Friday, July 14, 2017

Retro Review: Beast Wars Dinobot

Beast Wars had many memorable characters, but one truly stood above many of them. That being the Predacon that allied himself with Optimus Primal's Maximal crew, Dinobot. This character was a member of the first Transformers Hall of Fame class by winning the fan vote. He's also the third Beast Wars character to receive a Masterpiece figure. While he has the name of the Dinobot team of the G1 series, he was far from them. While in the G1 series the Dinobots were at first dimwitted warriors that over time became pet-like clowns. Beast Wars Dinobot was likewise a warrior but far wiser and at points even quoted Shakespeare. His beast mode was also something different than the Dinobots of old, he transformed into a Velociraptor. Which had gained popularity thanks to the blockbuster Jurassic Park movie back in 1993.

I've had this figure since 1996 and the only thing missing is the battle mask pieces. As a kid I just removed them and lost those parts as I never saw Dinobot on TV using that feature. As I got this when I was a kid, I don't have the packaging, but this is a retro review after all. There's going to be stuff missing most of the time when I do this similar stuff. This mold had been used many times as repaints and used as a base for retooling (both slightly and extreme).  

Beast Mode:
As mentioned before Dinobot transforms into a Velociraptor. Unlike what is seen in the Jurassic Park movie series, this figure isn't as slim due to obviously being a robot in disguise. For the most part the figure does a good job hiding the robot mode elements. The main area that shows off those parts would be the robot mode legs that makes up the chest section of the figure. Which the legs also hides the robot mode head. Unlike the countless Generation 1 figures, Dinobot has weapon storage. His tail is made up his two robot mode weapons. The sword which is inside the tail and his rotating shield like weapon that is the bulk of the beast mode tail.

For articulation, the arms can up and down. They have a slight side to side movement too. The mouth of the beast mode can open up. The beast mode legs will become the robot mode arms, so they have a pretty good range of articulation. Now the tail, there's an area where one can push to make it spin around. Though that is mainly meant for the robot mode.


The transformation for Beast Wars Dinobot is somewhat simple. First remove the tail and split it open. Then pull out the sword and set those two parts to the side. Now on to the main event, grab the robot mode legs on the chest and pull them down. While doing that, turn them around and pull the heel supports from the under the feet. Then for the beast mode feet, rotate that action around and began to swing the entire beast mode side upwards. Having done that, just take the raptor arms and push them upwards with them behind the robot mode arms. Which the robot mode arms should be facing downwards by this point. Next step is just open up the tan piece on the raptor head. Then just push it down over the robot move head and just close that piece. Where the weapons were stored on the figure, it has a two hinges. Make sure they are level and just push the larger section towards Dinobot's back.

Robot Mode:
As a deluxe figure, Dinobot is an average build amongst the Beast Wars TV series figures. Though on the show itself, he's one of the tallest figures. I know throughout the years the deluxe class figures has shrunk and gotten taller. So to give you an idea of where Dinobot fits at with a current deluxe, he's as tall as Titans Return Triggerhappy. If one wasn't like me and still had the battle mask pieces. It would be in the colors of his lower legs and have this skull like vibe going for it.

Dinobot's articulation in robot mode is quite good for the time. Head is on a ball joint with a slight up and down movement, though no head tilt. Head can go for a full 360 though. The arms can go a full 360 and they can go into "T" motion. The arms also has a swivel above the elbow. The hands can open up as they are the raptor feet. No hand rotation though. The figure lacks waist rotation as well, but that was quite common back then. Thigh area can go forward, but not too far back as it hits the raptor back. The lower legs are connect to a ball joint, so they can rotate a full 360 if one wanted to do that. The figure has an average knee bend. The feet are on a hinge, so they can only go up slightly and down.

Now while the beast mode can store the weapons so neatly, the robot mode isn't like that. One could store it on the back, but it really looks so awkward. The figure would look like he has a cone on his back. The weapons in robot mode just looks better plugged into the hands. One has an option of having the figure carry both weapons in one hand or in both hands. In this mode the spinning gimmick really works out with the tail sections split open.

Should one get this?:
Transformers has been around now for over 30 years and Dinobot without a doubt is one of the most developed in any series. While he's not the best of the Beast Wars line, owning the first figure of what would become an iconic character is something special. So if one watched Beast Wars and for some reason either never had this figure or lost it, this is a must. If one never seen Beast Wars, give the series a try and see how you feel about this character and the others.

Overall Ratings:
A good representation at the time for what would become a fan favorite character. The transformation is somewhat simple, but enjoyable. Being able to store the weapons neatly in the alt mode is something I wish Transformers now could do.

I wish the legs weren't a translucent tannish orange. It really clashes with the majority of parts that are solid plastic.

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