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 Slag transforms into a robotic Triceraptops horridus.
Slag, like all the Dinobots, started his existence in Takara’s Diaclone in 1983. As part of the sub-series Dinosaur Robo, he was No. 2 Triceratops. This version was considerably different than its G1 successor. Triceratops featured a blue painted die-cast chest, a blue face, and hard plastic horns and sword adorned with chrome. Additionally, his thighs are cast in white plastic, and his missile launcher shares the blue used by his face. This version included a small plastic and die-cast driver that could be inserted behind the translucent chest plate. Slag was designed by Koujin Ohno. The US Patent, titled Reconfigurable dinosaurian toy (aka Transformers G1 Slag) was filed on March 3, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD287038 S).
Slag transforms into a silver robotic Triceratops, replete with numerous silver and gold chrome pieces, including several encapsulated behind translucent gray plastic. Numerous stickers also adorn this mode, adding a great deal of color and detail. His head has red rubber facial horns, though the center horn is molded directly to the translucent head. His chrome jaw can be opened and closed, as well as articulation in his legs. His transformation is fairly simple, resulting in a robot mode that clearly reflects his Diaclone heritage. The rear half of his body rotates down to create his large lower legs and feet, and fists extend from the Triceratops’s forelegs. The flanks of the dinosaurian mode form large curved “wings” behind the robot’s shoulders. Slag features an armament of a soft rubber sword, a chrome pistol, and a hinged shoulder-mounted missile launcher that plugs into the circular divot of the shoulder. Unfortunately, the positioning of his fists and the hilt guard mean he can only hold his sword with the flat of the blade forward, a similar error to Optimus Prime’s faux rifle grip.
Slag is fairly sturdy for a Diaclone design. His minor faults include the translucent circular caps on his dinosaurian hips falling off (a design which was revised over the course of his production), and his rather frail pistol. The pistol’s scope and grip are both very thin and often broken on vintage samples.
Slag 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
Slag’s mold was originally used to create Diaclone Dinosaur Robo No. 2 Triceratops in 1983. The mold was used again to create G2 Slag 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 his black thigh.