Transformers: Age of Extinction answers the age-old question, “How cool would it be if Optimus Prime rode into battle on a dinosaur?”
That dinosaur — excuse me, Dinobot — is Grimlock, which fans celebrated en masse over the weekend at the Transformers Fan Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood — pre-gaming it with endless rides on Transformers: The Ride 3D before heading to BotCon 2014.
In addition to a meet-and-greet with Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee, and a concert from Stan “You’ve Got the Touch!” Bush, the standing room-only crowd was treated to a special look back at the evolution of Grimlock and the Dinobots — from Gen 1 toys to live-action, ILM-powered beasts.
SPINOFF ONLINE transformed and rolled out to the Universal Studios event, and discovered 10 things you may not know about the Dinobots, especially everyone’s favorite shape-shifting T. rex!
1. Grimlock made his toy debut in 1985.
2. At the time, the toy was unique to the G1 line because it was the first toy to feature “clear” plastic pieces along with actual metal parts. This design pattern would extend to the entire line of G1 Dinobot toys.
3. In the classic cartoon, Ratchet was responsible for making both Grimlock and his fellow Dinobots. How did Ratchet show off his powerful new robots? By having them harness some kind of energy beam-thing to remove … wait for it … rubble.
4. The Dinobots’ origin story was significantly changed for the popular 2012 video game, Fall of Cybertron. In the game, it was Decepticon Shockwave — not Ratchet — who built them.
5. Grimlock’s signature sword got an upgrade in the 2008 animated series. Instead of being made out of metal, the blade was now one of pure fire. (Kinda like Hiccup’s firesword in How to Train Your Dragon 2.)
6. In addition to Grimlock, the original Dinobot lineup includes Sludge, Slag, Swoop and Snarl. But due to the word “slag” being derogatory slang in the United Kingdom, the character’s name changed to “Slug” for the 2012 game.
7. Fall of Cybertron gave Grimlock the power to breathe energon fire, and Hasbro prides itself on building the game’s Grimlock toy with light piping in the mouth to best replicate the glow of his fiery breath.
8. In early reads of the Age of Extinction script, Hasbro found descriptions of Grimlock and company quite thin. But the one phrase that stuck out and drove the design process? “Barbaric knights.”
9. In the new film, Grimlock’s power set evolves once again. This time, every time the big guy “eats” a Decepticon, he gains their weapons and adds them to his own. (He basically assimilates them into his arsenal, Borg-style!)
10. Grimlock’s aerial-based Dinobot, Swoop, is called Strafe in Age of Extinction. Like Grimlock, Strafe also received some upgrades: He now sports two heads and bladed wings to emphasize the creature as a “living weapon.”
If you missed the event, you can watch the Dinobot panel discussion below, thanks to BehindtheThrills.com.