Review by Sanjeev
Okay, guys, here's a weird quickie review.
I have a kind of a bizarre obsession-within-an-obsession with this toy. Yeah, yeah...we're all nuts for buying/collecting toys in general...but this one even has me scratching my head at times! I mean, besides the toy you're gonna read about below, I actually have four more in various states of disrepair. :P
See, when I was a kid, I had a Transformers G1 Grimlock. Lots of us did. And why not? Whether you're an obsessed transfan or a disdainful anti-TF snob, this is a straight-up fantastic toy. Just read Ginrai's review! It's got diecast, quality hard plastic, chrome bits, clear bits...and even a shooty gimmick!
Well, this one kid I was friends with during my tumultuous youth had a...different Grimlock...and we would play with them together and pretend they were brothers while we were bused to the YMCA in Quincy, MA for after-school daycare. Good times, indeed.
Now, I think I remember also seeing this "Prehistory Animal" bootleg in a Child World back then, but I'm just not sure. At any rate, I've always had a hazy-but-fond memory of the toy in the back of my mind...even if I've forgotten that other kid's name. Still, I remember the fun we had playing with these guys. Heh...I don't think we even bothered naming the bootleg. I'm sure we didn't go by his Engrish name, "Tyuannosaurus"!
When I joined eBay for the first time back in '98, I spent my meager dollars on a few vintage TFs here and there. In fact, I believe my second or third eBay purchase ever was the loose-but-complete C8-ish Grimlock you're about to see below. Well, it's taken over a decade, but I've finally tracked down a boxed specimen of his long-lost big brother! And to sweeten the deal even further, it actually came from a fellow CDXer!
Throughout the course of snaring basically every specimen I could find of the T-rex bootleg over the years, I've actually ended up with boxed examples of the Slag and Sludge bootlegs (#2 and #3 in the Prehistory Animal series). From what I've seen from watching the market, I think they're fairly common. I've never seen #4 Stegosaurus, however, and I just don't think a Pteranodon (Swoop) was ever made...
[Oh, and before y'all get any ideas, the obsession isn't over! If a MISB shows up, I'm fighting you for it! ;) ]
So, just in case the great Engrish (and conspicuous lack of company/copyright info) on the outer box wasn't impressive enough, check out this hi-res pic of the instruction sheet! "Triceratope" and "Prontosaurus", huh? Well, at least they finally spelled Tyrannosaurus right!
Here's the back, which shows the tranformation instructions and offers great advice, like "do not notices launch missile to a person"! Oh, and the sticker sheet hasn't been used, but there are some missing labels from the glue drying up and the stickers simply falling off throughout the years.
On to the toy!
I absolutely adore this thing! The brown plastic is similar in quality to the original Hasbro/Takara piece. The parts-fit is a tiny bit sloppier, but you can barely tell. The articulation is the same, and even the weapons were reproduced faithfully. The exact same diecast content, chrome parts, and clear parts were maintained, though the silver was replaced with beautiful gold.
One thing to be aware of, however, is that the gold chrome used on this bootleg is extremely prone to oxidation. This example may look gleaming but I think that comes from almost NEVER having been removed from the box! I handled it with a soft cloth to prevent oils from my skin from damaging the finish. I should've taken a pic of my Prehistory Animal "graveyard"! Even the Tyuannosaurus specimens I have in good shape have really worn chrome. Check out the chest on Ginrai's Tyuannosaurus for a common example of this type of wear.
After the color changes, the next thing you'll notice are the mold changes. This isn't just a simple bootleg! These guys actually put in work!
Check out the rounded Godzilla-esque spines on his back! Sure, they had to dump the diaclone pilot seat, but it looks great.
Next, check out the head. What they did here blows me away. The most striking change to the design is the addition of the horn on his snout. But they went further by adding canine/saber teeth to the upper jaw! And here's probably my favorite part: they added a diecast gold-chrome tongue! How insane is that!?
They also added what I can only describe as a diecast gold-chrome forehead: on the very crown of his dino-head, there's a weird little twin-peaked mound. Hey, I'm not gonna balk at more diecast! Finally, they added some serious toes and claws. The small T-rex arms now have three distinct claws on them, instead of Grimlock's amorphous blobs. Also, there are four individual toes to Grimlock's two.
Moving right along, we have robot mode. As you can imagine, the transformation sequence is identical to Grimlock's. In my opinion, this toy's robot mode is even more visually stunning than its dino-mode.
The robot head is the same as Grimlock's. I love the way the extra mold detail throughout the body adds to the look of the robot mode. The ridges along the back now line his legs and the small gold T-rex arms look cool flared off to the sides.
Next up, accessories. Now, I mentioned before that the weapons are basically the same as for Grimlock. That's not entirely true. Check out the side-by-side comparisons below:
And, finally, the comparison pics!
Most folks who know my collecting habits know that I'm not really into collecting bootlegs. I've got nothing against them...I just would rather have the better toy...and that's usually the legit one. I don't mind appreciating boots from afar, and I get a big laugh outta seeing some of the horrendous nonsense out there, but I prefer quality stuff on my shelves.
That said, however, I think I can safely call this particular bootleg "top-shelf". And I think Grimlock agrees...
|Posted 19 January, 2010 - 17:24 by Sanjeev|