Titans Return Hot Rod Gallery!

New Titans Return figures have finally started hitting stores!  Thanks to this, we have our first gallery of the Wave 3 deluxe figures, Autobot Hot Rod!

This was one of the figures from the newest wave for which I was most excited.  Classics Hot Rod was OK, but he had some major flaws, and I always knew that one day he would be replaced with something better.  That something better is Titans Return Hot Rod.
Vehicle Mode
Vehicle mode is a little thicker than the Classics version, but it retains all the details and design features that make Hot Rod what he is.  While I have been worried about the Titanmaster gimmick potentially ruining a very important update to a fan favorite character, I think it made this version of Hot Rod one of the best ever.  Being able to put the Titanmaster Firedrive into the cockpit is a great addition to this mode, and I bet kids will love being able to see him driving Hot Rod around.
The ports to hold the gun(s) on the hood are not 5mm holes, but thin slots to allow them to peg in.  Aesthetically, it works better, leaving less open space in the hood, but I really wanted to be able to plug in one of the older Minicons that looks like his Targetmaster, Firebolt.  Perhaps an adapter will show up on Shapeways…
Hot Rod is fairly simple to transform.  Flip him around at the waist, flip up his feet, then flip his shins over the thighs.  Lift up the spoiler, rotate it around 180 degrees and flip it all the way over until it locks in place behind the torso. Flip the hands into the forearms, lift up the chest and flip out the tip of the car, and then lock the arms in by pressing them to the sides and connecting the exhaust pipes.  This should not be too frustrating, even for most younger fans.
Robot Mode
Hot Rod really shines as a robot.  He has a nice athletic build, decent balance and fantastic articulation, in spite of the slightly thick upper arms, which could have really restricted articulation.  The hip joints on mine are a little loose, something that has plagued Hasbro’s version of these molds since the inception of the Titans Return line, so be forewarned that you may have to add some clear nail polish to them to tighten them up.  Even so, Hot Rod is easy to pose and fun to play with, and he looks very dynamic when placed in an action stance on your shelf.
I think Titans Return Autobot Hot Rod is going to make the large majority of fans very happy.  Kids will love him because he is a fun toy in general, with great poseability and an intuitive transformation.  Adult fans will love him as a worthy replacement for the Classics Hot Rod from 2007.  I highly recommend this figure, and I think if you skip it you will really be missing out.