Power Core Combiners Grimstone Review

By Loran

Everybody loves the Dinobots! They’re probably one of the most endearing sub-teams in Transformers lore, to the point where they even got not one but TWO sublines devoted just to them. That’s impressive. The team leader Grimlock was a huge player in the Marvel comics, even taking the reins from Optimus on several occasions. He got a figure in Beast Wars too, and I think I’m one of the few people who own one that hasn’t fallen victim to the horrifying effects of Gold Plastic Syndrome. Including the Dinobots in Power Core Combiners was a bit of a surprise, especially since Dinobot combiners are sort of taboo after that one comic that even Hasbro won’t acknowledge. Are these new Dino-drones and their commander worthy of the name, or should be best left forgotten like The Beast? Let’s take a look…

The PCC Dinobot commander is Grimstone (Grimstone… Grim rock? Grim LOCK? Ohoho), and he’s the first ever Styracosaurus in Transformers! It’s good to see that the one figure in the set with the new alt-mode is the one with an actual robot mode. Not being ones for subtlety, he even has a pair of machine guns mounted on the sides of his head. How deliciously Dinobot-y. The color scheme is great, too; again, it evokes great memories of the original Dinobots. His tail has a Minicon port, but it’s in kind of an unwieldy place.

His transformation is rather simple, doing a few nifty things I wasn’t expecting, namely the hands coming from the back. It’s not really innovative, honestly, but I guess I’m just happy to see a new fully-mechanical animal-former. The only real problem area is the heel spurs-getting them in and out is kind of a pain. Once again, he has a lot of great Dinobot details to him, like the black head with the silver face and the gold dino head on his chest. Amazingly, from a head-on view, none of his ugly PCC ports are visible! Seems like they finally got a hold of that…

Unfortunately, his poseability isn’t too much to write home about. The shoulder kibble gets in the way, and his knees LOOK like they have a double joint, but they don’t. His hips have a very good range of movement thanks to the transformation, however.

Grimstone can hold regular Minicon weapons with no real issues, but like the first two commander molds, he can’t properly hold Chopster. That makes me very sad. I’d like an axe-crazy Dinobot…

The Dinobot drones are quite a diverse bunch of dinosaurs, though only one of them is new to Transformers. We saw the Pachycephalosaurus, Ankylosaurus, and Dimetrodon in Beast Wars Neo (Hardhead, Bazooka, and Sling, respectively), but the Parasaurolophus is a newcomer. He’s probably the coolest one in the lot, too, with his gigantic cannons and TWO Minicon ports! Yes, these guys are loaded with awesome (non-moving) guns, and I honestly think these guys are better armed than the Combaticons. The only issue I have with these guys on their own would be the Dimetrodon’s Minicon port-being on the end of his tail like that is kind of useless.
Of course, this is Power Core Combiners, and the main event is always the combined mode… and oh my, the Dinopope is glorious! The only problem area I’ve had is the Pachycephalosaurus leg-it’s kinda finicky. The rest function much better than the Constructicons, though. I’m kind of bummed that he doesn’t have any real hands to speak of. It wouldn’t be so bad if the left arm actually looked like it could hold… something.

The best part of the combined mode has to be the chest-just look at it! He’s got a big, nasty skull chest like Gaiking! Add some black paint to “eyes” and you’ll have yourself the most menacing Autobot combiner out there!
Unfortunately, there is one minor drawback, and it’s only really a problem if you like to SCIENCE like I do. The Dinobot drones don’t really look good with anyone but Grimstone, and Grimstone looks weird with vehicle limbs. I would like to see another cybernetic beast in the PCC line, but I doubt that’s going to be happening any time soon…
EDIT: Actually, forget what I said about vehicle body plus dino limbs. I wrote this review before I got Steelshot, and he looks pretty awesome with Dinosaur Limbs. Grimstone with vehicles still looks silly, though.

Grimstone was definitely one of the more anticipated PCC entries, and the wait was definitely worth it. I wouldn’t say the fans really WANTED a Dinobot combiner, but this one was executed pretty well. Even if you’re not into the whole PCC thing I’d say he’s worth a look if you see him on the FPNYC shelves. He’d make a great apprentice for your Classics Grimlock!

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