Today I bring you the latest Dark of the Moon exclusive offering in the form of "new" Mini-Cons! Before I start I have a confession. I'm a Mini-Con whore. I love these little TFs. I've got a butt load already and I have a hard time resisting buying more...even if I already own the molds 3 times over! When these were first announced as a shared online exclusive I couldn't wait. While the dinosaur Mini-Con molds may not have the best robot modes, the dino modes are quite fun. I still can't believe it took Hasbro this long to release these toys in G1 Dinobot colors. The inclusion of Catilla is a little puzzling, but I'll take it.
I can't say I'm too surprised that Hasbro chose to release these toys under the current Dark of the Moon (DOTM) banner. The packaging is really nice as it uses the Legion Class Cyberverse style. If you can get past the names you can see miniature versions of Grimlock, Swoop and Slag. 2 of the 3 names were just used in Animated so I'm surprised to see Hasbro didn't use the classic G1 names here. At least Catilla shares the name with the G1 Pretender big cat, Catilla.
Dualor, or Grimlock if you will is the best of the bunch in my opinion. The paint apps on the figure are really nice. I was surprised to see that all of these toys have the old Armada Mini-Con faction symbol tampographed on them. I really wish there was a back story on these guys, but unfortunately there isn't any information given for the character outside the individual rankings. I should point out the tail on mine wants to come off really easy. My guess is this mold is starting to show some wear as it's been used several times between the U.S. and Japan markets.
Rav, or Swoop is a great example of a great dino mode and a horrible robot mode. You can barely see the robot's face! The best thing going for this particular toy are the colors. G1 Swoop didn't have any gold, but it still looks good overall.
Triceradon, or Slag (or Snarl in Animated) also suffers from a crappy robot mode. The distance between the legs is just too much for me. He does appear to look strong with his wide upper body and fists. I'll be displaying him in dino mode.
Catilla, the "extra" figure as I see it. I like this toy. The beast mode is great and while the robot mode isn't the best it works for me. Normally I don't like it when robots have a animal head/mouth for a hand, but like Beast Wars Megatron it fits pretty good here. I like how the lower jaw is painted silver as well as the little cannon inside the mouth. Overall the use of the silver paint really helps break up the gold plastic and gives a better robotic look. I also love the square shaped head as it reminds me of the G1 Scramble City toys (Combaticons, Stunticons, Terrorcons, Protectobots, Aerialbots). I thought my favorite version of this toy was Snowcat, but I'd have to put Catilla up there at the top now.
The question at hand is should you buy them?For me the answer was easy for all the reasons I listed in the opening paragraph. $5.00 per figure may be a little pricey for what you get, but the colors are really nice and the G1 homage is probably enough to en tice some collector's to buy these even if they don't collect Mini-Cons. At the time of this posting you can grab the set via Amazon.com or Entertainment Earth for a little cheaper than what I paid so what are you waiting for?