Star Wars Transformers General Grievous Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Basic, Star Wars Transformers

Star Wars Transformers

General Information:
Release Date: November 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
General Grievous pilots his starfighter in a space battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, then converts his fighter into a mech and unleashes his lightsabers to duel his Jedi enemy.

Get the galaxy-crossing awesomeness of Star Wars and the conversion action of TRANSFORMERS! This GENERAL GRIEVOUS figure is an unstoppable force in mech mode with his lightsaber. Then when the action is heaviest, you can convert him to vehicle mode so he can "fly" back into the battle! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at him! Ages 5 and up.

The Star Wars Transformers line has continued to grow over the years. Though not as complex or intricate as their mainline Transformers cousins, the pure strength of the Star Wars brand has helped this brand not only go on in its semi-Deluxe-almost Mega Class price point, but now the series has moved into a smaller size class. Not quite big enough to be a Scout Class and not small enough to be considered a Legends Class, this new scale of Star Wars Transformers offers a nice and compact series of figures for Star Wars and Transformers fans alike.

Part of the second wave of figures in this sub-line is General Grievous, a character with a long history but is known to most as one of the primary villains in the third Star Wars prequel film "Revenge of the Sith" and the current Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV Show. Grievous is a very distinctive looking character, with a skeletal looking body that invokes fear and awe all at the same time, a feature that many of the best villains in the Star Wars universe share.

Vehicle Mode:
Like any good army General, Grievous has a personal starfighter intended for his use. Known (quite generically) as the "General Grievous Starfighter", this vehicle's shape draws some parallels to the design of Grievous' head, with a cone shape dsection in the middle and engine sections out to the side that remind me of the curved pieces of Grievous' helmet to the sides. In contrast to its owner however, the ship has quite a bit of bulk, with each of three cone shaped/rounded sections being relatively thick. Towards the back is the cockpit in the center section, and both engines end up at a point in the front. While bulky, there are some very smooth lines here. Instead of a lot of angles, Grievous' ship has lots of curves and parts appear to blend into one another seamlessly.

There are some really nicely sculpted patterns running all along the ship. The cockpit section has lines separating out the various windows on the cover, the top section has armor pieces that have alternating trapezoid shapes and you'll also find raised sections representing blasters in the same area. The sides also have nice detailing in the form of various shapes including a row of triangles and some mechanical looking detail. The landing gear of the vehicle is sculpted in the "down" position, giving sculptors a chance to work in extra detail there as well. The two front skids each have lines indicating the legs and a (non functioning) sculpted hinge that shows where the legs and skids connect. Overall I'm very happy with the level of detail on this vehicle mode.

Grievous is cast in gunmetal grey for this mode (though you can easily see his robot mode parts just by flipping him over). Gunmetal is always a great color to use, but the designers kicked it up a notch with the paint job. Paint applications have been done in gold and silver. The windows of the cockpit are painted silver, and the two colors are used in alternating patterns on many of the aforemtnioned sculpted details. However, a gunmetal/silver color is also used in a brushwork pattern all over the vehicle as a base, giving it a very worn and more realistic appearance. At first I thought perhaps the paint was there to cover up another plastic color, but based on where the gunmetal plastic meets the tan plastic of the vehicle mode, it is a gunmetal silver brush pattern over gunmetal plastic, giving it a fantastic appearance. I was surprised that on a figure of this scale so much attention would go to the color scheme.

In terms of functionality, there is a small panel on the center of the robot chest (easily seen if you flip the vehicle over) that swings out. Other small scale Star Wars Transformers have these too, and I have yet to figure out what they're for. My closest guess is that it might represent a ramp of some sort.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Pull the sides of the vehicle out and then swing them down.
  2. Each half (upper and lower) of the vehicle's sides swing out to become one of Grievous' four arms.
  3. Push the cockpit section down.
  4. Swing the cockpit section down on the hinges that connect the tan piece to the gunmetal pieces.
  5. Separate the two halves of the cockpit section to form the robot legs.
  6. Take the landing gear sections on each cockpit half and swing them in, then back out on the two hinges to form the robot feet.
  7. Each of the arms has a small tab allowing you to pull out the Lightsaber blade inside.

Robot Mode:
In many of his on-screen portrayals, Grievous is often shown as a hunched over, skeletal form. Since the ship is meant to represent a mecha baed on Grievous and not Grievous himself, it takes some of his key features, but he looks like he has more bulk and stands straight up. Among the features "borrowed" from Grievous himself are:

  • The head design is a shortened version of Grievous' own head, with an oval shaped center section and armor pieces on the sides. He also has his creepy looking mouth piece with several vertical slits scuplted into the head.
  • His chest armor is shaped much like the skeletal armor seen on the show, complete with a wide chest splaying outwards at angles where it meets the shoulders.
  • The top section of the vehicle form becomes a pseudo "cape" on the back of the figure, resembling the outfit worn by the character on-screen.
  • Grievous has four arms here, and while they look largely like just the sides of the vehicle, a closer examination reveals clawed hands sculpted into the sides of each of the arms.

Grievous' robot parts are cast in a very light, tan color. Basically any part not showing in vehicle form is this color. Paint applications are done in silver, gunmetal, red, yellow, black and gold. That's a lot of different colors on one little figure. A lot of these colors are focused on the head, where black is used to paint the gaps between the outer part of his helmet and the central part, as well as detailson his forehead and eye slits. Yellow and red are used for his eyes and a bit of silver paints the vent lines on the mouth. Gold is used for a diamond shaped symbol on his chest. A bit of gunmetal is used on his neck, painting some nicely sculpted tube like details. I really like the deco on this figure. The brushwork does wonders for it and the paint job on the head is fantastic.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four in each arm and two in each leg. At the end of each arm is a small translucent tab. Pull on it and Grievous reveals his four Lightsaber blades! Each arm has one green blade on top and a blue one on the bottom, presumably echoing Grievous' tendency to use the Lightsabers of fallen Jedi. I know to some the little tab at the end may seem a bit off-putting, but to me it's a cool way of creating the functionality of Lightsabers extending out from a hilt, but it also echoes the way Kenner created many Lightsaber based figures back in the 70's and 80's.

Final Thoughts:
Believe it or not, I'm not particularly attached to the General Grievous character, but I really do love the functionality of this toy and the way it looks. The paint job is top notch as well. Highly recommended!