As you’ve probably figured out by now, I was a huge dinosaur fan as a kid. My favorite terrible lizard was – and still is – the Triceratops. I always appreciated his underdog status in the imaginary battle between the triceratops and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Plus, that frilled shield and those three horns were just fascinating to me. So, when it came to dinosaurs, I couldn’t get enough of Triceratops.

Slag was introduced as part of the second wave of Transformers toys, released in 1985. The Dinobots were a group of dinosaur Transformers that included Sludge, a Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus, there’s some debate if they were separate species); Swoop, a Pteranodon; Snarl, a Stegosaurus; and Grimlock, a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Now, as a Dino Kid, I wanted all of the Dinobots, obviously. But these were premium figures (that $12.97 price tag on the box is equal to about $37 adjusted for inflation), so I had to be choosy. Because he was always my favorite dino, I had to go with Slag.

As you can see, I still have the box for Slag, though it has seen better days…

There have been quite a few different versions of Slag over the years. The 1993 Generation 2 release saw a new paintjob to a rather odd forest green…

And he got a complete overhaul with 2014’s Age of Extinction release. Honestly, this is just an abomination…

Photo courtesy of

It was around this time that Slag was also renamed to “Slug” for nearly all future releases. “Slag” is British slang for a woman who sleeps around, so I can imagine there was some push to change it to something a little more kid-friendly.

There are far too many versions of Slag/Slug to show them all, but here are some “highlights” since the original 1985 release. If you want to learn more about Slag’s history, check out

Now, as a Transformers and a dinosaurs fan, I do have to say that as cool as the concept of dinosaurs transforming into robot is, it’s also kind of dumb. The entire point of Transformers is that they are meant to be “Robots in Disguise” as everyday objects in our world. So, the very worst disguise I can think of is a robot that transforms into a creature that’s been extinct for millions of years; it doesn’t exactly blend in with the environment like a boombox or a VW Bug would. Still, it’s a combination that is too hard to pass up, I’m sure.

I’d love to collect more of the G1 Dinobots, but today they’re simply too expensive for me to justify. I’m just happy I was able to get my favorite dinosaur robot when I had the chance.


  1. As a stegosaurus fan, Snarl was my figure. All those plates along its back, and the mystery behind why would a dinosaur have all those plates.

    Oh man, I never realized that the dinosaur alt mode was completely ridiculous! Maybe their dinosaur mode was a dinosaur statue, maybe something you’d see in a museum? Although a metallic dinosaur would be weird. Oh wait. Maybe they are one of those ShowBiz Pizza animatronic robots. But to that logic would we would need to have Fatz Geronimo (lead vocalist gorilla on keyboards), Dook LaRue (dog on guitar), Beach Bear (bear on bass guitar), and Mitzi Mozzarella (backup vocalist mouse with tambourine).

    1. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that the dino mode suddenly struck me as dumb, too! As a kid, I just went along for the ride because dinosaurs = cool.

      If you know the members of Rock-afire Explosion that well, you’re going to love when I post their records one of these days…

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