“Slag” is British slang for a “coarse or dissipated woman”, which is basically a polite way to say a floozy, harlot, hussy, or tollop. Which are basically nicer ways to say… you know what, I bet you get the picture already. Heck, the word “slag” has even grown into a very common curse word within the Transformers universe itself.
Of course, Slag, my favourite of the G1 Dinobots, isn’t the only Transformer to share a name with naughty British slang. In 2000’s Robots in Disguise we first got “Slapper”, which means pretty much the same thing as Slag over there in jolly old England. Then, we got a different Slapper, who was also a Dinobot, but an ankylosaurus in the 2003 Dinobots toyline.
Normally depicted as the gentle, grass-eating animals they most likely were, triceratops were almost always the losers in the eternal T-Rex versus Triceratops battle. That’s probably why I immediately gravitated to the one triceratops I had ever seen who was capable of not just defending himself, but actually being the aggressor.
Oh yeah, he also breathes fire. Fire breathing, tailpipe kicking, robot dinosaur (and as we all know Robot Dinosaurs Rule) with an attitude like broken glass and twisted metal. What’s not to love? His toy is just as great. Mine is the silver G1-coloured G2 release — oh how I wish I would have picked up the red and green versions at the time, and hadn’t sneered at them for being the “wrong colours”…
Still, along with his four sword-swinging G1 Dinobot brethren, he’s one of the most popular of the G1 Autobots for a reason.
Now, there’s been a parade of triceratops from Hasbro since then, but in an unlikely move, a good deal of them are not actually homages to Slag. We’ve had three named Triceradon, all repaints of the same Beast Wars Neo toy, as well as three repaints of the Mini-con triceratops, Knockdown. Of course, there would have been Grimstone but he’s actually a styracosaurus, not the triceratops they label him as.
Mostly because of the taboo-in-England nature of his own, the actual Slag sometimes gets called by his fellow Dinobot Snarl’s name. This happened in both his Robot Heroes release as well as his more recent Animated homage.
Though the pillar of flame for a club is correct for the cartoon, I think they definitely missed an opportunity here.