A ferocious and cunning warrior, who, despite appearances, valued honor above all else, Dinobot was originally a Predacon who rebelled against Megatron and decided to join the opposite faction, the Maximals, at the beginning of the Beast Wars. As time progressed, he proved to be instrumental not only for the eventual victory of the Maximals in the same war, but the rise of the human race itself.
First Chronological appearance
Dinobot’s early life and exploits while on Cybertron are unknown, save that at some point he formed an uneasy alliance with the one who would be Megatron, and decided to operate as his lieutenant. While his original appearance happened in the Beast Wars animated series (episode 1, Season 1, “Beast Wars: Part I”), his first comics appearance occurred in Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #8, in a one page story.
In that story (and in the Transformers Collector's Club exclusive video "Theft of the Golden Disk"), Dinobot and his commander enter an ancient Autobot library, in Vector Sigma, deep within Cybertron. While his commander examines a mysterious Autobot artefact, dubbed for the sake of simplicity as “the Golden Disk”, Dinobot disposed of a Maximal guard who attempted to prevent their intrusion, by stabbing him with his blade.
Upon this, he complained about the strategic reasoning behind his commander’s action, and advised him that they should focus on other, more direct approaches to defeat the Maximals. His commander, with the Golden disk at hand, calmly responded that he wanted to be called Megatron from that point forth, and that patience was in due, for his grander scheme to present itself.
Dawn of Future’s Past (2006)
Immediately after stealing the Golden Disk, Dinobot, along with Megatron and his crew (which also included Scorponok at that point) were confronted by a group of Maximals, with Tigatron (then called Unit-2) being the most prominent one. Dismayed by Megatron’s decision to retreat
instead of confronting his enemies, Dinobot exclaimed that there was no honor in such an action, an exclamation to which Megatron strongly disapproved by grabbing him by the neck and mockingly dismissing his beliefs, as, to his words, "honor is what is carved in a dead Maximal’s gravestone”.
Quickly making their way out of Vector Sigma, Megatron, Dinobot and Scorponok awaited the arrival of the newly christened Darksyde (a ship stolen by the Predacons), controlled by Tarantulas, and with Terrorsaur and Waspinator as crewmates.
Finally embarking on their journey, they found themselves once against pursued by a small ship controlled by Airazor (then known as Wing Saber) and Tigatron. Shortly after, Optimus Primal, commander of the Axalon, was asked to intervene on behalf of the Maximal Elders, and prevent the Darksyde from accomplishing a transwarp jump. Hailing the Axalon, Megatron introduced himself, all the while Dinobot found the opportunity to open fire against the Maximals, at his command.
Despite the damage sustained, the Axalon followed Darksyde through the transwarp jump, resulting to the arrival of both ships in an unknown planet, at a completely unknown timeframe.
* The aforementioned story occurred in Transformers: Timelines # 1.
Dinobot (voiced by Scott McNeil), disgusted by Megatron II's leadership and failure, challenged him for command of the Predacons, but was ambushed and expelled. He then intercepted the Maximals and attempted to challenge Optimus Primal for leadership, but their battle was stopped by a Predacon attack. Dinobot joined the Maximals reluctantly, accepting Optimus Primal as leader after Primal saved his life. His new teammates somewhat distrusted him at first, particularly Ratrap, with whom he bickered with constantly.
They eventually became good friends, even if neither would admit it. Dinobot lent his combat expertise to the Maximals and was crucial in changing the tides of battle in his team's favor. Towards the middle of the Beast Wars, he felt that Megatron II was going to win, and overcome with a desire for victory, allied himself with Megatron II once more and gave him the Golden Disk, which he stole in the episode "Coming of the Fuzors, Part I".
At war with himself, he eventually returned to the Maximals, however tensions were high and he considered suicide. When he uncovered a plot by Megatron II to wipe out humanity at its early development and unable to get help, he challenged and defeated the Predacons single-handedly, but at the cost of his own life. He was given a hero's funeral.
Megatron II always possessed a subtle obsession with getting Dinobot back on his team. After Dinobot's death, Megtron tried many attempts to remake him, and was finally successful when he used the Transmetal Driver, Dinobot's DNA (?), and half of Rampage's immortal spark. This new Dinobot had no memories of the original and lacked his profound sense of honor, leaving only a merciless killing machine, and took his place as Megatron's right hand 'bot.
The original Dinobot's memories were slowly emerging though, and when Megatron was close to victory using the Decepticon battleship Nemesis, he regained his memories after Rampage was killed by Depth Charge. He then helped the Maximals in stopping Megatron, and ended up making sure the ship crashed-landed back to the ocean. But rather than returning with the Maximals, he chose to stay behind and let himself be destroyed for dishonoring himself.
In an episode that never made it to production entitled "Dark Glass", Rattrap would've found the core consciousness of Dinobot in an old datatrack, which would've given him the idea of inserting it into the new Dinobot to try and bring him back. There are many reasons why the episode was never made, one of them being that it was "too dark". No one truly knows why, and some speculate that this would've filled in some holes as to why the original Dinobot's personality resurfaces in the final episode of Beast Wars.
Dinobot's first figure was released in 1996 as part of the first wave of Transformers: Beast Wars figures. His tail, in robot mode, could split into a sword and a spinning weapon activated by a button. It was repainted in Japan in 1997 in a color scheme that tried to match the cartoon model. That same year in the US, it would be repainted into an updated version of the G1 character Grimlock (whose sub-team, the Dinobots, is the inspiration for Dinobot's name), a decision that would be repeated in 2003.
In 1998, Dinobot was given a Transmetal figure as part of McDonalds' Happy Meal promotion that year, along with the characters Scorponok and Blackarachnia; all three never had those forms on the cartoon show. In 1999, for the final year of Beast Wars, Dinobot was given a Transmetal 2 figure, complete with a Predacon spark crystal to reflect his allegiance in the show's third season. The figure had a variant where one was made with brighter white plastic and lighter blue paint. The tail could move from side to side like a whip by turning a knob in the mid-section of the tail's stump.
The figure would be repainted in 2000 as part of the Dinobots sub-line of Beast Machines, as the character "Rapticon". Also in 1999, Dinobot's original figure was repainted as part of the "Fox Kids" series of Beast Wars repaints, along with Rhinox, Cheetor, and Waspinator. In 2006, Dinobot was given two new figures: the first was part of the 2006 Transformers Collector's Convention exclusive boxed set "Dawn of Futures Past", and was a repaint of the Transformers: Cybertron Longrack figure (but used the head of the figure Longrack was retooled from, Transformers: Armada Hoist). It came with a Cyber Key painted to look like the Golden Disk, and the figure itself represented Dinobot's Cybertronian form. The second figure for 2006 was a repaint of his original 1996 figure as part of the Beast Wars 10th Anniversary series, this time in a color scheme semi-accurate to the cartoon model.
He came with a piece of the series build-a-figure, Transmutate, as well as a DVD with his most-remembered episode from the show, the fan-favorite "Code of A Hero". It was repainted in Japan in 2007 as part of their "Beast Wars Telemocha" anniversary series, in a color scheme also meant to emulate the cartoon. His next figure came in 2009 as part of the "Transformers: Universe" (sometimes called "Transformers: Universe 2.0") series, where he was given an all-new figure meant to better resemble the cartoon model. His tail, while not able to spin, could fire a missile (which could double as his sword), and his robot mode hands could switch between regular or his clawed hands from the show.
He also had a feature on his chest where, via a small button, you could switch between unadorned, Maximal, or Predacon symbols (though he was labeled a Decepticon on the packaging). It was repainted in Japan the next year as part of their "Transformers Henkei!Henkei!" series in a more cartoon-accurate color scheme.