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The five original Dinobots
|Publisher||Marvel Comics, Devil's Due Publishing, IDW Publishing|
|First appearance||"S.O.S. Dinobots" (October 27, 1984)|
Dinobots are a type of character in the fictional Transformers Universe. The Dinobots group consists of several subgroups of robots, each of whose transformed mode is that of a dinosaur or similar prehistoric animal. Dinobots are referred to as Dinotrons in the Japanese version, and Dinobots (ダイノボット Dainobotto ) in the Japanese dub of Transformers Animated. They were named among the top selling toys in 1985 by Playthings magazine.
Transformers: Generation 1 
|Alternate Modes||5 Autobots|
|Series||Transformers: Generation 1|
The Dinobots are a group of Transformers, part of the Autobot faction. Their origins and abilities vary from one version of Transformers to the next, but they are generally depicted as powerful Autobots capable of sustaining heavy damage and wielding heavy firepower against their foes. They are the only known Autobot group capable of flight in robot mode, a trait they share with the Decepticons. They are always portrayed as fiercely independent, and are prone to diverge from the main group of Autobots to pursue their own agenda.
- Grimlock - The team leader, transforms into a Tyrannosaurus rex. Voiced by Gregg Berger.
- Slag - The second-in-command, transforms into a Triceratops. Voiced by Neil Ross.
- Sludge - Transforms into an Apatosaurus. Voiced by Frank Welker.
- Snarl - Transforms into a Stegosaurus. Voiced by Hal Rayle.
- Swoop - Transforms into a Pteranodon. Voiced by Michael Bell.
- Paddles - Transforms into an Elasmosaurus. Appears only in comic book versions.
Marvel Comics 
The Dinobots are Cybertronian Autobots and function as an Autobot elite special ops team under the direct command of Grimlock. The Dinobots' loyalty to one another comes before their loyalty to other fellow Autobots. On Cybertron, Grimlock and the Dinobots launched successful raids against the Decepticon forces without the knowledge of the Autobot leaders. The Dinobots were aboard the Ark with the other Autobots when they crashed on Earth, were reactivated by the ship's computer, and battled Shockwave when he landed on Earth in search of the Ark. They left before the other Autobots were reactivated.
Two years into the Marvel US series, Optimus Prime was killed, followed soon by Megatron. Grimlock crowned himself king of the Autobots and remained in that capacity until Fortress Maximus arrived on Earth. In the Transformers: Generation 2 comics that followed the US comic, the Dinobots led missions against the Decepticons' mechaforming efforts, and returned to Earth with Optimus Prime and the Autobots in response to an emergency beacon activated by G.I. Joe.
Animated series 
The Dinobots in the original Transformers cartoon were built on Earth by the Autobots Wheeljack and Ratchet. Seismic activity near the Ark resulted in Ironhide's discovery of dinosaur bones, and Wheeljack was inspired to build the dinosaur-based Transformers: Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge, collectively called the Dinobots. They were incapable of any cognitive reasoning, and even failed their first simple task assigned by Ratchet when activated as seen in "S.O.S. Dinobots". They immediately turn on the Autobots like wild animals, and nearly destroyed the Ark, forcing Optimus Prime to order their destruction. Wheeljack's Magnetic Inducer was the only thing that stopped them. Being nearly indestructible, the next alternative was to seal them away forever, deactivated. That same day the Autobots were caught off guard by a Decepticon ambush. Their friends having been captured and on the verge of destruction, Wheeljack makes a snap decision and installs the upgrades to the Dinobot's Brains just before sending them in to their initial engagement against the Decepticons. Upon their arrival and subsequent victory over the Decepticons, Optimus Prime agrees the Dinobots shall remain among them.
The Dinobots were the cartoon series' first sub-group of Transformers and made their first appearance in episode eight, S.O.S. Dinobots. Unlike all other sub-groups that were introduced later in the series (with the exception of the Insecticons), the Dinobots did not have the ability to combine and form one giant robot, but instead were designed to attack separately but as a unit using their strength and tremendous size to their advantage. Each Dinobot is roughly a third the size of a combiner, and together as a team they could at least challenge a combiner. This was first seen in the last episode of season one, episode sixteen, "Heavy Metal War" when the Dinobots faced the "newly built" Constructicons merged form, the "Devastator".
Each Dinobot has a different attack method and array of weaponry, but are most powerful and effective when in their dinosaur forms, using their build to their advantage. Slag is a Triceratops and favors a deadly frontal charge; Sludge an Apatosaurus, with being so heavy, favors making earthquakes; Snarl is a Stegosaurus and as such, favors using his dangerous spiked tail; Grimlock, being a T-Rex, favors any way to get his jaws on an opponent; and Swoop, a Pteranodon, favors aerial attacks.
The Dinobots were frequently given the task of sorting out situations such as that, and other tasks the Autobots were incapable of handling themselves, like forces of nature, which would otherwise destroy any normal Autobot; such as giant tidal waves and massive earthquakes, seen in "The Ultimate Doom (Part 2): Search". "Day of the Machines" Torq III's mechanical drone army, and Nergil's magnetic disfunction ray in Atlantis, Arise! as a few shining examples during the series.
Grimlock, is Commander of the Dinobots noted as having no weaknesses save for arrogance. Slag is extremely rash in action, and Sludge is slow both physically and mentally. Optimus Prime later commissioned Wheeljack and Ratchet to build Snarl and Swoop to aid the Autobots. Megatron devises a plan for Soundwave to discover their weaknesses in War of the Dinobots. Upon finding out, each one's greatest weakness lie in their individual character flaw. With lies, Megatron convinces them to turn against the Autobots, allowing them to steal an unstable meteorite. They nearly kill Optimus Prime upon arrival at the meteorite landing zone. Only with their combined strength can they manage to defeat their former leader. After realising that, despite their best efforts to destroy him, Grimlock himself may not be the stronger of the two and spares him. Much to the dismay of Megatron, Prime is brought alive to his camp and warns of the instabilities in the meteorite, and is scoffed at by Megatron. Only when it explodes and Optimus saves Grimlock, does he reject the lies told by Megatron. Grimlock is outraged having been manipulated by him, into fighting such a "good" leader, Optimus Prime. Even risking his own life to save them, despite the fact of having been nearly killed by them in battle earlier. Megatron fled in terror when confronted by Grimlock's rage. He then in turn apologized, in earnest, for his jealousy towards Optimus Prime asking for forgiveness. This is the one and only time in the series he acknowledges Optimus Primes superior leadership skills.
From that episode forward, resentment grew among the Dinobots, as stated by Grimlock himself in "Atlantis, Arise!" when asked to rescue Optimus Prime and the other's after Nergil has used his magnetic disfunction ray on them. Dinobots are virtually indestructible in their dinosaur mode. Their robot modes on the other hand, are not. Only Decepticon Combiners could stand against the Dinobots in dino-mode. They were defeated only once by the Decepticons in "Desertion of the Dinobots Part 1". Due to their arrogance, and a boasting Grimlock, they converted to robot mode and were taken by surprise by Megatron, whom they believed to have defeated. It required Megatron and Skywarp, destroying 5 airline jets filled with jet fuel at once, with them at "ground zero" to do it though. In every other instance, where the (non-combining) Decepticons faced the Dinobots, they were easily defeated. After consequently being rebuilt, the Dinobots dissention came to a culmination. When requested to return to immediate action, Grimlock snapped, absolutely refusing to do anything else for the "Autobots". He sternly said goodbye, and left with the other dinobots in tow. They eventually ventured to Cybertron in "Desertion of the Dinobots Part 2". Where they end up enslaved mining Cybertonium, a mineral vital to Cybertronians operational function, for the Decepticons, by having their personality chips disconnected by Shockwave. Swoop was the only one to have escaped imprisonment, due in fact to his assigned surveillance mission. Luckily the persistent Spike Witwicky and Carly Witwicky although only dating at this point, with the help of Swoop were able to rescue them. They were easily convinced to help the Autobots obtain the Cybertonium they needed, and return to Earth to rejoin the autobots permanently. Subsequently, for the rest of the series you rarely see them in their robot modes. Grimlock's seen once on Menonia, During Season 3, but was never shown transforming into robot mode only briefly being in robot mode for about 2 seconds, in Madman's Paradise
As a means to hone their skills Wheeljack helps the dinobots gain Optimus Prime's approval with a demonstration. It ultimately ends in failure, but with the discovery of "Dinobot Island Part 1", where they are sent there to train until they could harness their powers, Grimlock states that it feels like home upon landing on the pre-historic island, created by time warp. Oddly, after all other occurrences were returned to their respective times by the Part 2's conclusion, this island remained. It is only spoken of again later in the series.
The Dinobots would be the only Transformers made purely on Earth. The Constructicon's were said to have been built, or rebuilt by Megatron on Earth in season 1's "Heavy Metal War", but were later given Cybertronian origin's in "The Secret of Omega Supreme", set millions of years prior. But in the episode "Starscream's Brigade" the Combaticons new crude forms were fashioned from damaged/destroyed military vehicles and planes, abandoned in the "Guadal Canal" after WWII. Their "Renegade" Decepticon personality components were taken from a Decepticon Detention Center, from Cybertron, and were installed in them, by Starscream. Whilst the Dinobots were created exclusively from materials on Earth, and their personalities programmed by Ratchet and Wheeljack and later upgraded. Those created by Vector Sigma, are given sentience and their own personalities. Dinobots were programmed with instincts similar to what real Dinosaurs with simple brains were described to have had, by Wheeljack.
While "Dinobot Island" is mentioned in Season 3 by an irate Galvatron, while hunting after Octane for stealing Trypticon from it. It is in fact, the last time it is heard of. In this episode, entitled "Thief in the Night" where it is discovered that other Transformers were said to have "Dinosaur Transform Static" similar to the Dinobots. This is mentioned for the first time by Grimlock himself. It is interesting that he would have such knowledge, or be that intuned in the first place, but after 20 years a lot can happen. Those Transformers included, were Trypticon who's static it was, and Sky Lynx,who has a "superior intellect", never even realizes he is a primitive. Two of Soundwaves cassettes Overkill and Slugfest, seen only, and their names never disclosed, appeared only once in the series, during "Call of the Primitives", they were fashioned after a "Ceratosaurus" and "Stegosaurus" respectively. Overkills tech spec. reads, as Tyrannosaurus....but none were ever discovered with a horn. Though not affiliated with the "Autobots/Dinobots" at this time, it should be noted they would have had "dinosaur transform static" and could have potentially been Dinobots at one point. It was mentioned in a Fun Publications text story that they were in fact created by Wheeljack as autobots/dinobots, and possibly captured by the Decepticons and reprogrammed to their "cause".
Dreamwave Productions 
The Dinobots appeared in Dreamwave's reimagined Generation One Universe, this time with an expanded origin. Shortly before the second story arc of the War Within, "The Dark Ages", Grimlock created a specialized attack group called the Lightning Strike Coalition. Five members of this group would go on to become the Dinobots on Earth. By the time of the "Age of Wrath", they acted as Grimlock's bodyguards, and did not yet have the absolute loyalty that the Dinobots would later be known for.
In their first appearance in the Generation One series, the Dinobots were dispatched to Earth to discover what had happened to the missing Ark. They encountered the Decepticons, who would become the Insecticons, and both sides blasted each other into stasis lock. The Dinobots killed Octane and stole his ship, but they ran into trouble when the local Autobot forces believed them to be traitors and fired on them. Repaired by the Autobots, who were by now convinced of their intentions, they participated in the final assault on Shockwave, where Grimlock rescued Magnus and Optimus Prime.
Devil's Due Publishing 
The Dinobots appeared with yet another origin in the second G.I. Joe vs the Transformers series from Devil's Due Publishing. In 2004, the Dinobots were among the Autobots under the leadership of Optimus Prime, who attempted to take the planet Cybertron back from the Decepticon tyrant Shockwave. An accident sent the Dinobots back in time, and they landed on the planet Earth, where they were reformatted in the forms of Earth dinosaurs. A group of humans brought the new Dinobots back to Cybertron, where they helped overcome Shockwave.
Grimlock had a prominent role in the third series as one of the Autobots who were sent to Earth to deactivate Cybertronian technology, and wound up battling the human-created cyborg Serpentor. Snarl appeared briefly as part of the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe force who attempted to rescue Optimus Prime.
IDW Publishing 
The Dinobots made their first chronological IDW Publishing appearance in issue #3 of The Transformers: Megatron Origin, where all five were part of Megatron's gathering of gladiators and insurgents that eventually became the Decepticons. They appeared on Shockwave in The Transformers: Spotlight having, as in other continuities, defected to the Autobots. In this stand-alone tale, the Dinobots sought revenge on Shockwave for having nearly destroyed them. Denied a chance for revenge by Optimus Prime, the Dynobots went rogue and tracked Shockwave to prehistoric Earth, where he had seeded Energon. Unable to survive in the planet's Energon levels, they adopted techno-organic dinosaur modes and teleported to Earth to engage Shockwave. These techno-organic alternate modes, which have a sheath of synthetic flesh over robotic forms, are unique to their IDW appearances. Shockwave took advantage of their impulsive nature, shut down his higher logic functions, and destroyed the group before a volcano buried all combatants in lava.
In The Transformers: Escalation, the bodies of the Dynobots and Shockwave were dug up by the mysterious defense organization called Skywatch. After the events of The Transformers: Devastation, Skywatch dug up Grimlock as a defense measure, but his reawakening was sabotaged by the Machination. The other Dynobots were reactivated by Skywatch, though manipulated by the Machination, who wanted them to kill Grimlock.
Transformers: Classic 
A deluxe-sized Grimlock was released in November 2006, and three Dinobot Minicons were sold in a 3-pack, of which only Swoop carries an original Dinobot name.
Beast Wars 
The Beast Wars Grimlock toy is the same mold as the Maximal Dinobot who appeared in the Beast Wars cartoon, although Grimlock did not. Grimlock in his reimagined raptor form has appeared in IDW Publishing's mini-series Beast Wars: The Gathering.
Beast Machines 
T-Wrecks, leader of the Beast Machines Dinobots
|Publisher||3H Enterprises, Fun Publications|
The Beast Machines Dinobots were created from survivors of the Beast Machines techno-organic virus, using DNA schematics derived from the former Maximal warrior Dinobot.
Turns into an Archaeopteryx. He is a perfectionist with supreme precision, a characteristic gained working as the surveyor and navigator of the Axalon. He is capable of flying at very high speeds, though his wings are very fragile.
Turns into a Pachycephalosaurus. Stubborn and surly, Dinotron is the most uncooperative of the Dinobots. He does not favor his new technorganic design, but is disgusted by Megatron's "new order."
Turns into a Stegosaurus. Striker is deeply loyal to the Maximal cause. His hide is constructed of specially treated poly-alloy armor, and plates across his back serve as secondary energy receptors. His tail can cause seismic variations in the gravitational field, and contains a unique grappling rocket that penetrates all Vehicon armor.
Turns into a Triceratops.
Transformers: Dinobots 
A 2003 set of Wal-Mart exclusive toys sold simply as "Transformers: Dinobots" featured repaints of Beast Wars molds as six Dinobots. One of the Dinobots sets included Grimlock as a repaint of Beast Wars Dinobot, and Swoop as a repaint of Beast Wars Terrorsaur. Some boxes labeled Swoop as Terranotron, because of trademark issues. The other sets in the series were Sludge, who transformers into a Dimetrodon; and Snarl, Triceradon, and Slapper, who transforms into an Ankylosaurus.
Transformers: Energon 
|Alternate Modes||2 Autobots|
Two Dinobot figures were released as part of the "Transformers: Energon" toy line: Grimlock and Swoop, who can merge to form the giant robot Mega-Dinobot. They did not appear in the cartoon.
Dreamwave Productions 
It comes as no surprise that longtime Dinobot fan Simon Furman intended to feature the characters in Dreamwave's Energon comic book, but the company's closure prevented this.
Fun Publications 
Grimlock and Swoop appeared in the Fun Publications text story "Force of Habit", which explained their whereabouts during the events of the Cybertron story. Ultra Magnus was the commander of various Autobot ships sent to other planets in search for the Cyber Planet Keys. He also served as captain of the Iron Hope which was crewed by Bonecrusher, Grimlock, Ironhide, Knock Out, Overcast, Prowl, Quickstrike, RipTide, Skyblast, Smokescreen, Swoop, Wreckage and the Sky Scorcher Mini-Con Team.
- Energon Grimlock and Swoop (2005)
- Can combine into "Mega-Dinobot".
Transformers Animated 
The Transformers Animated series depicts the Dinobots as having originally been animatronic dinosaurs at the fictional Dino Drive amusement park who were accidentally smashed by Bulkhead. Professor Sumdac repairs the robotic dinosaurs with the help of Megatron, who secretly intends to use them to create drones who are loyal only to him and possess Transformer abilities and flame breath attacks. The new Dinobots wreak havoc under Megatron's control, and are stopped by the Autobots. The Dinobots become actual Transformers in the process, though they see themselves as actual dinosaurs.
Megatron no longer has complete control over them, but is able to persuade Grimlock, Snarl and Swoop into destroying the Autobots and all fossil fuel-powered vehicles, after which they are trapped and imprisoned in a tar pit. Prowl and Bulkhead secretly transport the Dinobots to a forest island where they can live in seclusion and peace with nature, hidden from the rest of the world by a holographic screen. However, Grimlock accidentally figures out how to transform into robot mode, to the surprise of the other two Dinobots. Prometheus Black, also known as Meltdown, later threatens to melt them unless they serve him. The Dinobots reason that Meltdown is not one of them, so they transform to defeat him, and ally with the Autobots.
The Dinobots return in "Megatron Rising" (part one), where they refuse a request by Optimus Prime, Bulkhead and Prowl for their help against the invading Decepticons. They briefly feature in "The Elite Guard", where they attack Sentinel Prime when he trespasses on their island, but are forced back by Ultra Magnus. In "A Fistful of Energon", Prowl removes a metal spike from Grimlock's foot. The Dinobots next feature in "Black Friday", where they are seduced by Blackarachnia into helping to remove her organic half. After a small cameo at the end of "Three's a Crowd", they appear in "Predacons Rising", where they are brought into conflict with the Autobots after they are again coerced into doing Blackarachnia's bidding.
In "Human Error" (part 2), Grimlock and Swoop appear when a teenaged Sari asks for their help to rescue the Autobots from Soundwave, who wants to reprogram them into serving him. Sari discovers that Slag has been domesticated into a pet by the Constructicon Scrapper, and the two help Sari to defeat Soundwave, though Scrapper calls him Snarl probably as a shoutout to the other Dinobot not featured in the series, and a nod to the fact his naming gives difficulties in British countries due to its slang status.
Transformers: Power Core Combiners 
|Sub-group||Dinobots, Power Core Combiners, Scouts|
|Partner||Four Dinobot drones|
|Alternate Modes||Robotic Styracosaurus (misspelled as a Triceratops)|
|Series||Transformers: Power Core Combiners|
Grimstone is the first Power Core Combiner to use animal forms instead of vehicles like his team members. According to his bio, Grimstone has dreamed of power and the privilege it brings, yet he considers the needs of others before himself. His belief is that it is the responsibility of the powerful to protect those less fortunate; and with his newly-formed Power Core team, he will enforce that belief.
A set of dinobots toys were released as part of the "Power Core Combiners" line in 2010. This set was a new mold and came with four Dinobot drones: a Parasaurolophus, a Pachycephalosaurus, an Ankylosaurus, and a Dimetrodon mislabeled as a Spinosaurus, all of which combine with Grimstone to form a larger robot.
Transformers: Prime 
- Grimlock - leader, Tyrannosaurus
- Slug - Triceratops
- Sludge - Apatosaurus
- Snarl - Stegosaurus
- Swoop - Pteranodon
Video games 
The Dinobots appear in the game Transformers: Fall of Cybertron as former members of the Lightning Strike Coalition. Grimlock is playable, and Swoop, Sludge (only shown in his non-dinobot form and in stasis lock...but there was a model made for his dino-mode), Slag (renamed "Slug"), and Snarl appear alongside with him.
As a follow up to Transformers: War for Cybertron, it was released on August 21, 2012. The Dinobots are portrayed as an elite task force that was known the Lightning Strike Coalition, and are captured by Shockwave during the Decepticons attack on Iacon. Shockwave then opens a portal to Earth millions of years in the past and reconfigures the group as the Dinobots in order to destroy the Autobots. However, the Dinobots could not be controlled and rebel against Shockwave.
Transformers Prime: Rage of the Dinobots 
It is an IDW comic series where the Dinobots are forced to confront Shockwave, linking Transformers Fall of Cybertron to the Transformers Prime continuity and leads into season three of Transformers Prime.
The Animated Series 
In the episode "Project Predacon" of the third season, the Predacons were referred to as similar to Dinosaurs. Miko asks what Dinobots were and Bulkhead replies with "Totally different", implying that they exist.
Transformers: Rescue Bots 
|Function||Guard and Bulter.|
|Motto||"Trex is good boy."|
|Alternate Modes||Robotic T-Rex|
|Series||Transformers: Rescue Bots|
|Voiced by||LeVar Burton|
A human-built Dinobot called Trex appears in Transformers: Rescue Bots.
Animated series 
In "Family of Heroes", the Tyrannosaurus rex at the Griffin Rock Natural History Museum was damaged in a fire attended by the Burns family and their Rescue Bots. The damaged robot came online that night, left the museum, and rampaged through Griffin Rock. The nearby Rescue Bots spotted it, lured it away from town, and worked together to deactivate the dinosaur and return it to the museum.
In "Return of the Dinobot", Doc Greene reprogrammed the dinosaur into "Trex" to guard the lab against break-ins, as well as to fetch coffee, do the Macarena, and to verify that the mainframe had not been hacked into. A shadowy figure implanted a virus into Trex, who passed it on to the mainframe. Trex stalked Greene and Frankie until he was subdued by the Rescue Bots and Cody Burns used voice commands to override the virus.
Transformers film series 
Some reports revealed that the Dinobots, including Grimlock, will be featured in the fourth film. It has been said that Optimus Prime will ride Grimlock into battle through Hong Kong, along with Bumblebee who will be riding a Pteranodon, who may be Swoop.
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- "SDCC '08 - Dinobots, the 13 and More". Newsarama. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Transformers Spotlight: Grimlock Review". IGN. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- Transformers #8
- Transformers #4
- Transformers #23
- "Dinobots". Transformers On-Line Encyclopedia.
- "Primitive". tfwiki.net.
- The Transformers: Spotlight Grimlock (April 2008)
- "Grimstone". TFW2005.com.
- "Grimstone". OAFE.net.
- "Hasbro Showcases its Iconic Brands at San Diego Comic-Con". Business Wire. July 20, 2010.
- Staff (21). "Comic-Con: Dinobots and Combiners Coming to Transformers Prime?". IGN TV. IGN Entertainment, Inc. Retrieved 30 May 2012.