I skipped a lot of things because I've got a lot of things - but I am not immune to the charms of the clearance rack. At $4.94, I had to get Hot Rod. These figures sold for anywhere between $14.99 ad $19.99, and if you collect the transforming article from Hasbro that's a big ask. A larger figure that could turn into a vehicle sold for $20-$35, depending on which flavor you bought and when you bought it. As a collectible on a nice package with great art, it's a nice and charming piece. As the best Hot Rod, well, Studio Series Hot Rod [FOTD #2,270] is hard to beat. But it's a different animal.
If this were a cheaper collectible, I'd recommend it without reservations. If you also get a crack at him for $5, or even $10, I'd say it's a lot of fun and probably worth owning if you appreciate this format of toy-like collectible figure. With blue eyes and a gray face, it looks like you would imagine it to look - but it's very stiff, without the subtle bends or body language you see in some of their other lines. This is, of course, appropriate for a robot.
Based largely on the animation designs, the figure has a hint of the magenta you saw on the screen with all of the yellow and orange you want. Much of it is painted - I wish more of it was molded in-color, but it still looks charming. The yellow chest flames and Autobot symbol are beyond the capabilities of the toy market of 1986, and are right at home in 2021. This creates an interesting collision of something that's a little old and a little new. He stands well, the colors look great, the limbs swing well, and the head turns. It plays like a 1980s figure - but it looks like a 1980s design extruded through the prism of Kenner's Star Wars lens. It works, but it may not be the best figure you'll buy of this character.
It's not too bulky, and Super7 did a great job making an action figure out of him. The boots aren't too big, so he can still fit in a lot of retro vehicles. The spoiler's not too big, and you get fun little details like wheels on his arms with painted hubcaps. That's pretty awesome and something Hasbro doesn't always give us. The blasters are fully painted and fit in his hands without much fuss. I'd rather the two accessories were molded in color, but I assume they didn't have the budget for multiple molds to do that. It's fun to play with, to pose him and have him point at things without worrying about panels popping open or other weirdness. It's pretty sturdy, but I assume the paint could scrape off if it were ever in the hands of a child.
Nobody can make the argument that the non-transforming 3 3/4-inch figure from Super7 is superior to a futuristic (from 1986) car that turns into a fully-articulated action figure. But if you can get this guy on sale? Consider it.
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