Saturday, 18 June 2011

Not another Rodimus?!?!??

As I am trying to finish off some collecting, I thought I would hunt down the limited Hyper Hobby edition of Rodimus from the Animated series.  They have done a black version.  Cleverly named Black Rodimus.  Is it any good, or just a lame attempt at a special.  Let’s have a look shall we?

So, Hyper Hobby is a monthly hobby magazine that comes out in Japan.  Every now and then, these books and magazines manage to whip off a lovely exclusive toy.  Black Rodimus here is one of them.  What exactly are the origins of Black Rodimus?  I rang a friend who has knowledge of these sorts of things to find out.

It all begins a while ago and with a web shop called e-Hobby.  They have a tendency to recolour figures that Takara release for sale.  When they made a re-issue of G1 Hot Rod (Rodimus in Japan), e-Hobby made a crystal version and a black version and created a little story for it all.  The story for that goes thus.  Black Rodimus is a clone of Rodimus, Black believes that Rodimus is actually a clone of him and therefore goes out to kill Rodimus.  They fight, become friends and Black switches sides to become an Autobot.

This Animated version has a slightly different tory to it, but it is fairly close.   The box has a little bio and statistics on them for story placement and whether or not it can be considered canon or not is up for debate, as it also states that the story was created by Hyper Hobby.  Anyway, it’s not bad and could fit in quite easily with the Animated story without too much hassle. 

I have taken the liberty of translating the bio and stats.

Using a fragment of the Allspark and Starscream’s cloning technology, Megatron would create the ultimate super soldier.  That creation was Black Rodimus and his first order of business was to terminate the form from which he was copied, the Autobot known as Rodimus.

Black Rodimus who considers himself to be worthy of being leader of the Decepticons, intends to kill the real Rodimus and take his team for himself.
  • Strength        - 10
  • Intelligence    - 10
  • Speed           -  9
  • Strength        - 10
  • Rank             -  9
  • Courage        -  7
  • Firepower      - 10
  • Skill              - 10

So there you have it.  Black Rodimus is obviously inspired by Motormaster/Nemesis Prime sort of evil-good-guy character.  In fact his colours are very Nemesis Prime-esque.  On to the toy now!


It comes in a nice box that is black and white.  Quite large for the deluxe toy too.    I think it uses the same artwork as Rodimus, just with a Decepticon logo on his chest.  Bio and stats are written on the back and a little photo scene of Black confronting Rodimus.

Pulling the insert out of the box, you see this.  Rodimus is held in place by a couple of twist ties.  They do the trick. 
Instructions and survey card are all the extras you get.  I would have liked a little game card like all the other Jap Animated figures, but oh well.

Vehicle mode.

Black Rodimus is of course the same cool mould as Rodimus, which is a futuristic super car.  I have gone on about the greatness of this mould here and so will keep my comments mainly about the colours.

The colours work well, minimal and somewhat striking seems to be the order of the day.  Lots of nice solid black with just the gold highlights for the head lights, purple flame emblem and the grey for the exhaust pipes, spoiler and rear lights.  I though the grey was a bit drab when I first opened it,  and it is, but it doesn’t look horrifically bad.  At least it manages to match the paint on the rear lights and wheels.

The red windscreen is a good look, it is still opaque so you can see the head if you look hard enough, but it is nowhere near as visible as the Autobot colours of Rodimus.


His Decepticon insignia on the roof is nicely painted.  In fact all the paint applications are applied really crisply.  As one would expect considering how few there are.  Mine seems to have a minor scratch on the nose of the bonnet.  Interestingly the blemish on the spoiler that i reported in the other Rodimus toys is still evident with this one too.  The Exhaust pipes are still cool as well.


The car has nice details, bot nothing to over run the smooth matte look of Animated.


I still love the way the feet fold into the front bumper like that!  What a satisfying transformation this figure has!

You can still mount his Energon Bow onto the roof of the car.  It fits in really well and looks pretty good.  His Energon bow shoots ranged armour piercing missiles.  I think, the translation was tricky.


And it looks OK on the other Rodimuss(Rodimie?) I have too.
L-R Hasbro, Takaratomy.

Compared with the other ones he looks quite shmexy and different enough to keep me interested.


Robot Mode!!


Robot mode is solid.  Good articulation on this figure and you can see that the simple colour contrast works really well.  Only four colours really, black, gold, purple and grey.  The paint on his feet, chest and fore-head is slightly metallic, but not so much that the purple on his thighs and arms looks cheap.  Tasteful.


Black Rodimus putting his plans into action.

“Hey, how ya doin’?  My name’s Blackie *wink*”

“My, you are a good looking fellow Blackie!”

IMG_6461“Wow! That looks like a cool party!  Can I join?”


“Let’s show our colours!!”

IMG_6463“Hang on a minute!  Somethings not quite right…”

Find out the thrilling conclusion at the end of the page!!

As you can see, they looks quite good as a unit.

His head still looks great and now it looks a tad meaner with the darker colours.  The chest engine flips over to reveal his allegiance, or can be left with a motor if he wants to do some spying.


His eyes use the same plastic as the windows and they do pipe light for lighty-eyes, but the red doesn’t allow light to pass as easily as the blue in the other guys.  You can get it to light, but it is much more dull.  More like a glow instead of the old style light.  This also makes trying to photograph it trickier…


And I have a shot of the other one to show the difference.

As you can see Rodimus, despite having a LOT less light shoved down his head gets more light out the eyes than Blackie does.

So as you can see, I still like this figure.  It is a very solid, well articulated and cleverly engineered figure.  One of the best from the Animated line I think, so this Black Rodimus is well worth the effort to get in my mind.  They aren’t too expensive and the simple colours work incredibly well together to create a great evil clone action figure.  Since I haven't had any information saying otherwise, in the Tets Universe, this Rodimus is going to stay a Decepticon and rise through the ranks to rival Megatron.  Whether or not he kills Rodimus…. Who can say?  At the very least, he will look good with my soon to be arriving Animated Stunticons!!

And now for the Thrilling conclusion!!

“Hands up Chumps or you’re a goner!!”
“Dammit, I think Brawn borrowed my bow!”
“Darn, Ironhide has mine…  Let’s try him anyway, he must love us, he looks just like us!”
“Hey Blackie, we are the same, can’t we just get along?”


“BWA HA HA HA haaaaa!  Now I am the most beautiful Rodimus in the universe!

Now what planet were ‘Team Rodimus’ on?  I need to indoctrinate them into team Black Rodimus! MWA HA HA HA HA!”

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