Series: Animated Japan
Categories: Deluxe Mail-Order Exclusive
Here we have yet another Japanese black repaint, but for once itís not an Optimus Prime / Convoy, but rather Hot Rod aka Rodimus
. And not only is he black, heís a Decepticon, so heís black and purple. As is often the case this figure is available only in Japan and even there only via the Hyper Hobby magazine, which youíd need to buy for the coupon you need to order the figure. We here in Europe and the US come up empty, having to rely on the secondary market.
Unlike most Deluxe-class figures this one comes boxed, though a card with a plastic bubble would have sufficed. This hereís more less than it appears. Other than the figure, which is fastened to the inner slide with the standard binders, the box contains nothing more than a plastic bag with the instructions and the weapon and missiles inside. No collectorís card or anything similar.
We can see quite a few of the changes here already, such as the red-tinted windows, the purple flames on the hood, and the darker overall look. We also see something thatís not so good. All the parts that were grey in the original have remained grey, and added to that is the big rear spoiler. Now the grey does fit, mind you, but it should have been painted.
Speaking of paint, Animated does follow the Japanese trend of improving the finish of the figures, but in this case this appears to have been forgotten. The figure looks a lot less shiny than it does on the promo pics, only the shoulders actually sport finish, making them shinier than the rest of the body. Overall the black isnít as matt as the standard black plastic and I can live with it, though it does seem a bit cheap for an exclusive figure. Still, everything fits together well and the black pretty nicely covers the various seams. Another very nice touch, the nice-looking and very visible Decepticon symbols. The gimmick of putting the weapon on top of the car is just as silly here as with the other versions. It doesnít fit tight and looks ridiculous.
No differences to the other versions here, of course. Personally I really like this transformation. The shoulders emerge from the rear of the car, combining with the hood as chest, leaving the legs completely kibble-free. Very innovative and, together with Animated Blurr
, a candidate for best transformation ever. Another thing I like a lot is that the front wheels disappear underneath the hood. Not overly complex, but not a two-step process, either, making for a nice mixture. Only those small pegs holding together the car mode need to be handled carefully, lest they break.
I think most people are familiar with the figure as such, so let me say this first: Itís a straight-up repaint. It doesnít have more or less paint applications than the other versions and the colors were swapped nearly 1:1, i.e. everything that was orange in the original version is now purple. The purple has a slight glitter effect, too. Stuff like the exhaust pipes on the arms and legs were left unpainted grey, though. Despite that, though, the black-purple combination looks very good here, making him look dark and evil.
He does look like a Commander (his function according to the box), too, his proportions emphasizing it. His posability is every bit as good as it was for his mold-brothers, leaving no room for complaint. The joints are still pretty tight despite this being the fourth use of the mold, and even standing on one leg isnít a problem for him. The weapon remains unchanged as well, the double bow with the two ďmissilesĒ. An okay weapon in my book, but no more than that.
A very nice black repaint, as is (almost) always the case. Some minor flaws, but also the big bonus for not being an Optimus Prime for once. Whether you really need the figure is up to you, of course. The portrayed character is a new one, as far as I know, having no relation to any previous events. Like or dislike for the Rodimus character and/or mold is subjective, naturally. But those liking black repaints, Japanese exclusives, or just want to have all available Animated figures can snatch up this one without regret. Definitely worth getting.