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 Snarl transforms into a robotic Stegosaurus armatus.
Snarl, like all the Dinobots, started his existence in Takara’s Diaclone in 1983. As part of the sub-series Dinosaur Robo, he was No. 5 Stegosaurus. This version was considerably different than its G1 successor. Stegosaurus featured a black painted die-cast chest and a silver hard plastic sword. This version included a small plastic and die-cast driver that could be inserted behind the translucent chest plate. Snarl was invented by Koujin Ohno. Snarl’s US Patent, titled Reconfigurable dinosaurian toy (aka Transformers G1 Snarl) was filed on April 10, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD287151 S).
Snarl transforms into a robotic Stegosaurus, with a mostly silver body. Gold chrome is generously used on his front legs, tail, plates, hind feet, and internally. His rear body is a large section of die-cast metal, painted in red. His dinosaurian head is molded in translucent gray plastic backed by gold chrome. He is decorated with numerous stickers to add color and robotic details. His transformation is slightly more nuanced than his peers. The forelegs fit into shaped indentations on the body, which becomes the large lower legs of the robot. His hind legs fold open to reveal his spring-loaded fists. The main section of plates pivots down his back once his tail has been divided to the sides. His robot mode has odd proportions, with a very large upper body and shoulders, and narrow hips and upper legs. In this mode, he can wield his soft rubber sword, a long black rifle, and a missile launcher that plugs into the screw hole on his shoulder.
Despite his chunky looking design and weighty die-cast body, Snarl is prone to a number of major and minor damages. His hind legs are held closed by a small clip on the transparent shin piece, which breaks easily and often. His tail halves are stabilized by two pairs of thin silver pegs that make the joint click into place. Often, these pins are broken or missing, but unnoticed due to their inconspicuous location inside of the joint, visible from Snarl’s back. When handling vintage samples, this breakage can be avoided by applying outward pressure at the hinge and rotating the tail half slowly.
Snarl 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.
Redecos & Retools
Snarl’s mold was originally used to create Diaclone Dinosaur Robo No. 5 Stegosaurus in 1983. The mold was used again to create G2 Snarl in 1993, in three variations: red, green, and silver. The G2 versions did not include the missile launcher and missiles. The silver version is very similar to the G1, but is discernable by some minor molding differences and the word “Autobot” with a log tampographed on the inside edge of his foot.