"Generations" Power of the Primes Dinobot Sludge Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Deluxe, Dinobot, Generation One, Generations, Power of the Primes

Generations

Power of the Primes

Sludge General Information:
Release Date: February 2018
Price Point: $16.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster, Prime Armor, Prime Armor cover

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:
Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe Class figures are 5.5-inch-scale figures that come with a Prime Armor accessory. The robot action figure also comes with a blaster accessory. The Deluxe Class Dinobot Sludge figure converts between robot and brontosaurus mode in 20 steps.

Power of the Primes Deluxe Class figures work with Prime Master figures (not included, each sold separately, subject to availability). Fans can collect Prime Master characters and imagine Dinobot Sludge using the godlike abilities contained within the Prime Masters. See how Dinobot Sludge might use these amazing powers with the included collectible character card.

What Dinobot Sludge lacks in brains he makes up for in strength. With the might of his massive feet, the Dinobot Demolisher makes the earth, and his enemies, quake.

Figure Specs:

  • 5.5-inch scale Generations Deluxe Class figures feature the details and articulation fans look for in a Transformers robot figure.
  • Dinobot Sludge figure changes between robot and brontosaurus mode in 20 steps.
  • Attach the Prime Armor accessory to the Dinobot Sludge figure.

Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In 1985 the Generation One toy line and cartoon introduced the Dinobots. These Autobots transformed into robotic dinosaurs. Dinosaurs have a timeless popularity and having Transformers that turn into them was an obvious (and fun) choice. Over the years the term "Dinobot" has been applied to a sub-group of Maximals during the "Beast Machines" era and of course, a Maximal character in "Beast Wars". However, fans have wanted the original five Dinobots in new toy form for quite some time. Fans have sort of been teased over the years such as having a Voyager Class Grimlock (but none of the other Dinobots) and of course a line of Dinobots in the "Age of Extinction" toy line. However, it was not until "Power of the Primes" where we are being promised all five original Dinobots in new forms!

Sludge is one of the Dinobots who has been largely ignored over the years. There was a Basic Class Sludge released in 2003 (a redeco of "Beast Wars Neo" Sling) but it was not until "Age of Extinction" that fans had something approaching a "proper" Sludge. Now after all these years Sludge is finally back in a form based on his G1 design, complete with a Sauropod beast mode!

Packaging:
The Deluxe Class figures for "Power of the Primes" are packaged in a blister bubble glued to a card. The card continues the current trend of having a red Transformers logo set vertically on the right side (if you are facing the card) with the "Generations" logo above it. Most of the card is covered in character artwork. In Sludge's case his artwork shows him in beast mode. The figure is in robot mode inside the bubble with the accessories to the side. The insert inside the bubble has the "Power of the Primes" logo on it with the character's name. The back of the packaging shows Sludge in his various modes including having the Prime Armor attached. On the right side it shows the Prime Armor attached with Micronus inside the Armor. The cosells are various Prime Masters (Alpha Trion, Alchemist Prime and Vector Prime).

The "Power of the Primes" figures from Legends Class up come with collectors cards. However, unlike the "Titans Return" cards which featured tech spec stats, these focus on what ability the character gets if they connect to a specific Prime Master Spark. This means there are thirteen potential card variations per character (one for each Prime)! In my copy of Sludge I received a "Solus Sludge" card indicating he crafts a planet-sized simulation chamber so bots can train. A friend also gave me the card for Onyx Sludge which says he crushes Decepticon Sparks on their journey back to Primus (brutal!).

It is also notable that this is marks a return to the character's original name. In "Age of Extinction" the character clearly based on Sludge was called "Slog". I am happy to see Hasbro managed to get the name back for this release.

Accessories:
Sludge includes two accessories. The larger one is his "Prime Armor". This piece is designed to connect via 5mm peg to either Sludge's chest or back as armor. There is a clear plastic panel in the middle that you can remove to attach either a Titan Master in head mode or a Prime Master in "Spark" mode. The Prime Armor features spikes on the bottom. These are actually the "knuckles" for the Prime Armor's hand mode for Sludge's combiner limb form (more on that later in this review).

The other accessory is a blaster based on G1 Sludge's missile launcher weapon. The piece that looks like it is most directly inspired by G1 Sludge's weapon is the targeting scope on top (the original Sludge used the targeting scope as a button to press to "fire" a missile). The rest however looks like a blaster with an outer cylinder casing and machinery underneath. This piece is cast in black with no paint.

Robot Mode:
When Hasbro and Takara sought to create new versions of the Dinobots, they looked to the original G1 designs as the foundation for these new designs. Sludge's outline is based on his G1 counterpart. This includes rounded shoulders on a bulky torso, "wings" on his back and the beast mode legs sticking out on the sides of the lower legs. A lot of the smaller details on the figure also come directly from G1 Sludge as well. These include:

  • The head sculpt appears to be based on the G1 cartoon model for Sludge. The helmet has a distinctive shape with a flat top that goes down at angles, widening out at the bottom. There is a large central crest and small "horns" on the sides. The face has two eyes, a nose and a very pronounced "chin piece".
  • The shoulders are roughly disk shaped.
  • Beast mode claws wind up on the wrists.
  • The torso has a similar shape to the G1 Sludge action figure, complete with a section that extends out in the middle with a series of horizontal ridges running across it.
  • The lower legs curve and widen towards the feet. The feet are very rectangular, blocky sections.

There are some differences in the construction. First, the "wings" wind up on the lower part of the back, so they are not right behind the shoulders as they are in the G1 figure. This design also eliminates some of the ridges that run down the beast mode back, so the feet do not have any on them. Also, the shoulders on this figure are nowhere near as large (proportionally speaking) as the G1 version which takes away a bit of power from the appearance of the character. While these differences are not great, they are also not deal breakers in my book, but I want fans aware of them in case you were expecting a 100% faithful G1 reproduction (which this figure is not).

Sludge is cast in silver, red and black plastic which are the "standard" Dinobot colors. The silver makes up most of the body with the black used on smaller parts like the fists and head. The torso section is red plastic. There is some clear plastic as well but that will mostly show in beast mode. Silver paint is used on the head and torso. One detail carried over from the G1 figure is what looks like a targeting reticle in the middle of his torso. The middle of the chest and the forearms are painted black. A small Autobot symbol is found on the chest in red. His eyes are painted yellow, which is based on the original G1 toy. Each lower leg has a tampograph on it featuring machinery like details. This is based directly on a sticker from G1 Sludge and I love it! Sure I would have liked to see more G1 Sludge sticker-inspired deco, but as a balance between his G1 animated and toy forms, I am happy with the result.

There are fourteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three on each arm and leg. he also has waist articulation. Some of these points (including the shoulders and hips) are ball joints, allowing for a good range of movement. His joints are also nice and tight, especially the elbows which are partly composed of a cog-shaped elbow section that has "notches" which help hold the forearms up. On the chest there is a 5mm port allowing you to attach the Prime Armor. He also has three 5mm ports on the back (on the "wings" and the beast mode neck) allowing you to attach accessories.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  4. Swing the clear panel at the base of the beast mode neck piece out.
  5. Swing the neck of the beast mode head up over the robot head, then swing the panel back in place.
  6. Swing the robot arms up.
  7. Swing the "wing" pieces together.
  8. Rotate the robot forearm sections around, then bend the arms at the elbows. Swing the arms back a bit.
  9. Rotate the robot waist around.
  10. Swing the rear beast mode legs down.
  11. Swing the tail pieces up, then forward and then out to the sides.
  12. Swing the black heel pieces forward into the lower legs.
  13. Push the robot mode's lower legs together, then swing them forward.
  14. There are tabs on the "wing" parts from the robot mode that should slot into the sections under the robot mode feet. Together these form the back of the beast mode body.
  15. Swing the tail sections back and connect them together.
  16. Swing the beast mode legs down.
  17. The Prime Armor can attach to the sides or neck. The same goes for the blaster.

Beast Mode:
Sludge's beast mode is based on his G1 counterpart. The design of this mode is a blend of details from the G1 cartoon and the G1 action figure. Here's a rundown of some of these key features in the sculpt:

  • The beast mode head and neck is partly painted gold with a clear plastic layer over it. This is inspired by the G1 figure's design.
  • On the beast mode's back is a section that curves up. On there you will find an indentation that looks almost like a puzzle piece with two lines in front of it. This is a feature from the G1 toy and featured in the animation model.
  • The robot feet wind up forming a small "hump" on the cneter of the back.
  • G1 Sludge had two vertical "plates" above the tail, but these plates have now been moved towards the end of the tail.
  • The circular area on the rear legs has a circle detail made up of small rectangles. This is a feature from the original G1 Sludge toy.
  • The shape of the beast mode feet is heavily influenced by G1 Sludge's feet, which featured pointed "toes" instead of the slightly more rounded feet normally shown in artwork of Sauropods.

This sculpted detail looks great, but it is the deco which brings everything together to make this a proper G1` homage. The silver, gold and clear plastic are the main colors featured here, with a bit of the red from the robot mode peeking out in the front half of the body. Gold paint is used on the neck and head, back and the sides of the rear legs. Silver paint is used on the tail, calling back to the vacuum metallized plastic on G1 Sludge's tail. A bit of red paint is used for his eyes and an Autobot symbol is tampographed onto the top of the head. Overall the beast mode looks good, though personally I do find myself wishing there had been a couple more tampographs based on the G1 figure's stickers.

There are ten points of articulation in this mode. I am including the ability of the top half of the neck to swivel and the mouth opening and closing (it can't open very far, so he looks less like he is roaring and more like he is confused by something). If you want to attach his Prime Master armor, you can connect it to either of the 5mm ports on the sides or the 5mm port at the base of the neck. There are two Titan/Prime Master pegs on top of the back, allowing a mini-figure to stand there. While there are ports on the sides of the rear legs, they are far too wide to hold a weapon securely.

Transformation to Leg Mode (Starting in beast mode):

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the beast mode head and neck back.
  3. Swing the combiner connection piece up.
  4. Swing the tail down.
  5. Swing the front legs forward and back, connecting them to the six sided ports on either side of the beast mode.
  6. Attach a foot piece to the bottom of the figure.

*Note: The Prime Armor accessory included with Sludge does not transform into a foot. It only becomes a fist or it can connect to a foot piece included with Grimlock to form a stabilizing heel piece. When I took the photos for this review I borrowed a Combiner Wars Aerialbot hand/foot/weapon piece since Grimlock had not yet been widely released.

Leg Mode:
Between the two limb modes on this figure I much prefer this one. Here Sludge looks solid and his beast mode neck and head manage to swing down and be fairly unobtrusive. I also appreciate the ability to plug additional weapons in on the sides. He also has a good amount of bulk, which makes sense for a leg supporting such a large and powerful Combiner.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in beast mode):

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the beast mode neck and head back, then rotate the top half around.
  3. Swing Swing the front beast mode legs back, bend them at the knees and connect them to the six sided port on the sides of the body.
  4. Split the tail and wing each half out to the sides.
  5. Split the rear half of the beast mode.
  6. Swing the rear half of the beast mode back.
  7. Swing the tail halves in, connect them and swing the tail down.
  8. Rotate the robot waist around in either direction.
  9. Connect a fist piece to the rear half of the beast mode.

Arm Mode:
As an arm, Sludge does not look terrible, but I can understand how some people might find the appearance a bit off-putting. The way his beast mode head is turned up and staring out to the side does look a bit odd, but I do not mind it, really. This mode uses all the same colors as the previous modes with no real new reveals. You can see gold, silver, black and clear plastic in this mode with some black and red paint apps showing on the beast mode legs and head respectively. His "elbow" joints are not super tight, so he can hold most accessories but a Legends Class figure in weapon mode would likely make the arm droop down.

Final Thoughts:
Sludge is a cool new version of the character that looks great and is fun to play with. I do lament his lack of a sword and size. While I totally understand why Sludge is in the Deluxe Class, part of me wishes he was a Voyager Class figure like his "Age of Extinction" counterpart. Still, I do recommend this to complete your modern day Dinobot set!

Pros:

  • Sculpt reflects a lot of details from G1 Sludge.
  • Replicating the "clear plastic over gold" from the G1 figures is very cool.
  • Hey, he's called "Sludge" again!
  • Makes a good leg limb for Volcanicus.

Cons:

  • Could use some more tampograph decos based on G1 Sludge's stickers.
  • Making Sludge a larger size class would have been cool.
  • Only comes with a blaster weapon and no sword.
  • Arm mode is a bit goofy looking.