ME GRIMLOCK KING! Today gives us long time Transformers fans a true treat. Robosen, the robotics company which brought us the first auto transforming, walking, talking, driving Optimus Prime, is back with their next big release – Grimlock! And yes, he does transform! Coming in at 15.5 inches tall, this is basically a double size Masterpiece Grimlock toy, which then transforms, talks, walks, does pre-programmed skits, and much more.
He’s been announced and is live for order, so if you want to dig right in, you can hit the official page over here. If you want to stick around, we actually have one IN HAND right now and have done up some pictures and a quick video showing him off. Read on to check out our shots and some quick thoughts!
Robosen Transformers G1 Flagship Grimlock
Wow. That’s all I can say (not really). Technically Optimus Prime was the first, but Grimlock is on a whole other level IMO. First off, when looking at it, it’s straight up Masterpiece Grimlock just way bigger. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone shared a digital sculpt file to start from, because all the mold cuts, rivets, paint applications, clear plastic and chrome, it matches up. Optimus Prime was great because of all the things he could do, but the engineering required to get him to do all that made the final forms compromise a bit. This does not. In both modes, he’s pretty darn close to the Masterpiece version, the one we all know and love. Blaster, sword and crown included. Even the transformation is similar. With Optimus I transformed him a couple times, walked, drove him around, but after a while he became a pretty truck I pulled off the shelf when folks come over. Grimlock I think I transformed him 20 times before even digging into anything else, it’s just awesome to watch. You feel like you’re watching something significant happen every time.
Great. Engineering, construction, quality control – all there. Plastic, die cast, paint apps and chrome – all top notch and executed perfectly. Forgetting about all the technology going on, if a Masterpiece had this level of detail and quality applied to it everyone would be happy with it. It’s big and heavy, so you feel like you’re handling a high end item. That chrome is mirror like, and the grey has a metallic sheen to it. Very sharp. He’s worthy of centerpiece display even when powered off.
He comes with his gun, sword and crown. All three look exactly like their Masterpiece counterparts, with slight mods as needed. The gun and sword light up on their own, each with their own battery, on/off switches. The crown is also chromed out like his chest, mirror-like gold.
The good stuff. This is where it really shines. It handles the conversion masterfully. Going from dino mode he dips forward, unfolds the legs, tucks parts in and out, opens his chest, flips his dino head back and stands up – completing the process. Going back to dino mode is even more awesome, as he plants those arms, auto tucking in his fists, and folds up his legs and flips down his dino head into his glorious form. All while keeping balance, the magic of robotics on full display here.
Grimlock is very similar to Optimus Prime and Performance Bumblebee (see our gallery here for Bee), technology wise. There is an app which features the ability to use a Remote Control for basic functions like transforming, doing quick actions, saying key phrases, and walking. You can also change the color of his lights here, which he has in both his dino and robot mode eyes. Not just red or blue, but the full RGB range in between. This is where most casual fans will stay when not using voice control because it lets you get to the bulk of the cool stuff quickly. Of note – there is a setting in the app which lets you change how fast he walks in robot mode. My video below shows him walking in slow mode only.
After that, there is a Mini-Theater mode which will have Grimlock acting out a longer pre-programmed action, like playing out a mini movie. Speech, music, sound effects, all types of movement. Theres is a solo and group version available, but in my preview copy neither were fully refined yet. If Performance Bumblebee and Optimus Prime are anything to go on, that will wind up being super fun and a cool way to show things off. How he interacts with Optimus Prime, and which version, we shall see.
There is also again an Action Center which has multiple pre-programmed longer actions for Grimlock to perform on command, for each mode. These include speech, music, effects and movements together. You can see some of them in my basic video below. You can also choose to download additional ones besides what ships with the unit, and Robosen should make more available over time.
Lastly there is a Create section which lets you program every single robotically controlled joint point on the figure, and string them together. This allows you to make him walk, punch, talk, transform and more, all strung together with timing you control. You can then save the final result and replay it later.
In addition to all this, Grimlock has voice and music available, and that voice seems to be none other than Greg Berger himself! Lots of great one liners from the show are here, along with ones specifically recorded for the figure like “Me Grimlock Bluetooth connection successful” and “Me Grimlock Bluetooth is disconnected and voice recognition is restored”. Which makes me laugh every time. Including when I just typed it. The music and effects are also great, coming from G1 and layering in perfectly with everything that is going on here.
Speaking of Voice Recognition, I didn’t use this as much with the other units, but here on Grimlock I did. It’s super easy to say “Hey Grimlock” like you were calling Siri or something, and then just say “transform” – and he does it. Like I said, I did that about 20 times in a row before even connecting the app. There are also other voice commands he will respond to, a list is in the app and instruction booklet.
One Thing Tho…
The only downside here that I can see, and this has been an issue with all Robosen figures so far – when he isn’t powered up, he goes limp. In robot mode, if you shut him down he leans forward and has robot legs and arms resting on the ground like a horse. Dino mode is much better, he looks normal and would be how you’d display him. But, his knees and hips are loose now, so if you had him on a shelf like that and bumped or wobbled it, he could tip forward or backwards, or slouch to the side. Not stable. There is no stand for either mode available officially as of now, so this is meant to be enjoyed powered on. I could see some 3d printed braces for his knees and hips keeping him stable in dino mode after folks get him in hand though.
Bottom line, this guy looks fantastic and has the tech in there to keep you busy and entertained. It’s a high end item giving us a new way to interact with our favorite Robots In Disguise. When combined with the stellar mold and look that could just be an actual Hasbro Transformer you’d buy anyway, it’s that much better. If you have the budget, it’s definitely worth a pick up. You can do so now actually over on the Robosen site. Check out our pics, some shots of the app, and quick video below! Thanks again to Robosen for sending one through to review!
Key shots here, full set of over 100 pics below!