Review: Transformers AOE Slug vs. Stinger 2-Pack

If there’s one thing Hasbro really loves to do for Transformers movie lines, it’s digging up old figures from previous toylines, repainting them into new characters, and selling them as movie characters. We saw a ton of that in the first movie line, with mostly repaints of the fairly recent Cybertron toys and even an Armada figure. It died down a bit in ROTF and DOTM, only to come back with a vengeance with Age of Extinction. This time, however, Hasbro reached a bit further back than the Unicron Trilogy and into Beast Wars. Not only do we have a new release of the Terrorsaur mold (at least 20 years old at this point) as Strafe, but also a repaint of freaking Guiledart from Beast Wars Neo as the Dinobot Slug. Also, he’s packed with a repaint of ROTF Legends Sideways as the Vehicon/Decepticon/non-character Stinger.

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Robot Mode (Stinger)

Stinger was at best a minor character in Age of Extinction, being a KSI drone based off of Bumblebee with the altmode of a Pagani Huarya (when Bumblebee had the exact same robot mode and turned into a 2015 Camaro. Hmm…). The two had a brief fight during the dreadfully long final battle where Bumblebee got a chuckle-worthy one-liner, but Stinger remained an apparently mindless drone and the supposed rivalry between the characters was pretty much nonexistent. On top of that, Stinger doesn’t even get his own toy, having to settle for Legends-size figures repainted from Prime Knock Out (twice) and ROTF Sideways, all Walmart exclusives. Movie characters who turn into red cars just can’t catch a break. Anyway, Stinger here looks nothing like Stinger, of course, and looks nearly identical to DOTM Cyberverse Dino/Mirage, who was the other red car onscreen character repainted from Sideways. As far as the toy goes, the mold was a Legends toy before Legends toys became cool with Cyberverse, but I guess he’s not bad. It makes a lot more sense if you think of this guy as just one of the many red KSI Vehicon drones, especially since Slug never fought Stinger in the movie, just a bunch of drones. But really, given Slug’s mold, this whole two-pack doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

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Vehicle Mode (Stinger)

It’s a small little red car that kinda looks like an Audi R8, and maybe a Ferrari Italia if you squint, and a Pagani Huarya if you’re blind. It… pretty much is what it is. It rolls? The black stripes add a little bit, I guess? It’s a pretty fine Cyberverse toy, but odds are you already have it in these colors. But really, nobody is buying this two-pack for Stinger…

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Dino Mode (Slug)

Slug is a big purple Triceratops, and man is he purple. The red on his horns (obviously the blood of his enemies) and head break up the sea of violet a bit, but wow, the detail really kind of gets lost in the solid chunk of purple. Speaking of detail, there’s quite a bit! Lots of scaly texture covers his entire body, so much so that a paint wash would look pretty nice on this guy. His eyes are bright blue, which is kind of weird, but what’s even weirder are the play features in this mode. Guiledart from BWN had a feature in which he could assume the form of not just a Triceratops, but a dead Triceratops. As such, Slug has a little chunk of flesh that you can flip out to reveal… unpainted purple exposed ribs. You can also move his horn to stick out his purple tongue and roll his eyes back, revealing black eyes. This feature was weird as hell on the original toy, and at least here you can safely ignore it.

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Robot Mode (Slug)

Who’s big, purple, kibbly, and very asymmetrical? BW Megatron, but also Slug. Standing squat, but very tough-looking, Slug looks like a really angry guy who will pound you into next Thursday with his Triceratops head arm, and he won’t be happy about it. I think the asymmetry works, for the most part. He has a thin, short black left arm, but it tends to look rather pitiful if you don’t have it holding his missile-launching tail-gun. The black missiles can store in his giant shoulderpad, which also features guns that flip out of his beast mode forelegs. This is pretty cool, but he can’t really do much with them and they look more ornamental than anything. He’s a bit short on articulation due to his age and design, but he does have swivel head, swivel torso, balljointed shoulders and hips, hinged right arm, balljointed left arm, and double-hinged knees, but only because the dino leg joint moves a tiny bit. For a 15 year-old toy, it’s not bad at all.

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Overall

This is a very weird set. There’s no way you can rationalize this organic, traditional beastformer Slug as AOE’s pure-robot-knight-made-of-knives Slug. The best I can do is think of this as just a Beast Wars version of the character, or just a new BW character altogether. He could even be Classics Slug, if you want. It seems like the biggest selling point for this two-pack is sheer curiosity, as most newer fans have probably never had a chance to play with a Beast Wars Neo toy. If that’s you, I would actually recommend this set. If you have one of Guiledart’s remolds, though, there’s not much here for you. As for Stinger, well, there are other ways to get a red Sideways.

Where to Buy

I totally can’t find this 2-pack anywhere online, but from what I understand they seem to be Walmart’s next big shelfwarmer, so check out your local stores and you should be able to find them.

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