Transformers Classics (Dirt Digger Team Review)

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Classics, Decepticon, Mini-Con

General Information:
Release Year: February 2007
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Average depending on retailer)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Image from the official Transformers web site.

When the Classics line was developed, several Mini-Cons were planned as two packs similar to the way they were set up in Cybertron. However when it was decided to package them in more traditional three packs, some creative mixing and matching had to be done. In this case a muscle car, motorcycle and monster truck were all put together to form the Decepticon Dirt Digger Team, a group that offers up a very diverse set of vehicles, each cool in their own way.

Tech Specs:*
"Mud slinging is our job, and we love a job well done." These guys might look like down and dirty backwoods brawlers, but in reality they are highly efficient spies and information warriors. All too often, those engaging the DIRT DIGGER TEAM in a battle of wits have found themselves sorely under-prepared. If you've got a dirty secret, these three will dig it up and show it to the world at the worst possible moment. They specialize in breaking the spirits of their enemies through a constant flow of false information.

Dirt Rocket Review

Images:

Tech Spec Stats:

Strength: 4 Intelligence: 8 Speed: 6 Endurance: 4 Rank: 6 Courage: 5 Fireblast: 4 Skill: 9

Vehicle Mode:
The smallest vehicle in the Dirt Digger group is Dirt Rocket. Taking a queue from the naming convention started back in Generation 2, Dirt Rocket uses some adjective attached to "Rocket" for his name. In this case you would think we were talking about some down and dirty sports bike from the sound of the name, but Dirt Rocket is really more of a ninja style bike. The smooth and rounded front end lead to an outer layer covering the main body of the bike that leads back into a tear drop shape. Dirt Rocket has two large exhaust pipes angled upward (one on either side). His handlebars stick striaght out to the sides complete with brake handles.

Dirt Rocket has just the right amount of details sculpted into the mold. The headlights are sculpted, there are details on the main body leading from the center to the rear wheels, there are two dials in between the handlebars and the seat has a layered look to it. It would be easy to say there should have been more detail, but for a Mini-Con this is about standard. Dirt Rocket rolls freely on two wheels. The wheels were made wide enough that he can stand on them without flopping over to one side.

The primary plastic colors used on Dirt Rocket are yellow and black. Metallic silver, blue and purple are used for paint details. The metallic blue is used for the front windshield while the silver is used for his headlights and exhaust pipes. The purple is used for a Decepticon symbol in front of the seat as well as jagged shaped details all over the yellow parts of the vehicle. They generally angle back, giving the impression of some type of flame pattern, but sharp. It's a nice looking pattern and works really well on the sculpt. I'm glad it's an original scheme for a new character as well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Lift the black section of the seat up a bit and split it in half, swinging each half out to the sides.
  2. Swing the front end of the vehicle down.
  3. Swing up the panel with the Decepticon symbol on it to reveal the robot head.
  4. Swing each arm forward.
  5. Split the front section of the vehicle to form the legs.

Robot Mode:
Dirt Rocket definitely wins points for having an original transformation scheme for a Mini-Con. His overall shape is a bit odd. While the upper body is fairly normal with a head, chest and two normal arms, the lower legs attach via ball joints and it looks like there is no real thigh or lower leg, which is sort of true. There are definitely individual leg sections but the upper legs angle back with the lower legs coming out in front, almost giving him a chicken walker look, but with more angled and curved lines.

The only real new details revealed are his arms, which look like they have angled armor on them and the face, which is painted silver. Dirt Rocket has eight points of articulation, but the arms are the only ones that really have a good range of movement. Despite being on ball joints, the legs just can't do all that much though the fact they bend at the knees helps a lot in posing him.

Overall I really like Dirt Rocket. He is a nice looking vehicle, has an off-beat robot mode and his transformation is fairly new.

Grindor Review

Images:

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 5 Endurance: 7 Rank: 6.5 Courage: 7 Fireblast: 5 Skill: 7

Vehicle Mode:
The second Mini-Con to be named Grindor is a monster truck and the largest of the Dirt Digger team. The front end of the vehicle leads to a rear section that angles up and then goes straight back into a right angle at the rear. The front end has a curved, raised section on the hood that widens up to the windshield. The tires are large and raise the vehicle up enough that it looks like you'd have to do a bit of climbing to get inside.

Smaller details can be found all over this guy. On the front are headlights with vertical lines sculpted into them. The hood piece has vent lines near the windshield and the windshield itself has wipers on it. Along with other details like sideview mirrors and door handles, Grindor definitely makes use of the wider parts of this figure.

Grindor is cast in grey and green plastic. Yellow, green and silver paint are used for details. The green is used for a splash like detail pattern on the front end while the yellow is used for the windows. His Decepticon symbol is painted in silver on the top of the cabin.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Split the front end of the vehicle and swing each front tire back against the rear tire, connecting them together.
  2. Split the rear of the vehicle and swing each half back to form the robot arms.
  3. Raise the robot head up.
  4. Turn each of the tire sections around then forward to form the robot legs.

Robot Mode:
Grindor is definitely meant to be the tough looking member of the team. His form is bulky on top which leads to even bulkier legs. The combined tire look of his legs evoke Beast Machines Blast Charge's design. The feet are huge, primarily made of the halves of the vehicle mode's front section. His arms are bulky at the top leading to lower arms with balled fists. Overall, this is a guy you do not want to mess with!

I can't help but think of Cybertron Crumplezone when I look at Grindor's head design. He has a wide, square shaped head with thin eyes that lead to a huge lower jaw piece resembling Trap Jaw from Masters of the Universe. The arms have nice line details sculpted in and each individual finger is distinctly sculpted. the central body has line patterns set in between tube like sections connected to each other. Grindor is not lacking in detail which is always cool to see in a figure this small.

The plastic colors remain the same here but a bit more yellow paint shows on the top of the robot head and on bands around the lower arms. The splash pattern from the hood of the vehicle is present here so it adds a bit of design and color to the robot mode.

Grindor has six points of articulation in this form. His arms are on ball joints so they have a good range of movement. His legs can move forward and back or kick out to the sides thanks to his transformation scheme.

Overall Grindor is a cool Mini-Con figure with a unique transformation among his kind.

Oil Slick Review

Images:

Strength: 7 Intelligence: 8 Speed: 6 Endurance: 6 Rank: 6 Courage: 6 Fireblast: 4 Skill: 9

Vehicle Mode:
If you have a team with a motorcycle and a monster truck, it's not that far of a stretch to put a vehicle that fits right in between them: a car. In this case Oil Slick is based off the classic Dodge Charger car, more in the back end than the front. He definitely has a classic muscle car aesthetic complete with a long front end with a raised section where the engine would be. The car rides really low to the ground as well. The front end indents in where two large circular headlights and a grille reside.

There are some smaller details to be found, though one cannot expect too many given the type of vehicle we're talking about here. Dodge Chargers in general didn't have a ton of details. Still, you'll find small side reflector lights on the sides in front of each wheel, vent lines along the edge of the windshield, windshield wipers and door handles.

Oil Slick is cast in grey and orange plastic. purple and black plastic is used for paint detailing. The front end has a purple flame pattern and black is used on the windows and for a large Decepticon symbol on the top of the cabin section. As color schemes go this one is very much in line with modern day tuner cars that have rather loud color schemes. However many fans (including myself) saw many redeco possibilities right away including making this guy a modern day version of a fan favorite Micromaster from G1 named Big Daddy who was black with orange flames. The cool thing about this car design is that a lot of different color schemes can be put on it and still look good.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Split the front end of the car and swing each half out to the sides.
  2. Detach the rear section from the cabin.
  3. Swing each top half of the rear section out to form the robot legs.
  4. Rotate the lower body around.
  5. Rotate the robot arms down so the purple parts face down.
  6. Swing out each robot appendage.

Robot Mode:
Out of the three members of this team, Oil Slick is probably the most normal looking of the bunch despite some of his parts being rather out of proportion. The robot head design is very reminscent of the Armada Mini-Con Bonecrusher with the top half being a visor eye type piece and the lower part being a regular face with a nose and mouth. His torso has an interesting design with a three sided shape that has angled sections in the middle and two angling upwards to the sides. The arms are primarily made from the front end of the car and look huge but powerful at the same time. His legs are pretty standard for a Micromaster/Mini-Con type design, but I am happy to see they weren't made simply but just swinging the legs back. It shows a tad more thought and creativity.

Smaller details are what makes this guy. The chest has lines on it that look almost like seatbelt braces. He has vent details on the angled part of his waist and his weapon on the right arm is a serrated blade that fits a character becoming a classic muscle car. It evokes thoughts of switchblade fights in old movies. His other hand is a claw, a very Mini-Con feature.

the same colors from the vehicle mode carry over here. More grey shows in the blade, claw and waist. The top part of his head is painted purple while the face is silver. I would have liked a bit more color to break the monotony of the orange on the central part of his body, but at least the flames on his arms add a nice splash of color.

Oil Slick has six points of articulation in this form. I'm being generous in counting his blade and claw. However the arms and legs are on ball joints, so they offer quite a good range of movement.

Oil Slick is my favorite member of this team. He's a well made Mini-Con that looks great in both modes and I really dig his choice of weapon.

Final Thoughts:
While diverse this team definitely works together. It feels very much like an adolecent male's fantasy of a team, which works out if you consider the target audience of this toy line (no offense ladies). Highly recommended!