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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Knightdramon's review: Rodimus

Name: Rodimus\Hot Rodimus
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Autobot Knight

Much like Henkei Grimlock, this is my first contact with this mould even though it's almost two years old. I almost pulled the trigger on one last year when the first movie figures were released, but gave it up at the last moment. In retrospect, I'm glad I did.

Hot Rod has been an iconic transformer ever since his appearance in the 86 animated movie. His popularity [or the exact opposite, in cases] exceeds that of classic transformers before him such as the likes of Ironhide, Prowl, Sideswipe etc. Whilst there's been homages to his character or design in newer toy lines, the 2006 classics line was the first that pulled off another Hot Rod release [followed shortly by the Kiss Players version]. Almost two years later, Takara got their hands on the figure and repainted it to their liking...and made a superior product.

Vehicle Mode

Hot Rod comes packed in vehicle mode, a very sleek and stylish sports car. The car measures 16 centimetres long to the tip of the spoiler but sits very squat, barely reaching 4 centimetres in height. As far as I know, it's based on various designs of cars but not to an actual model.

Whilst the vintage Hot Rod figure was blocky but nicely rounded, this one is a sleek rendition and highly updated. The vehicle is sleek and squat at the front and gradually gains height towards the back, where it's "rounded" by an almost rectangular trunk. A very, VERY stylish spoiler tops it all off, preceded by an almost spacecraft like cockpit. The entire car is cast on a burgundy, very dark red. Navy blue clear plastic is used for the cockpit, and the red paint for the roof seamlessly matches the tone of the car body. The hood is painted orange with a flaming logo on, accompanied by a flawlessly painted silver and black engine block. The rear lights are painted red [the part they're on is cast in black] and the exhaust pipes on the sides are painted silver, along with the hubcaps. The spoiler is gold chromed [looks AWESOME] as well as the headlights, which are orange chromed. Flame applications use a nice gold paint and are tampographed.

Detailing is a bit plain on this mode. Since the eye-catchers are the chrome parts and the tampographed flames, the rest of the car has minimal panel lines. The true beauty lies in the overall shape and mould rather than the moulded details. That being said, he has actual cockpit interior with seats, a steering wheel and a detailed dashboard.

Playability is not non-existent, but rather passable. The car rolls freely on all four wheels [a rarity nowadays, most deluxe cars have at least one wheel suspended] and through a pseudo transformation, the spoiler folds over and the exhaust pipe\weapon car fire a clear blue missile. Not my cup of tea, really.

All in all, this is a superior update to even the Alternators car mode, but I'm so partial to this because of the flawless and eye-catching paint applications.

Robot Mode

After a smart and fun transformation [preceded by the horror of Grimlock], Hot Rod reveals his true form. The figure is a tad short, reaching around 14 centimetres head height.

Some very subtle yellow is introduced as a new colour in this mode, all the other colours are carried over from the vehicle mode. Burgandy is used for the limbs and main body, with orange here and there to break the monotony. The face is painted silver, with the traditional Hot Rod horns painted orange. No colour looks out of place, and the overall differences between the Henkei version and classics make this the definite G1 Rodimus for your collection.

As before, sculpted detail is sort of minimal. There's the usual panels and ridges on the limbs and the head is sculpted very nicely. The use of new paint applications is the eye-catcher, with the new orange chest plate sticking out and the silver detailing on the shoulders and lower legs. The detail on the muzzle of his gun is astonishing.

Articulation is plentiful. The figure has 21 points of articulation [I also counted the feet and heels] which allow it to get to a myriad of impressive poses. One mistake many owners make is that they do not push the waist forward, thus clearing a lot of space for hip articulation. The arms are a tad hampered due to their design, the lower part does not bend beyond 45 degrees at the elbow whilst the upper arm is connected to the torso a little lower than it should. The head can turn 360 degrees freely but can not look up or down.

Rodimus' weapon is nothing spectacular. By pushing in the blue missile it looks big and awkward [not to mention heavy for the figure], by leaving the missile out it looks stocky. Either way, with the weapon equipped, elbow articulation suffers ever so slightly. A chainsaw weapon is also embedded on the left wrist and can swing out, but does not reach much further than the fist. Fittingly, the weapons from the vintage Hot Rod do fit right in, making it an ideal set of firearms if available.

To sum things up, I was pleasantly surprised by this figure. Unlike Grimlock, no joints were loose, nothing gets in the way and the use of chrome and superior paint apps really brings out the best this mould has to offer. Highly recommended to all fans or completists of the Classics line who got late into the game.

Transformation: 9. Very nice, I especially loved the part where the rear wheels must swing out and the whole spoiler rotation.
Durability: 9. I'm a bit wary of the whole rotating cockpit\windshield, but other than that, there's nothing to break. Careful with the chrome of the spoiler.
Fun: 9. A poseable, accurate and modern rendition of one of my favourite characters? Could be just a tad taller, though.
Price: 9. Classics Hot Rod goes for around 25 USD. This one, with updated paint apps and chrome, goes for 22. I chose this one and did not regret it.
Overall: 10. One of my favourites of the line, and quite possibly the best [or second best] Autobot improvement in the Henkei line. Highly recommended.
 
 
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