Posted August 23, 2010 at 2:01 am
When Capt--HAWKEYE throws his mighty shie--ARROW.

The last of two scheduled Transformers Animated toys are hitting Toys "R" Uses now.  (In the states, anyway.)  There are a few others that Hasbro let us know might happen, but we don't know anything about their release, so these might as well be the last two.

One of them is the awesome Rodimus Prime.  (Well, Rodimus Minor, if you go by his packaging.  Hasbro thought there were too many Primes in the toyline, and he's definitely Rodimus Prime in the fiction.)  I wasn't super-anticipating his toy versus the others.  I mean, he looked awesome, but I was looking forward more to the upgrades of existing characters because I am a retarded doofus like that.  I like characters, and Rodimus didn't do very much.  What he did was mostly awesome, but it was within the span of a few minutes.  The most noteworthy thing is that he's voiced by Judd Nelson again, the voice of Hot Rod/Rodimus from the 1986 movie.  (Nelson was too rich for the third season's blood, and they got the talented Dick Gautier to replace him.)

If you're gonna ride, ride in style.

But, let me tell you, this toy is pretty damn neat.  And, after riding the crest of my recent Hot Rod character model nerdgasm over-analyzation, it was good mental timing.  Remember how I was going on about how Hot Rod is pink?  Well, this toy still isn't pink (though the Japanese release is metallic purple), but it's definitely more purple than Hot Rod or Rodimus toys usually are.  The photos show him next to the Challenge at Cybertron Rodimus I recently got, which is a very vibrant watermelon red, which does make Rodimus look purpler.  I also compared him to the darker red of the original Classics Rodimus, just to see if he was indeed purpler, and he is.  Not quite as much to be as accurate as I was pining for previously, but definitely an improvent.

Blackout's not so big! He's just standing on a riser!

Animated Rodimus also transforms differently from every other Hot Rod toy.  His arms are formed from the back of the vehicle rather than tucking under either side of the hood.  This frees up his legs to be relatively kibbleless, and those tuck up underneath the car.  It's a welcome diversion from the usual approach.

The only annoying part of the transformation is entirely my own fault -- I always forget to flip the hot rod engine panel over to the Autobot symbol side during transformation, and I never realize my mistake until I get to the point where I have to take everything apart again to give it room to rotate.

I guess another annoying part is how rough it is to get the crossbow plugged into the top of the roof of the vehicle.  There's not much clearance for the back ends of the missiles, and since the connection is pretty shallow, you're more often than not likely to shoot missiles everywhere rather than attach anything.

That said, he's pretty, dynamic, and fun to play with.  If you spot him, I'd recommend picking him up.  He shows what wonders Hasbro and Takara were able to do in translating the Animated aesthetic into plastic form, especially after much practice.