"Cyberverse" 1-Step changer Hot Rod Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, One Step Changer

Cyberverse

General Information:
Release Date: March 2019
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

Hot Rod

*Images and text below are from Amazon.com and Hasbro.com:
The war between heroic Autobots and evil Decepticons continues on the Cyberverse animated series! Discover the unique powers and skills of each Cyberverse character, and see how those powers will be used to defend Earth… or threaten it.

Experience the excitement of quick conversion with figures that change between modes in 1 easy step! Simply convert Autobot Hot Rod figure from robot to car mode in 1 quick step. Conversion reveals the figure’s Fusion Flame move! The move can be easily repeated.

Kids can collect other 1-Step Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite characters from the Cyberverse series -- one of the best ways to introduce young kids and new fans to the exciting world of Transformers! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Hasbro and all related terms are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • Includes Autobot Hot Rod figure and on-box instructions
  • Figure scale: 4.25 inches
  • Ages 6 and up
  • Warning: Choking Hazard - Small parts may be generated. Not for children under 3 years.

Early 2019 was a bit of a transition period for the "Cyberverse" line between the original release and the "Spark Armor" series. During this period, some new One-Step Changers were released. This included the second version of Hot Rod in the "Cyberverse" line (with the Warrior Class being the first).

Packaging:
The "Cyberverse" 1-Step Changer packaging is very similar to the 1-Step Changer packaging from the tail end of "Robots in Disguise". Instead of sitting in a bubble on a card, the figure is attached to a plastic tray in vehicle mode. This is then glued to a card that folds around the figure. This packaging uses a striking blue and yellow combination of colors. A vertical "Transformers" logo sits on the right side with an Autobot symbol above it. The front section has a photo of the toy in robot mode and the name of the character. The background features character artwork and the "Cyberverse" logo. The back of the box features Wheeljack in both modes, featuring his transformation. It also shows his cosells from the same case: Bumblebee and Wheeljack.

Vehicle Mode:
Hot Rod's vehicle mode is a sleek looking race car that almost looks like a cartoonish version of a Lamborghini. It is certainly inspired by G1 Hot Rod, but it looks more Earth-based. This figure takes many cues from the "Cyberverse" animation model including angled headlights, vents on the hood and a spoiler in the back (though here it is a bit thin and easy to miss). There are exhaust pipes running along the side of the vehicle, echoing a feature on G1 Hot rod. The sculpt is more blocky than most fans might be used to when it comes to Hot Rod, but it is a cool looking car.

Most of this figure is cast in a beautiful metallic red. Smaller parts like the wheels are cast in black. A large amount of light blue is used for the windows. Silver is used to paint the exhaust pipes on the sides. A flame pattern with an Autobot symbol is found across the top of the hood section. Overall, the deco is not bad at all. The designers actually wound up using a lot of paint for a One-Step Changer thanks to the windows. I think if the headlights had been painted the deco would have been near perfect.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Holding the middle of the vehicle, rotate the rear of the vehicle around. This forms the legs but will also cause the arms to spread out and the head to rise up from the chest.

Robot Mode:
Hot Rod has a rather sleek robot mode. Many of his details call back to G1 Hot Rod including the design of his head, openings at the top of the shoulders, a chest with details from the hood and an angled waist/hip area. Even his knee armor and lower legs echo design elements of G1 Hot Rod. It's a good sculpt for a One-Step Changer.

Decos on One-Step Changers are generally simple and this is no exception. It's not that there is no deco. What there is looks great. The flame deco from the vehicle mode is replicated on the chest. The face and exhaust pipes on the arms are painted silver. His eyes and the saw blade on the left arm are light blue. Finally, the knees are painted silver, which helps break up the red plastic on the legs. The shame is, there are some really great sculpted details on this figure including the arrows on the lower legs and bits of his spoiler are even sculpted into the hood piece. This is an interesting case where the figure has a lot of nicely sculpted details but it does not have the paint needed to bring them out.

Hot Rod has four points of articulation. This is actually more than average for a One-Step Changer. I was surprised to see that the head can turn. I am also counting the ability of the saw blade weapon on the left arm to turn and spin. This is a callback to G1 Hot Rod's saw first used in "Transformers: The Movie". Unfortunately, the left forearm can pop off fairly easily on my copy of the figure (but it does snap back on easily).

Final Thoughts:
This is one of those odd figures that I did not like much at first, but then came to like the more I played with it. This will not be anyone's definitive Hot Rod figure, but it is nicely sculpted and the transformation is fun. I do wish there was more deco and the left arm popping off is an issue. Recommended mostly for kids who want a simple-to-transform Hot rod figure.

Pros:

  • Nice sculpt that incorporates many key elements of G1 Hot Rod's design.
  • Fun transformation.
  • Weapon calls back to G1 Hot Rod in a cool way.

Cons:

  • Limited articulation (to be expected with One-Step Changers).
  • Could have used more deco to bring out the sculpted details.