Time to do something very different. I have since a young age loved dinosaurs, I loved robots, but what about robot dinosaurs, and what about robot dinosaurs that combine to form a bigger robot? Ok everyone that lived through the early 90s is now probably thinking of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. But no, after over 30 years the original team of Dinobots from Transformers can combine and we are here to look at them. (and no one look up the Beast, let’s just continue to act like that NEVER HAPPENED)
Ok time for a little bit of toy history (if you want to skip to the toys themselves it’s about 4 paragraphs from now). The Dinobots: Grimlock, Sludge, Slag, Swoop and Snarl were a team of 5 Autobots back in the original continuity G1. Their gimmick was – as their name implies – they turned rather than vehicles into robotic dinosaurs. They were one of the first team of Transformers given a team name, followed by the likes of the Insecticons and Constructicons. It was from that last one where one of the questions began to arise. The Constructicons were the original Combiner team, and as more and more Combiners emerged they too had team names Combaticons, Aerialbots etc. People began to wonder, why couldn’t the Dinobots combine? It’s a nice idea but non important since there were plenty of teams that weren’t Combiners.
Whenever a new Transformers series came out there was a toy line to go with it: Transformers Prime, Beast Wars and the like all had their own style. In 2006 the Transformers line Classics began. Rather than being based on the newest series these toys were more about the history of Transformers as a whole but most importantly G1 and recreating those classic characters. This would then become the Legends line and its most recent name Generations.
In 2015 the Generations line started what is known as the Prime Wars Trilogy. This was 3 sets of releases that each focused on bringing back some of the core gimmick back to Transformers. Combiner Wars was the first one and focused on the Titular Combiners – Transformers that could work as a team and combine into a single larger robot. Titans Return followed next and though having the giant Titan sized Transformers the main gimmick was the Titan Master which was actually the new name for Headmasters – small Transformers that transformed into the heads for larger Transformers.
Power of the Primes is a bit of an oddball. It features the Prime Masters who transform into power cells for bigger bots (much like the Power Masters of old) then instead go into pieces of armour the Transformers can wear. More importantly the Deluxe sized and Voyager sized Transformers followed the same patterns as the Combiner Wars. One Voyager and 4 Deluxe sized Transformers would combine into a bigger robot – this time using the Prime armours as the hands and feet. One of the announcements for the release of Power of the Primes and the big one people caught onto was that the G1 Dinobots were going to be released as part of the line this time with the ability to combine to form Volcanicus. (and thus I now can actually review the toys themselves, sorry for anyone not wanting a wee history lesson)
Power of the Primes: Dinobots
The group consists of 5 (each sold separately at the time of writing this) Dinobots. One Voyager size which is Grimlock, and 4 Deluxe size – Sludge, Snarl, Swoop and Slug (renamed from Slag for obvious reasons).
With Grimlock sadly you can see in his T – Rex mode that some changes had to be made to facilitate the Combiner ability – namely his wide hips and stiff tail. His robot mode however looks fine and the two pieces of Prime armour that make the feet work as good knuckle weapons (though I prefer the big ass sword he got in fall of Cybertron).
Sludge and Slug I found no difficulty with in fact their legs in robot mode are just slight alterations of each other.
Swoop I found his robot mode head was slightly tilted so it had a few issues but not sure if that was mine or all of them.
Snarl’s tail seemed slightly bent (once again not sure if this was just mine), of course all of them transformed fine.
One of the things I haven’t liked about nearly all the Transformers toys I’ve seen on the shelves is they have been these 3 stage transformations. I always loved it when I could just remember the many steps for turning a robot into a car or such. It was a feeling of satisfaction and unlike those crappy flip changer ones you see on the shelves these proper Transformers take a fair few steps to go between forms.
Each Dinobot comes with Prime armour. These are things that can be worn, used as a shield or gun and contain a slot for a Prime Master figure (which we didn’t have for the photos) but also fit the matrix of combination and a see through plastic that comes in the figures that I used due to the lack of a Prime Master. As well as these the Deluxe figures come with weapons, 2 came with blasters and 2 with swords. The Prime armour and weapons can be stored on them in dinosaur mode if wished (and I often do so as not to lose them).
Much like the Combiner Wars figures these Dinobots can combine to form Volcanicus. The process is the same as other Scramble City style Combiners (look we had 4 paragraphs of history getting here I’m not going to go into too much detail on the term). One Voyager sized leader of the team forming the torso with the others forming the arms and legs and being interchangeable, not just with each other but with other Combiners. This means with Grimlock forming the torso (the reason for his wide hips in T-Rex mode) the others form either arms or legs depending on which you choose for them. The Prime armour that comes with Grimlock forming the feet and those with Deluxes forming 2 hands and the remaining 2 being slotted next to the chest. I tend to always use Swoop as an arm since his pterodactyl mode is often less bulky than the others but the other 3 are fairly interchangeable.
While I can’t say Volcanicus is the best Combiner (because A its my first full one and B it probably isn’t) you are not buying him for being the best one, you are buying him because it’s a Combiner containing all 5 Dinobots (they also made a 6th Legend size Raptor but she’s, yes it’s a girl, not included in Volcanicus). There is no Combiner like this. I did some research and in Combiner Wars there were only 3 different kinds of builds in Voyagers that form torsos : – a jet, a truck, and a long vehicle. These were then slightly redesigned to make many different characters. Grimlock’s robot form is so iconic you can’t just tweek to something else so it’s a brand new design.
Did you like this Transformers review? I have a lot more Transformers I’ve acquired in my time from multiple different series.
If you would like me to review more please comment, just don’t expect me to do any of those crappy Turbo Changers (the kinds you’re seeing in the shops all too often) as frankly they’re bad – very ,very bad. I want to see the back of them soon which I why I do love the Generations line, and hey it just brought us Combiner Dinobots.