No matter how great the various Transformers lines have been recently, the one area they still lag behind in is accessories. Figures frequently come with weapons that are hollowed out, random added bits at the expense of their weapons, or don’t even come with accessories at all. Fortunately, third parties pretty much came into existence to fill that gap and do the stuff Hastak seem so to deem as outside of their budget. So when Hasbro gave me Dinobots as part of their Power of the Primes sub line, but chose not to give them all of their weapons, I knew I was going to have to look elsewhere to add those finishing touches.
Luckily there are some very reasonably priced options available if you know where to look (or spend way too much of your life looking at Transformers websites).
Nonnef Productions Dinobot weapons are split across two packs. One featuring the groups iconic swords, the other giving them their guns. At retail the Power of the Primes Dinobots were a complete mish mash when it came to their weapons. Some got swords, others got guns, two got nothing at all, and there was a lack of a clear unifying theme which created an odd sense of dissonance amongst a group so heavily built around coalescence, that marches happily to war to the sound of “Zombie” by The Cranberries.
PotP Grimlock didn’t even come with any weapons. As a Voyager scale figure who has the Primus given ability to turn into a torso he instead came with two pieces of “Prime Armour”….but to you and me and it was a pair of feet. Sure, he turns into a T-Rex and is no doubt handy enough with his fists, but you know – guy needs his sword at least. Nonnef has, thankfully, chosen to right this terrible wrong by bestowing upon Grimlock both his signature double barreled laser blaster and brutal sword of smashy smashy stab stab.
Translucent blades, forged in searing red, provide each Dinobot with a sword that pays homage to their vintage toy/animation model. Each is unique and helps to add an extra touch of barbarity to the team, which is particularly welcome with the deluxe sized figures. The blades themselves are surprisingly thick, with heavy flat edges that don’t taper as you’d maybe expect, but this is exaggerated by photography and if anything suits the Dinobots as it suggests they use their swords to brutally clobber their unfortunate enemies on top of running them through and turning them all into macabre weather vanes.
Each of the guns is taken directly from the vintage toys and almost all are cast in black plastic. Slag/Slug’s gun is notably crafted from a grey plastic as well as being much smaller and more of a handgun than the rifles each of the others wield. This is in step with not only the cartoon but the vintage toy (although that was chromed), and if it bothers you then the stock rifle that Hasbro packed in with the figure is still an excellent alternative. Sludge and Snarl get excellent rifles that perfectly fill the task of blasting Decepticons to bits as Sludge ponders the questions of existence whilst humming Tom’s Diner.
Slash originally came with no weapons, but now upgrades to two sets of weapons. The gun set gifts her two small hand cannons (available in black or grey, whichever tickles your fancy) that have large Raptor claws carved on top of them. As a massive Jurassic Park fan, you will have some idea of the amount of excited humming of the Jurassic Park theme tune this has caused me to do. Unfortunately they don’t appear to attach in a way that allows them to act as claws in Raptor mode which is a touch disappointing but then you can only do so much. Still, with the way the claws are sculpted it means you get a Dino Crisis X Final Fantasy Gun Blade mashup.
The sword pack offers Slash two small daggers just in case she wants to go full Rambo. Whichever weapons you choose, Slash becomes Slasher.
Of all the Dinobots, Swoop is the main beneficiary of Nonnef’s upgrades. Leaving out his launchers was a pretty egregious act on the part of Hasbro, as they are such a fundamental part of his silhouette. Without them he lacks that bit of gravitas the other Dinobots carry themselves with. He sort of just looks like he’d be their butler. Nonnef opted to add new pieces that extend the wings and add regular 5mm ports for the gorgeous new launchers to attach to, and those pegs allow the launchers to double as handheld weapons. My original plan was to skip the extensions and use magnets to allow the launchers to stick to metal pins in the wings, but I am fickle that changed as soon as I saw pictures of Swoop with wings long enough to poke my eye out.
Just in case you were wondering, no the rocket launchers don’t contain a spring-loaded mechanism, and yes you can also get the rocket tips in vintage toy accurate red. Not only the do the wing extensions hold the launchers in place, but they also extend the wingspan of the Pterandon mode, and give it extra articulation for more dynamic flight poses. Once you go to robot mode, the extra hinge gives you more options to position the wings. They can hang from the sides, fold onto the back like a Dracula cape or even fold up around Swoop for those moments when he just wants to be Batman. Don’t we all Swoop, don’t we all.
Storage is as possible as sticking pegs into any peg holes can be. These figures were not designed with storage in mind, and the weapons are mainly for effect in robot mode. That doesn’t mean they have no purpose in other modes though as the guns at least do serve functions in the combined form of Volcanicus. Slash’s claw guns, for example, do fill in the gaps on the combiner elbows. The swords however do just go off to the side, or you can peg them in wherever you find a space and perform decapitating clothes lines from Hell, I guess. They do not form a sword – that’s a Predaking trademark, homies.*
*Or another third party.
Finally, it’s not all Jurassic themed – we’ve got handheld GPS! Nonnef has produced a selection of smaller handheld weapons for smaller bots. This includes all four Clones (you can see the Decepticon Clones weapons in one of the photos further up) and the many legends class figures who were not deemed worthy enough to come with their own. *Clears throat, and puts on best Admiral Akbar impersonation* As you can see here…a limited amount have been produced in gold to match Takara’s random “Golden Lagoon” set of figures, so named after that episode of the cartoon where The Transformers find a magical puddle filled with gold liquid (Electrum, I know my fictional mcguffin liquids) and then burn down a forest. The guns are all fantastic and do a great job of arming up the tiny bots and making them ready for action.
Quality on all of the guns and swords is very good and they are produced from strong plastic. Width of the sword blades might be a gripe for many, but it means you get a much more robust piece. My only issues were one of the Decepticon Clones guns are too loose and only stay in due to gravity. Still, that is a very easy thing to fix so it’s no bother at all. Installing Swoop’s wing extensions can be frustrating, and painful on the fingers, but to me the result was worth it. Again, I am a fussy sod.
The price for Nonnef’s sets is very reasonable and you can buy them piecemeal without having to buy large add on sets you might not want all the parts from. International shipping may be a bit of a barrier, but if you are a fussy sod like me it’s worth it to turn figures you really like into figures you really love.
If you are interested in purchasing any of Nonnef’s figure upgrades and accessories then check out his website here: Nonnef Productions