As it turns out, Grimlock is not the only Transformer I will ever review. I went shopping, saw the blue velociraptor dinobot, and said “This should fill a review!”
In Transformers: Age of Extinction, Slash was one of the most plot-crucial dinobots, appearing early in the movie and driving the story up until the final climactic battle, where he… sorry, I can’t do it. The dinobots had all of two or three minutes of screen time. And Slash? He didn’t even appear in the movie.
There’s no situation Dinobot Slash can’t escape. He can carve an opening and slip out undetected, or battle his way out with his razor-sharp claws! Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle! This Dinobot Slash figure is a high-powered fighter whether he’s in robot mode or raptor mode. With a scimitar in each hand, he’ll be a match for any enemy in robot mode. And when he converts to vicious raptor mode, no enemy can hope to deal with his razor-sharp claws! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out!
This would be nice if he existed at all in the film. But nope. Nope, nope, nope. Slash is a concept art character, because even Velociraptors ar too cool for this movie. But hey, the toy is neat, so let’s see how it is!
Slash comes in an attractive blister pack. It sold me, right? The figure is displayed in dino form, which makes perfect sense.
SCULPT: Dinosaur Form: ***, Robot Form: **
Let’s face it, Slash’s strengths are in his dinosaur form. And I know that it’s typical to nearly all Transformers toys, but he looks nothing like his movie’s CG model. He has fewer… blades. Or feathers. Velicoraptors were really hevaily-feathered (and turkey-sized), and this figure actually includes a few on his arms and along his back. But he’s got a nice spiky, ribbed texture that almost calls to mind the Sydney Opera House if it had been designed by an eight-year-old boy. I do think that Slash is visually appealing in dino mode, though if you look too closely you can see some transformation kibble.
His robot form, on the other hand, suffers a bit. In concept, the dinobots are all supposed to look like ancient armored warriors, from samurai to various knights. Slash does not. Supposedly, he is supposed to resemble a Maori fighter with a grass skirt, but the rest of him seems somewhat armored. He honestly looks more like a Mega Man bad guy (like the one-eyed skeleton dudes in Skull Man’s stage, Mega Man 4) than anything else. And he has kibble. Lots and lots of kibble. Obvious dino pieces adorn his heels, arms, and shoulders, and his back is just a mess of spare parts. He is chunky and awkward, and does not look very consistent as a robot. Sure, he’s got some good parts – note that cyclops visor – but overall, this is a toy built for the dino form.
Overall, Slash has some appealing features, but he really is not the best Transformer or even the best Dinobot out there, objectively speaking. A lot of his good points are entirely dependent on color scheme, as well. Something different just might not work as well.
Slash exists in a cascade of green and blue. Or yellow and blue. It’s hard to tell with these neons. Either way, it is a bright, garish, “childish” toy design, but it is also really eye-catching. The colors work together somehow, dispelling the usual drab and muddy darkness that comes with modern designs. I like it because of its weirdness, not in spite of it.
The funny thing is, the original CG model for Slash is pretty drab, as expected. So the toy’s paint scheme is entirely its own, and it sems to be a good way to sell the figure. Without a movie appearance, he has to ride on his own merits, so why not something like this? He looks like a carton character, but he may as well be.
ARTICULATION: Dinosaur Form: ***, Robot Form: **
This is normally where I would list a figure’s articulation by joint type and number, but it’s just not possible with this one. Because of his transformation, Slash moves in a bunch of places, and most of his joints are ball joints. The ones that aren’t are generally hinges rather than swivels, or hinges set up with swivels. He is flexible, although there are a few oddities – his arms are surprisingly limited, for example.
Slash’s dino form has the best articulation, with decent arm and leg movement, and some great jaw variety. His head has some good vertical range, but no horizontal swivel, unfortunate but necessary considering how his head turns into his legs. His dino-legs are also a little awkward because they don’t really stand straight when in the proper position, instead angling out to be really bow-legged.
Slash’s robot form, on the other hand, is really hampered. He has knees, but his legs feel a little unwieldy. And his arms are honestly stiff, which limits what he can do with those axes. A lot of his actual joints are hampered by kibble, as well. As for his transformation, it really is not very compicated, and after a try or two there really is no reason to even refer to the included directions. It works pretty well for what it is, though it is a shame that he lacks decent articulation in robot mode.
Dinobot Slash comes with two weapons, a pair of rubbery axes (not scimitars). The axes actually perform double duty as some of his dino form’s feathers, and their material ensures that they will not be damaged whether in hsi hands or stowed in his arms. They fit his theme pretty well overall, and he can wield them better than Grimock could hold his mace.
Slash also comes with transforming instructions which, thankfully, do a decent job explaining how to turn him back and forth. As previously stated, he is not that complex a Transformer.
As a Deluxe Class Transformer, Slash costs about $17. He is a lot smaller than a Voyager, but not so much that it feels cheaper. So for what you get, it is fine.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
As a Transformer, it is designed so joints pop off rather than break. Just be careful not to lose anything!
WHERE TO BUY:
These are super-dee-duper mass-market releases. Go to Wal-Mart, or Target, or Toys R Us, and you will find several. Possibly on clearance.
This figure could have been better. It also could have been worse. Maybe Transformers just isn’t the brand for me, but although Slash makes a cool blue velociraptor, the toy itself just does not hold my interest. The sculpt has issues, the articulation is limited, and even the transformation feature is just “okay.” But on the plus side, he is visually striking, and concept art characters tend to be a lot of fun.