Thursday, 14 July 2011

Wooo! Dinobots! 5 of Them!!

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Oh, hang on, they aren’t the G1 Dinobots lead by Grimlock.  Oooooh, so these are the Dinobots released under the Power Core Combiner line?  The leader isn’t Grimlock, it’s Grimstone.  Aaah, ok.  That’s not so exciting then.

I will admit right now that I dislike the Power Core Combiner Transformers.  I bought Smo(u)lder with the incredibly cleverly named Chopster and I was most disappointed with it.  The teams also look just as bad.  Except for these Dinobots.  So I thought I would try them out….


So the idea of these is something like this, the main Transformer (in this case Grimstone) is a proper Transformer, being able to change into robot mode and another mode.  The others in this set are drone vehicles/dinosaurs that are controlled by the main robot.  There are 2 packs available where the main robot comes with a mini-con weapon guy.  My friends, (well one in particular) have been trying to convince me that these are the Masterforce (Target/Head/Power Masters) of the day.  However I don’t believe that they are that well done.  The weapons look messy and generally the main body robot looks a bit crap.

The main body robot is meant to be able to connect to any drone set, much like the Aerialbots, Stunticons, Protectobots etc as they all have the same connector pins.  Sadly these pins are hi-lighted by a horrible blue plastic, which has so far managed to stick out on  every single figure of the line.

The Dinobot team consists of 5 dinosaurs, a Triceratops, a Parasaurolophus, a Spinosaurus, and Anklyosaurus and oh, another Parasaurolphus.  Well, as a male, I was quite up with my dinosaur knowledge and I think that most of these dinosaur classifications are off.  Grimstone doesn’t look like a Stegosaurus, The two Parasaurolophus look different, I am pretty certain that the Spinosaurus isn’t one, but I think the Anklyosaurus is pretty accurate. Hmm 1/5. Pretty poor.

One of the Parasaurolophus is correct, the other is a Pachycephalosaurus, Grimstone is a Styracosaurus and the Spinosaurus is waaaay off, as it looks like a Dimetrodon.  Ee gads, my spell checker is having a fit!!

Starting with the drones.

The Parasaurolphus
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A swamp dwelling herbivore apparently.  This guy comes with a couple of nice shoulder mounted blasters and a big red thing in its chest.  That is where the connector parts connect.  It is quite nicely sculpted and has some mini-con connector ports on the side of the guns.

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It has articulated arms and that is it.  When connected to Grimstone, it converts automatically into ‘arm mode.’  You can make it do funky dance steps.

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It has good paint, as does the rest of this team and a nice combination of a metallic-reminiscent grey and the silver paint is pretty good too without metallic flecks.

Next is the Pachycephalosaurus.

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A cross between a kangaroo and a ram.  No articulation at all on this guy except what is needed for transformation.  He does have a sort of ‘ram gimmick’ thing I discovered, due to the fact you have to prepare him a little bit for combination.

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SPRING!

(Yeh, I know, it’s a bit lame….)
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Again, nice sculpting.  This one also has a couple of shoulder mounted blasters, althought they aren’t as big.  His arms can be pulled down to form a HUUUGE eer,  *ahem* with creepy little arms.  Good combination of metal inspired colours including gold for that G1 Dinobot authentic-ness.  He has a mini-con port on his back.

His arms are very loosely connected to the body, so they pop off all the time, easy enough to put back on again, but it is a tad annoying to have to stick them back on, and one day they might fall off without me noticing and disappear.

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Dimetrodon.

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I really like the colours on this guy, silver, gold and metal.  Woo. Old skool!  He has a mini-con port on the end of his tail and an articulated jaw.  Nice face sculpt and clear blue eyes.  No leg movement, but it looks like he has a row of blasters in front of his front legs.

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Reminds a bit of G1 Snarl with his golden fan on the back, for gathering solar power no doubt!  How environmentally friendly.

Final drone, the Ankylosaurus.  Personally, I always liked this type of dinosaur.

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Again, good sculpting with nice details and weapons.  A cool clubbed tail and a nicely armoured head which can look up.  That is his only point of articulation for dino mode and it stems from his combined mode.

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I like the angle of his guns.  It looks like they are some sort of mortar weapon, which is cool, especially since his back has the large shell so you could imagine a heap of ammunition hidden in there.


Now for Grimstone, the Styracosaurus.  I will say though that it does look close to a Triceratops, but there are large give-aways that it isn’t.  The first being that it doesn’t have 3 large horns off his head.  The second, the neck frill folds back over the neck and not forwards and finally he has large spikes/horns coming off the frill, whereas the Triceratops only had small ones.
Grimstone has always dreamed of power and the privilege it brings.  Despite his hunger for power, however, he has always  considered the needs of others before himself.  He believes it is the responsibility of the powerful to protect those less fortunate – A belief he intends to aggressively enforce now that he has his own Power Core Team.
  • Strength       -9
  • Intelligence   -6
  • Speed          -3
  • Endurance    -10
  • Rank            -8
  • Courage        -9
  • Fireblast       -5
  • Skill             -5
 
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Those blue bits are where the others combine.  Man they are too obvious.  I like Grimstone in Dino mode.  he looks tough and very much like a Dinobot.  On the front he has a couple of small blasters, one on his tail where his mini-con port is and a great combination of red, gold, grey and silver.

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The back looks well armoured and in general the whole dinosaur mode works wonderfully!

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The underside doesn’t show too much kibble, except for those damn blue ports, and the legs have a fair bit of articulation on them.

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Transformation is simple and the robot mode looks like this.

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Good articulation on the figure that is inhibited quite a bit by the dino-kibble.  The cool neck frill that now forms a cool shawl (two words you will rarely hear together) combined with the way the front dino-legs hang off his back make it practically impossible for him to move his arms at the shoulders, which is a shame as his elbows have great joints on them.  As do his knees and his heel spurs do the trick well, but I can see them coming loose in the future.

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He is a stocky chap and if you wanted to take him down easily, I would suggest an attack from the sides.

Oh note to self, the rule of thirds doesn’t always need to be followed.











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The face is pretty well done for such a small figure.  It looks brutish and animal like.  the above picture shows the full range of arm movement.  Not much hey?  The cool frill mounted guns are the main culprits here.

Aside from that though, the legs and tail seem to fold up quite neatly on his back.



Brimstone stands about as tall as a Revenge scout class figure.  I do like that you can whip out the big head for the little mode.
 IMG_7099With scout class Firetrap.


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Grimstone in Popemode ™


Brimstone needs to be slightly transformed for combining.  He ends up looking like this.


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“What do you call a PCC Commander without any arms or legs?”
“Anything you want, what’s he gonna do?”

“Oh, combine or transform and kick your arse?”

“Oh.  OK.   That’s not very funny anymore…”









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I do like the way the neck frill looks a bit like a skull with no jaw, you can almost see eye sockets there.    The back may be a bit kibble filled, but it isn’t too bad I think.  Really, this guy may look pretty junky like this, but compared to other groups, he looks pretty good overall.

I really like the way the combiner face is hidden under the dino-head.  The forehead of the dino just lifts up and forwards a bit.  It’s clean, well hidden in the non-combined mode and looks pretty cool.  Better than many of the other PCC heads as well.

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The way they combine allows him a lot of movement, as he keeps most of his joints free.  Quite surprising for a combiner figure.

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Sadly though, these PCCs don’t have any hands, but hey, you can still rock and roll with claws and strange grabby things can't you?  I have found that already some of the blue joints are really loose on my figure, meaning that the combined mode has gone somewhat rag-doll like.  Not good for a combined figure really.

One thing that really irritates me though is when trying to combine the dinos together, all of them except for the Dimetrodon are really annoying to plug in, mainly due to you needing to apply pressure to them, but when they plug in, the automorph function kicks in and where you hold them instinctively needs to move.  Trying to find the precious sweet spot to hold them, that will stand the force needed to get them on the joint without breaking them is frustrating, especially when you are almost there and then the loose joint move.  AAARRRRRGH!  So you try again, almost there, oh hang on the legs want to spring out a little.  Oh.  Where do I hold it now?  This is by far their biggest failure, where you would naturally hold them, you can’t, so you spend a lot of time messing about trying to find the right spot.


So to round this off, I would have to say that although I was not disappointed by them, they are not awesome figures.  They are definitely average toys and by no means have managed to change my feelings towards the Power Core Combiner figures at all.  Actually I would have to say they have just proven my doubts about the series. 

Considering how I think the Dinobots are the best looking of the lot and are only average toys at best, I am quite happy to go through life without getting anymore.  In fact, I could have probably skipped the Dinobots as well and not felt sad.  But I have them now and I will say this, in dinosaur modes and grouped together, they do look pretty bad ass!  Which is how I suspect they will stay. 

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*They are a MASSIVE improvement on the Energon combining Swoop and Grimlock though*

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