TAV-30 Grimlock: A Capsule Review and a Modification

TAV-30 Grimlock is a roughly Voyager-sized Dinobot figure, representing the character from Japanese ‘toon Transformers Adventure, and by proxy it’s Anglophone-world counterpart Robots In Disguise (2015).

TAV-30 Grimlock; a roughly Voyager-sized beast covered in Minicon ports.

TAV-30 Grimlock; a roughly Voyager-sized beast with a scattering in Minicon ports.

I’m going to tell you, dear readers, what I think of him; what I like, and what I dislike. Then I’m going to tell you what I’m doing about what I dislike.So, he came all nicely boxed up like so:

Yes, we have a dark purple sofa.

Front View of Grimlock’s box.

Back of the box: illustration of Grimlock brutalizing a couple of 'cons during a thunderstorm.

Back of the box: illustration of Grimlock brutalizing a couple of ‘cons during a thunderstorm.

Now, once he’s out of his box, veteran Transformers fans will immediately see that he’s a retool of Fall of Cybertron Grimlock from the Generations toy-line. Now, his internal engineering is largely the same as his mold-mate, but he has some extensive modifications. These modifications consist of improved hip-joints, a new “skin” on both modes, and a number of TAV Minicon ports. Also, the electronics from the old mold, which enabled him to light up, are all gone.To be honest, this is no bad thing, since a lot of the light “leaked” from places it shouldn’t and FOC Grimlock wasn’t quite opaque enough to make this feature work well.

Me Grimlock get even buffer in future? Me Grimlock like!

FOC Grimlock and TAV Grimlock.
Are these the same character at different points in his life? The Aligned continuity family is kind of a mess.

This new Grimlock scales nicely with his fellow RID figures… or at least, those I liked enough to buy. This is much better than the Warrior-class Grimlock, who is slightly shorter in height than any of the other Autobots, in order to be wider whilst being made of the same amount of plastic.

Dirft and 'Bee have reprolabels deco... because their molds demanded it.

Group Hug! TAV Grimlock scales nicely with his show-mates from Robots In Disguise (2015). From left: Bumblebee, Fixit, Grimlock, Slipstream, & Drift.

He still has a large hole in his belly like FOC Grimlock, but he now has a Minicon peg there. Oddly, only Decepticon microns seem to fit well into this slot. (Maybe because Grimlock is supposed to be an ex-(Decepti)con as well as as ex-con(vict).) There’s some temptation to repaint Dragonus as Swoop, (with some minor sculpting to the head, perhaps) and have him sit there.

Left: Grimlock has ports on his hips to mount Minicons. I can only get Decepticon Deployers to mount there. Right: From a different angle, you see that's quite a tight fit on the peg.

Left: Grimlock has ports on his hips to mount RID/TAV Minicons. I can only get the Decepticon deployers to mount there. Right: From a different angle, you see that’s quite a tight fit on the peg.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of the odd, I-shaped holes dotted around Grimlock’s outer structure fit nicely with some of the kibbly bits that the Deployers come packaged with.

Decepticon Deployers fit nicely into Grimlocks belly-slot, but the disk-shaped Autobot ones don't fit at all. In this example, I used a Dragonus with his logo peeled off.

Decepticon Deployers fit nicely into Grimlock’s belly-slot, but the disk-shaped Autobot ones don’t fit at all. In this example, I used a Dragonus (whose logo has peeled off). Whilst I’d prefer that Autobot Deployers would fit the slot, this is still a vast improvement on the huge hole that you have otherwise.

Grimlock's face looks great. Looks just like the 'toon.

Grimlock’s face looks great. Looks just like the ‘toon.

His face is quite nice, and reasonably screen-accurate. He lacks any sort of light-piping features, and simply has painted eyes. They’re a rich metallic blue, which actually looks quite nice. His arms and shoulders are well articulated, and although his legs are skinny and he looks top-heavy, he holds poses quite well. He fails the one-leg test, but that’s no surprise.

Grimlock's arms and shoulders are slightly better articulated than the FoC version of the mold. This means that he holds a variety of poses quite well.

Grimlock’s arms and shoulders are slightly better articulated than the FoC version of the mold. This means that he holds a variety of poses quite well.

Grimlock stands and kneels well, but can't balance on one leg without help. Not a big surprise given his huge upper body.

Grimlock stands and kneels well, but can’t balance on one leg without help. Not a big surprise given his huge upper body.

"No, I don't know why they sculpted my Minicon ports so you don't fit, either."

“No, I don’t know why they sculpted my Minicon ports so you don’t fit, either.”


Of course, Grimlock transforms into a tyrannosaur. Occasional construction vehicles aside, what else would he turn into? His dinosaur mode is really nice, with almost an entirely new shell over the internal engineering inherited from his FoC mold-mate. Screen accuracy is mostly pretty good, although his arms are a bit small compared to the ‘toon. They’re proportioned more like an actual tyrannosaur’s limbs.

Grimlock, screencapped from the RID2015 pilot, in comparison with the toy. I think the toy's a great likeness.

Grimlock, screen-capped from the RID2015 pilot, in comparison with the toy. I think the toy’s a great likeness. Although the strange I-shaped holes in the yellow cheek patches are wierd. I wonder if they clip to some of the Minicon’s kibbly bits.

Whaddaya mean hold that pose? This is the only pose i can hold!

Grimlock’s Dinosaur mode looks awesome, but the leg articulation is poor (just knees and arguably toes… if you use the transformation’s articulation a bit), and the arm articulation is confined to a single ball-joint at the shoulder.

He has a couple of folding panels in his back, which mean that his robot mode has less holes in it than the FoC figure did. His hips have some additional pegs, which are identical to RID minicon-pegs, which can be used to clip his hips to his torso. This makes him look much more screen-accurate, and adds a lot of stability, but restricts his pose-ability in this mode. In dinosaur mode, his articulation is limited to knees, mouth and arms (unless you unpeg those hips.). There is an additional joint in his jaw that allows better mouth articulation than FOC Grimlock. I guess they had plenty of room when they dispensed with FOC Grimlock’s electronics. What else is really nice is that the jaw is stiff enough to stay where you put it.

His favourite Voivod track is Korgüll the Exterminator.

Rrröööaaarrr! TAV Grimlock has excellent jaw articulation… and apparently he’s a Voivod fan.


Grimlock is packaged with a sword and shield, which are basically the same as those that came with the FoC Grimlock, but molded out of this translucent yellow plastic.

Grimlock’s accessories are much like the FoC figure’s, except that they are cast in an almost fluorescent, and translucent yellow plastic, which has an almost milky look to it. They are modelled after the ones that Grimlock wields in FoC, whilst breaking out of captivity in Shockwave’s base. Of course, Adventure‘s Grimlock has little use for such weapons. His preferred weapons are his fists.

Still, these weapons are nice to have. Like FOC Grimlock there’s no stowage for these weapons in Dino-mode except pegging them awkwardly onto his hips.

This mounting would be much better with guns that swords: although it would look a bit Zoids or Dino Riders.

This mounting would be much better with guns that swords: although it would look a bit Zoids or Dino Riders. The sword rather gets in the way, and doesn’t add anything to the figure.

Overall I really like this figure. I’ve not been much of a fan of RID 2015, nor its Japanese counterpart, and have only bought a few figures, but this one really pleases me. In ‘bot mode he looks good as has good articulation. In dinosaur mode he… um… looks good. The poor articulation in Dinosaur mode doesn’t ruin this figure for me, although I understand why a lot of people might be put off.


However, the two things I dislike about this figure are the hole in his belly and the lack of weapon stowage… I rapidly realised that the solution to both problems was easily in my reach.

Sketching-up a plastic block with three holes, one for the sword, one for the shield, and one for the Minicon peg in Grimlock’s belly was five minutes work in Blender.

Doesn't look like much, but it should serve it's nicely.

Doesn’t look like much, but it should serve it’s nicely.

Pegging it in allows me to stow Grimlock’s weapons on his belly, and hide that unsightly gap.

Result!

Result!

 

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