Series: Movie Tie-ins
Alternate Mode: Payloader
Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Grindcore for this review
Height: 8cm Length: 14.5cm (19cm with gun attached) Width: 7cm
A lime green payloader with big black tyres and some grey mechanical details - notably the shovel arms and single stabilising leg sticking up at the back (the robot mode missile launcher). Grindcore has silver painted windows on his small central cabin and silver hubcaps. There's a silver Autobot logo stamped on top of the cabin and some silver and brown scrape marks painted on the teeth of the bucket. This is a decent good colour scheme, although I can't help being reminded of Scrapper, and wonder why this is an Autobot. There's no purple here, for the record. He's a repaint of Cybertron Landmine, with the yellow and brown plastics of that toy combined into lime green here.
The small cabin and wide tyres suggest this earthmover is huge, and there are small ladders moulded on either side between the wheels which back this up. Other moulded details include roof mounted floodlights, painted lime green over black plastic, pistons on the shovel arms and four silver exhaust pipes behind the cabin.
The big black tyres roll fairly well, making quite a bit of noise as they do so. There's a single stabilising leg at the back which is fixed in the "up" position (it's a means of stowing the robot mode missile launcher). The shovel arms have hinges at the base and the connection with the shovel itself along with another pair of hinges midway which are really intended for Landmine's transformation. The attachment joints are quite tight, but I'm happy to report that the shovel stays together easily - which isn't the case on my Landmine.
Grindcore's red Planet Key can slot into either rear hubcap, although the gimmick needs a little tweaking first. Lift the rear tyres up to the sides, insert key into each slot and turn to reveal six silver sawblades concealed in the middle of each tyre. The end result is a instrument of destruction with twin circular saws and a missile launcher. There are two small silver wheels underneath the front of this quasi-vehicle, ensuring Grindcore can still roll. While it's not all that much to look at and is a weird concept, this gimmick scores points for originality and doesn't get in the way of the Transformer itself.
Once the twin saws are deployed, the key is no longer needed (although it'll happily sit in one of the slots). Spinning one saw will cause the other to spin in the opposite direction thanks to two black rubber wheels inside the central block of the toy (which are partially visible but far from prominent). This doesn't work seem to work as well on Tiby's Grindcore as it does on my Landmine, for some reason. Incidentally, you can deploy the blades without the key fairly easy, which is handy if you lose the key or can't be bothered fishing it out.
While there's nothing spectacular about this mode, there's really nothing much wrong either. The dual-colour paint on the shovel's wear is a great touch and his details are nice while the gimmick is creative and unobtrusive. The play value is very satisfying for a deluxe construction vehicle. While this repaint is fairly random and doesn't really tribute any existing character, it's well executed.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the leg/missile launcher. Flip out the underside to the front, forming his legs, lift out his feet and heelspurs. Split the shovel in half and swing the arms out to the sides. Lift up the rear tyres and fold the back of the vehicle down to form his backpack. Swivel the grey waist blocks forward, which will push the groin block out into place. Turn the exhausts down to either side, revealing his head, then fold the exhausts back as shoulderguards. Swing out the fists and fold back the shovel halves. Lastly, give Grindcore his missile launcher and deploy the blades on his backpack if you feel inclined.
Height: 13.5cm Width: 13.5cm
Again Grindcore is lime green with some grey, this time there are some brown painted details added to his forehead, forearms and boots. The upper arms, fists, waist and groin blocks are grey. His face is a well sculpted silver affair with blue eyes and a red crest. His feet are black, along with the floodlights on his chest, while the face is silver with blue eyes. While the black is a little random, it's black, I'd much rather random black than random pink or orange - it stays in its corner here. The colours remind me of Rhinox, although only vaguely, which is a good thing since there's a Rhinox toy which shares this mould. Overall it's a decent colour scheme.
There are some really nice engineering aspects here, particularly in where the vehicle parts end up. The shovel arms work well as features on the forearms, without getting in Grindcore's way. The exhausts look good on his shoulders and the Autobot logo on his roof is now central on his chest. The front fenders sit on the outsides of his ankles and like the shovel halves work as features rather than being simply kibble.
This robot mode is quite blocky and solid, which is fitting for a construction vehicle Transformer. The head is noble and wise, the wheels on his back look fine and have the added bonus of the retractable blades. My main complaint about this mode centres around rather visible screws on his forearms and shoulders - something you'd usually find on smaller G1 toys. Still, compared to the good aspects here four pieces of metal aren't much to worry about.
The articulation here is pretty good for such a blocky toy, and reminds me of the Car Robots Buildtrons (RiD Landfill). The head turns, the shoulders rotate and the arms lift out to the sides. The elbows are ball jointed and the wrists swing back and forth, ensuring the shovel halves can get out of the way for any pose. The hips are ball jointed while the knees twist and bend. The feet and heelspurs can fold down and allow for a variety of stable leg poses.
The gimmick on his back still works, although the visual impact is obviously less than in vehicle mode (unless you look from behind). The missile launcher is quite powerful, it'll happily send the single missile across the room, but the grey trigger has to be pressed firmly to fire - a good thing since powerful, easy to fire launchers lose their missiles quickly. Along with the poseability of this robot, the launcher gives Grindcore good play value, despite the fact that his gimmick is almost irrelevant.
If you liked the Buildtrons, you should like this robot mode, which strongly reminds me of the engineering of that team. The clever engineering of his shovel's transformation makes for a distinctive, attractive robot mode while the play value is very good. When it's all rolled into one, the visible screws hardly matter. I'm not entirely sold on the supporting colours here, but they're far from awful - just not quite what I'd like.
None that I'm aware of. As mentioned, he shares the mould with Cybertron Landmine & BotCon Rhinox.
We've seen a proliferation of construction vehicles in the Transformers toyline down the years, but this is one of the stronger moulds in that category, so I don't mind a general release repaint such as this. He doesn't quite fit into the movie aesthetic with his block form, but works better than some of the other repaints shoehorned in alongside him. The colours are pretty good, even if the lime green is synonymous with the Constructicons. Grindcore deals with his shovel in robot mode better than most construction vehicle Transformers, and has two attractive modes that are fun to play with. Recommended if you missed Landmine - 8.5/10