Masterpiece That Guy You Hated For Replacing Optimuson August 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm
Man, I’m intimidated by writing this thing about Masterpiece Rodimus Prime. He’s a Masterpiece, as just noted like five words ago, and so there’s a lot of stuff going on with him.
Let’s start at the beginning. Masterpiece Rodimus Prime was first released over in Japan, where he had a billion more paint apps and he came with the trailer to make Rodimus Prime’s altmode. That version transforms into Hot Rod’s robot mode, Hot Rod’s car mode, Rodimus Prime’s robot mode, and Rodimus Prime’s truck mode. It cost $250. It was kind of a lot, but it was a big trailer, I guess. I was happy not to buy it.
Our version drops the trailer. And so you get Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime’s robot modes, but only Hot Rod’s car mode. Really, I don’t feel like I’m missing much. You don’t really transform Hot Rod’s car mode into Rodimus Prime’s truck mode so much as you put the trailer around the whole thing like a shell. There’s not much of Hot Rod’s car mode visible. The car just fills in the bottom, supplying wheels and the spoiler. Meh, I say.
And so I’m happy to get the American version for $60. Yeah, it’s missing one of its four modes, but that mode was formed dumbly and I’m not a huge Rodimus Prime fan anyway. No, I’m in this for the idea of having a huge Hot Rod toy. Back in the 2000s, Hot Rod starred in some BotCon fiction set during the Beast Era as one of the leaders of the Wreckers. And since Maximals and Predacons are tiny dudes compared to Autobots and Decepticons, Hot Rod was a giant among them. However, his original toy was not very large, and was in fact smaller than most of the Maximal and Predacon toys. This was annoying. WELL NO MORE. I now have a huge Hot Rod to put with my Beast Era Wreckers. And because Hasbro is clairvoyant about my desires, they even decoed the domestic version to look like Hot Rod’s toy, instead of like Hot Rod’s animation model like the Japanese version.
Also, because Hasbro knows I love Targetmasters, only the domestic version of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime comes with a new Masterpiece version of his Targetmaster partner. His name used to be Firebolt, which apparently Hasbro’s lost the trademark to, so now he’s “Offshoot.” Whatevs. He’s a Masterpiece Nebulan, which is awesome, because now the ranks of the Masterpiece toys are Optimus Prime, Starscream and his redecoes, Megatron, Grimlock, Hot Rod, and… this Nebulan guy. Ha ha ha ha.
Hot Rod is not fun to get into vehicle mode. Some Masterpiece toys aren’t so bad about this. Prime, Grimlock, maybe Starscream it’s been so long… but Hot Rod is just difficult enough to drive me wild. It always starts out easy, and as I start plugging along, I start to think maybe I’ve finally learned how to get him back and forth easy-cheesy and then BAM I hit his legs and I get things as far as they’ll go and I have a car mode that’s bent at the middle like it melted in the sun. And I’m sure I’m doing something really tiny and trivial incorrectly, but do I really care? I’ll just put him back in robot mode. It’s not worth the effort to dissect the process.
Which is part of the reason I applied his shoulder stickers. They’re intended to be optional, because putting his original-toy-accurate shoulder stickers on his shoulders means there’s shoulder stickers on his car mode. But I’m not ever gonna keep him in car mode. I’m really not. He’s gonna stand at the back of my Wreckers display, looking rightfully huge. So there you go.
Getting Hot Rod into Rodimus mode is very easy. You open up the head and swap faces, and then you finagle his hips down a notch, making him taller. Oh, and you can spread his spoiler out wider, but that’s kind of an imperceptible change anyway. …Oh, right, and his two Hot Rod guns combine to form his Rodimus Prime rifle. That’s pretty great. Almost forgot.
He comes with two Matrixes. (Matrices?) One is small enough that it can fit into his chest. It is ridiculously tiny. The other Matrix, another accessory that’s exclusive to the American release, is one that’s scaled large enough for him to hold. It opens, which is neat. (It’s not the same as Masterpiece Optimus Prime’s, which also opened. This appears to be original tooling.)
Hot Rod also has flip-down binocular shades, a wielding torch hand-replacement and a buzzsaw hand replacement, all things which Hot Rod used in the 1986 animated film. Those I’m not terribly excited about, but I guess it’s nice they exist.
The Japanese release of this toy had the trailer, but apparently it also had a bunch of engineering and quality control problems. Those have been fixed, so I’m told, for this American release. They’ve also been fixed for the Japanese versions going forward, I think, so, uh, if you get a Japanese version, make sure you get a new one.
Man, where’d I put my Wreckers symbol Reprolabels…