April 9th, 2007


(no subject)

Shortpacked!: Heartwarming.

I don't have as many versions of the original Dinobot toy as Ethan apparently does, but I still got a squad of 'em. I'm still missing three, not counting drastic retools -- Beast Wars Grimlock, "Fox Kids" Dinobot, and the original Japanese Dinobot. At this point I wonder if I should dig through eBay and complete my set.

But it's all okay. I love this toy. I think it's great, despite the horrible giant legs hanging off the underside of its beast mode and the tail's refusal to not twirl freely when idle and the robot mode shoulders' inability to snap into place. Okay, that's a lot of downsides, but I admit, I'm mostly into him for looks. His robot mode looks, anyway. I dig the broad shoulders with the head nested deep and the long legs.

At a fundamental level, the CGI model from the Beast Wars television show was different than the toy from which it was based. The Dinobot toy is a bunch of raptor parts assembled into a robot-mode shape with robot legs. The CGI model was a stocky blue man wearing a flattened raptor head on his chest who transformed by shrinking one model in parts and replacing it with the other. As such, attempting a "show-accurate" redeco of the original source is doomed in some ways from the start.

(For example, when I was wee -- by which I mean 19, ugh -- I bypassed painting up my original Dinobot toy for kitbashing an Iron Man figure.)

So now we have Takara's Tenth Anniversary Dinobot, which I gleefully bought from JRS Toyworld. Theirs is astoundingly more accurate than Hasbro's attempt, mostly because Hasbro didn't seem to try to make him show-accurate at all, so that wasn't hard. In the photographs, clockwise starting from the left, are the original 1996 Dinobot, Wal*mart Grimlock, Hasbro's BWX Dinobot, and Takara's BWX Dinobot.

Takara's gets a lot of the colors right, but their try at an improved beast mode is curious. It looks like somebody came up with a stripe deco that resembled Dinobot's and then put that deco through the wash. As a result, this Dinobot doesn't really have stripes at all, and has traded them in for giant brown splotches. Weird.

The original Dinobot's robot head didn't have a mouth, unlike the show's, so this version has one painted onto his mouthplate. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. It actually helps, I think.

Nearly every single part of this Dinobot has paint. Nearly. A shiny invisible nickel to you if you can spot what parts of the Dinobot mold are made of unpaintable plastic. These parts are never painted, and indeed cannot, due to the chemical makeup of the plastic involved. It just doesn't take paint. Its qualities are useful to some engineering needs, so it gets used despite that drawback.

I'm happy with this Dinobot. However, without any painting, I can achieve a slightly better look. STAY TUNED, TRUE BELIEVERS.