"Generations" Chaos on Velocitron Rodimus Prime Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Generations, Titan Master, Titan Master, Titans Return, Toys R Us Exclusive

Generations
Titans Return

Rodimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: March 2017
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Fastclash, Laser Prime, Nautica & Quickswitch)
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: Sword & Blaster (Laser Prime), Blaster & Shield (Nautica), Blasters x 2 (Quickswitch)

Very early on in the life of the Transformers line the toy line began to move away from the sole gimmick of transformation. Once figures like Combiners were introduced it became clear Transformers could be more than just a robot that changed from one form to another. In 1987 Hasbro and Takara took a bold step into a new play pattern by introducing Headmasters. Headmasters were Transformers whose heads detached and became smaller figures that could then pilot or ride the Transformers in beast and vehicle forms (or in a couple cases, their battle station or city forms!). Now almost thirty years after they were originally introduced the Headmaster gimmick has returned in a new form: Titan Masters!

Titan Masters focuses on the return of small robots to Cybertron that can unlock incredible power, and it is up to the Transformers to merge with them and harness those abilities and strengths. In some ways the story resembles "Armada" which had a similar conceit for the Mini-Cons.

With the success of both "Combiner Wars" and "Titans Return" in mind, Hasbro looked to the example of boxed sets such as Computron and Liokaiser as inspiration to create a group of exclusive boxed sets for "Titans Return". Like those boxed set this set features exclusive redecos and retools of previous figures, but this set has the added bonus of a (roughly) Legends Class figure not available anywhere else! "Chaos on Velocitron" features five characters:

This review will focus on the changes made to Ptero for this release, so please check out that review for more detailed information on that figure.

Packaging:
"Chaos on Velocitron' is packaged in a large boxed set that is reminiscent of the "Combiner Wars" boxed sets in design. The box features striking artwork of all five characters charging forward (with Rodimus Prime amusingly riding on Optimus Prime's back!). The artwork is gorgeous and striking. The lower left hand section shows each character included in the set in the same style as the "Combiner Wars" sets. The back has a grey background with a grid on top. All the characters shown are renders, not actual toy photographs.

Inside the box, the figures are mostly in vehicle mode sitting in a large plastic tray. The figures are mostly held down with small plastic stretch ties. The Titan Masters are lined up along the top in robot mode. Included with the set is an 11x17" print featuring the artwork from the front of the box. The back of the print features the tech specs for each character in the set. Oddly, the tech specs do not mention the names of the Titan Masters for any of the characters. We can of course assume Optimus Prime is paired with Diac, but we do not know the names for Nautica and Quickswitch's Titan Masters. The print is similar to the prints included with the "Combiner Wars" boxed sets. Unfortunately, in what appears to be a cost saving move, the print is not in a protective envelope, so be careful how you remove the tray as it could bend the print. In the same plastic bag as the instructions you will also find a trading card also featuring the boxed set's artwork.

This is one of those figures that does not neatly factor into Transformers fiction. For the longest time the name "Rodimus Prime" has been associated with the character of Hot Rod. However in "Titans Return" Hot Rod is a separate character with his own Titan Master. Titan Masters are said to be small Transformers "returning" to Cybertron so this would make "Rodimus Prime" a separate character altogether...I guess? It is times like this where it helps to just look at this as a bonus item in the set and not think too hard about the fiction.

Robot Mode:
Rodimus Prime is a retool and redeco of Ptero. For the most part Ptero's parts are intact including the head, arms and legs. The main change was made to the torso section. The chest now features raised armor on it that splits in the middle for a series of horizontal lines. The waist area has notches on either side facing front. The design looks partly based on the G1 Rodimus Prime chest as there are also angled, rectangular details that look like the headlights of his vehicle mode, but I am not sure what inspired the other details.

The primary plastic colors on this figure are red and orange. The "face" piece on the back is actually die-cast metal - more on that shortly. The head, torso and arms are red while the thighs are orange. The lower legs are painted a beautiful, glossy black. The face is painted grey and the chest is painted yellow (perhaps a nod to the yellow flames on Hot Rod's chest). Red, orange and black are of course, iconic "Rodimus Prime" colors so they look great together on this figure.

There are five points of articulation on this figure including the arms and legs. The legs move together at the hips and knees and cannot move independently. Unfortunately there is one major functional issue with this figure: the head. When I try to turn the head using my fingers, it barely budges. The only way I have been able to turn the head is to combine him with a body in head mode then turn it with the clips holding the head in place. I believe the issue here is the die-cast metal that forms the torso. This material is obviously less flexible than plastic, so it does not "give" enough for me to move the head without using this method. I understand the use of the die-cast metal is to make this figure more special, but from a functional standpoint the head not being able to turn is a big minus. I keep fearing as I turn the head the joint inside is being stripped down so I am turning it as little as possible.

Transformation to Head Mode:
Push the arms down. Swing the legs up at the hips, then the knees. When attaching the head to a larger figure, I recommend having Rodimus' head facing the same direction as the larger face.

Head Mode:
I think many people believed that this head would just be a reuse of Hot Rod's head (perhaps with some modifications). In fact, the face sculpt for Rodimus Prime is brand new. Among the key details are the shape of the helmet (which has more exaggerated details on it than Hot Rod) and the familiar angled lines under his eyes. These are based on G1 Rodimus Prime's appearance in the animated movie and series intended to make him look more mature.

The robot face is die-cast metal so there is a lot of paint on it. The "helmet" section is mostly painted red with some purple parts. For those curious, depending on the animation model you look at Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime did have some purple/pink colors on him to this seems to be a way to acknowledge that. The inside of the crest and face are painted light grey and his eyes are blue. The paint job is a tad sloppy on the inside of the helmet and around the eyes on my copy unfortunately. The grey in particular is unevenly applied and some of it winds up on the inside of the helmet section where it doesn't belong.

Final Thoughts:
At best, I would think of this Rodimus Prime Titan Master as a "bonus" item, not a key part of the set. The use of die-cast is a nice nod to G1, but it does not add much to the figure. Indeed it winds up detracting from a key point of articulation. I like the colors on the figure but would have preferred a new Titan Master head to go along with the torso to make him look more like the traiditional G1 Rodimus Prime design.

Pros:

  • Not a reuse of the Hot Rod head sculpt.
  • Beautiful colors in both modes.
  • Nice, tight joints.

Cons:

  • Head cannot turn properly, most likely due to the die-cast metal making up the torso.
  • Robot mode does not really suggest "Rodimus Prime" in any way other than the colors.
  • Sloppy paint job.