Series: "European" G1/G2
Function: Platoon Commander
Alternate Mode: Racing Car
Height: 3cm Length: 9cm Width: 4.5cm
A red sports car with black plastic tires, a black painted roof and black number "19" on either door, Rapido has transparent windows, which will be either smoky or pink depending on which version you have. Rapido has pink stickers on his spoiler, which flank a chrome silver engineblock, while his headlights are white. Rounding out a fairly simple car mode is a G2 Autobot logo sticker on the bonnet. The colours work well enough, which isn't surprising for an uncomplicated colour scheme that plays things safe.
While there isn't much here in the way of details, Rapido's car mode works well enough for this size. The engineblock is detailed, and there's a grille on the front (not that he needs one, with a rear engine), while there are moulded taillights that are actually painted red. As simple as this car mode is, it works for Rapido. There's no real play value other than the rolling wheels (which is standard).
While there's nothing here that comes close to breaking new ground, Rapido's car mode works well enough. It _is_ kinda dull, simply because everything is by the numbers, but when you consider how many Transformers of this era had wacky colour schemes, Rapido's car mode can be deemed a quiet success.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the engineblock and set aside. Flip over the rear to form his legs, swing out the doors to form the arms (well, the armguards). Stand him up, fold down the front of the car to form his chest, rotate the roof on his back. Swing up the forearms and give Rapido his gun (the engineblock).
Height: 8cm Width: 6.5cm
The red of the car mode is now joined by a green on his groin, thighs and forearms. The head is painted silver with lightpiped eyes (they match the windows) and the waist is black. The front of the car sits on the chest, which positions the Autobot symbol quite nicely. I'm not as keen on the colours now, even if the colours are more diverse - the red and green are still okay mind you.
The simple design comes back to haunt Rapido in robot mode. There's not enough clearance on his chest - the head is half-concealed by the chest - there's a mouthplate which is obscured, and even his eyes are low - Rapido would have trouble seeing directly in front of his face. The legs look simplistic and the shoulder struts are awfully wide. The limb problems aren't as bad as the obscured face, but they don't really help matters.
The lightpipe works fairly well (at least on mine, which has pink eyes) and the gun looks decent, but the poseability is limited to the forearms, which can lift up 90°. His movement is on par with the other Axelerators, but they don't have the obscured face problem.
I don't really like this robot mode. While it's not awful, there are enough problems here - problems that could have been solved without too much effort - that it frustrates me. Rapido was never going to be a flagship toy, but a solid, unspectacular, robot mode does seem to be too much to ask.
I've covered the window variants already. The pink version was sold first as late G1 in Europe (with G2 style Autobot sticker), while the smoky version was sold later the same year in the USA as G2. Here in Australia we received both versions. This character was revisited as a BotCon toy (using a much better mould).
A disappointing toy mainly because of the robot mode, Rapido is the sort of Transformer that's never going to be a standout, and would at best be decent. The car mode works fairly well but the robot mode lets him down. Unles you find him for a dollar as I did, I'd skip Rapido - 3/10