Badcube Old Timer Series : OTS-09 Grump aka MP Style Gears

My first mini-bot from Badcube, I missed out on Huff and Brawny. I hope to rectify this situation at a later date when the much anticipated reissues are released (which will be Huff 2.0), but for now Grump will keep me occupied.

I’m going to keep this review short and sweet, much like Grump himself … well short anyway. A mini-review for a mini-bot, lets get cracking shall we.

Packaging & Accessories

Grumps box is compact, a kindly way of saying small I suppose. But that’s cool as there is no need for it to be any bigger.

Nice bright primary colours adorn the box, which is solid and robust, with some striking artwork to the rear along with brief characterisation text. Opening up the box and inside is a two part clam with Grump snugly in robot mode therein along with his 3 accessories;

  • Gun
  • Welding Attachment
  • VHS Tape ?

I know the welding attachment & VHS are from an episode but at this time cannot say which ones.

Also contained within is a bag with the instructions and two collector cards, the second of which mimics the look of the official Takara ones. The instructions are well presented, clear and concise and they fully illustrate the necessary steps required to get you from robot to vehicle and back again.

Robot Mode

Popping Grump out of the clam and immediately noticing how sturdy and weighty he is. There is some die-cast content going off here and just the right amount I’d say.

Where MP Bumblebee was bereft of it I feel that ACE’s Tumbler has far too much, the whole being in the feet section completely weighed it down and spoiled it for me. But back to grump.

Some good articulation on display here, the legs cannot quite manage the full 90 degrees but there is just enough to make for good posing stances, the ball joints on the feet really help this.

The waist twists as does the head but lacks any upwards / downwards movement. A face swap gimmick allows a selection of two expressions; a) Grumpy and b) Happy.

Arms are attached by ball joints at the shoulder with upper arm rotation and a 90 degree capable elbow joint. Hands are fixed into a fist and hold the gun tightly with either being able to be flipped round to facilitate the attachment of the welding gun. Lifting up the chest section (on a ball joint also), allows you to pop in that VHS … I know it’s not a video tape but it looks like one okay !

All in a very expressive robot mode in such a small package, Grump is a doppelganger for his animated self (Gears). Nice moulded detail coupled with good paint applications make this a solid representation of Gears.


With Sunsurge being my only other Badcube figure, Grumps transformation is considerably easier than the aforementioned. I did, I must admit, find the front wheels slightly fiddly to lock into place but once done they were there to stay. Other than this it’s pretty straightforward and all tabs in where it should.

Vehicle Mode

Grump “(Gears) … transforms into a blue and red … truck of indeterminable model”, or so it states on the TFWiki page for the character.

Regardless of what type of truck it is, it’s a good looking alt mode that captures the essence of the G1 toy. All the details are here, sunroof, black panel on the hood and the rear truckman section. No rubber on the wheels but nice details on the rims, running boards to the sides under the doors, head and tail lights and you can pop his gun under the rear to mock an exhaust.

There are no “interactive” play features in this mode but he does roll well and (as seen in the pictures) sizes well with the other mini-bots.

As with robot mode, the moulded detail and paint application make this vehicle mode a definite win.

Final Thoughts

In  closing I have to say that I was immediately smitten with Grump from the off. Such a complete figure in a small package, sure he lacks the articulation and dynamic of his larger brethren but more than makes up for it in pure character.

The striking colours and attentions to detail make him seem larger than life, he definitely has that repeat pick up and play factor about him.

He’s a great addition to any MP collection and I see it being hard for this character to receive a better representation. He’s a solid recommendation from me, he maybe Grump but I’m more than happy.

Thanks to Kapow Toys Ltd, figures reviewed are available online via their website.

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