Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 14, March 1986 / Issue 41, June 1988
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 80, September 27th 1986 / Issue 148, January 16th 1988
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 30 (Season 2 #14), September 25th 1985 / The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
AKA 'Solar Storm Grappel'
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Transformers 2010
- Added an Autobot symbol to the cab
- Added an Autobot symbol to cover the heat sticker
- Added some Reprolabels
Grapple was another of the season 2 cartoon cast who inexplicably turned up halfway through and just kind of slotted in as if he had always been there. He liked to build things so handy then that his alt mode was a crane truck. He spent most of his time building things with Hoist and in terms of his dealings with the Decepticons, he reserved a special dislike for Hook. Other than this, he did little of note in either the cartoon or the comics, running about a bit before disappearing off into obscurity. But is this 'Reveal the shield' incarnation of him equally forgettable?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
The Inferno/Grapple mode is an acquired taste but one that I happen to like very much. These guys really suit having a voyager class figure. The shoulder kibble can swivel to behind the arms or alongside them, and I tend to display Grapple with the kibble alongside. It makes him look like he could lift some of those beams he so elegantly slots together. His hands are really stupid though, having inexplicably been remoulded from Inferno (who had proper fists) to open hands which are moulded directly into the forearm. Plus, the forearm panels which could discretely rotate on Inferno are now static. In terms of the colour scheme, vibrant yellow is a plus for me, and I think the head sculpt is one of the better I have seen. This mould is about the same height as Optimus Prime but is substantially bulkier. A nice job all round.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
The truck mode is very decent, and is only marred by the fact that looking down at the back of it reveals the arms, there is no 'shell' to cover the robot kibble which is a shame. This is partially obscured by the crane arm, which is articulated and telescopic. This adds somewhat to the playability of the figure, and from the front there is little to suggest this is a Transformer. There is also a wealth of sculpted detail, and some nice paint apps which I have augmented with a few choice Reprolabels.
There are lots of 'shell' parts to this figure but they collapse nicely so are not very evident in robot mode. The panels either side of the cabin windows fold onto themselves and then the 2 parts of the cabin separate and form the upper arms. The lower arms are separated from the bottom of the rear, and the legs are then formed. The front wheels tuck in to allow the hips to move up into position, and the head reveal is spring-loaded. The lags are then rotated by swiveling the thighs and the feet are unfolded. Then you are done!
For me, this is where both Grapple and Inferno fall down, and quite literally in this case. You may think that the mark is harsh but it is an absolute nightmare trying to pose these guys. Both of these were bought brand new and both are incredibly loose around the hip and shoulder joints, which are the most important for poseability imo. They literally flop all over the place, so buyer beware. Articulation wise, they aren't too bad though, with head swivel, lateral and side-to-side movement in the shoulder, bicep swivel, elbow joints, but no wrist movement. There is also no hip swivel but there is (too much) movement in the hips, and elbow joints. The 'toes' can be tilted up and down slightly. The crane arm can also be posed facing forwards or behind.
On this mould, arms tend to pop out at the bicep during transformation. The bigger problem is the aforementioned loose joints which are already terrible, so Primus only knows how bad these will get!
Overall - 34/50
Grapple is crippled by joints which are inexplicably loose. This is a real shame as the mould has a lot of promise. I severely limit how much I pose this mould as I worry that he will not be able to stand up soon, so before you get this figure, please be aware of this. I imagine if a kid played with these that they would be useless pretty soon. However, aesthetically this figure is really great and is a nice homage to the character.