A while back I purchased a couple of Dinobot figures from the latest Transformers movie line, “Age of Extinction”. I do not care for the live-action Transformers movies, nor do I care for the look of the Transformers in those movies. Hasbro has released hundreds of movie based Transformers toys since 2007 and prior to my recent Dinobot purchases I had only ever bought one of them (Shockwave). I full-on hated Transformers 2 and 3 and when I heard Michael Bay was returning for a fourth I vowed that he wouldn’t get my money this time. I refused to shell out another $13 to be miserable for 3 hours. But then news came that Mr. Bay wanted to integrate the Dinobots into his new installment. I’ll admit that my resolve wavered slightly at the thought of seeing Grimlock, Slag, Snarl, Sludge, and Swoop on the big screen but I quickly came to my senses. I knew in my heart and soul that Bay would f**k up this movie just as badly as he had the last few, if not more so. I again vowed that I would not pay to see this movie, no matter how many transforming dinosaurs he put in it.
When the first trailer hit I was confident that I had made the right choice. Grimlock didn’t look like Grimlock, Optimus Prime was riding him, Hound was fat and had a beard, and a new ditzy airhead had been hired to replace the previous ditzy airheads. No thanks. But then I went to Toys R us and saw the new figures. There were some brightly colored, neat-looking, new characters and I was intrigued. There had never been a Spinosaurus Dinobot before and so Scorn was the one that I gravitated towards first. I liked what I saw and ended up buying both him and Slug (the new version of Slag who was my favorite Dinobot when I was a kid). I wrote a positive review of Scorn and in it I even stated that the figure was so good that it made me tempted to see the movie which was due out a couple of weeks later.
But then the movie came out and the negative reviews hit the internet. By the sounds of things it was another bloated mess with no respect for the source material and so I put my foot down and did not go. To this day I have not seen it. I might try to watch it once it hits netflix, at least then I can take breaks from it when I start to get bored.
Even though I liked my 2 Dinobot figures I had no interest in the other 2 that were available, Grimlock and Strafe. I did not expect to buy any more movie-based figures but I was in Toys R us this past weekend and saw this guy, Slash. This is another new character created for the movie. He transforms into a Velociraptor which is another first for a Generation 1 Transformer. He was in his dino mode in the package and he looked really cool. The thing I liked most about him was that he actually had feathers. Ever since dinosaurs having feathers became an accepted theory I’ve wanted a toy of a feathered dinosaur. I loved playing with rubber dinosaurs when I was a kid and I would totally buy a whole series of them if they made new ones with feathers. Slash here is the first feathered dinosaur toy I’ve seen. So while he may not be the most traditional dinosaur figure ever I simply couldn’t pass him up.
His dinosaur mode is great. It’s well articulated and has lots of nice details like fins , claws, and scales. I love the vibrant blue, green and yellow color scheme. He looks great when displayed next to Scorn and Slug who were both quite flamboyantly colored as well. The translucent red eyes and uneven teeth really make him look menacing.
Unfortunately, all that cool doesn’t translate into his robot mode. When I first transformed him I was appalled at how crappy he was. The other 2 figures set the bar fairly high and this guy looked like a total wanker. He looks especially horrible from the back. He suffers from the same issue as Tailgate, Shrapnel, and a lot of other modern Transformers in that the designers don’t seem to give a crap what the robot looks like from behind. Just mash everything back there and hope no one looks.
However, my opinion of robot Slash has softened in the time it has taken me to write this review. I’m staring at him as I write this and he’s really not so bad I suppose. One thing I do really hate though are the feathers on his upper legs. I wish these had been tucked around back like everything else. They just kind of sit there like he’s wearing an upside down grass skirt. It’s just weird looking.
The head is pretty cool and maintains the medieval knight look of the others. There are a lot of shared design elements amongst the 3 figures which adds to their appeal. The old Dinobots were all the same colors so you knew they were a team but these guys manage to still look like a cohesive unit even though their colors are drastically different from one another.
This figure is by no means perfect but I’d say he’s worth picking up for his dinosaur mode alone. He really only deserves a 5 or a 6 but the inclusion of feathers to his dinosaur mode bump him up to a 7 out of 10.