Galaxy Force Toy Reviews: Dino Shout

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Cybertron, Decepticon, Galaxy Force

Transformers Galaxy Force

General Information:
Release Year: March 2005
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $20 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Weapon, Force Chip


Tech Specs:*
"Even for a native of Animatros, this sauriform Transformer is a highly belligerent warrior. He inflicts deep wounds by head-butting his opponents
with the Crest Sword activated by his Force Chip Ignition. Never let him get near when fighting him."

Strength: 7  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 7
Rank: 6  Courage: 7  Firepower: 7  Skill: 9

*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.

The ranks of beast-based Transformers grows with Dino Shout, a Destron warrior under Flame Convoy's command.

Beast Mode:
Dino Shout's beast mode is a Spinosaurus, a dinosaur recently featured in the movie "Jurassic Park III". A curious beast with several atypical features, the most striking is the sail like protrusion on the back of the creature, making it instantly recognizable.

Since the beasts on Animatros are not techno-organic, one could have easily expected very angular and somewhat blocky beast designs such as those released for Energon. However, what the designers gave us instead is a very curved, organic looking beast mode which is still mechanical in nature. One of the best parts to see this is the head, which is very curved and dangerous looking with its rows of exposed teeth. This design aesthetic flows down the neck to the tail, where each section seems to flow into the next. If you look carefully, you'll note that Dino Shout appears almost layered, where underneath there are rows and rows of cables and wires, then an armor frame rests on top. I also appreciate the sculpting on the hands, which has the three fingers on each in different positions. This is nicer looking than the standard "fingers bunched up into a lump of plastic" that is often used with beast based Transformers.

The most overt design piece here is the sail on the back of the beast. Rather than simulating the bones with webbing in between from the real life dinosaur, the designers opted to make this a design element alluding to the creature's speed. In the middle of the sail on either side is a thruster design. The top is curved and then sharp at the end much like a fin on a jet. This design looks cool and works within the context of the beast that this mode is emulating. At the end of the tail is a barb, showing this beast has more than claws and teeth to fight with. The tail pops off pretty easily. You can probably smack around some lighter Transformer toys with it, however.

Dino Shout has an impressive seventeen points of articulation. Most of this is focused in the legs, but the tail itself has three, one for each segment. I do like the fact that his head can tilt up and down and the jaw can open.

Dino Shout is cast in three plastic colors, grey, bright green and a light olive color. The bright green is the most striking color, and while it borders on being neon colored, it is not that obnoxious to the eyes. In fact I was quite surprised by how quickly I got used to it. Metallic gold, gunmetal and red are used for the paint applications, primarily used to accent sculpted details. This can be seen most prominantly on the sail, which uses the gold and gunmetal colors to detail the aforementioned thruster unit and the edge of the sail. Red is used for the beast mode eyes and the inside of the mouth.

The Force Chip gimmick is a blade that flips out of the sail when you insert the Force Chip into the back of the sail itself. This would seem to be a bit difficult to use in this mode unless someone were attacking from above or if he put his head down and charged, but it is a neat gimmick and it works nicely in robot mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the tail.
  2. Split the beast head and neck apart and swing them out to the sides.
  3. Swing the panels that the arms are attached to up. Tuck the claws down.
  4. Swing the waist piece with the legs forward.
  5. Straighten out the legs.
  6. Place the weapon in one of the hands.

Robot Mode:
I was instantly fond of Dino Shout's robot mode as its design aesthetic harkens to the latter days of Beast Wars, where robot mode designs became somewhat experimental in nature and design. Even though this is his robot mode, this mode looks just as much like some strange monster as the beast mode. This is due in part to the clawed feet and his hands, which are really more like pincers. Also, having the beast mode arms become part of the upper body is a cool looking touch, but it also looks like he has an extra pair of clawed hands at his disposal.

Perhaps the most interesting sculpted feature of this figure is the robot head. The head incorporates the dinosaur sail into its design, acting as a large crest. The head itself is curved, coming to a sharp point in the middle. Underneath are slit like details, giving this face a decidedly aquatic look. If this brings about a feel of familiarity to any G1 fans, it should. This head design very much resembles the head design of the G1 Pretender Submarauder (or rather his outer shell). This G1 type homage may have not been intentional, it is hard to say. However, in the context of recent toys, which have been abundant in such homages, it is likely the designer had some inkling of Submarauder's design when designing this robot head.

The basic colors from the beast mode carry over here, with more of the gunmetal color showing up on the head and chest. The face is painted gold with red eyes, giving continuity with the beast mode eyes. Unfortunately, my Dino Shout came with some gold paint chipped on his chin, but I doubt that is a widespread occurence.

If you include the weapon, Dino Shout also has seventeen points of articulation in robot mode. While you lose the articulation of the head, you gain articulation in the arms thanks to the pincer claws. The Force Chip gimmick works best here, where you would definitely not want to get head butted by this guy when his blade is out!

Final Thoughts:
Dino Shout is a really nice beast-based Transformer. I like his design aesthetic and detail. The G1 homage is cool and he is very articulated. Highly recommended.