Cliffbee.com: Classics Rodimus Toy Review

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Name: Rodimus (would have been Hot Rod but for legal reasons)
Series: Classics
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Futuristic Sports Car



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 15.5cm (18.5 with weapon) Width: 8cm

   A dark red sports car with an ostentatious orange fin on the back, Rodimus has transparent dark blue windows, gold flames on his doors and hood and silver exhaust pipes on the sides. There's a silver engineblock at the back of the hood, whilst his wheels are silver with black plastic tyres. While there are some minor colour shifts - the tailfin was once yellow, as were the flames - this is very much G1 Hot Rod, despite the name change. The shape fits the movie version of the character rather more than the G1 toy - although the difference is slight.

   It's worth mentioning that this "futuristic" car design was originally meant to represent the year 2005, since this figure was released in 2006. Rodimus still looks futuristic, cars aren't quite this sleek in 2006, save for the odd concept car.

   The fin on the back is set further back this time, and a tad wider. The exhaust pipes are only two per side rather than three. The detail here is pretty good - considering how sleek this car is. There are doorhandles, piston heads on the engine and rivets on his tyres. There are red taillights on the back and flat silver headlights on the hood. Rounding out the details Rodimus sports a rubsign on his roof - the only allegiance symbol on this toy.

   There's not really any play value here. The wheels roll of course, although he doesn't roll that well. You can plug his missile launcher into the underside, which gives him a blue jet sticking out the back (the missile). I'm not a huge fan of this look, but I do appreciate that Rodimus can hold his weapon. I suppose you can launch the missile, but there's not really any point ejecting it backwards from underneath the car.

   A good vehicle mode with nice colours, good detail and a great tie in to G1. This vehicle mode ties in very closely to Hot Rod as we saw him in TF:TM, with some updating for good measure. I suppose some meaningful play value would have been nice - but I'm not complaining - I'll take this car mode over a compromised one with some silly gimmick.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   This transformation is broadly similar to the original's with some changes to allow more poseability. Remove the launcher if you have it attached. Flip back panels underneath the doors, revealing the robot thighs. Pull out the rear wheels, pull the legs out, flip out his feet and heelspurs. Pull out the front fenders to form his arms, fold down the hood to form the chest, which will pull the arms up and reveal his head. Swing the arms down, flip out his fists and give him his missile launcher. Rotate the roof on his back, fold back the fin and rotate the fintips allowing them to point up in robot mode.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 8cm

   Again mainly dark red, Rodimus has black feet, fists and shins while his thighs are orange. The gold flames adorn his chest while the engineblock forms a collar of sorts below his head. The face is silver with transparent blue eyes (and a faint lightpipe). The silver exhaust pipes sit on the outside of his forearms, rounding out a robot mode which strongly resembles G1. There are quite a few minor paint apps here, which prevent Rodimus being overrun by red.

   The layout is pretty much the same as we saw in G1 (both the movie and the toy), with the hood on his chest, fin behind the shoulders, tyres on the boots and upper arms. Rodimus is very much an updated, more detailed, version of Hot Rod. The sculpt on his head particularly impresses me.

   Whilst Rodimus misses out on play value in vehicle mode, there's some fun here. The black missile launcher, with its single transparent blue missile, can fit in either hand. The launcher holds the missile quite firmly, and fires it about 50cm. The launcher is big without being obtrusive, although the missile looks rather out of place. It's a missile that would have looked more at home in Beast Machines than on a Classics toy, to be honest. The other gimmick we get doesn't offer as much play value, but it's a really nice G1 tribute. Tucked away underneath his left fist, Rodimus has a black flip out buzzsaw - a great tip of the hat to TF:TM.

   The poseability here is very impressive, especially for a toy that's so faithful to an old toy in both sides. The head turns, his shoulders are ball jointed and the elbows are hinged. The waist turns, the hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend and rotate. The feet and heelspurs both fold down, giving Rodimus great stability. While the upper body isn't all that poseable, the lower body is very impressive - and there's enough in his shoulders to put the arms into meaningful positions.

   A great robot mode that's probably only hampered by the goofy choice of missile. True to the character, good colours, great poseability and a wicked bonus in the buzzsaw underneath his hand. While the car mode is good, this mode is the highlight of this toy for me.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. There is a limited Evil Rodimus repaint which was sold exclusively at BotCon 2008 & a transparent blue e-Hobby repaint.

OVERALL

   A great toy both in terms of G1 nostalgia and modern play value. Granted, Rodimus doesn't have many gimmicks, but that leaves plenty of room for the Transformer itself to shine. This is probably the most faithful of the Classics so far, with both modes and the transformation really working as updates to the original toy. The choice of missile is a disappointment, but otherwise this guy looks superb - I simply display him with the buzzsaw and not the launcher. Definitely a toy I recommend to fans of both G1 and modern Transformers - 9.5/10

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