#2891: Rodimus Prime



The 35th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie has been a major focus of Hasbro’s Transformers toy output in the last year, with a major focus being placed on it in the Studio Series, but also some overflow going into its sister line, Kingdom.  Play factor does seem to be a major factor in what exactly goes where, but in the case of today’s offering, it’s more that the Studio Series doesn’t actually have a history of offering the class size that this figure utilizes.  I’ve already looked at Transformers: The Movie‘s main star in his Hot Rod incarnation, but he’s got two distinct looks in the film, since once he takes ownership of the Matrix of Leadership, he is reborn as Rodimus Prime, who is historically a little bigger than Hot Rod.  So, let’s take a look at Rodimus, shall we?


Rodimus Prime is part of Transformers War For Cybertron: Kingdom, as the line’s Commander Class offering for the year, following in the footsteps of Jetfire and Skylynx before him.  In his robot mode, Rodimus stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 34 practical points of articulation.  Much like Hot Rod, Rodimus is notably smaller than other figures in the same size class, falling somewhere between modern Voyager and Leader scaling, but the reasoning behind his higher price point isn’t really scale, it’s actually engineering.  Hot Rod made use of the Voyager price point to gather more complex articulation and parts layouts, and Rodimus is really the same.  So, while he may not be as big as others, he’s still got a lot going on under the hood (in more ways than one).  He’s also got some very serious heft behind him, which is very much in line with how this incarnation of the line has been run.  In terms of mobility, this figure takes the articulation and range of motion seen on Hot Rod, and just improves upon it, removing the usual restrictions Hot Rods and Rodimuses tend to run into.  He also takes the already jointed hands on the Hot Rod figure, and further articulates them, adding additional movement at the second knuckle, as well as separating out the pointer fingers on their own.  And it doesn’t even make them too floppy or loose for use with the accessories, which is always an accomplishment on its own.  The sculpt, like Hot Rod before it, is a great translation of the animation for Rodimus from the film, following in the steps of the sleekness seen on Hot Rod.  The two sculpts are also quite similar, making them really feel like two versions of the same guy, as they well should.  Of course, as a Kingdom release, rather than a Studio release, there are a few elements of the sculpt’s styling which do go for a few extra little details, to add more to the slightly larger canvas, and also link him a little bit more to how the Siege and Earthrise bots tended to look.  It also makes him a little more distinctly different from his Hot Rod incarnation.  Keeping the ball rolling on the extra features worked into Hot Rod’s robot mode, Rodimus gets a pretty notable extra of his own; his torso is designed to open up in such a fashion so as to reveal the Matrix of Leadership contained within, which is a very cool touch, especially since you don’t really have to disrupt his robot mode to show it off.  In an effort to further justify Rodimus’s higher price-point, the figure gets a rather intensive selection of extras, the largest of which is his Mobile Defense Bay, patterned after the piece that came with his original G1 figure, which includes a rather sizable mounted cannon for him to man.  In addition to the Mobile Defense Bay, Rodimus also gets his usual long rifle, as well as the Sword of Primus, the previously mentioned Matrix (which is the same Earthrise version included with Hot Rod), and 10 effects pieces.  One of the effects is designed for use with the matrix (and is notably a different one than was included with Hot Rod), while seven of them are re-used from Omega Supreme, and work as modular effects for the cannons.  The last two are designed for the exhaust pipes that make up the cannons on his forearms, but aren’t quite as sensible in the form.

Rodimus’s vehicle mode begins as a slightly modified version of the futuristic sports car that serves as Hot Rod’s alt-mode.  The transformation sequence isn’t quite as easily done on this one, and I did have some difficulty getting a few spots to seat correctly without using a little force, which isn’t always the most comforting thing.  One of the sides to the front fender also popped off during the sequence and doesn’t like to stay put when transforming anymore, which is a bit of an annoyance.  The end result is a pretty decent looking car mode, albeit one that’s not really animation based.   The smoke effects can be placed on the back of the exhaust in this mode, and the rifle and sword can both also be stored, albeit in a sort of janky fashion.  The Mobile Defense Bay and its contents fold up and turn into a trailer, as with the G1 version, allowing for something more in line with the proper Rodimus alt-mode when the core car mode is clipped in.  It makes for a more convincing version of the design than the Power of the Primes version, though it still strays a bit from the animation and original toy.  Like with Magnus, it’s just one of those things where compromises had to be drawn somewhere to make all of the different gimmicks work together, and like Magnus, I feel like the right call was made.  I also feel like it looks better in person than it did in the renders and stock photos, which I’d consider a win.  The only real downside is that the trailer does pop apart a little bit at the top seam, which looks like it may be a line-wide issue.  It’s minor, but still a little annoying.


I’m generally more of a Hot Rod fan than a Rodimus fan, so of the two figures that hit this year, the Studio Hot Rod was definitely the one I was jamming one just a little bit more, at least initially.  That figure was really, really good, and I felt that this one might have a difficult time topping it.  So, I was a little cautious with my expectations of this figure.  In hand, he really blew me away.  He takes everything that worked so well on Hot Rod, and builds on it, resulting in a truly impressive piece, certainly the star of the Kingdom line.  I mean, Magnus is still my favorite, of course, because, you know, Magnus, but still, mad props to Hasbro on this one.

Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2365: Evolution Rodimus Prime



“With the Matrix of Leadership, Autobot Hot Rod becomes leader of the Autobots: Rodimus Prime.”

Two weeks ago, I took a look at Hot Rod, the proposed new lead character of the Transformers franchise as introduced in the 1986 movie.  Though Hot Rod spends most of the film’s run time as just plain old Hot Rod, after taking ownership of the Matrix of Leadership during the film’s climactic battle, Hot Rod becomes “Rodimus Prime,” meaning we had two forms of Rodimus to choose from for pretty much every release going forward.  For the purposes of the 2017 incarnation of the line, Power of the Primes, we actually got both versions of Rodimus in one, with a figure I’ll be taking a look at today.


Evolution Rodimus Prime was part of the first Leader Class assortment of the Power of the Primes toy line, alongside the similarly-themed Optimus Prime. Straight out of the package, Rodimus is in his full-on Rodimus Prime form.  In this state, the figure stands 9 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation.  In terms of mobility, the figure’s a bit of a mixed bag.  While he moves alright in the legs, the arms, especially at the shoulders are quite restricted.  There’s a little bit of a workaround if you use the joints further into the shoulder, but the design of the transformation means that you’ll always be stuck with the shoulders proper being at that 90 degree angle.  In terms of construction, he overall makes for a pretty decent recreation of the G1 animated appearance of Rodimus, and is certainly a better looking figure than the original vintage piece.  That said, there’s a fair bit of concession made for his transformation.  He’s got some pretty hefty kibble both on his back and on the undersides of his forearms, meaning that while he looks alright from the front, from an angle things look a little weird.  Additionally, much like the Combiner Wars Magnus I took a look at, Rodimus’ larger size requires a bit of cheating with the plastic, so that he’s not solid all the way through.  Instead, there are a number of hollow sections, mostly in the upper arms and legs, which again make the figure better when viewed from the front.  Lastly, there’s one oddity caused by the line’s main gimmick for the Leader Class figures, which results in there being a smaller set of arms visible on his torso, making him look kinda like his a very big-headed smaller robot that’s piloting a mech suit…which maybe isn’t so far off.  Rodimus Prime includes the Matrix of Leadership, which he can only really store in his chest cavity, since it’s not possible for him to hold in his hands.  He’s also got a long blaster rifle.

The gimmick for all of the Leader Class releases in Power of the Primes was evolution (as noted by the name of the figure), and much like the Siege Leader Class figures, this was accomplished via a smaller bot with armor to “evolve” it into a larger bot.  Popping off the arms and removing the torso from the legs allows for the torso segment to be transformed into a Deluxe Class-scaled Hot Rod figure, standing 6 inches tall and sporting 19 practical points of articulation.  Like with the larger bot, there are some spots where the articulation is a little bit restricted, this time on the legs (which were actually the shoulders of the larger figure, so I guess that tracks).  The hips don’t have a ton of back and forth motion, and I definitely miss the rocker ankles here.  He’s also missing a waist joint, as well as wrists.  At least in the case of the wrists, there are balljoints at the elbows, so the actual mobility isn’t horribly impacted.  Though this guy has less actual articulation than the larger figure, I did find that it was a little easier to work with on the smaller figure.  The actual sculpt on this guy is actually a pretty solid update of the vintage Rodimus, just with better articulation, and a slightly more animation-faithful appearance.  There are less hollow points in his construction, and in general he fits in pretty well with some of the less greeble-y Siege guys, which is alright by my count.  In this mode, Hot Rod still can’t hold the Matrix, but he can at least make use of the large blaster, which splits into two pieces, replicating Hot Rod’s smaller blasters from his original toy.

As with his vintage counterpart, this smaller Hot Rod figure’s alt-mode is a futuristic sports car.  In fact, it’s pretty much a straight re-creation of the exact future sports car mode used by the vintage figure, with only some rather moderate surface changes between the two.  The transformation process here is really quite simple, and in fact a fair bit of it is just reversing a few things you have to do to transform the Rodimus Prime torso into Hot Rod in the first place.  It’s a pretty slick looking vehicle mode, and like the robot mode is quite accurate to the animation design for said alt-mode.  To take things even further, you can at this point add back in all those parts you set aside when you converted him into Hot Rod, and add them back in as a trailer, because that’s what really signifies the whole Prime thing: a trailer.  No one’s gonna say anything about the fact that there’s a freaking trailer attached to a sports car or anything, because that’s clearly a natural and normal thing to encounter, and is not at all odd or suspicious or strange.  The trailer that is totally inconspicuous is a little trickier of a transformation, mostly when it comes to fitting it onto the car, but it’s not terrible, and like the standard car, the full mode is fairly accurate to the animation, though there are some concessions made to allow the actual car part to remain the same between the two modes.  In this mode, the blasters can be mounted on the trailer for a fully armed effect.  He still can’t hold that Matrix, though.


When I first started to dip my toe in the Transformers water, I looked at this figure while he was still “new”, or at least still in-stock as a regular floor item at All Time.  Ultimately, I didn’t end up getting him, but I resigned that if a used one came through I’d give it some serious thought.  One came in as part of the rather sizable collection of Transformers the store recently received, and in a messed up box that was going to necessitate opening him up anyway.  With the announcement of Arcee, and taking into consideration that I already have a lot of the other “heavy hitters” in some sort of modern form, it was pretty easy to convince myself to finally pick this guy up.  The Rodimus form doesn’t do a ton for me personally, but the inner Hot Rod bot is actually really nice, and a solid addition to my current set-up.  Plus, it meant I got a modern and a vintage Hot Rod in the same day.  How cool is that?

As I noted above,  I got this guy from my friends at All Time Toys, and a good chunk of the collection he came from is still available here If you’re looking for other cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.