Hasbro Transformers Studio Series 86 Dinobot Sludge Hasbro, 2022
Day #2,449: August 23, 2022
Dinobot Sludge Sludge because really who else is going to use the name
Transformers Studio Series Leader Class Toy
Item No.: E0703 No. F3203 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Blaster, backdrop Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Dinosaur Retail:$52.99 Availability: July 2022 Other: Biggest, therefore best official Sludge toy
My most-anticipated remake, Dinobot Sludge gives us a completely new mold (rather than a retool like Power of the Primes) of the classic 1980s toy. This time he's much larger and more complex, but with fewer accessories. This is the biggest official Sludge toy yet, and other than the not-so-good robot knees it's a big fun toy.
Sludge is more memorable as a dinosaur than a robot, but he comes packed out in robot mode with a bland backdrop. His blaster is modeled after his character model, which is modeled after the rocket launcher the original toy came with. Sadly, there are no projectiles - but you can put 5mm fireblasts in there if you happen to have some handy. Those can also be mounted in Sludge's dinosaur mouth so he can "breathe fire." So he's light on accessories, and lacks the sidekicks of Grimlock and Sludge/Slug, but he makes up for it by being pretty massive on his own.
The robot mode looks exactly like I would have expected, with the familiar head, and everything is where it should be. You have the wings, you have the gold toes, you even have the red chest. A vestigial cockpit remains on the chest, unopening, but there. Articulation is largely better than expected, but it's worth noting the girth and heft keep him from assuming too many wacky poses without help. Fans have already shown a knee mod involving Q-Tips to stiffen the knees a bit, which I may be trying after this review. As he is, he's fine - mine isn't too lose, and he stands well.
He looks like a good upgrade of previous toys. Power of the Primes is fun to fidget with, but this 2022 one seems more like a fully-realized remake of the original transforming toy. Sadly, not the accessories, but that's why we keep coming back for more - no upgrade is ever perfect.
Dinosaur mode is impressive. Sludge should be big, and in his default configuration - with the head up - he's about 12-inches long. You can rotate his neck and skull down to make him even longer! It's kind of amazing, because it's far bigger than what I remember from childhood. The toy is also pretty much a brick - the skull goes up and down, and the jaw opens. The figure has moving legs and a joint at the neck's base - and that's about all. It doesn't need a lot more, nor would it improve his appearance - he's a good mix of the original toy with the cartoon model, but it's not a great representation of either specific one. It's not yellow like the cartoon, it's not clear with gold like the toy, it's just gold. It looks nice, don't get me wrong, but it leaves the door open for even more Sludge toys.
Dino detailing is good, but not too extreme - lots of panels, rivets, and greebles are visible that are truer to the animation model than the toy. There's a big red Autobot symbol on his head, blue eyes, and none of the colorful stickers. You'll see some painted black stripes and molded red chest sticking out, giving you what is basically a very pre-1980s dinosaur toy - as it should be. His teeth are sharp, the screw holes are mostly subtle, and the feet look a lot like the original three-toed claws. What's particularly interesting is how the kibble works - the dinosaur's back has gold blocks that, on the original toy, were robot mode's toes. The actual robot mode toes are rotated to the bottom of the belly, along with the weapon storage (and a big hole.) Overall, they did a nice job here.
$53 isn't cheap, but compared to War for Cybertron Leader-class toys, the Studio Series figures have been huge. It's not a small figure with an accessory - he's just big, and absolutely more impressive than two deluxes, or a Voyager with some extra stuff. If you are Sludge-inclined, right now, this is as good as he gets. I look forward to Snarl and Swoop, and then... I might be good for Transformers for a while?
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