points - swivel neck; 6 points each arm: double-jointed shoulder, upper arm swivel, hinge elbow, double-jointed wrist; 6 points each leg: Universal joint hip, thigh swivel, hinge knee, double-jointed ankle.

Colors: Molded bronze, dark brown and silver (torso parts). Painted bronze, dark brown, and light blue (optics). Vacuum-metalized parts in silver and bronze.

Accessories: Dragontooth Mace, Shield.

Release Data: Release date of May 12th 2014 to online retailers and May 17th to brick-and-mortar retailers, at a suggested retail price of US$44.99.

Author: RAC

He has battled countless enemies across the universe, never concerning himself with trophies, only victories. He has proven difficult to capture and nearly impossible to defeat. When an enemy does manage to get the best of him, it's never for long. Uncaged and unleashed, Grimlock is concerned with only one thing: vengeance against those who would try to control him.

Let me guess: somehow, he's lain dormant on Earth for eons without anyone noticing.

Grimlock is pretty much this movie's MacGuffin, going by what little we've heard so far. He's going to be what the Autobots have to find in order to tip the scales in their favor. So: like Revenge of the Fallen but hopefully good. This is the larger of two Generations Grimlock figures available; ExVee reviewed the Voyager figure here!

Robot Mode

Grimlock is tall and mean-looking. He's broad-shouldered and narrow-waisted to a Masters of the Universe degree, but his legs are far, far too long to land him on a Mattel card with a name ending in "or." He continues almost all the motifs set forth on Slug: pointy boots, knightly helmet, everything else is ribbed and plated. His face is painted in a very dark gray, almost black, so it's hard to get a good read on him. But the helmet is smooth and not overdetailed in the way that movie figures up to now have tended towards, which is a pleasant change. All of the dinosaur parts on the upper body in this mode are consistent across the Voyager figure, so it's tough to say if, for example, the dino feet on his forearms formally count as "Kibble" or if they're supposed to be there. With the halves of the dino-head, it's too important to his silhouette for that not to be part of the movie design. The forearms curve oddly since they fold in the opposite direction to become T-Rex legs. Otherwise his body's pretty humanoid and thus aesthetically comfortable to those who've been following this giant-robot thing most of their lives. The overlapping plates on the chest armor and flared skirt remind me of The Big-O, when you get right down to it.

And of course: boy, is his chest shiny. Chrome remains the order of the day, particularly for Leader Class figures and other high-end toys, and Grimlock's torso is a sheet of solid silver. What makes this rather disappointing are the oversprays on the chrome shield that match the bronze color of the rest of his body nicely. I understand that some flat silver is needed for the dino head, but I'd have preferred a silver shield and a bronze torso. The other bronze parts are a bit mismatched as well, with the painted parts like the helmet largely being attractively bright and the molded parts being duller, with that swirly metallic finish that I still kind of associate with the discount-store toys of my childhood. The inner calves are also plain chrome, which I'm just not a fan of in this kind of application. It reminds me of the earlier Henkei figures, where you were lucky to get one without arbitrary and detrimental chrome placement. The package photo shows no chrome so I'm thinking it came to the process later and wasn't originally planned for; hopefully future Leader figures with vac-metal will have it planned out from the get-go and include it in more practical ways. On the upside, though, the lower torso has silver chrome and the darkish gray color on the same part, which in days gone by would have been just about impossible.

Articulation is worlds better than Leader Optimus Prime on the whole; helps not to have to work around that big a backpack! What is sadly not better is the head which only swivels. Grimlock has his head tilted downward at a nice surly angle, which means that at many positions he'll be staring at his armor. Shoulders swivel okay once you maneuver the shoulder armor out of the way. The arms do swing out to the side, but there's a catch. No, literally, there's a spot where the arms catch so that they stay straight for dino-leg mode, and popping the arm past that is necessary to swing it outwards. It works, but a nice ratchet like the shoulder swivel would've been nice, especially since the hinge isn't particularly strong once unlocked. Definitely not strong enough to really hold the mace high. The elbows ratchet and are pleasantly smooth and strong, holding any pose you like. There's an upper arm swivel, and more importantly, Grimlock has wrists. Not just any wrists, but the wrists I wish Optimus Prime had, with both a swivel and a hinge. He has a slightly easier time of holding his weapon two-handed, but in this case the broadness of his chest is actually what's working against him for dynamic two-handed posing.

Due to transformation requirements there's no waist. The hips however are minimally restricted- the shape of the skirt armor is in fact designed to accomodate the pegs on Grimlock's sides so they don't block the hips' movement, and that's impressive. The legs can move forward about 90 degrees and can assume a full split easily. The thigh swivels are perfect, swiveling a full 360 degrees. The knees are hinged ratchets with an impressive range, though the proportions of the legs prevent actual kneeling. (You can approximate with the flat toe of his boot and a lot of patience, though.) Grimlock can squat really effectively as well. The knee ratchets are the weakest ratcheting joints on the figure- not weak enough to pose problems at this time, but significantly less firm than everything else. There's an interesting choice in the ankles in that they're angled. Between that and the ankle swivel, you can get a decent number of stances out of Grimlock even if it's more fiddly than a simple ball-joint would be.


Horrible and terrifying. The instructions, like Optimus Prime's, only go from the mode he's not in to the mode he's currently in. Good luck working backwards and sussing out what you're supposed to do with certain parts like his feet! Here's an important hint: they actually have three axes of movement, and in the final transition to Dino Mode they need to be folded inward and pointing downward. The lower legs fold inside out to become the T-Rex neck, which is actually kind of neat. The part that's genuinely unsettling is unlocking the shoulders from the torso and locking them in slightly lower. Just getting them loose the first time required enough force on a chrome part that I was absolutely sure I was going to destroy the figure. I must have triple-checked the instructions to be sure it worked that way. It's gotten a little easier after the first time, but not much. It looks like the figure was assembled before the painted half of the connection had fully dried, as there's paint residue on the chrome tab. But can I just reiterated how much a chrome tab feels like a bad idea?

Dino Mode

It's a skeletal looking T-Rex that, with all the chrome, can't help but remind me of Dinozaurs. There's some hints of feathers, accounting for more current scientific conjecture on what Tyrannosaurs actually looked like. They were probably less pointy than this, though. But there's some really nice sculpted detail throughout, and except for the robot feet (which look like they don't belong at all) there's barely any sign of the robot mode. The amount of each mode that's hidden in the other is really impressive, I'll admit. Aesthetically Grimlock's not bad, with just a few areas of color mismatch due to matching paint to plastic and or paint and plastic to chrome. Also a seam running down the center of the head that doesn't quite fully close.

Proportionally Grimlock's a little funky, with a longer body and smaller arms and head compared to your average T-Rex skeleton. When you get down to it, the Voyager has a better Dino Mode. But what Grimlock does have going for him is a better integration of his weaponry into his tail. It's all internal, and you can't really tell it's going to be a mace in this mode. I'm a little concerned about how the tail attaches to the underside of the backplate/shield- square pegs in round chrome sockets. It either fits super-tight, which is good but worrisome, or it fits loosely, which is bad and irritating. Maybe I'm just thinking too old-school with this chrome and it's hardier than I think it is, but time will tell.

Articulation is understandably limited, though the neck especially could use some more. Sadly he lacks the neck hinge almost every Grimlock figure up to now has had. Moving the neck out of its default position makes it look entirely wrong, so he's pretty much got one default pose he's good for. Luckily (?) that one pose is the one that the legs will do when faced with the realities of balancing his overlong torso (which the tail just barely provides a counterbalance for). The correct leg position does obscure the robot feet, which is nice. You can fudge it a bit, and sit him upright Retro-Rex style by using his tail to make him into a tripod, but otherwise his arms and his jaw are it in terms of functional articulation. Oh, and the arms are swivels only at both shoulder and elbow, and the forearms like to pop off.


The Dragontooth Mace is made out of Grimlock's tail. It does have the disadvantage of the head looking entirely like two halves of a robot dinosaur tail turned inside out, and also the disadvantage of only being painted bronze on one side. Grimlock has no trouble holding it though, and I think on the whole it works better than the Voyager equivalent seems to. The shield looks neat and fits the arm okay(for now), but is worrisome due to its design. The peg that holds it onto the socket on the underside of the dino-foot on Grimlock's forearm is a thin chrome tab. The Hasbro design team has said that the chrome process has gotten better, but the brittleness of chrome plastic has me extremely worried about the longterm prospects of this shield. It's again a part that makes me think chrome was not the original plan, because the tab is difficult to get into the socket all the way and the slickness of the chrome makes it not want to stay.

Closing Remarks

I like Grimlock's robot mode, though for my money you could have either painted the chrome bronze as with the shield or just not bothered. The chrome works better in Dino Mode, but Dino Mode doesn't work all that well in and of itself. The chrome seems to be included in so as to make the figure stand out on the shelf to the detriment of the loose figure's overall look - and function. There's a number of transformation connections on Grimlock that are scary tight fits, and when you consider that the first photos (and indeed the package photo) didn't have any chrome, that would indicate that it wasn't designed for vac-metal parts. I sure hope they can take the stress longterm.

Leader Class Grimlock Could Have Been Better and thus that is his rating on the Non-Numeric Rating Scale. The T-Rex proportions and the fact that they render the dinosaur mode static would've been the same either way, but a lot of the problems with the toy come down to chrome. With Leader Optimus Prime the chrome was positioned in such a way that it didn't interfere with anything, but here there are a lot of moving parts that peg into chrome, and even some chrome-on-chrome connections that don't feel great. I do like a well-placed use of chrome- the Target exclusive Fall of Cybertron Grimlock for one, Platinum Edition Evasion Mode Optimus Prime for another -but this is chrome for chrome's sake, and it hurts the figure.

DateMay 20th 2014  
Score 5 stars (5 out of 10)  

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