Power of the Primes Rodimus Prime Gallery and Review!

Shooting first and asking questions later in the Allspark Studios today is none other than Autobot Vanguard and ever reluctant leader, Rodimus Prime!  Does he have the touch to light the darkest hour brighter than his undead (whoops, spoilers) predecessor, Optimus?  Follow along after the jump to find out!

Hot Rod and Rodimus were two characters I could identify with as a kid, and still do some to this day.  Hot Rod was a brash know it all (I may still be), and Rodimus was a reluctant leader whose position was a heavy burden (as it should be).  The aspects of their personalities that most found annoying definitely connected with me, so when I had a chance to get the G1 toys, it was a no brainer.  I was a little amazed and a little disappointed at the time.  I was just getting back into G1 after a long and passionate love affair with everything Beast Wars (Machines, II, Neo, etc), and they lacked a lot of the things I was looking for in a toy.  It was nostalgia tinged with what could have been.  I wanted better toys.
Years later, and multiple Rodimuses…er, Rodimii…,umm Rodimus Prime figures in the bins and we still had not gotten a truly great one…or really one at all.  When I saw Power of the Primes Rodimus Prime online for the first time, my eyes shot open with amazement.  I had to have that toy.  You can imagine the disappointment I was setting myself up for here, but this story has a happy ending similar to POTP Optimus Prime’s.  After some initial frustration, I love what we have in POTP Rodimus Prime, and I know you will too.

Editor’s note: There are a couple of steps in the transformation process that gave me some trouble.  I am going to highlight them in order to hopefully help you avoid that stress.  Or stressed plastic.  I make no guarantees, and I am not responsible for anything you do with your toys, but these suggestions worked for me.
Cybertronian Car Mode
One of the best things about 86 Movie and Post 86 Movie product was that Hasbro and Takara really just went crazy with the ideas.  Futuristic elements such as Cybertronian vehicle modes and off the wall concepts like Pretenders were my cup of tea, even more so than the original 84-85 cast of characters and designs.  We had already seen some Cybertronian vehicles in the cartoon, so getting Hot Rod was a big deal.

This version is pretty faithful to the original figure.  Actually, I take that back.  This is a definite improvement, as the POTP race car mode is sleeker than that of the G1 figure, much more like the cartoon look.  He does not sport any chrome, but the silver paint is nice.  His wheels are a solid black, and while I know that will disappoint many of you, go get a Molotow acrylic chrome pen and get to work.  The pens are so good you almost can’t mess things up, so don’t worry if like me, your painting skills are not the best.  One last detail that I really love is the spoiler.  It is so spot on to the cartoon model that I almost smile.  Really, all in all, that is what you are getting with POTP Hot Rod in car mode: the G1 cartoon model.

Transformation notes: The front of the vehicle and the back have small things to watch out for during transformation.  The front of the car where the robot shoulders peg in can be difficult to pop out.  I have found that pulling the end with the wheel on it out first, then easing the other side off the tab seems to help.  The back of the vehicle where the legs peg in to the spoiler area need to be hooked into place.  Slide them around the tab on the center of the spoiler first, then up into the outer tabs.  Reverse this process to unpeg them.

Battle Winnebago Mode
I love the idea of a Battle Winnebago.  It’s just so ludicrous, even more so when the “cab” is formed from a race car.  POTP Rodimus does not disappoint here either.  He’s kinda business in the back, party up front, making him either a seedy club, or a reverse mullet.

Anyhow, he again follows the cartoon model fairly close, though having the cab form from the Hot Rod car makes him a little sleeker than he was depicted on screen.  He has more of the plain black wheels here, brighter orange on the lower sides of the trailer than he originally had, and his flame decal runs higher on the trailer than before.  He still pulls off the look well, so any changes are easily forgiven.

Transformation notes: I kept doing two things wrong that really made me not like Rodimus in car mode at first.  One of them was getting the upper part of the trailer formed.  Honestly, just use the instructions.  That was my error.  That part is formed by the Rodimus forearms, and it will take getting the connectors to slide into the top at just the right angle, but be patient, follow the instructions, and then take it apart and do it again so you will remember how.  The other issue in transformation that I had was that I was intent on getting the top of the race car to tab into trailer’s faux spoiler.  It popped out every time, or made other pieces pop out.  You don’t need to connect the top of the car to the trailer spoiler.  Just use the tabs on the back of the car (robot knees) and the tabs on the front of the trailer that connect to the car pipes.  That will work just fine.
Update: After writing this review I found that if you connect the knee tabs together and get most of the trailer panels’ pegs locked, the trailer’s spoiler is in a position where it will connect nicely to the car.  Much better!

Hot Rod Mode
Like Optimus, I needed Hot Rod to be perfect, which was never going to happen.  I have had them both for a few days now, and I decided to hold off writing this review until I was truly happy with the toy for what it is.  This Hot Rod is a nice, super G1 Hot Rod that is a good amalgamation of toy and cartoon.  What I love about the figure are the proportions on everything but the arms, the design of the head, and the decent poseability.  This is a great figure.

I have to admit, there are a few things I do not like:

  • The robot arms are too thin and more like the original toy than the character model
  • The arms have less articulation in some planes of movement (upward shoulder area being the worst)
  • The head can only twist laterally, not look up or down

Initially these things really disappointed me.  Then I put the toy down and came back to him two days later and realized that while the above mentioned design elements bug me, this is still a great figure, with good articulation, that pulls off a look I did not have on my shelf.  I found the love for this toy.

Transformation notes: Just remember the warnings I made above in the race car section and you will be fine, until you get to Rodimus Prime Mode
Rodimus Prime Mode
This is the best Rodimus Prime figure ever.  It’s damn near perfect, though it deviates from the established meshing of G1 toy and cartoon model because honestly, something was going to have to give at some point.  I do not mind, as Hasbro and Takara have given us a true Prime.  Rodimus is tall, built like a mammoth, and armed to the robo-teeth.  Gone is the slender look he had in his previous life, as this version of him truly elevates him to something that looks like the power of the Primes and the Matrix of Leadership flow through his circuits.  I think I love this mode enough to say that I will likely use Legends Targetmaster Hot Rod as my Hot Rod, and this toy will remain in Prime mode on my shelf.

Beyond the amazing look, there are a couple of things to note that may or may not be to your liking:

  • He has a bit of backpack kibble. I think it balances out his look, but I can see people not being happy about it.
  • The head can only twist laterally, not look up or down. This is less forgivable on a leader class figure than a deluxe or even a voyager.
  • Shoulder articulation is…awkward.
  • The matrix is not easy to get to like with Optimus.  You have to pop him open to get to it, instead of opening some panels.

Like Optimus, there were also what I would call QC issues with Rodimus:

  • The knees are not very tight, and he can fall over from his own weight in some poses.
  • The heels are also very loose and do not support his weight well.
  • The stickers on the trailer have already started to tear from transformation, as the flames are located on a hinge.

Transformation notes: When going from Hot Rod to Rodimus, the forearms are formed from the front of the trailer.  Be careful when attaching them or detaching them from the backs of Hot Rod’s knees.  Like the leg/spoiler issue, they have to be hooked.  In Rodimus Mode, the hooked piece is on the Hot Rod knee, pointing inward towards the body.  Pulling in that direction first, clearing that hook, then popping out the super tight clamps on the outer part of the arm, will get them off.  Hooking over that part, then pushing down on the clamps will get the arm piece on.

Overall Thoughts
Power of the Primes Rodimus Prime is another figure that embodies amalgamation of opposites.  The young and inexperienced soldier becomes the seasoned vanguard warrior, and melds many elements of both the G1 toys and character models along the way.  This figure, also like Optimus, was one of my greatest wants in an update, and while he let me down in some areas as well, he still has so much going for him that I have to say I am ultimately pleased.  This is a fun toy, that will lead my Autobot battalions on a new shelf where Optimus hasn’t yet returned from the dead.  There are a few reservations with giving this figure to younger fans.  You may have to walk them through some of the steps first, until they get the hang of things, lest you end up with a sad youngster and the impulse to hunt down another copy.
I judge this Rodimus a solid 9/10!  He’s a mostly unchewed energon stick, sure to please the discerning Junkion or Sharkticon in your household!