- The Dinobots are an Autobot subgroup in Generation 1 continuity family. In some continuities, before they arrive on Earth, they are known as the Dynobots.
The Dinobots are a rowdy, arrogant, lowbrow, disobedient band of warriors that some Autobots would rather scrap than deal with. They're also one of the most devastatingly powerful and close-knit combat units in the Autobot army, being incredibly powerful in robot mode and taking alternate modes based on dinosaurs, the most powerful creatures to ever roam the Earth.
Most of them dislike Optimus Prime, so whether or not they follow the Autobot leader's orders depends on what those orders are. If it's to destroy stuff, they're down with that. If it's to help people, it kinda depends on what the weather is like.
The group's members are:
- Grimlock (the leader)
- Slag (the bad boy)
- Sludge (the dim one)
- Snarl (the quiet one)
- Swoop (the sensitive one)
and in one story:
In at least one micro-continuity, the Dinobots can combine to form a monstrous super-robot called the Beast. (Grimlock explicitly states that this is not the case in the Marvel UK continuity, though he has been known to stretch the truth.)
- Portuguese name (Portugal comic): Dinobóticos
- Hungarian name (second Movie dub): Dínók
- Portuguese name (Brazil comic): Robodinos
- Hungarian name (first Movie dub): Vasállatok (Iron-animals)
Marvel Comics continuity
The Dinobots in the Marvel comic were not created on Earth, as in the cartoon, but were a distinct and pre-existing unit of five Autobot soldiers who were aboard the Ark when it crashed to Earth. The comic Dinobots, while not exactly Perceptor-grade, were significantly more intelligent than their cartoon counterparts. (Their commander, Grimlock, served as overall Autobot Commander on more than one occasion.) However, they were not as strong as their cartoon counterparts, either.
Shortly after the crash, the Ark's computer detected Shockwave landing on the planet in the Antarctic land-out-of-time that would one day become known as the Savage Land. The Ark used the last of its capabilities to revive these five warriors and rebuild them to transform into the Savage Land's dominant lifeform: dinosaurs. They were then dispatched to deal with the Decepticon, where they sank to the bottom of a tar pit and remained dormant until Ratchet revived them in the 1980s.
The Dinobots were modeled after the dinosaur fossils that Ironhide found in the volcanic caves near the Ark. Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge were built first. After some initial troubles, their performance pleased Optimus Prime enough that he had two more built, adding Snarl and Swoop to the ranks.
The Dinobots' role was simply to pulverize anyone or anything that was too strong for the Autobots to handle on their own. In the process, they frequently mouthed off, rebelled and started brawls inside of Autobot Headquarters (and the occasional dinosaur-shaped city).
At one point, the Dinobots became sick of only being used as the hammer of the Autobot army, so they deserted, saying that they would fight when they wanted to. However, the Dinobots were called in when the Autobots and the Decepticons began suffering from Cybertonium depletion. During the battle with the Constructicons, they were accidentally sent to Cybertron, where they briefly reduced Shockwave to the role of chew toy. However, Shockwave altered the Dinobots' memory circuits and forced them to work in the Cybertonium Pit. Spike Witwicky and Carly managed to rescue them, and the Dinobots decided to follow Optimus Prime's orders... until such time that they decided not to do so.
During the Battle of Autobot City, the Dinobots were dispatched to defeat Devastator. Despite their incredible strength, Devastator manhandled them. During Galvatron's subsequent attack, Kup and Hot Rod literally had to drag them aboard the shuttle, which was shot down over Quintessa. The Dinobots managed to avoid being captured and met Wheelie, who helped them find Kup and Hot Rod. Later, the Dinobots literally kicked the butt of a god.
The Beast Within continuity
This story is regarded in fandom as being one of the nadirs of Transformers fiction and as completely messing up the chance to show a Dinobot combiner.
Dreamwave comics continuity
It was established that Grimlock once commanded a splinter faction of Autobots known as the Lightning Strike Coalition, which included the Dynobots. It was also established that following this, these five robots used the Cybertronian designation "Dynobots".
The Dynobots traveled to Earth separately from the rest of the Autobots. Grimlock emerged on his own, and the Ark Autobots found him battling the Insecticons. The fate of the other Dinobots was unknown, but somehow Megatron had captured them and kept them in stasis in a secret base. After being freed, they traveled to Cybertron and helped liberate it from Shockwave's control.
Devil's Due comic continuity
The Dinobots were originally five present-day Autobots who were sent back in time, and reformatted into dinosaurs. When G.I. Joe traveled back in time, they recovered the Dinobots, who proceeded to beat Shockwave's Decepticons three ways from Sunday.
Grimlock would play a large role in subsequent events, but the other Dinobots would not be seen again until the joint GI Joe/Autobot offensive, where Snarl teamed up with Stormshadow.
The story "Paddles" features a sixth Dinobot of the same name. This is also the only appearance of the character.
IDW comics continuity
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Before the Great War, Grimlock and the Dynobots were amongst the gladiatorial teams that competed in the Forge. When Megatron put out a call for combatants, the Dynobots were amongst those who were shown grudging respect by the Predacons as opposed to the remainder of the "amateurs" in the crowd.
Eons later, the Dynobots followed Shockwave to prehistoric Earth on a revenge-fueled crusade. The planet's energon fields forced them to take on the forms of the local animal life. Thus protected, they attacked Shockwave on the surface. Sadly, it did not protect the Dynobots from Shockwave's energy blasts, which melted the artificial skin and caused the Dynobots to go into stasis lock due to excessive energon radiation. Due to a deadman's switch, The Dynobots' ship (the Skyfire) blasted a volcano that buried everyone in molten lava. They were later unearthed by a human archaeological dig which was taken over by government agents.
Though Grimlock was the first to be brought back online, he was freed from Skywatch's control through a virus implanted by a Machination spy (under orders from Scorponok). Scorponok wanted Grimlock to join him, but Grimlock refused, fought Scorponok and escaped, vowing to find and rescue the other Dynobots. Scorponok, however, plans to take control of the Dynobots himself and use them to assassinate Grimlock.
- Dinobots (1985)
The five Dinobots were sold individually in boxed packages from 1985 to 1986. They featured a uniform color scheme of red for their die-cast metal parts, black plastic for legs and forearms, smoky translucent for remnant cockpits, and golden metalized plastic highlights depicting machine details. Most had fairly good articulation for G1 toys; only Slag had the conjoined foot-base common to many of the automobile-based Transformers in G1.
- Grimlock (Pretender, 1989)
A much smaller and simpler version of Grimlock, with a Pretender shell.
- Action Masters (1990)
Both Grimlock and Snarl were given new toy forms as part of the Action Masters line.
- Dinobots (1993)
The original toys of Grimlock, Slag and Snarl were reissued in new colors.
- Grimlock (Deluxe, 1997)
A redeco of Dinobot.
- Grimlock (2005)
He turns into a 1/24th scale car.
- Swoop (Mini-Con Dinobots Team, 2006)
A new mold for the original character, alongside two new-character teammates.
- Grimlock (Deluxe, 2006)
A new mold based on his original design, with an updated dinosaur mode.
- The 2003 Dinobots subline, a Wal-Mart exclusive, reuses most/all of the G1 Dinobots' names. In the absence of any bios or fiction, however, it is unclear if they are meant to represent the same characters.
- The 2005 Grimlock & Swoop two-pack was originally intended to portray the G1 characters, but ended up as part of the Energon toyline instead, representing new characters.
Items of Note
- The Dinobots are the first Transformers whose creation is shown in the cartoon. It seems simple enough: The Autobots simply construct their bodies, flick the switch, and they're animate. Wheeljack later upgrades their brains, after which they display sentience. However, the later episode "The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 1" heavily implies that there's no way to bring a Transformer to life without the use of the supercomputer Vector Sigma. Still other episodes would show the creation of Trypticon and the Technobots without the use of Vector Sigma. For more on this issue, see the separate article Reproduction.