Cliffbee.com: BotCon Rodimus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Rodimus
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Evil Autobot
Alternate Mode: Futuristic Sports Car

Thanks to Tiby for lending me Rodimus for this review.



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

   A black sports car with an light grey fin on the back, Rodimus has transparent blood red windows, violet 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. The colours are nothing like the regular colours of Rodimus (aka Hot Rod), and with this vehicle mode being so distinct, they really establish this toy as an evil version of the character. There are purple Evil Autobot logos on the hood and left rear fender, rounding out a great colour scheme. I'm somewhat reminded of Titanium Menasor, which is more of a reflection on that earlier toy than this one. Having said that, the colours used are _not_ the same.

   It's worth mentioning that this "futuristic" car design was originally meant to represent the year 2005, since this mould was released in 2006 (and this toy is a 2008 release). Rodimus still looks futuristic, cars aren't quite this sleek in 2008, 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 taillights on the back and flat headlights on the hood - sadly both are unpainted this time around, although the painted allegiance symbols are new, along with some silver on the roof.

   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 red 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. It does look a lot better in blood red than the blue of the original, since it works as a flamethrower/afterburner better in red.

   A good vehicle mode with nice colours and good detailing, this vehicle mode ties in very closely to Hot Rod as we saw him in TF:TM, with some updating for good measure. While he's fairly static there's no silly gimmick getting in the way. The repaint is well thought out, from the added allegiance symbols to the choice of blood red for that sinister edge.

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 black, Rodimus has light grey thighs with silver highlights on his shoulders, chest and wrists. The violet flames of the hood are now on his chest (along with the purple Evil Autobot logo and the engineblock). His face is silver with violet antennae while his eyes are blood red with a faint lightpipe. While there's a lot of black here, Rodimus has enough colour for definition - and in the right places. Again we have an excellent use of colour to present an evil alternative universe Hot Rod. A few people have pointed out to me that Rodimus has a Star Trek inspired Mirror Universe goatee - which is black.

   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. Unlike many of the BotCon 2008 Shattered Glass toys, there's no retooling here, since the head already fits the character.

   Whilst Rodimus misses out of play value in vehicle mode, there's some fun here. The black missile launcher, with its single transparent blood red 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 a little unusual, although it looks much better than the blue one of the original Rodimus Classics toy did. 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. Even then, this repaint largely deals with that problem. The colours look awesome and really make this an evil Hot Rod. The mould fits the character very well already, but the repaint brings something new to the mould _and_ the character. The buzzsaw underneath his hand is a little diluted now that it's black on a black robot, but that's clutching at straws, really.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Since Rodimus was available exclusively at BotCon 2008, he is likely limited to a single production run. He was sold in a souvenir pack with Megatron and Divebomb.

OVERALL

   A great mould both in terms of G1 nostalgia and modern play value. The most is one of the most faithful amongst the Classics, so there was no need to de a retooling here as on many of the Shattered Glass toys. The colours work really well aesthetically and give us an excellent Evil Rodimus (or Hot Rod, if you prefer). Both modes and the transformation are faithful to the G1 concept, with added poseability to boot, while the missile launcher works better here than on the original Classics toy. While I'll stop short of recommending this toy due to cost, if you can get your hands on one without blowing your budget for a month, do so - 10/10

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