Series: Mastermind Creations Prelude:
This figure here is not a product released by Hasbro or Takara-Tomy and thus not officially a Transformer. It’s from third party company Mastermind Creations and it is, of course, meant to be Hot Rod / Rodimus, more specifically the version of Rodimus starring in IDW’s More Than Meets the Eye / Lost Light comic book series, but for legal reasons he can’t be called by that name. Instead he is called Calidus, which is Latin for hot, fiery, passionate (or possibly “still fresh”).
Calidus is a roughly Voyager-sized robot, very lean, and easily recognizable as who he is supposed to be. This figure jumped right out of the comic book pages, pretty much. The detail work looks pretty amazing and the only thing missing was the Autobot symbol on his chest, which is easily fixed with a sticker form Toyhax. Calidus can move with the best of them and looks really good in all sorts of dynamic poses.
Weapon-wise Calidus comes with a gun that strongly resembles the weapon his G1 incarnation
had, along with a bow that harkens back to Animated Rodimus Prime
. In the comic books he only ever used the gun, I believe, but the bow is a nice touch, too. He can store it on his back when it’s not needed. One additional accessory is included, a separate head. Now at first glance I thought that my Calidus had mistakenly been packed with two identical heads, but there actually is a difference. One head looks stern, the other has a slight smirk. This allows you to recreate a particular panel
from “More than meets the Eye”. I put the smirking head on my figure and left the other in the box.
All in all Calidus is a brilliant robot. Good looks, nice engineering, no flaws. I would have liked a second gun and maybe a Matrix (or half-a-Matrix, more fittingly), but overall: no complaints. Two thumbs up!
Calidus transforms into a futuristic vehicle that retains many elements from Hot Rod / Rodimus’ usual car mode, but has its own special touch, too. Huge front tires give it an air of power and the bow from his robot mode serves as a front bumber / attack spikes combination. The gun can be mounted on top. The transformation into car mode is complex, but not difficult, so no complaints there, either. Not really much else I can write here that the pictures don’t show better. A very nice-looking vehicle mode, no visible robot bits, and clearly recognizable as Hot Rod / Rodimus. Two thumbs up here as well!
Rodimus as shown in the IDW comics is a very different character from the hot-headed punk turned reluctant leader we saw in the original G1 cartoon. IDW Rodimus is still a hot-headed punk, but he is also an anything-but-reluctant leader, highly charismatic, incredibly self-assured, with a very short attention span and a massive ego (he built a shuttle modelled after his own head and hands out medals in his own image). Despite all this he somehow manages to be a very likeable character.
Calidus from Mastermind Creations is nothing more and nothing less than a near-perfect toy version of the character from the comic book pages. He looks the same, he transforms into the same vehicle, and while I have heard some people declare him too big at about Voyager-size, he fits nicely with other Lost Light characters that are currently available in toy form, be it from Hasbro or from third party companies. The only slight downside to this figure I can see is that, given the price tag, I would have expected a bit more extras to the figure then just a replacement head and two weapons. It could have been a bit more bang for our buck. Still, an excellent figure and a must for any and all Rodimus fans and it will also be available in the darker blue and black paintjob Rodimus currently sports in “Lost Light”, if that is more your thing.
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