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Old 2018-02-13, 04:01 PM   #1
ganon578
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Default PotP Rodimus Prime (Hot Rod)

Name: Rodimus Prime (Hot Rod)
Function: Campaigning ‘Til All Are One
Subgroup: Power of the Primes
Size Class: Leader Class (Evolution)

When Rodimus Prime joined the Autobots, he went by the name “Hot Rod.” He was young and brash, and longed to be a hero. He was chosen by fate to take his place among the universe’s legendary warriors, and his fight will not end until the last Decepticon threat is extinguished.

All of the Power of the Primes figures come with a randomly packed art card that gives additional powers granted by one of the Primes, as well as an appropriate short bio. The one I received with Rodimus is Rodimus Megatronus: Uncontrollable and Unstoppable, which is ironic and also quite neat.

It’s been a long time since we’ve gotten a mass retail release of Rodimus Prime (unless you count Masterpiece releases or random Titanium re-releases). There really hasn’t been much Hot Rod love either, though we just got two figures within 2015-2016 (Combiner Wars Legends and Titans Return Deluxe). Before then there was the 2006 Classics release (anearly ten year gap!), and if you wanted a Classics Rodimus Prime you had to go with a 3rd Party set of add-on armor. It’s sad, really, since Optimus Prime gets multiple releases year after year, and Hot Rod/Rodimus is a classic character that should get more attention. The dichotomy of Hot Rod and Rodimus is an endearing characteristic – Hot Rod is impetuous and confident, while Rodimus constantly questions his own leadership and longs for his care-free days of yore. Poor old Roddy just can’t catch a break! Give this guy some figures!!!

Aaaaand… “Rise Rodimus Prime.” For a decent chunk of change, you get two figures in one package, finally giving the two some much needed love after years of being an afterthought (though the love part is debatable). I’m not sure I can do this review without a boat load of comparisons to other recent figures, simply because those figures did things better than Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod does. That doesn’t mean he isn’t fun to fiddle with – one thing that makes this review difficult. The overarching theme here is that while Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod has several faults, I still find joy with it.

Car & Space Winnebago Modes:

Let’s begin with ol’ Hot Rod, shall we? Hot Rod’s, well, hot rod mode is a “futuristic” sports car that somehow manages to be sleek and pointy and yet boxy all at the same time. To me, the car mode is more akin to the Generation 1 toy than the cartoon model – the complete opposite of the recent Titans Return figure, which nailed the cartoon look. The color of red used for most of the car body is fairly spot on, with orange detailing on the hood and some nice painted yellow flames and an Autobot symbol. The windshield is clear blue, and the spoiler is a nice bright yellow – it’s also flatter in profile than the original or the TR versions, which I believe is more of a design choice to aid in the Evolution gimmick for Rodimus Prime. I take issue with the side exhaust pipes, which I feel should be running the length of the vehicle. Instead, we get a short stack that only runs from the back of the ‘doors’ through the rear fender. At the very least, the hinge could have been painted silver to match, thus extending the pipes. The other sore spot is the back end of the car which is made of Hot Rod’s lower legs - there’s a gaping hole in the back because of this. Tabbing those legs back in there is a chore too – as they need to be slid in diagonally to tab in two spots. I feel like the design team just phoned it in on this portion of the car. On the whole though, the car mode looks quite sharp, rolls well, and is fun to play with even if it doesn’t live up to the standard set forth by the beautiful Titans Return figure.

As for the ‘Space Winnebago’ mode, you’ll get something that is very solid when put together. You don’t have much of a ‘trailer’ with Rodimus as you do with Optimus. The back half of the truck sits around awkwardly without anything to hook it on to. The two parts of the truck tab together in three spots: the ‘hitch’ on the top of the car, and two tabs on the back of the car that go into Rodimus’ bent knees. It can be a bit troublesome to get it all in there, but after that you just need to panel it all together on the sides and with the exhaust pipes. The whole deal can be a bit hair-pulling, but once it’s all tabbed in, you have one solid truck. It rolls really well and is pretty darn fun to push around.

The design looks nice, if a bit straggled on the top, and the stickers look sharp and appear like flames spouting from the pipes. The stickers on mine are pulling up on the edges, which is a sad omen that they will likely be off a few years from now. One thing you may notice between the two halves of the truck (which is also true of the combined robot mode) is that while the Hot Rod portion is a brighter red, the back half is more of a burgundy/maroon color. This makes the truck mode seem a bit disjointed, as all the other colors seamlessly fit together. A couple other points of contention would be that Rodimus’ hands are visible directly from the front (and yes, those arms detach freely from everything else, more on that later), and there’s a gaping hole through the side where the Hot Rod and Rodimus parts of the truck match up. I think I can let those slide though, because in the end it’s still a fun brick of a Space Winnebago.

Hot Rod Robot Mode:

Getting Hot Rod to robot from car is a simple deal, as he’s mostly just laid down with a few twists. I think the most interesting part is how his head comes out, as it’s hidden under the hood but you have to open and twist it out. Once in robot mode, you’ll have a fun little Hot Rod to mess with: his articulation is pretty good, but like Orion Pax, he has no foot/ankle swivels. At least Hot Rod’s feet tilt a bit, so that helps. Hot Rod’s legs have pretty good knee movement, which are on ball/swivel joints, but his hips are a bit hindered by his butt-shield, and if you want to move his legs forward, you’ll have to move a crotch-shield. His shoulders are similar to that, in a sense, that they can move around quite a bit, but bonk into his back. The elbow joints, conversely, have good range all around, and are double-jointed. I don’t think the guns work as well with Hot Rod as they do with Orion, either.

Molded detail is nice, as are any paint apps, like his eyes. The head is especially well done, and overall, he’s a nice looking Hot Rod. My biggest point of contention would be his proportions: while his arms look too lanky, his lower legs are far too stubby. If you look at any piece of art for Hot Rod, he would appear to have longer shins, but alas, not here. He’s about half-a-shin too short, but he still stands equal in height to Orion Pax. I do like the way his chest looks, and I think he’s got a good amount of design elements that closely resemble his Generation 1 look. He’s more ‘Hot-Roddy’ as a robot than the recent Titans Return figure, if you will.

Rodimus Prime Robot Mode:

And here’s where some major issues arise. The ‘evolution’ gimmick works surprisingly well… on Optimus. Rodimus, on the other hand, could use some work. In order to get the trailer ready to be Rodimus, some fairly interesting flipping takes place, but you’re left with a large U-shaped backpack and two arms with no home. The Matrix of Leadership, now in a more lemon-y and silver-y flavor than before, is just chillin’ in what will be Rodimus’ stomach. Getting Hot Rod into Rodimus Mode means you’ll be flipping chunks of him around until Hot Rod resembles a ‘trident’ before plugging him in through his naughty parts. After which, you can attach his previously homeless Rodimus arms (which are ridiculously tight) and flip half of his body down to reveal Rodimus Prime - the evolution gimmick really staggers to the finish line with this one. Where Optimus was smooth as silk, Rodimus is rough like sandpaper. As an added ‘bonus’, whenever you want to get to the Matrix, you have to fully hide Rodimus’ face and stare at Hot Rod’s junk to do so.

So the gimmick doesn’t work well, that much is certain. The final Rodimus Prime product is a mixed bag. While I really enjoy the look from a head-on point of view, there are several issues to be seen when poking around. The shoulders are horrid. Since the hips/legs of Hot Rod double as the shoulders, then joints end up right next to his neck and too far in, resulting in some awkward articulation. There’s a small hole right in front of his head at the top of the chest, and Hot Rod’s arms are visible from the sides. This can be mitigated by transforming them differently (leaving them up above the Hot Rod legs), but I’m not so sure it’s an improvement. The mixed red plastics make a not-so-welcome return here, which is blatantly obvious in the arms. All that said, I like the chunky and imposing look that Rodimus has. His chest is really broad, his shoulders (the outsides) are bulky, and his legs have good heft to them. The Rodimus head scuplt is a bright spot too: he looks older and wiser, with a bit gruffer than Hot Rod. The combined rifle he totes looks spiffy as well.

Even with some awkward articulation, Rodimus can move fairly well. The shoulders can be tricky, but with some work they do the job quite well. The legs have a good range, except for moving them backwards due to the giant backpack. The feet are pretty darn big, and they have a fantastic range, aiding in more dynamic poses. And you know what? His wrists swivel! Finally! Something Rodimus does better than Optimus! Take that, best Autobot Leader of all time!!!

Now, you’d think that all of this would make me hate the figure… but I don’t. That’s the odd thing about Rodimus Prime: objectively he is not a good figure, but he’s also very hard to put down. The combination of interesting transformation pieces, slight parts-forming, and decently fun modes (minus the poorly executed evolution and Matrix gimmicks) make Rodimus a decent package. Would he win a figure-to-figure battle between himself and Optimus? No. But Rodimus does have some merits, even though there’s a lot to hate on with this release.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: There’s quite a few fresh takes on recent transformation schemes in this package, but the evolution gimmick runs out of gas at the finish line. 5/10.

Durability: Solid plastics. Peeling Stickers. I worry that the pegs on the Rodimus arms will snap someday. 7/10.

Fun: As bad as Rodimus is, he’s great fun to fiddle with and I can’t seem to put him down. The major downside is the main gimmick doesn’t work that well with him. 7/10.

Aesthetics: From most front and side views he looks good, but holes can be seen in spots. Hot Rod has proportion issues, and the shoulder joints on Rodimus look bad. Mixed red plastics do not help. 6/10.

Articulation: Both robots are hindered in the same spots, oddly. Some awkward articulation can be found, but some of it is still workable. 7/10.

Value/Price: I wish I could score this one higher, but I can’t. The main gimmick misses the mark, and there are several other faults I won’t detail here. He’s fun, but can be equally frustrating. At $45 USD, this is a hard one to sell. 4/10.

Overall: Rodimus Prime is not a great figure. He’s probably good, if you overlook his issues (which are quite a few). I oddly still have a lot of fun fiddling with him, and there are some interesting aspects to each mode. Had the gimmicks been better executed, I think I would rate him higher and push you to consider him. As it is, he’s not worth the retail price, and therefore you should think twice before buying. Just realize you have to take good with bad here. 5/10.
 


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Last edited by ganon578; 2018-02-21 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 2018-02-13, 04:01 PM   #2
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Some photos...
 
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Last edited by ganon578; 2018-02-14 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 2018-02-13, 04:02 PM   #3
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And a few more...
 
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Last edited by ganon578; 2018-02-14 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 2018-02-14, 01:40 AM   #4
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Thanks for the tip about sliding Hot Rod's legs in diagonally. I got the Rodimus Unicronus version today, and the black plastic makes some of the slots hard to see. It does solve the mismatched colors problem, though.
 

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Old 2018-02-14, 04:01 PM   #5
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You're welcome! In red those tabs pretty easy to see, but also easily missed.

I figured the black would blend better between the two plastics. How do you like the mold? And is the fu manchu sculpted in or just painted on? The whole figure seems absurdly awesome, with the 'stache and the tribal symbols and all.
 


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Old 2018-02-14, 08:27 PM   #6
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The fu manchu is sculpted in. Also, the hinges you mentioned should be grey are grey in this deco. The exhaust pipes are more silver, so it's not a perfect match, but it looks good. Also, RU's hands are black, matching the overhang parts, so they stand out less in Winnebago mode.

The Deluxe might be the best Hotrod mold I own. Competition is TR, CHUG, and Energon. The spoiler doesn't sit too far back in bot mode. The head sculpt is great. The vehicle mode nails the sleek yet boxy look you mentioned. I don't even mind the leg gap in the back. There's a couple more tiny gaps where the exhaust pipe panels don't quite line up with the spoiler panel. As a stand alone figure, I'd probably be dissapointed in the use of a faux-hood chest. But since the actual hood is the RU chest, I'm OK with it. The way he basically faceplants and shift panels to transform makes me think of a well done NuRiD figure.

My only compaint is the lack of play value of the trailer. When I'm fiddling with Hotrod, there's just a trailer that doesn't even have enough wheels to keep itself upright. The partsforming bothers me here more than in the actual act of partsforming. With Optimus, it looks like you can have the trailer in almost-bot mode, still looking kind of imposing, and taking less shelf space than a trailer. Here, you've got pants and arms just kind of laying about.
 

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Old 2018-02-16, 02:05 PM   #7
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Yeah, Optimus' trailer works much better. The whole thing can stand there empty waiting for Orion. And if you leave it as a trailer, it really just looks like a trailer, not a mash of spare parts.

Hot Rod is pretty good, I just wish he had a tiny bit of extra range in the shoulders.

By the way, what 'Prime' did you get in your Unicronus card? Oddly, I got Megatronus with both Optimus and Rodimus which is quite ironic.
 


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Old 2018-02-17, 12:08 AM   #8
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"Rodimus Micronus Unicronus - Power-links with bots to consume their sparks."
 

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