Diaclone Grimlock, Takara, 1984

Pretty recently, I scored a Diaclone version from an Italian seller, most likely a GiG. Like most vintage G1 Goldilocks, he’s loosey goosey around the arms and the tab to hold the head in place, but he displays just fine – good enough for these pics and to display deskside, which is all I need to be happy. (That and the Masterpiece version with the waiter outfit!)

The Dinobots were the ultimate G1 completist’s team dream, aside from the gestalts. Except for Grimlock and Swoop, Sludge and Snarl were easily obtained in my neck of the woods (on the East Coast). But nabbing a shiny new Grimlock was definitely a major feat – not as rare as a G1 Prime, but still an accomplishment nonetheless. I never had him as a kid, as the only Dbot I had was Sludge, but I got to play with a buddy’s once or twice and I vaguely remember the awkward hip transformation and exploding chest syndrome (not the Aliens kind). What bothered me the most was how far back his head was in comparison to his chest. Like, a mile behind the goalpost.


Still, I always wanted the King of the dinos and the Dinobots, and I whined to Santa about him every Christmas from ’85-88, knowing full well that he was unattainable, sold out from shelves and never to be restocked. (By that point I had already given up on a G1 Optimus.) Then, at some point I went to a tiny toy shop that sold bootleg TFs: Kingdam seekers, knockoff cassettes, and such, which is where I found out about Diaclone Grimlock, or rather, as they are properly known: DINOSAUR ROBO! But the bootleg version, that is. I wasn’t allowed to buy it, but I went home with this new knowledge of other non-Hasbro versions of the same toy in circulation. Mind blown, I told my friends at school about my newly acquired discovery, but with no product in hand, neither Internet nor photographic evidence, they didn’t believe me. I was just fibbing in order to sound cool. But I knew… there was “more than meets the eye”.

You full of cesium salami!
Lookie how cute he is with them stubby toilet handle arms!
These Diaclone-version teeth are WAY too sharp for fragile lawsuit prone American youth!
Had to stick a Diaclone driver in there or else this cockpit would have been used for nothing but holding dustballs. Now he looks complete, like a tourist on a Thai elephant?
Not the comfiest seat, but at least it’s got a good 360-degree view.
The US release was in 1985, at which point came the red crotch version we all remember from the show.
Ah, the obligatory Sears Wishbook catalog shot.
I much prefer the blue undies. They remind me of my Batman Underoos.
Funny that a dino with such stubby arms would turn into a bot with such long gorilla arms. But hey with that much firepower, can’t really argue.
Not a bad back side for a G1 bot. I do love how the dino parts form wings.
But it kind of reminds me of tribal hunters wearing animal hides.

I think they did a great job designing this guy overall. C’mon, he’s a T-Rex. He’s got badass written all over him. In robot mode, he’s pretty well proportioned, and my only gripe is his head to chest distance. But like with many things (or people), it’s fine if you just look at him from a certain angle. All in all, he’s still the King.


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