I did it again; I bought another Bayformer. I loathe what Michael Bay has done to my beloved Transformers. The movies are complete garbage and the character designs for the most part are pretty damn crappy too. I didn’t start out hating Bay’s take on Transformers though; I really tried to like it at first. I bought the prequel comic before the first movie came out and it was an alright read. The first movie had a lot of things I didn’t like but overall I enjoyed it. I bought the 2 prequel comics prior to the second film’s release and I bought my first Bayformer figure (Shockwave) in anticipation of the second movie as well. I had high hopes that Bay would improve on the semi-decent cinematic foundation he had built. And then the second movie came out. I hated the second one and the third was even worse. I swore that I wouldn’t be burned again after that. No more Michael Bay inspired movies, toys, or comics for me.
But when the fourth movie was announced and the Dinobots were said to be included I was slightly intrigued. I bought 3 Bayformer Dinobot figures prior to actually seeing the new movie. I liked the new Dinobots toys because they were brightly colored, had cool knight-like robot modes and because they, of course, transformed into dinosaurs. I picked up Scorn the spinosaurus, Slug the triceratops, and Slash the velociraptor. I passed on the movie version of Grimlock and the weird 2-headed Strafe (because they sucked). I have since seen the movie and despite its god awfulness the Dinobot figures I picked up still hold-up alright, probably in large part because they don’t look much like they did in the clusterf**k of a movie. Had I actually seen the movie first it likely would have soured me on Bay’s Dinobots enough to pass on all those figures but I don’t mind having a nice little squadron of brightly colored Dino-Knights on my Transformers shelf.
I assumed my squadron would remain a trio because I assumed the movie line was wrapping up but then I came across a new Dinobot on the shelf at Walmart the other day. It was a new version of the classic Dinobot stegosaurus, Snarl. Like Slug (who was a new version of the classic Slag) the new Snarl looked nothing like the original. The only connection they share is that they both transform into the spiky tailed herbivore. I don’t currently have a classic Generation 1 Snarl in my collection but if Hasbro ever gets their s**t together and produces one I will have no qualms about displaying it alongside this one. Despite sharing a name and an alt mode I view them as completely different characters.
The robot mode on this figure is pretty cool, its better than Slash but not as good as Scorn. It shares a design aesthetic with the other Dinobots but like Slash he’s less knight-like than Scorn and Slug. Perhaps it’s because Slash and Snarl didn’t actually appear in the movie and were designed later. I would’ve preferred if Hasbro had stuck closer to their established knight theme. Snarl’s face isn’t really knight like at all but I like it. He has a visor, some spiky protrusions and it looks like he has gritted teeth. The robot mode is a little “busy” overall so it can be a little tough to figure out exactly what you’re looking at sometimes, especially from the back. I do however quite like the colors.
The translucent pieces on his back provide a glowing halo look when displayed in front of a light source which is pretty neat. I’m not a big fan of his long pointy feet; they look like shoes a witch or my little brother would wear. The figure is well articulated and can be posed a number of ways; this is the one aspect of the new Snarl that is superior to the original. When in robot mode Snarl can use his dino tail as a weapon and two of his plates form a shield.
The dinosaur mode is the best thing about this figure. I’ll be displaying him in robot mode for consistency on my shelf but if I were a kid playing with this toy Snarl would definitely spend the majority of his time in dino-mode. It’s a more realistic representation of a Stegosaurus than the original was, or at least it looks more believable as a real animal. The 80s Snarl had an almost cute, frog-like face, whereas this version looks more akin to a stegosaurus you’d see in Jurassic Park.
The head is small but in scale with the rest of the body based on what I know about stegosauri. I really like the shade of green used for the base of this figure. I don’t think anybody really knows what color dinosaurs were but my brother Doug owned a rubber stegosaurus when we were kids that was almost this exact same color so it’s engrained in my mind that they should be bright green.