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Animated Rodimus Minor Review

October 22nd, 2010

I think by now, all TransFans are aware that Transformers Animated have officially ended. All remaining TFA toys that were planned are exclusively released in the United States through Toys R Us. I’m really only aware of 4 figures: Cybertron Mode Ratchet, Arcee, Rodimus Minor, and Cybertron Mode Ironhide. Cybertron Mode Ratchet came out as early as January of this year, and I think I found them locally in February. Toys R Us ordered way too many of this figure. Every store I visited recently is overstocked with Ratchet. This is not true with the rest of the figures. Arcee I only saw once in May, and never again. And because of this, I had a feeling that Rodimus and Ironhide were gonna be rare finds as well.

Fans have been reporting sightings of these two figures as early as August, so I’ve been keeping my eyes open. I was lucky I was able to find some right before Columbus Day weekend. My local Toys R Us didn’t have that many either, only 4 Rodimus and 3 Ironhide figures. Needless to say, I quickly grabbed some and proceeded to check out. I only left one of each on the shelves. The girl at the checkout was like, “Damn, you got them all! People have been asking about these!” LOL. I have been back to the store once since, and yeah, they’re all gone. I don’t anticipate my TRU to get anymore either. Ebay dealers ask a minimum of $25 for these, and that doesn’t include ship. These appear to be rare indeed.

Anyway, today I’m doing a review of the Rodimus Minor figure. I have not yet opened Ironhide, but he’s a repaint of Ratchet so I already know what to expect. I may do a review of him and Ratchet later in a future post.

Check out some pics of Rodimus Minor in the package.

I really like the look of this Rodimus in alt mode. His appearance is most definitely G1 inspired. The figure is mostly red with some stripes of yellow on the hood and on the wing. In G1 he had flames, but I think the yellow triangular stripes actually looks better. The window is in that famous blue like all other Rodimus figures. The engine on the hood is faithfully represented here. In G1 and Classic Rodimus, the side exhaust pipes are located on the side bottom of the vehicle. However in Animated, they’re located higher on the side, a little above the rear tires. I rather like this design, it manages to make the look refreshing, but still identifiable. Compared to other Rodimus figures, the shape of this one is more streamlined and more sleek. I have no complaints on the looks of the alt mode whatsoever. I haven’t seen Season 3 of Animated so I can’t comment on show accuracy, but if it looks anything like the package image then I would say the figure represented his look faithfully.

Functionally, Hasbro’s toy designers did a great job in the engineering of this figure. Rodimus is quite solid in this mode. As with most other TFA figures, the various parts and pieces come together well to form the vehicle. Everything snaps together nicely, and there are no dangling bits to be found. The alt mode will not come apart easily even if you choose to play rough with the figure as the car. On a flat surface, Rodimus rolls well on all 4 wheels and I see no balancing issues. The only noticeable seam line is towards the rear, above the wheel area, but that is something I can easily live with.

Size-wise, Animated Rodimus is a little smaller compared to Classic or Henkei Rodimus in alt mode. Check out the pic below.

His bow-type weapon can be attached in alt mode. Simply plug the pegs on the weapon into the slots on top of the vehicle. The missiles fire a good distance, though it’s not the strongest when compared to recent Hasbro offerings. If I was to name one gripe, it’s that the weapon is not that easy to attach in this mode. This weapon is angled upwards when mounted, and the tail end of the missiles make contact with the wing, so attaching this thing is harder than it looks. Not only that, the obvious place to apply force downwards on the weapon to mount it is exactly where the firing buttons are, so you almost always accidentally fire the missiles. I’ve learned to attach the launcher first, then connect the missiles. Also, even with all this, it’s real easy to accidentally make contact with the weapon, in which case you will almost always knock it off the figure (very similar to Arcee’s wings, though not that bad). I opened two Rodimus figures (more on this later), and they both have these issues with the weapon, so I’m going to assume this is an issue with the mold. Still, this is just a little gripe, and I think he looks better without the weapon in alt mode anyway so I just prefer to leave it off.

Overall, I’m very happy with the alt mode.

The transformation to robot mode is quite unique for a Rodimus figure. The standard transformation for Rodimus in other lines has the hood forming the chest, cockpit and wings becoming the back, the sides folding out to be the arms, and rear section of the car as the legs. Animated Rodimus Minor puts a slight spin on this familiar theme. The legs are buried entirely underneath the vehicle, with the feet connecting to below the front hood area. The arms go over the rear wheel area, and during transformation there are joints that will connect them with the chest. The front wheels also fold into the chest, and the engine can flip over in robot mode to reveal the Autobot insignia. It’s nice to see Hasbro trying something new in the transformation. The result is a process that feels both refreshing and familiar at the same time, something not easily achieved for such a recognizable character. And in my opinion, the transformation difficulty level is just right. It’s complex enough to be a fully qualified Transformer, but at the same time still fun enough that it doesn’t feel like work to transform it.

In robot mode, Rodimus looks great. He’s well proportioned and there’s not any body parts that look too big or too small. Again, I have not seen this character in the cartoon, but it appears that the toy captured the look of Animated Rodimus quite well. The paint job on a standard $10 Hasbro figure usually leaves a little to be desired, and on this figure it’s no exception. However, I don’t detect any color goofs, so at least Hasbro got that right.

Design wise, there is no mistaking that this is Rodimus. Anyone who is vaguely familiar with G1 Hot Rod will easily identify this character. His overall color scheme, his trademark wings, and his arm cannons are all here. The figure is capable of a wide range of poses. Ball joints are used almost everywhere. Fans big on poseability will find nothing to complain about here.

Functionally, Rodimus is well built. All pieces lock into place where they should, resulting in a solid robot mode. When I transformed him the first time, I thought the chest piece would dangle around. But after you lock in the cockpit window into the upper back, everything stays put. The side exhaust on the upper legs also clicks into position. The figure is very, very well engineered. Overall, I have no complaints about the robot mode of Rodimus Minor whatsoever.

Below are some size comparison pics with other Rodimus figures. Notice in robot mode, Animated Rodimus becomes a little bigger than Classic/Henkei Rodimus, whereas in alt mode he was smaller.

I mentioned that I got two of these and I opened both of them. For really rare figures that don’t cost much, I sometimes buy multiples, one to open and one to keep mint in the package, maybe to sell later or just to hang on to so I can say I have a mint one. Well, the first one I opened came with two left hands! Check out the pic below. The two-handed one is on the right. Functionally that’s just wrong, so I opened the other one as well. By the time I opened them, there were none left at TRU so exchange is not an option. I could return it, but I thought I keep it just for laughs. I googled this and I don’t see any other fan reporting this issue, so I’m forced to assume this is an isolated incident. But just keep in mind this could happen if you find and buy a Rodimus figure. And I’m just happy that I got a 2nd one so I don’t have to live with the two left-handed one.

So there you have it, my thoughts on Animated Rodimus Minor. I can’t recommend this figure enough. Compared with other Rodimus figures, I would say this is the second best one of all time, right behind Classic/Henkei Rodimus.

Come and think of it, all the recent figures that I opened have been really good. Hasbro has been on a roll when it comes to doing new molds. I will be doing reviews of some other great figures that came out recently, so stay tuned. Transform and Roll Out!

Teletraan I Communiques

Categories: Pics, Toy Reviews
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