Hasbro Transformers Generations Titans Return Autobot Hot Rod Hasbro, 2016
Day #1,595: December 14, 2016
Autobot Hot Rod Firedrive & Autobot Hot Rod
Transformers Generations Titans Return Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. B7762 No. B7029 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Tiny head robot, big robot/vehicle, two guns Action Feature:Transforms from car to robot, head to robot Retail:$17.99 Availability: November 2016 Other: Better than you might have guessed
For the last few years, Hasbro has shipped its Transformers collectory toys at mostly even casepacks - but Autobot Hot Rod is an exception. The first true (not tiny) update of the character in the "Classics" line in a decade, Roddy ships at a whopping three per carton from Hasbro - displacing a Breakaway. This is a reasonable thing to do, as readers of More Than Meets The Eye generally like Rodimus as much as they hate Getaway. The new toy does its gosh-darnedest to replicate the original toy colors, down to details oft-missed like his orange fists. There's an overall reduction in deco - lots of sticker detail is absent, and it's felt - but other than that it's pretty cool. Also, this is your first chance to have Hot Rod's car mode open up for a driver even if it isn't Daniel.
This 1.5-inch Firedrive (Firebolt update) robot is a good update of Firebolt, Hot Rod's original Targetmaster companion from the 1980s. He looks more than a little like the animation model for the gun, but is colored differently. Hasbro wisely eschewed painting this little guy, as he's going to spending most of his time either as a vehicle driver or as Hot Rod's head. Either way, you aren't going to be looking at him much. The arms and legs do their thing as always, and the figure holds together nicely. There's really not much to say about it other than it looks good and it functions well.
The head mode is as good as one can hope - the face plate sits in front of a grey robot doubled over on itself, and the color choice helps give the illusion that Hot Rod has a head and not a robot with a head backpack. Molded in red, the faceplate looks great with a grey face and blue eyes. It's a little rounder than my imagination thinks it should be, but it looks sharp.
As a kid, I went after Hot Rod over Rodimus Prime because I loved the car mode so much - and the new one is cool too! Maybe not as cool, but it's pretty sharp - the lack of sticker detail is obvious from the outset, but you've still got the clear blue windshield, teh flames, the oranges, the reds, and so on. The chrome pipes are now grey, which is probably for the best given how vac metal can hold up these days. I'd rather not have something to flake off. (Maybe Japan will give you chrome if you crave it.) His wheels spin adequately, and the spoiler - painted rather than molded yellow - looks pretty good too. I like this one slightly more than the "Classics" mold, but your mileage may vary. I assume the best version is yet to come, and/or will require modifications from a sticker sheet.
The twin blasters merge in an interlocking pattern we don't normally see - it may take a bit more force to merge them together prior to mounting them on the car's engine. When connected, a figure can sit in there. Why would you want to do this? I have no idea. Let me know if you find out.
Transformation is a snap - car to robot is so easy you won't need instructions. Robot to car, well, you can probably figure it out.
The robot mode is a bit taller and more articulated than I expected, with double knees and the oh so lovely swivel biceps that are almost hidden courtesy of his design. In many respects the toy adheres to the Classics Rodimus toy's design, only larger and with different features. And legs. OK, so it's different - the communicator/saw is gone too. It's still quite nice, as it's bright and colorful with thicker, seemingly less fragile joints than his predecessor. The guns fit nicely in his fists and while there are no rocket launchers or gun buddies, it's still a big, fun toy compared to his peers. The spoiler is a little hard to see in the photos, but trust me, it's there behind his shoulders. It's mistransformed in pack, so you'll need to fiddle with the backpack to make it right once you de-card him.
His joints are nice and tight, with the kind of movement you've come to anticipate. You've got swivel thighs, limited ankle articulation, some wrist movement courtesy of how he transforms, and pretty much just enough to make you glad you got it and probably dubious about having bought Masterpiece Hot Rod a few months ago. (I did, I like this better.) The guns fit in his fists nicely, and are a great redesign of his original twin blasters.
I like it - it's fun in all modes and everything seems to work. My only gripe is an unreasonable one, specifically that it isn't a More Than Meets the Eye comic version of the character. Hopefully Hasbro will make one for the USA some day, but as an updated version of the classic animation character and toy this Hot Rod is pretty sharp. Also, Hasbro got the trademark back for the name just in time for the fifth movie. Coincidence? No, it's semi-well-known a "Hot Rod" will appear in Transfivemers next year. If you see this figure - and given how he's packed out, you will - get one. Heck, get two, give one to a friend. Really, all we need now is a new Kup to go with him.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.