Dinobots, smash

Riding into battle alongside the heroic giant robots from Cybertron will be their titanic new allies, the Dinobots.

This reptilian team is certainly one of the highlights of Transformers: Age Of Extinction, the fourth instalment of the movie franchise that opens here tomorrow.

While the Dinobots' origins in Michael Bay's movie have been a closely-guarded secret, the original Dinobots - a team of five consisting of Grimlock, Slag, Sludge, Swoop and Snarl - had two different origin stories from the cartoon series of the 80s, as well as the comics. The cartoon depicted the Dinobots as a powerful but dim-witted team of Autobots, built on earth by the scientist Wheeljack, who was inspired by dinosaur fossils.

In the comics, they were elite Cybertronian warriors who received dinosaur forms to combat the one-eyed Decepticon Shockwave. No matter what the origin, a few things are constant when it comes to the Dinobots.

Led by the fearsome Grimlock, who transforms into the giant fire-breathing metallic Tyrannosaurus rex that Optimus Prime is seen riding in the movie's trailers, these mechanical monster lizards are a crack commando unit who specialise in one thing: massive metallic mayhem.

KNOW YOUR DINOBOTS

Grimlock

The leader of the Dinobots might be arrogant, but he has the might to back it up. While the movie will see him wield the massive Dragontooth mace, Bay's version of Grimlock can still breathe fire in T-rex mode. Expect this version to retain the caveman-style speech from the cartoon that became a trademark characteristic of Grimlock.

Strafe

A two-headed Pteranodon when in dinosaur mode, his name was changed from the original, Swoop. Despite his fearsome appearance, the Blitzwing bow-wielding Dinobot is a friendly soul once the fighting stops. And going by the trailer, it looks like Strafe will partner fan favourite Bumblebee in battle.

Slug

Even though his alternate mode is that of a plant-eating Triceratops, Slug is a bot with anger management issues who loves nothing more than a fight. Initially known as Slag, the character's name was changed in 2007 when it was realised the original name had negative connotations in the United Kingdom.

Scorn

A new character for the Dinobots, Scorn is the team's demolitions specialist who transforms into a ferocious Spinosaurus. A tough bot who can take a beating, Scorn is described as a thundering war hammer on legs with the personality of a tank. In robot mode, he uses the Scrapmaker sword to dispatch his foes.

Slash

Like Scorn, Slash is a new addition to the Dinobots. This mechanical Velociraptor is a stealth fighter who prefers a more covert approach. Don't let that fool you into thinking he's soft - Slash has a pair of Cyber scythes as well as his raptor claws that he uses to hack his way out of trouble.

gregloo@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 25, 2014.
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