Dinobots is the name of several teams of characters in the fictional Transformers Universe. The groups are made up of several robots, each of whose transformed mode is that of a dinosaur or similar prehistoric animal.[1] They are called Dinotrons in the Japanese version; and Dinobots (ダイノボット Dainobotto?) in the Japanese dub of Transformers Animated. They were named among the top selling toys in 1985 by Playthings magazine.[2]


Transformers: Generation 1

The five original Dinobots
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics, Devil's Due Publishing, IDW Publishing
First appearance "S.O.S. Dinobots" (October 27, 1984)
Created by Hasbro
In-story information
Base(s) The Ark
Member(s) Grimlock

The Dinobots are a group of Transformers, part of the Autobot faction.[3] Their exact origins and abilities vary from one version of Transformers to the next, but they are always exceptionally powerful Autobots, able to sustain heavy damage and wield heavy firepower against their foes. In all media, they are depicted as being fiercely independent and liable to break away from the main group of Autobots when the mood takes them. Due to their unique alternative modes, their memorable personalities, and their fighting prowess, they are fan favorites in their cartoon, comic book, and toy incarnations.[citation needed]

Marvel Comics

In the comics version, the Dinobots are quite different from their cartoon equivalents. They were not created on Earth, but are in fact Cybertronian Autobots. The Dinobots are something like an Autobot elite special ops team, under Grimlock’s direct command. It is made quite clear that the Dinobots’ first loyalty is to each other over their fellow Autobots.

During the series, not much is said about the Dinobots’ time on Cybertron. Most of what is learned comes as hints or references in dialogues, such as Swoop having a grudge against the Decepticon Divebomb caused by a number of defeats he suffered in fights over the name Divebomb, Swoop's original moniker. Grimlock and the Dinobots were as powerful and rebellious on Cybertron as they are on Earth, going so far as launching successful raids against the Decepticon forces without the knowledge of the Autobot leaders. In one such raid, the Dinobots stole a number of Decepticon spaceships and hid them away so well they were still intact when the Autobots returned to Cybertron 5 million years later.

The Dinobots were aboard the Ark with the other Autobots when they originally crashed on Earth. However, soon after the crash, Shockwave landed on Earth in search of the Ark, and the ship’s computer (A.U.N.T.I.E.) reactivated the Dinobots. This would be all the U.S. comics would see of the Dinobots for some time; but in the UK comics, Ratchet led the Dinobots back to the Ark, only to encounter a deranged Guardian robot. They beat him, but lost Swoop in the process, prompting the Dinobots to walk out.

In a breakaway storyline begun by Marvel UK, Grimlock was appointed commander of a group of Autobots on Earth monitoring Decepticon activities—and naturally the Dinobots came with him. They fought many battles against the forces of both Megatron and Shockwave.

Grimlock and the Dinobots were soon in the thick of it again in the Transformers: Generation 2 comics (following on from the end of the US comic), leading missions against the Decepticons' mechaforming efforts (thinking it was Bludgeon's forces, when in reality it was Jhiaxus' second-generation Decepticons). Discovering the scale of their efforts, Grimlock called in Prime—only to be captured by Jhiaxus. The Autobots and Dinobots escaped, and Grimlock again struck out on his own with the Dinobots and a force of volunteers to strike a blow against Jhiaxus—only to be captured, again. Prime would rescue them, however, teaching Grimlock some much needed leadership lessons in the process. The Dinobots later went with Optimus Prime and the Autobots back to Earth in response to a special emergency beacon activated by G.I. Joe in response to a major attack by first Bludgeon, then Megatron.

Animated series

The Dinobots in the original Transformers cartoon were built on Earth by the Autobots Wheeljack and Ratchet.[5][6] After some seismic activity near the Ark resulted in the discovery of dinosaur bones by Ironhide, and an explanation as to what dinosaurs were, Wheeljack was inspired to build three dinosaur-based Transformers based on those found in the volcanic caves near the Ark.[5][6] These three were named Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge; and collectively called the Dinobots,[5][6] with Grimlock assuming command, being the most powerful of the trio.[6] They possessed great physical strength, but had very limited intelligence. This lack of intelligence was given a boost before their initial engagement against the Decepticons.[6]

Not long after this first engagement, Optimus Prime commissioned two new Dinobots, Snarl and Swoop, to aid the Autobots.[6] As they were being constructed, Megatron was able to convince the original three Dinobots to join him against the Autobots.[6] However, they soon rejected the Decepticons after Optimus Prime saved Grimlock's life despite having been defeated by them in battle.[6]

The Dinobots were tasked with sorting out situations that the Autobots were not strong enough to handle themselves. This role led to the Dinobots frequently rebelling and growing resentful.[5] Eventually, the Dinobots, tired of being told when to fight, deserted the Autobots.[6] The Dinobots were later allowed to relocate to an island, later called "Dinobot Island", discovered by Powerglide that contained prehistoric life, where Optimus Prime felt it was the perfect place for the Dinobots to train.[6] This training was disrupted by the Decepticons, who had likewise discovered the island and its plentiful raw energy.[6] Megatron initiated a stampede in the ensuing battle that forced the Dinobots to fall into a tar pit; however, Slag, using his fire breath, was able to boil away the tar and free the team.[6] After the Dinobots defeated the Decepticons, the Autobots asked them to return to the Ark, having realized that Dinobot Island was too dangerous a place.[6]

Dreamwave Productions

The Dinobots appeared in Dreamwave's reimagining of the Generation One Universe, this time with an expanded origin. Shortly before the second story arc of the War Within, "The Dark Ages", Grimlock created a specialized attack group called the Lightning Strike Coalition. Five members of this group would go on to become the Dinobots on Earth. By the time of the "Age of Wrath", they were openly acting as Grimlock's bodyguards, with Grimlock even referring to them as "Dynobots". At this stage, the group did not yet have the absolute loyalty that the Dinobots would later be known for. In this story arc, Swoop openly questions Grimlock’s orders. When faced with a dilemma, the other four members of the Coalition choose to go help the Autobots and leave their leader to fight elsewhere on his own. Here, Swoop transformed into a Cybertronian jet, while the other Dynobots transformed into different types of Cybertronian tanks.

The Dinobots later made their first appearance in the Generation One series. The backstory had it that the Dynobots were dispatched to Earth to discover what had happened to the missing Ark. They encountered the Decepticons, who would become the Insecticons, with both sides blasting each other into stasis lock. Although Grimlock would appear first independently of the Dinobots, they would later appear in the second volume revived by Grimlock before crashing on Cybertron. They killed Octane and stole his ship; however, they ran into trouble when the local Autobot forces believed them to be traitors and fired on them, with Ultra Magnus gunning down Grimlock, before battling giant Sentinel robots dispatched by Shockwave. Repaired by the Autobots (now convinced of their intentions), they then participated in the final assault on Shockwave, where Grimlock rescued Magnus and Optimus Prime. Dreamwave's closure prevented any further stories being told, but it is known that the Dinobots would have returned in issue #11 of the third volume of the Generation One comic.

Devil's Due Publishing

The Dinobots also appeared in the second G.I. Joe vs the Transformers series from Devil's Due Publishing, with yet another different origin. In 2004, the Dinobots were among the Autobots under the leadership of Optimus Prime, who attempted to take back the planet Cybertron from the Decepticon tyrant Shockwave. After an accident with the teleportation systems of the supercomputer Teletran-3, the Dinobots found themselves sent back in time and landed on the planet Earth. They were reformatted in the forms of Earth dinosaurs. A group of humans were able to bring the new Dinobots back to Cybertron and they helped overcome Shockwave.

Grimlock also had a prominent role in the third series as one of the Autobots sent to Earth to deactivate Cybertronian technology, only to end up battling the human created cyborg Serpentor. Snarl also appeared briefly as part of the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe force attempting to rescue Optimus Prime, fighting alongside Storm Shadow.

IDW Publishing

The Dinobots would make their first chronological IDW Publishing appearance in issue #3 of The Transformers: Megatron Origin, where all five were seen as part of Megatron's gathering of gladiators and insurgents that would eventually become the Decepticons.

They appeared chronologically later in The Transformers: Spotlight issue on Shockwave, having, as in other continuities, defected to the Autobots. In this stand-alone tale, the Dinobots (here, as in the War Within, referring to themselves as "Dynobots") sought revenge on Shockwave for a past incident involving his destruction of an Energon cache that they had stolen—and nearly them with it. Being denied a chance for revenge by Optimus Prime, the Dynobots went rogue and tracked Shockwave to prehistoric Earth, where he was ensuring that seams of rich Energon that he had seeded took root. Unable to survive in the Energon levels on the planet (reminiscent of the problem facing the Maximals and Predacons in Beast Wars), they adopted techno-organic dinosaur modes and teleported down to Earth to engage Shockwave. Despite their determination and ferocity, their own impulsive nature would prove their undoing; the concept that the Dynobots could have followed him for simple revenge. Shockwave shut down his higher logic functions, allowing him to single-handedly devastate the Dynobots. He would not enjoy his victory for long—Grimlock had set the weapons on their ship to fire on their location, exploding a volcano and burying all combatants in lava.

It is interesting to note that unlike most other versions of the characters, their alternate modes, while still dinosaurs, are techno-organic—a sheath of synthetic flesh over robotic alternate modes. However, near the end of the story, their flesh is blown off by Shockwave's cannon blast, suggesting that if they return it will be in their familiar metallic dinosaur forms. Amusingly, a reason is also given for their choosing of dinosaur modes—they reject mammalian forms as not having enough "bite".

The eventual fate of the Dynobots would be revealed in The Transformers: Escalation where it was shown that the bodies of the Dynobots and Shockwave were being dug up by the mysterious defense organization called Skywatch. After the events of The Transformers: Devastation, Skywatch dug up Grimlock as a defense measure, but his reawakening was sabotaged by the Machination. After a battle with Scorponok, the other Dynobots were reactivated by Skywatch—manipulated by the Machination, who wanted them to kill Grimlock.[4][7]

Transformers: Classic

In November 2006, a deluxe-sized Grimlock was released, and three Dinobot Minicons were sold in a 3-pack; only one of which carries an original Dinobot name: Swoop.

Beast Wars

The Beast Wars Grimlock toy is the same mold as the Maximal Dinobot who appeared in the Beast Wars cartoon (although Grimlock did not). Grimlock in his reimagined raptor form has appeared in IDW Publishing's mini-series Beast Wars: The Gathering. He battled Magmatron, but lost, later joining Razorbeast's Maximals on Earth.

Beast Machines

T-Wrecks, leader of the Beast Machines Dinobots
Publication information
Publisher 3H Enterprises, Fun Publications
In-story information
Base(s) None
Member(s) Airraptor

When Megatron unleashed the techno-organic virus on Cybertron during Beast Machines, many Maximals and Predacons were wiped out. In a desperate attempt to combat the virus, the Oracle supercomputer reformatted a group of surviving Transformers using DNA schematics derived from the former Maximal warrior Dinobot. Thus were born the Beast Machines Dinobots.


Turns into an Archaeopteryx. A perfectionist with supreme precision, a characteristic gained working as the surveyor and navigator of the Axalon. Capable of flying at very high speeds, though his wings are very fragile.


Turns into a pachycephalosaurus. Stubborn and surly, Dinotron is the most uncooperative of the Dinobots. Does not favor his new technorganic design but is disgusted by Megatron's "new order."

Diamond plated "helmet" coupled with explosive speed send Vehicons flying. Giant tail can shatter a 20 foot concrete cube while titanium hide makes him resistant to most attacks. Tail weapon deploys into spinning blade that immediately carbonizes and disintegrates all alloys with which it comes in contact. Dinotron is depicted as standing about 10 feet tall.


See Magmatron.


Turns into a transmetal II velociraptor.


Turns into a stegosaurus. Striker is a frontline one-robot wrecking crew, incredibly loyal to the Maximal cause. His hide is constructed of specially treated poly-alloy armor, and plates across his back serve as secondary energy receptors. His tail makes the most useful weapon; it can cause seismic variations in the gravitational field by slamming it to the ground, sending Vehicons crashing to the surface at break-neck speed. Tail also contains unique grappling rocket, which penetrates all Vehicon armor.


Turns into a tyrannosaurus rex. The team leader. As a strong defender of the Maximal cause, this former attack specialist stationed in sector 17 of the Mirtonian constellation has returned to Cybertron. Reformatted into the charismatic Dinobot platoon commander, T-Wrecks, his fellow Maximals bestowed him the nickname "Big Rex" as a testament to his powerhouse presence on the battlefield.

Serrated steel jaws can snap most materials in two, acidic breath instantly corrodes most alloys and dual hip-mounted launchers fire air-imploding projectiles. T-Wrecks is depicted as standing 14 feet tall.


Turns into a transmetal pteranodon. Very pompous and loves difficult battles, often fighting multiple enemies by himself. Focuses on aerial combat while utilizing an alloy coating that makes him impossible to detect.


Turns into a triceratops.

Transformers: Dinobots

In 2003, a set of Wal-Mart exclusive toys sold simply as "Transformers: Dinobots" featured repaints of Beast Wars molds as six Dinobots. One of the Dinobots sets included Grimlock (a repaint of Beast Wars Dinobot) and Swoop (a repaint of Beast Wars Terrorsaur). Some versions of Swoop were named Terranotron on the box because of trademark issues with the name Swoop. The other sets in the series were Sludge and Snarl, and Triceradon and Slapper.

How the "Transformers: Dinobots" toy line fits in with the other Transformers lines is unclear. The previous "Robots in Disguise" and "Armada" lines contained many non-show repaint toys, but they do not mention either line on the boxes. The Dinobots toys came out just before the "Transformers: Universe" series, which was almost entirely repaints of old toys—some fans consider it a precursor to that series.[citation needed]

Transformers: Energon

There were two Dinobot figures released as part of the "Transformers: Energon" toy line: Grimlock and Swoop, who can merge to form the giant robot Mega-Dinobot. They did not appear in the cartoon.


Although the Dinobots do not appear in the live-action film, a video on the Sector 7 website showed Grimlock rampaging through a construction site. The Dinobots had been mentioned as potential characters for the sequel as a band of Transformers who landed on Earth eons ago, thus their dinosaur forms. The film's website had given fans the code to access the Sector 7 website.[8] When asked if the Dinobots would appear in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, director Michael Bay said "No," but that there would be more Cybertronian species.[citation needed] Roberto Orci later confirmed that the Dinobots were not in the sequel, describing them as being too difficult to portray onscreen.[citation needed]

Transformers Animated

In the Transformers Animated series, the Dinobots are originally animatronic dinosaurs at the fictional Dino Drive amusement park. When Bulkhead accidentally smashes them, Professor Sumdac takes the robotic dinosaurs back to his private lab for repairs. It is in this episode that Megatron reveals that he is conscious to Sumdac, and agrees to help him rebuild the dinosaurs. However, secretly, Megatron intends to use the newly-named Dinobots for his own experiment to see if he can create successful drones loyal only to him, each possessing the abilities of a Transformer along with flame breath attacks in beast mode.

Megatron remote controls the new Dinobots, who wreak havoc during the rechristening ceremony. The Autobots are able to stop them with Bumblebee and Ratchet combining their energies to create an EMP to shutdown the Dinobots. However, due to Sari Sumdac's attempt to boost Bumblebee's power, her Allspark key turns the Dinobots into actual Transformers, though they see themselves as actual dinosaurs.

Although he no longer has complete control over them, Megatron is able to persuade Grimlock, Snarl, and Swoop into destroying all fossil fuel-powered vehicles and the "car-robots" (the Autobots). Far more resistant to the Autobots' weapons this time, the three Dinobots are trapped and imprisoned in a tar pit. After hearing that Professor Sumdac intends to disassemble the incapacitated Dinobots the next morning, Prowl raises his suspicions that they may be more advanced than they think. Enlisting the aid of Bulkhead, the two Autobots secretly transport the Dinobots to a forest island nearby where they can live in seclusion and peace with nature, utilizing a holographic screen to hide them from the rest of the world. However, Grimlock accidentally figures out how to transform into robot mode, much to the surprise of the other two Dinobots.

The Dinobots were later found by Prometheus Black (alias Meltdown) who threatened to melt them unless they serve him. Swoop kidnapped Sari so Meltdown could use her in experiments to create a transforming human. When Prowl, Bulkhead, and Captain Fanzone captured Meltdown, they told the Dinobots they did not need to serve him anymore. In their simple logic, they figure that Meltdown is not one of them, so they transform to beat him, surprising everyone, and ally themselves with the Autobots. They then divert to Colossus Rhodes and the mutants, which they promptly burn.

The Dinobots return in "Megatron Rising" (part one), approached by Optimus Prime, Bulkhead, and Prowl, who want their help against the invading Decepticons. The Dinobots refuse. They also briefly feature in "The Elite Guard". They attack Sentinel Prime when he trespasses on their island, but are forced back by Ultra Magnus. They also appear in "A Fistful of Energon", where Grimlock has a metal spike in his foot removed by Prowl. They next feature in "Black Friday", where they are seduced by Blackarachnia into helping her remove her organic half.

They made a small cameo at the end of "Three's a Crowd", observing an explosion over the lake which contained the Constructicons. Also, in the same episode, an oil tanker has a picture on its side of what appears to be the Generation One Sludge in his alternate mode getting stuck in a pool of tar. In "Predacons Rising", the Dinobots are once again coerced into doing Blackarachnia's bidding, bringing them into conflict with the Autobots. In the ensuing battle, they are overwhelmed and defeated by Jetfire and Jetstorm.

In "Human Error" (part 2), Grimlock and Swoop make a brief appearance when Sari, now a teenager, attempts to enlist their help to rescue the Autobots after they are captured by Soundwave, who wants to reprogram them into serving him. When Grimlock refuses to help Sari, she wonders where the third Dinobot, Snarl, is. She soon discovers that Snarl had been domesticated into a pet by the Constructicon Scrapper, who washed ashore on the island after the explosion at the end of "Three's a Crowd". Scrapper and Snarl agree to help Sari take down Soundwave. After the battle, Scrapper attempts to ride Snarl, but Snarl uses his back legs to kick Scrapper back, seemingly putting an end to their friendship.

Transformers: Power Core Combiners

Sub-group Dinobots, Power Core Combiners, Scouts
Rank 8
Partner Four Dinobot drones
Alternate Modes Robotic styracosaurus (mislabeled as a triceratops)
Series Transformers: Power Core Combiners

Grimstone is the first Power Core Combiner to use animal forms instead of vehicles like his team members. According to his bio, Grimstone has dreamed of power and the privilege it brings, yet he considers the needs of others before himself. His belief is that it is the responsibility of the powerful to protect those less fortunate; and with his newly-formed Power Core team, he will enforce that belief.[9][10][11]

In 2010, a toy line of the team was released called "Power Core Combiners: Grimstone with Dinobots". This set was a new mold and came with four Dinobot drones—apparently, a parasaurolophus, a pachycephalosaurus, an ankylosaurus, and a dimetrodon (mislabeled as a spinosaurus); all of which combine with Grimstone to form a larger robot. Though Grimstone's alternate mode is labeled as a triceratops, he is actually a styracosaurus.

Transformers: Prime

It has been revealed that Dinobots may appear in the second season.[12] Members include:

Video games

It's been revealed that the Dinobots are set to appear in the new game, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.


  1. ^ "Furman Talks 'Maximum Dinobots'". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=19100. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  2. ^ "Transformers named top toy of '85; buyers representing 3,500 stores cast votes for best-sellers in Playthings survey". Playthings. December 1, 1985. 
  3. ^ "SDCC '08 - Dinobots, the 13 and More". Newsarama. http://www.newsarama.com/comics/080725-SDCCIDWTformers.html. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Transformers Spotlight: Grimlock Review". IGN. http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/869/869085p1.html. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Dinobots (G1)". Transformers Wiki. http://transformers.wikia.com/wiki/Dinobot_%28G1%29. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Dinobots". Transformers On-Line Encyclopedia. http://www.oocities.org/sslui_marauder/dinobot.html. 
  7. ^ The Transformers: Spotlight Grimlock (April 2008)
  8. ^ The code for the Sector 7 website was "DECEPTIBOT" (in capital letters). The other password was the word "black".
  9. ^ "Grimstone". TFW2005.com. http://www.tfw2005.com/resources/power-core-autobots-407/grimstone-with-dinobots-4840/. 
  10. ^ "Grimstone". OAFE.net. http://www.oafe.net/yo/tfpcc_dinos.php. 
  11. ^ "Hasbro Showcases its Iconic Brands at San Diego Comic-Con". Business Wire. July 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ [1]

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