"Generations" Power of the Primes Rodimus Prime Toy Review
Release Date: December 2017
Price Point: $45.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Rifle halves x 2, Matrix handles, Matrix
Official images above are from Hasbro. The official text below in italics are from BigBadToyStore:
The Autobots and Decepticons use Prime Masters to wield the incredible powers of the most legendary bots in the universe: the Primes. Prime Masters carry the spark of a Prime, allowing them to share a Prime's godlike ability with other bots. Anything is possible and everything is at stake when the Power of the Primes is unleashed!
With the Matrix of Leadership, Autobot Hot Rod becomes leader of the Autobots: Rodimus Prime. Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Leader Class figures are 9-inch-scale figures that come with a Matrix accessory and converting Evolution Armor. Use the Evolution Armor to evolve this figure from Autobot Hot Rod to Rodimus Prime.
- 9 inch (22.86cm) scale
- Made of plastic
- Evolves from Autobot Hot Rod to Rodimus Prime
- Works with Prime Master figures
- Converts from robot to tractor-trailer in 28 steps
The trilogy that began with "Combiner Wars" concludes with "Power of the Primes". This line focuses on the original 13 Primes themselves returning. However, instead of gigantic beings storming the battlefield, the Primes have distilled their essence into Sparks that can be used by Transformers to gain all new powers. Depending on which Spark the Transformer takes on, they are powered up in different ways.
With the Leader Class figures, Hasbro and Takara Tomy saw the opportunity to do something a little different with this size class. Instead of being Combiners or Pretender/Targetmaster hybrids, this size class has been labeled as "Evolution" figures representing characters in their pre-leadership forms and then their final forms. This set features Rodimus Prime both in his original "Hot Rod" form and then his final form as Autobot leader, Rodimus Prime.
Rodimus Prime is packaged in a large cardboard window box. Similar to last year's Leader Class figures, each has a black background with red borders. On the right side is the vertical "Transformers" logo with the "Generations" logo above it. In the window you can see Optimus Prime with his accessories. Below that is his artwork. The back of the packaging shows off the various forms of this figure and how the cab and trailer combine to form Rodimus Prime. His cosell is Micronus. Each "Power of the Primes" figure comes with a collector card that tells you what effect a specific Prime's powers will have on this character. My particular copy of the figure came with the "Rodimus Megatronus" card which indicates he is "uncontrollable and unstoppable".
A quick note before I dive into the review. I have seen reports online that at least one fan received a copy of this figure without wheels on the robot legs section. You cannot see this in box, so when you take it out, I recommend inspecting the figure to be sure everything is there. When I purchased my first Rodimus Prime figure, the right leg would not move properly to transform into vehicle mode so I had to return it. I highly recommend taking out the figure within a reasonable amount of time of your purchase to check it out in case you have to return or exchange it for any reason.
Rodimus Prime includes three accessories. The first is his blaster. Based on the weapon wielded by G1 Rodimus Prime, this rifle has a long barrel with very sleek looking shapes including "fins" on the sides towards the back. This weapon is cast in black plastic with no paint applications. The rear section of the rifle has two 5mm ports on either side, allowing you to attach additional weapons to it. There are two 5mm pegs on the bottom of the blaster. Why two? Well, to give the smaller Hot Rod figure weaponry as well, this weapon can be split in two! Pull on the front and back halves and they come apart, forming two weapons that either Rodimus or Hot Rod can hold in their hands. The design of the weapon that forms the back half of the rifle is reminiscent of one of the blasters included with the G1 Hot Rod figure.
The other two accessories are meant to be one object: The Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Using the animated version of this relic as the foundation for its design, there is an oval shaped handle section with notches along the sides. The middle section is a round casing with a crystal inside. This piece is the same size and rough shape as the Sparks formed by the Prime Masters (as well as the "Enigma" accessories included with the Voyager Class figures). This accessory is split into two pieces to allow you to attach other Prime Master Sparks or Enigmas into the handle. This works very well and it is a fun idea, adding a different dimension to the whole "Powered up by the Matrix" theme that has been part of Transformers history for 30 years now.
The handle piece is cast in yellow plastic. The center piece is translucent blue plastic and shaped in such a way that it looks like a crystal. The outer "casing" is painted silver. The Matrix looks fantastic though I would have preferred silver handles like those on Optimus Prime's Matrix.
Unlike his predecessor, Optimus Prime, Rodimus Prime was basically a larger and "older" looking version of his younger persona, Hot Rod. For the most part their designs were similar in appearance and this figure design reflects a lot of those elements. These include:
- The head design features an oval shaped helmet with a crest on top, ricles on the sides and a face that has sharp lines under the eyes that serve as the robotic equivalent of "wrinkles" indicating his age (or if you prefer, maturity).
- The shoulders raise up pretty high, flanking the head. Each also features an indented section towards the top.
- Each forearm features a curved section on top leading to the wrists. The sides each have exhaust pipes on them which were used as blasters in the animated series.
- The torso is formed form the front of the vehicle form featuring a sleek and angled set of panels. Towards the top is a "collar" that comes up to the head in a rough U shape.
- Behind the head is the spoiler from the vehicle mode.
- The leg design is distinctive. The thighs are wide at the top then angle inward towards the knees. The knees have round parts on either side and then the lower legs widen towards the feet.
In terms of construction, this is a unique design that incorporates the front and back of the vehicle into one robot form (aligning it more with the character's portrayal in the G1 animated series). This gives the figure some really impressive bulk. He does not look like a sleek sports car forming a robot. He really does look like some futuristic truck as a robot. However this type of design does not come together without some design concessions. This figure has a few significant ones:
- The area where the shoulder joints lead to the arms is open and exposed, with no panels to cover it up. I do not have any particular issues with this. I think it looks fine (but not great). However some fans disliked it so much a third party vendor has created panel covers sold on ebay to cover up this area.
- Panels from the vehicle mode wind up forming a significant "back pack" on the figure, which messes a bit with his aesthetics.
- The forearms each have panels hanging off the bottom that swing over the fists in vehicle mode, but in this mode they kind of stick out a bit more than I would prefer.
- The top of the shoulders have Hot Rod's feet collapsed into them, so the shape is not quite as smooth and sleek as they are in the animation model.
Rodimus Prime's colors are largely based on the G1 version of the character. The plastic colors used include two shades of red (one darker than the other), orange, black, yellow and translucent blue. The red kind of alternates from part to part. For instance the top of the arms are the lighter shade and the elbows to the forearms are the darker shade. His shoulder joints and thighs are orange. The lower legs are black.
There is a good combination of paint and stickers providing detailing for this figure. For instance, the indented section on the shoulders are painted light grey on top but the lower section has a silver sticker with line and cross hatch patterns on it. Perhaps the most striking deco on this figure is on the chest where a yellow flame pattern is tampographed with a red Autobot symbol on top. While many versions of this flame pattern have been done in the past, this one draws inspiration form the sticker on G1 Hot Rod that has fun details like small flames coming out of the larger one on the sides. Yellow is also used for the "L" shaped headlights. Orange is used on the raised sections on the forearms. The head has silver on the crest, light grey on the face and blue eyes. His fists are also painted light grey. The legs have small stickers on them based on the ones from the G1 Rodimus Prime action figure. I always loved this color pattern and it looks great.
There are twenty one points of articulation on this figure. That includes six in each arm and four in each leg. The most awkward part of the articulation are the shoulders. His arms can swivel all the way up, but they cannot swing out and in very far. Surprisingly the fists have wrist articulation, something that has all but vanished from the Transformers toy line in recent years. Each fist has 5mm ports, allowing Rodimus to hold his rifle in one piece or split up into two weapons. You can store the rifle on his back, but it is not a 5mm port/peg that allows this. Instead there is a tab on the back that attaches to a slot on the top of the rifle.
Perhaps one of the most iconic visuals from Transformers fiction is the Matrix of Leadership inside a character's chest (whether it is Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus or Rodimus Prime). The "Power of the Primes" Leader Class figures use this as one of their features. Swing up Rodimus' chest and there you will find a compartment where the Matrix can fit. I love this particular feature. While other figures have had it before, I still have not tired of it.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the rifle if attached and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Rotate the spoiler piece on the back around so it is pointing up.
- Holding the back of the torso section (particularly where the spoiler is) and pull up to detach the "Hot Rod section" from the rest of the figure.
- Swing the waist panel up.
- Swing the halves of the "back pack" out.
- Push the foot and heels pieces together.
- Push the legs together.
- Swing the legs up, bending them at the knees to swing them forward.
- Swing the "back pack" down.
- Swing the "back pack" panels together, then push the robot feet up against it, using the tabs on the panels to clip into the slots on the feet.
- Detach Rodimus Prime's elbow/forearms from the section you detached in step four.
- On each arm, swing up the panel on the bottom of the forearms.
- Connect the two arm pieces, slide them down into the open area on the top of the trailer, then push it in to lock it in.
- Moving on to the "Hot Rod section", straighten out Rodimus Prime's shoulder/arms (which are Hot Rod's legs) then swing them back and push them together.
- Swing the section with the spoiler back, then clip each leg into it.
- Swing the front of the car up.
- Swing the robot arms up, then attach them to the sides using the tabs on the torso piece and the slots on the arms.
- To attach the "Hot Rod section" to the trailer, use the tab on the trailer's yellow spoiler section and connect it to the slot in front of the spoiler.
- To further secure this section, there are tabs at the back of the "Hot Rod section" that fit into the slots in the knee sections of Rodimus Prime's legs.
- Swing the black panels on the trailer section forward, clipping it against the tabs on the sides of Hot Rod's vehicle form.
- Rotate the exhaust pipes on the sides of the trailer down.
- The rifle can attach to the 5mm ports on the top of the trailer.
One note: I do worry about the clips that hold Rodimus Prime's arms in place. While mine have not shown any signs of stress marks, I fear repeated transformations over many years could potentially wear them down. I would have preferred some other type of connector, perhaps having the arms slide in instead.
Rodimus Prime's vehicle mode is a rather unconventional one. Instead of being a traditional tractor/trailer truck like Optimus Prime, he is one self contained vehicle with some similarities to a Class C Winnebago. No, really. If you look at Rodimus and the Winnebago, they share some design similarities most notably having a front end that slopes downward (or in this case is pretty flat) with a section that goes over the cabin section of the front end. The back section is pretty much just a big box with lots of detailing on it. Unlike the real life Winnebago, Rodimus does not feature windows or ladders. Instead he features detailing like cross hatch vents, various shapes like ovals and rectangles. Many of the other details on this vehicle are inspired by G1 Rodimus Prime's vehicle form. These details include:
- Rodimus has his signature exhaust pipes, which start on the sides, angle up and then back.
- The sides feature a notable dip and indentation towards the back, though here it is a smooth, curved slope as oppposed to the more angled indentation on the G1 toy.
- Also like G1 Rodimus there are a series of rectangular details across the part which hangs over the cabin section.
All the colors from the robot mode carry over into this form. For the most part the trailer section is now dark red plastic while the lighter red plastic is mostly in the front. The sides have black plastic painted orange. There are flame stickers on the sides as well. Two Autobot symbol stickers are found on either side of the trailer's front section. There is more orange paint on the edge of the section over the cabin section. Combined with the distinct flames in the front of the vehicle Rodimus Prime looks great.
For the most part this is a nice modern take on Rodimus Prime's vehicle mode. Not only does it maintain a lot of the key design elements but it also adds some extra sleek and modern touches to it. The deco is really nice as well.
There are two 5mm ports on the top of the vehicle, allowing you attach the halves of Rodimus' rifle or weapons from other figures. Want to give a couple Prime or Titan Masters a ride? There are two Titan Master pegs on the top of the vehicle allowing you to attach a couple of the figures. Personally I would have liked to see two more towards the front but having them at all is a fun way to have this figure interact with others.
Separating Hot Rod from Trailer
- Swing the exhaust pipes on the sides of Hot Rod out.
- Rotate the exhaust pipes on the trailer up.
- Swing the side panels out.
- Pull the Hot Rod vehicle down and forward.
- Pull the exhaust pipe sections back and clip them to the sides.
Hot Rod's vehicle mode is a futuristic sports car. The vehicle is very thin and sleek, featuring a design that looks like it is sweeping back all the way to the end of the spoiler. The front half of this mode was visible in Rodimus Prime's vehicle form but the middle to the back half was not. Many of these details carry over from the G1 Hot Rod figure including the distinct shape of the cabin cover, the exhaust pipes on the sides and the "V" shaped spoiler on the back. Overall it is a super cool (if not somewhat extravagent) vehicle form.
This mode features mostly the lighter red plastic. Other parts are cast in translucent blue, yellow and black. Red makes up most of the vehicle with blue on the cabin cover, yellow on the spoiler and black on the wheels. The front is painted orange with the yellow flames and red Autobot symbol on top. The headlights are painted yellow. The rear sections of the exhaust pipes are painted silver. Red paint is used on the outline of the cabin cover/window. Disappointingly, the rims on the wheels are not painted at all, and while the front part of the exhaust pipes are sculpted, they are not painted. Not having the paint on them makes them look unfinished. The wheels are the worst part since you can see the red clips that hold them in. If they had been painted silver along with the rims it would lessen this effect.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Swing the exhaust pipes out to the sides, then forward.
- Twist each of the legs outward in the back to separate them from the spoiler section.
- Swing the spoiler section up and forward.
- On each leg, swing the front panels forward, then swing the feet out. Push the leg panels back in place.
- Rotate the cabin cover section around.
- Pull the sides of the vehicle out and push them down.
- Swing the torso panel down.
- Rotate the front end of the vehicle around to reveal the robot head.
- Swing the torso panel back up.
- Swing the spoiler panel up.
In many respects, Hot Rod is like a shrunken down version of Rodimus Prime. This figure is the size of a Deluxe Class figure but its proportions are a bit different than those of say "Classics" Rodimus or "Titans Return" Hot Rod. The biggest difference is that his shoulders are not quite as wide. However he has all the trademark features of the character. For the most part they are the same as the ones I listed above for Rodimus Prime (the spoiler in the back, the shape of the head, the shape of the legs etc.) so I won't go into another list of design elements. There are some differences of course. This face is smoother and "younger" looking. The top of the shoulders are smooth and curved and the "collar" is smoother and not broken up the way it is on Rodimus' chest. I really like the look of this sculpt and conceptually it's cool to think this robot can turn into a vehicle and still become part of Rodimus Prime's vehicle form and become the torso of Rodimus himself.
This mode uses all the same plastic colors as Rodimus Prime's robot mode, however there is much more emphasis on the lighter shade of red, orange, yellow and black. The red and orange make up most of the figure with black used on the wheels and the lower legs. Orange yellow and red paint are used for the torso in the same pattern as Rodimus Prime. The head has silver on the crest and light grey on the face. The eyes are painted blue. The top of his forearms have orange on the curved parts and the exhaust pipes/blasters on the forearms are painted silver. Stickers are used to provide detailing on the shoulders and lower legs. These stickers all feature "V" shaped designs based on the G1 Hot Rod's toy. I love it when stickers or tampographs call back to the original figures so these are fun (and they are not peeling off).
There are seventeen points of articulation on this figure. Most of these are good including the ball joints on the elbows and the swivel joints on the legs. Due to the way the figure is constructed there is no waist articulation however. Unfortunately because of the way the shoulders are constructed, they are not far out enough from the main body to give them a full range of articulation. They can move up and out to the sides, but you cannot get many angles out of it unfortunately. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing Hot Rod to hold the rifle when it is split in two.
"Power of the Primes" Rodimus Prime is a figure that grew on me the more and more I played with it and transformed it. He looks cool and the transformation is rather unique. I also appreciate how different the Rodimus form looks from the Hot Rod form even though the two share a lot of the same details. The figure is not perfect, but it is fun. If you are concerned about the price, I would try to wait for a sale of some sort (I paid the full $45.99 via Toys 'R' Us and I'm happy with my purchase, but your mileage may vary). Recommended.
- Sculpt looks good in both modes.
- Good deco that does not rely fully on stickers.
- Intuitive transformation that is not overly-complicated.
- Play pattern pays homage to a key moment in Transformers history.
- Could use some more deco in (specifically the rims and the exhaust pipes).
- Shoulder articulation is limited in both robot forms.
- Open gap in Rodimus Prime's shoulder area bothers some fans (I personally have no issue with it).
- The clips on the arms make me a bit nervous.