Transformers Cloud Hot Rodimus Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cloud, TakaraTomyMall, Voyager

Cloud

General Information:
Release Date: November 27, 2014
Price Point: $85 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: TakaraTomy Mall
Accessories: Blaster, Sword/Helicopter Rotors, Missiles x 2

General Images:

Hot Rodimus Profile*
The young Autobot cavalier Hot Rodimus is a space-time police officer in the Cloud World. He has high proficiency in battle, as well as a strong sense of justice and responsibility. Along with his sincerity, these traits make Hot Rodimus an excellent warrior. However, his youthfulness causes him to be impulsive, as well as showing his childish side to close and trusted friends; they laugh it off as one of Hot Rodimus’ charms. When a good comrade was wounded by the evil Decepticon Shockwave, in his rage, Hot Rodimus aroused the dormant powers of SARA within himself. He gained the new ability to transform and take flight as a helicopter. Mastering the ability to triple-change on land and in the skies, he also wields a Double Photon Laser gun. Furthermore, Hot Rodimus is armed with the Elimination Calibre sword which allows him to display his skills as a cavalier; fully demonstrating his combat prowess in any situation. Growing out of his immaturity. Obtaining his dimension mode from SARA’s unknown powers, Hot Rodimus will become a hero across all space-time, befitting his title as cavalier.

*Translations all courtesy of "Goktimus Prime". Official images and text from Takara Tomy Mall

Hot Rodimus (aka Hot Rod) may be the first review on this site from the "Transformers Cloud" segment, but he is actually the from the third wave of figures in the line. Released on November 27, 2014 alongside Cloud Shockwave, I admit that Hot Rodimus is the piece I was looking forward to the most out of all the figures released in the line so far. So far, each figure released in this line has been a redeco of a Voyager Class figure, and this one is no exception. Hot Rodimus is a redeco of Voyager Class Springer, who was also retooled heavily and given new colors as Voyager Class Sandstorm. This review will be focusing on the changes made to the figure for this release, so definitely check out those previous reviews to get my detailed thoughts on the base sculpt.

Robot Mode:

If you had told me in 2013 that the Springer sculpt would be a great choice to redeco as Rodimus Prime/Hot Rodimus, I would've looked at you funny. However, Takara Tomy's designers have definitely made me rethink that, and in the best way possible. It is important to note that Hot Rodimus has no sculpting changes from the original Springer sculpt, and yet in these colors the design practically screams "Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime". Part of what helps this perception is that the most visible Rodimus incarnation right now is in the IDW Publishing comic book series. There, Rodimus is a thin character with lots of sharp looking angled armor all over him, even his head. While this sculpt by no means represents that comic book iteration of the character, it does have a lot of similar design themes. The large angled crest on the head is reminiscent of a more subtle, curved design that came to points above the brow of G1 Rodimus Prime. Rodimus Prime also had a crest in the middle of his head, but the one here is simply more pronounced. The two panels on the back of the arms raise up in a way that provides a visual allegory to Rodimus Prime's "back spoiler", one of his most iconic features. Add to that the blade like designs on the forearms and knees and the visual parallels to IDW's Rodimus are quite striking.

Of course, sculpted parallels to a comic book design and even the G1 design will only go so far. You need a killer color scheme to truly turn this into Hot Rodimus and that's exactly what Takara Tomy decided to do! The base plastic colors are no longer green and grey with some bright yellow. Instead, the main colors are now a dark red, orange, gunmetal grey, black and a medium shade of yellow. Throw in a bit of translucent blue plastic and you have some of the iconic toy colors for a Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime toy. Most of the red is concentrated on the upper body and waist. Orange is used on smaller parts like his thighs and the shoulder connection pieces. The gunmetal grey is on the lower legs and weapons. Yellow is used on smaller parts like his fists, the panels on the back of his arms and the elbow joints. Black (as you'd expect) is used for the wheels, all of which are visible in this form. Some of his translucent blue plastic peeks out on the arms and back here, but it mainly figures into the eyes, which feature some nice light piping.

Paint colors on this figure include yellow, silver, gunmetal grey, orange, white and red. The yellow is the most obvious color. Since the center chest panel is already yellow plastic, the designers used yellow paint on the sides to paint Hot Rodimus' famous "flame" details. The four rectangular lines on each shoulder are also painted yellow, adding a splash of bright color to that section. Yellow is also used on the crest and angled areas above the brow. The orange paint is used on the middle of the body, breaking up the red a bit and on his forearms. White is used for his face and the "blades" on his knees. The dark red matching the plastic is found in the center of his torso. A brighter red is used on the chest panel to paint in an Autobot symbol. Overall this deco is intricate and it looks amazing. I love the way the brighter colors are used to break up the darker sections. The colors also all call back to Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime as a character and they look awesome.

All the joints on this figure are nice and tight, so a few releases later the tooling appears to be holding up well. The weapons are the same as Springer's. Each is cast in gunmetal grey plastic with silver paint details. The missile launching mechanism still works great. You can still combine the weapons and they connect nicely. From a functional standpoint I have no issues with this mode.

Transformation to Helicopter Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached.
  2. Split the sword in the middle and swing each half out to the sides.
  3. Swing the peg that points to the side up and set the rotors aside for now.
  4. Swing the heel piece on each foot into the front of the feet, then swing the foot down and back.
  5. Angle each robot leg back slightly at the knees.
  6. On the back of each lower leg, swing the horizontal stabilizers out to the sides and flip the ends up to form the vertical stabilizers.
  7. Connect the legs together in the middle.
  8. On the back of the figure pull the cockpit section back and swing down the rear panel.
  9. On each arm, swing out the inner half of the forearms then swing the robot fists in.
  10. Pull each arm out at the shoulder and swing it down (along with the panels from the sides of the chest).
  11. Make sure the robot head is looking downward and push it down while swinging up the central chest panel.
  12. Straighten out each arm.
  13. On each arm, swing out the half of the forearm with the fin on it and then swing the other half forward and connect it to the tab sticking out the side of the upper arm.
  14. Push each arm in to connect to the tab on the panels that formed the sides of the robot mode chest.
  15. Attach the rotor to the top of the vehicle.
  16. Attach the missile launcher to the underside of the vehicle's nose, you'll wind up pushing in the landing gear to do this.

Helicopter Mode:

Traditionally Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime has only had ground modes. Usually it's a sporty looking vehicle with a huge spoiler, or in the case of Rodimus Prime a futuristic Winnebago. However, this time out Hot Rodimus gets to be a triple changer so he has an aerial mode! The helicopter mode doesn't have many "Rodimus" style design elements, so it relies completely on the deco to sell it as Hot Rodimus. Fortunately, this deco is just as strong as the robot mode.

This mode shows off all the same plastic colors as the robot mode, with the red and yellow parts concentrated in the front and the gunmetal parts on the top (as the rotors), the front (from the missile launcher) and the back (from the robot legs). Orange paint is used heavily on the cockpit section since it is cast in translucent blue plastic. You'll also see silver in this area right under the rotor going to the back.Some yellow paint is used on that area as well. The panels that flank the cockpit section have Hot Rodimus' "flame" pattern on them and the rear stabilizers are cast in yellow. Both these details echo the traditional Hot Rodimus design. Despite being a vehicle that Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime has never transformed into the helicopter is instantly recognizable as influenced by those designs.

The rotor still spins well and the missile launching feature works just fine in this mode. I actually found the hinges on the arm sections that form the fins on the sides slightly more stiff than the same joints on my copy of the Springer figure.

Transformation to Ground Vehicle Mode (from robot mode):

  • Detach the weapons if attached.
  • Swing the heel piece on each foot into the front of the feet, then swing the foot down and back.
  • Connect the legs together.
  • Bend the knees forward one "click" at the knee joints.
  • Push the robot head down into the chest cavity and pull up the chest panel.
  • Pull the panel on the back of the figure with the windows in front back and push the rear panel down.
  • On each arm, swing out the panel on the inside of the forearms then push the fist in. Rotate the forearm around so the clear panels face out to the sides.
  • Push the arms in so the panels on the arms line up with the front of the vehicle.
  • Swing the outer half of each forearm against the main body of the vehicle.
  • On the sides of the upper arms, rotate the panel with the blaster on it back and over the fists peeking out on the sides.
  • Swing the lower legs out and forward to form the rear wheel wells.
  • Swing the rear stabilizers out and swing the stabilizers at the ends down so they are vertical.
  • Using the knee armor/landing gear pieces slide the sword in with the hilt resting under the knee armor and the blade tucked on top of the cavity where the head is.
  • Attach the missile launcher to the top of the vehicle.

Ground Vehicle Mode:

If you decided to take the retro-futurism of the original Hot Rod's vehicle mode away and replace it with a late 80's, early 90's idea of what a post-apocalyptic vehicle mode might look like for Hot Rod and you'd probably get something like this. The vehicle is a bit of a contradiction in design. On the one hand you have a lot of heavy duty design elements like angled armor panels and weaponry both integrated into the sculpt and attached as well as large, tough looking wheels. One the other hand you have some really sleek design elements like the curved front panels of the hood and the spoiler panels in the back. From a sculpting perspective, this is an interesting way to "reimagine" Hot Rodimus as a character.

This vehicle form is a variation on the helicopter mode, so there aren't a ton of surprises. That said, the one detail fans probably care about the most on Hot Rodimus comes together here in the front: the flame pattern on the hood. The front of the vehicle is mostly yellow plastic, and red paint is used to paint in the distinctive flame pattern on the side panels. Add to that an Autobot symbol right in the middle and the design screams "Rodimus". The rest of the vehicle also echoes past Hot Rodimus designs including the red plastic used on the sides, the orange paint on the cabin section and of course, the yellow spoiler panels.

This mode has two attachment points for 5mm peg weapons on the top. One is on the forward part of the cabin section, the other is towards the middle. If you use weapons that do not extend back very far, you can fit two weapons on top. Functionally the only issue I've had with this figure are the panels that form the cabin section. The side panels that swing up in this mode to form the side mirrors don't stay right up against the center windshield panel. You can adjust and press parts of the figure all day long and one panel will be slightly off. On my copy of the figure, the right side panel is fine, but the left side one refuses to stay put, creating a noticeable seam. While annoying, this doesn't ruin the figure for me, but it is a flaw in the figure worth pointing out.

Final Thoughts:
When considering buying this figure, keep in mind that it has an average price of $85, over three times the price of what Springer cost at retail. I would classify this as a "specialty" item, especially given its limited nature. If you're a huge Hot Rodimus/Rodimus Prime fan then you'll definitely want to add this to your collection. I am personally very happy to have this guy join my legions of Autobots!