Monday, May 17, 2010

KO Korner: G1 Transformers Les Robots Dinosaures "Grimlock"

QUICK INFO:
Name: TL-331 Tyrannosaurus
Line: LesRobots Dinosaures (Aptoys)
Year: unknown
Price: unknown


Today's review will be different than any of the past as we'll take a look at a knock-off or bootleg toy. I normally steer clear of these for oh so many reasons, but this is one that I stumbled across that I just couldn't say no to. Why? Read on.


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As you may be able to tell from the packaging this is a transforming dinosaur robot. What the trained eye may not be able to tell though (unless you are a geek like me!) is that this is no ordinary transforming dinosaur. More specifically a knock-off of the 1985 Transformers Generation One Dinobot Grimlock. This toy was made in Taiwan by a company called Aptoys. I have no further information on the history of this toy unfortunately. The figure is simply referred to as TL-331 Tyrannosaurus. As you can tell from the packaging it is very colorful sporting a lime green color with yellow trim and multicolored dinosaurs. What kid wouldn't have wanted this back in the day? I should note my specimen here didn't come with a plastic window on the box. Not sure if it ever had one to begin with.

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The back of the box is a little better than the front as it features some artwork of this toy as well as the other 2 released in the line. TL-332 Triceratope is obviously a knock-off of G1 Slag while TL-333 Prontosaurus is a knock-off of G1 Sludge albeit with some changes! Our new version of Grimlock here isn't without his own changes either. At first glance you may not notice anything different on the artwork, but if you look closer at the back you'll see there is now a stretch of scales making a rigid fin running from the base of the neck to the tip of the tail. More on that later. You may have also noticed a crude transformation sequence of instructions printed on the upper left hand of the box. I can tell from the 4 tiny pictures that this transforms in the same manner as G1 Grimlock.

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Now let's take Grimlock out of the box so we can take a closer look. The toy is sealed onto a cardboard insert featuring more realistic art. After looking at the art on the back of the box and even the front this seems a little out of place. But who cares about the art...we bought this for the toy! Grimlock here is cast in a dark green plastic with the neck joint being a translucent neon yellow plastic. The toes, tail, arms and other bits are a gold chrome (replacing silver chrome on the real toy). Here we can also see some of the changes they made to the mold outside of the color differences. Earlier I noticed the new spine on the back. Here you can see this new molded spine runs from the base of the neck to the tip of the tail. The portion of the spine on the lower back (which forms the legs) doesn't seem to fit very well and doesn't look integrated at all. The other new part isn't quite as noticeable at first. On top of the dino head is a gold chrome bump. I'm not sure how else to describe it! What purpose it serves I have no idea. Perhaps something that was just thrown on to avoid legal ramifications?

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Without taking the toy completely out of the packaging it's hard to get a good camera angle of this gold bump added to the top of the head. Sorry guys.

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I was surprised to see that the weapons included are all reproductions of the original. The sword is now gold chrome instead of the softer red plastic used in the original. All the weapons seem to be in the same scale as the original which is a plus.

I've seen the knock-off version of Sludge from this line before, but I've never seen this toy let alone packaged and still sealed. I'm not planning on opening it since I have a G1 Grimlock and since I don't how good (or bad) the plastic quality is. I do think it's one of the better looking G1 knock-offs I've seen in my years of collecting and a nice little conversation piece.

3 comments:

  1. Nice review! I just picked up the KO Slag from the same line...

    http://i790.photobucket.com/albums/yy184/sportinmorton_2010/KO_Slag.jpg

    Would love to snag your Grimmy if you ever decide to part with him :)

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    1. Thanks! I sold him off shortly after doing the review. In hindsight I wish I'd kept him now since I'm building a little G1 KO collection.

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  2. This line looks like knock off of a knock off line called "Prehistory Animals". I had their Grimlock, it was brown with a horn on the nose, fangs, and the ridges on the spine you see on yours. Also, it had diecast. This line looks ineresting. I wonder what the quality of plastic is like>

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