One of the most memorable groups of Generation 1 in 1985 were the Dinobots. Introduced in the second series as Transformers was coming to its height, the Dinobot Sludge transforms into a robotic Apatosaurus ajax.
Sludge, like all the Dinobots, started his existence in Takara’s Diaclone in 1983. As part of the sub-series Dinosaur Robo, he was No. 3 Brontosaurus. This version was almost indistinguishable from the G1 release, but included a small plastic and die-cast driver that could fit in the cavity in the robot’s chest. This version can also be distinguished by a hard plastic chrome sword, and the silver paint on his face continuing directly into the “mohawk.”
Sludge’s dinosaurian alternate mode resembles a rather inaccurate Apatosaurus (Brontosaurus is a synonym for the species), having a large humped body, short, stubby legs, and a swooping neck. Despite his inaccuracy, he features a great deal of molded detail both on his silver body and the many translucent or chrome pieces. He features silver chrome on his torso and upper body, and gold chrome on his back (the robot’s feet), and inside his translucent gray head. The head sculpt is rather smooth, but molded chrome robot parts inside give it a textured and detailed look. He is also decorated with numerous stickers. His simple transformation uses the whole rear half of the dinosaur as the robot’s legs, extends the arms from the forelimbs, and the head and upper back open and stow away to reveal Sludge’s robot head and chest. His robot chest is die-cast metal and painted red, and features a vestigal driver cockpit with a translucent door. The large silver body panes hanging behind his shoulders give him the distinct Diaclone “winged” look. In this mode, he can wield any combination of a black molded rifle, a red soft rubber sword, or a missile launcher with gold-chromed missiles. Despite his appearance, he is fairly well articulated for a G1 toy. He has articulation in his waist, knees, elbows, and hips.
Sludge is fairly sturdy for a former Diaclone toy, and generally the most intact of all the Dinobots. Occasionally, the translucent plastic screw caps on his rear dinosaur legs can be missing, but this is fairly uncommon.
Sludge has one minor variant, corresponding to some small changes made to the bottom of the dinosaur mode.
Sludge was available in 1985. Due to the popularity of the Dinobots, he was available again in 1986. He was available in 1991 in Europe as part of the Classic Dinobots. He was also available as a mail-away exclusive in Japan during Operation Combination in 1992.