When you think of the top Transformers you have to list Grimlock among the finalists. The big grey and gold Tyrannosaurus Rex roared into kid’s hands and imaginations back in 1985 and stayed there until today. Grimlock was Like many of the transformers from the second year of the Hasbro line that started life in the Japanese company Takara’s Diaclone line. He suffered some alterations including his blue pelvis was changed to red, his sword was changed from chrome to flat red, the Diaclone driver mini-figure was dropped but still retained the cockpit (though later releases had it permanently locked shut), and his teeth were altered for safety reasons. Dinosaurs were a natural addition, boys love them and Tyrannosaurus Rex fit that bill although others were released that year (Triceratops, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus, Pteranodon) but none could stand up to Grimlock. Often imitated never duplicated Grimlock is King.
He gained a pretender shell a few years later and on the outside he looked human but on the inside he was all dino and in G2 he turned Blue…. well actually three different colors; the first and rarest in his original silver (the easiest way to spot if this is a Generation 2 or original is by the “Autobot” tampograph on his leg), then in a medium turquoise-blue, and finally (and most commonly) in a dark blue. When “Beast Wars” arrived in 1995 they teased us with two Dinosaurs, the Predacon Megatron was a T-Rex and the Predacon turncoat who became Maximal Dinobot was a raptor. But every one missed Grimmy so in 1997 they repainted Dinobot in white, gold and black spots and called him Grimlock, but he never made the TV show.
In 2001 Hasbro turned away from animals and back to vehicles and Grimlock was given a new form a green back hoe that was initially released as part of the Takara Car Robots line as Build Hurricane. The Hasbro Robots in Disguise version adds several small Paint operations to him for detail. But this form had nothing to do with his old character. In 2005 Grimlock was back in his T-Rex form but this time he combined with Swoop (Pterosaur) to make a robot called Mega-Dinobot. In 2006 Grimlock was an in the “Classics” line and he was nice, I like him and have him in my collection. He is a gray and gold Tyrannosaurus Rex, a re-imagined form of his original toy, and is notably designed to run rather than drag (based on changing theories on the T-Rex since the G1 incarnation).
Then in 2008 the Titanium series created a new Grimmy based upon his appearance from The War Within comic, this version of Grimlock transforms into a Cybertronic heavy tank which was partly die-cast and plastic and was thought of his form before he changed to a Dinosaur. In 2009 Masterpiece released two versions of him MP-8 the general release and MP-8X the Takara-Tomy official shopping site Toy Hobby Market, both were based upon his original toy and cartoon model, transforming into an outdated view of the Tyrannosaurus rather than the more accurate depiction seen on Classics Grimlock. Of all the Masterpiece figures, Grimlock features both the least complex transformation, as well as the least deviation from his original toy’s essential transformation scheme. He was big, grey and gold and other then some different paint applications and a crown the X version is basically the same thing. This version would be released twice more (2010, 2014) as Toys R Us exclusives.
In 2012 Fall of Cybertron video game changed the way we think of Grimlock’s origins. (In the cartoon, Inspired by dinosaur fossils, Wheeljack and Ratchet built the dinobots, The Marvel comics Grimlock was on the ark and was activated to fight Shockwave and given the form of a dinosaur. In Dreamwave comics he was a gladiator on Cybertron and would follow the Autobots to earth). This time around He was changed into a Dinosaur by Shockwave while still on Cybertron. This form saw three releases and the last one has gold chrome and a more G1 accurate color scheme and was a Target exclusive and I am happy to have him in my collection (except in Dino mode he has a hollow area on his belly that does not look so great).
In 2014 the move TF4 Age of Extinction saw Grimlock finally as a live action transformer but the whole appearance was lacking in a few ways. First off they never explained why he and the Dinobots were dinosaurs, nor did they refer to them as Dinobots or by their names. They were merely mentioned as being legendary Cybertronian Knights captured by the mercenary Lockdown. Although bigger and stronger then Optimus Prime, he was still bested by Prime. Also one thing irked me, when Optimus said “I am Optimus Prime” I so wanted Grimmy to say “Me, Grimlock!” but he didn’t and it was a real shame. This addition has seen many toys but it is still not “my” Grimlock. The smug, arrogant, but not so smart guy who thinks he should be in command of the Autobots (similar in spirit to Starscream who wishes to be in command of the Decepticons)….. did I say command, that would not be good enough for Grimmy who would roar “ME, GRIMLOCK KING!!!!!”