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Toybox Review: Transformers Studio Series 86 Dinobot Slug & Daniel Witwicky - Mexinter.net

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Title : Toybox Review: Transformers Studio Series 86 Dinobot Slug & Daniel Witwicky - Mexinter.net
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Toybox Review: Transformers Studio Series 86 Dinobot Slug & Daniel Witwicky - Mexinter.net

Transformers Studio Series 86 Dinobot Slug & Daniel Witwicky 01

Release Date: July 2021
RRP: $52.99/£54.99

The 35th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie may have come and gone, but the Studio Series 86 line continues to run strong with plenty of characters still left for Hasbro to release. Among them are of course fan-favourites the Dinobots, four of which had a prominent place in the film (Snarl's whereinabouts continue to be a mystery to this day). With Hasbro's current strive for G1 accuracy it also means bigger Dinobots than ever before, continuing with the Leader class Dinobot Slug & Daniel Witwicky. Due to the name's connotations in certain parts of the world, this is the new marketed name for the triceratops formerly known as Slag.

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"DINOBOT SLUG excuses himself as he stomps over a crushed QUINTESSON PROSECUTOR."

A nice big figure needs a nice big box, with Slag/Slug joining Dinobot leader Grimlock as the second Leader class figure in the Studio Series 86 range. The box features the same design as the rest of the line, including some amazing new art of Slag in dinosaur mode being rode by an Exo-suited Daniel Witwicky. This art is repeated on each side of the packaging, alongside various 86 logos as well as the figure's designated numbering in the line – seven. The back of the box features images of the figure in both modes alongside a short one-sentence character bio and the tagline "Mockery of Justice" – referencing the Dinobots arrival at the Quintesson Court in the movie. Open the box up and you'll find the figure and accessories neatly stored on a moulded plastic tray – something soon to be gone from these boxes as Hasbro attempt to move to plastic-free packaging in 2022.

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Like all the Studio Series releases, the figure also comes with a backdrop inner tray depicting a specific scene from the movie. Unfortunately it's yet another repeat here, as it's the same Quintesson Pit of Judgement background used for both Grimlock and Gnaw. At least with Gnaw you were getting it at a different scale, but as the second time around with a Leader class figure this is completely identical. It's not like they were short of scenes Slag appears in either, as they could have easily gone with an Attack on Autobot City backdrop (previously included with Blur but would have been nice to have at a different scale), an Autobot shuttle backdrop or just a different Quintessa one to represent their first meeting with Wheelie. It's a shame Hasbro seem to be running out of ideas on these very quickly (or are just being very lazy with them), but as pretty much the only flaw with an otherwise fantastic release it's very easy to overlook.

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There have been a lot of great Dinobot figures over the years but what really makes the Studio Series 86 versions special is the sheer size of them. Grimlock has had the luxury of a Masterpiece figure so Leader Class size wasn't all that new to him, but for Slag that's something that hasn't been experienced outside of third party releases. True to the mantra of the Studio Series 86 line (as well as the War for Cybertron trilogy), Slag is incredibly accurate to his cartoon version – in fact this is the first time Hasbro have released a G1 Slag with a cartoon-accurate red head! There's been toon accurate Takara repaints in the past, but usually Hasbro opt for the toy-accurate black head instead. Even with so much of his dinosaur mode hanging off the back of his body this is a really impressive looking figure, with both the height and mass one would immediately associate with bruisers like the Dinobots. The red of the torso and head really stand out against the familiar grey and gold colouring all of the Dinobots have. The head sculpt sports a slightly stern expression which again completely fits with the character, as well as some gorgeous metallic blue paint for the eyes which really stands out when it catches the light.

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But it isn't just the size and detail they've packaged into Slag that makes him so impressive, it's all that wonderful articulation as well. Gone are the days wherein the bigger a Transformer is the less poseable they are, with this Leader class figure able to pull off the same action posing as his deluxe and voyager sized line-mates. Altogether the figure features; 
- Ball jointed head 
- Ratchet joint shoulders and hips with forward and sideward motion 
- Waist, bicep, thigh and wrist swivels
- Hinged elbows, knees and ankles 
On top of that, as part of the transformation Slag's head is also on a hinged panel that can be raised/lowered to position the head all the more. Even with so much kibble hanging off the back of his body it's amazing just how much movement this figure has, with the combination of those huge feet and hinged ankle tilts perfect for getting the balance just right in those poses as well.

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Slag also comes packaged with his Electron Blaster, similar to that of the original G1 toy but moulded in grey plastic as opposed to the original's chrome silver. With the Dinobots having spent the majority of the movie (as well as the subsequent season of the series) in dinosaur mode it feels a little strange for a Studio Series figure to be coming with a weapon, but unlike Grimlock Slag's is actually part of his transformation so it makes a little more sense here. That said, given the more feral nature of the Dinobots many associate them with having swords rather than blasters so it's a shame that couldn't have found its way into the release as well.

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The transformation to dinosaur mode is laid out across 33 easy to follow steps, which sees Slag impressively condense down into a smaller but extremely chunky Triceratops. Though a relatively straightforward transformation there are a lot of impressive steps along the way, such as the way the torso pulls upward to create the jaw (which perfectly hides the robot mode head) and in turn the robot mode shoulders compress inside the body for a better silhouette. One of the best elements however is how the weapon storage is actually an integral part of the transformation, with the blaster clipping on to the end of the tail. After so many recent releases wherein the weapon storage feels like an afterthought (Grimlock's is particularly bad), this is extremely refreshing. In dinosaur mode Slag follows a similar design aesthetic to Grimlock – heavily G1 cartoon-inspired in appearance/colours but with the same additional moulding across the body to give it a more updated look that fits in with the various War for Cybertron trilogy figures. It looks absolutely fabulous, with so much of the robot mode's red body impressively hidden under that shell of grey and gold. The face sculpt has so much of Slag's fierce yet dim-witted personality imbued into it as well, those bright blue eyes really standing out to give him the perfect look.

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In dinosaur mode Slag sports an opening lower jaw as well as fully rotating legs with working knee joints. The front legs can also swing outwards, giving the toy the ability to pull off a more ferocious wide-legged stance. Inside that opening jaw also hides another surprise though – a peg joint that can be used to attach some of the effect parts that have been included with Transformers figures in recent years. I've demonstrated this above with the laser beam effect included with Scourge (as it's the only one I have), but while this looks pretty good it would definitely be even better with a proper fire effect. Given there's a scene wherein Slag breathes fire in the movie itself, I'm surprised one wasn't included one here.

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There's still one surprise left with this release though – a miniature Daniel Witwicky (in Exo-suit) figure that can ride Slag in both robot and dinosaur modes. Though technically a whole new figure in terms of sculpting Daniel has been produced exactly the same way as Wheelie – a semi-articulated figure with ball jointed arms and legs but stuck in a very specific pose that doesn’t really work on its own. The Exo-suit is actually rather nicely designed with all the detailing of its onscreen counterpart though, even if it lacks an actual Daniel head and instead simply opts for an opaque white helmet area. Ultimately it's not an especially good figure, but feels much more of a pack-in bonus than Wheelie did. While it's been leaked that a transforming Spike in Exo-suit figure will be released at some point (suggesting that a Daniel would also be possible), Daniel is definitely a much harder sell on his own and doesn't need articulation or the ability to transform in the same way Wheelie does.

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Studio Series 86 Dinobot Slug & Daniel Witwicky is a release that's been garnering almost universal praise across the Transformers fandom, but even then I don't think I was fully prepared for just how good this toy is. An absolute beast of a toy in both robot and dinosaur modes, Slag completely justifies his leader class price point with both size and detailing as well as a clever yet easy to follow transformation. Sure the Daniel figure isn't that great, but the quality of everything else here more than makes up for it. If the rest of the inevitable Studio Series Dinobots are going to be this good, then they could easily be the best group of releases across the whole line. Grimlock better watch out, it seems like there's a new king in town.



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