I gotta tell you, Grimlock was one of my most anticipated figures last year. I had a Chinese knock-off of Grimlock when I was a kid, and that was when Chinese knockoffs were still pretty good quality. (I also had a knock-off of the brontosaurus guy, who weirdly had gold wings like a dragon.) And the great Dinobot leader looked pretty nice in photos. Ben at bwtf.com gave him a solid rating, and that was enough for me.
But man, those shoulders. I actually like the simplicity of the transformation — I am a fan of getting into to the altmode into less than 15 seconds these days — but I tend to keep Grimlock in his bot mode just because I hate fiddling around with those shoulders. I think I overrotated the arm at one point, and it wouldn’t sit properly next to his chest, leaving a big gaping space instead. Or canted forward so that the tricep is at an angle forward, which looks horrible. I ended up accidentally popping the arm off, then trying to figure out where the shoulder joint rotated before I finally got it just right.
Not that I’m 100% thrilled with the tyrannosaurus mode, either. It’s had to ignore that, once you flip the head forward, there’s a huge gaping hole just underneath the chest/top portion of the dino. I guess you don’t notice it from the top view, but man I hate it when the whole interior if the dino is just a hollowed out shell. It made me appreciate the original Grimlock more. That dude looked totally solid in dino mode, and a lot of that is due to the “wings” that were eliminated in the Fall of Cybertron version.
Overall, though, Grimlock is probably the best Fall of Cybertron figure I’ve picked up, but part of that has to do with my low opinion of the line in general. I DO like how this Grimlock’s head stows away in robot mode, forming a beefy upper torso rather than a cowl that’s obviously a dino head. The robot mode overall is pretty great. I like the wideness of the chest piece, which gives the dinobot leader the deserved profile of a burly bruiser. He sorta has the proportions of The Crusher, the giant wrestler that Bugs Bunny would battle with in the old Looney Tunes shorts.
But when you get a dinobot, half the fun is having the guy in dino mode. I’m 70% sold on the tyrannosaurus — I actually kinda like the beefy tail — but that giant cavity in the undercarriage is a bit of a deal breaker. This is, by the way, where original Grimlock’s “wings” would have come in handy. A perfect Grimlock would’ve had a couple of panels to fill in that huge swath of negative space.