Sunday, 21 August 2011

Master Piece Rodimus Prime? Hot Rod thanks!

HRhead

You could be mistaken thinking that I have covered this figure before.  Well I did in a way.  I covered the Japanese release of Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy a while back.  Hasbro had plans then to drop the trailer from that and release it for America/ the rest of the world as well.  How does it compare?


Quite well actually,

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It comes in a smaller, less expensive looking box, but you can take him out and put him back in again.

Since he is without his trailer, I debate the legitimacy of calling him Rodimus Prime.  No trailer and in the box, he is packed in his short leg mode with Hot Rod’s face, so the box has him more as Hot Rod, plus Hasbro were kind enough to provide us with a Targetmaster weapon, which Prime never had, but Hot Rod did.  Plus the flames on his chest are more Hot Rod styled than Prime as well.  Nevertheless, the two robot modes are still accounted for, which is nice.  Personally though, I would use this one as Hot Rod and my Japanese one as Rodimus Prime.

He still comes with the other accessories as well.  He has the saw blade (only 1 this time), the welder and they have re-run the matrix that came with Materpiece Optimus and Ultra Magnus so that he has a more in scale one then the one in his chest.  A nice touch, as the Japanese one just insisted that you crack them open and use theirs.

He also comes with Offshoot, which is obviously meant to be his Targetmaster partner Firebolt.  Shame they couldn’t get the original name, wouldn’t surprise me if Harry Potter stole that trademark, but Offshoot is an interesting, if slightly unrelated name.

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It is a Toys R Us exclusive and for $60 US/ $80 AUs ( not exchange rate like, still a big mark up for us Aussies…) it is a LOT less than I thought it was going to be! = Pleasent surprise there.  It was funny though, when I went to my local TRU, they had Hot Rod here for $80 sitting next to the MP Ghost Starscream for $250!! About the same size, interesting juxtaposition there.

On the top is an Autobot symbol in the plastic.  A nice touch there.  His Stats are printed on the inner cardboard, so if you like these sort of things (I do!) then remember to check around before turfing the box.  The back of the box has a written Bio telling us how awesome Rodimus Prime is (which he isn’t…) and in typical Hasbro fashion they have a completely messed up photo on the back. 

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AAArrrrgh!  What happened to my waist???



I can take better shots of their toys for them!  Probably do it for less as well!  Man! Messed up right there!







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Ok, so cracking him out of the box reveals nothing spectacular.  Just the instructions and a sticker sheet.  Why the sticker sheet?  Hmmm, it took me a while to work out… 


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The arrowy grey ones are for his bicep area if you want that classic G1 looking Targetmaster Hot Rod look.  Non TM?  I can’t remember to be honest.  The factions stickers on the other hand..  Well it beats me.  I guess the Decep one could be if you wanted the ‘Black Rodimus’ version, but without the rest of the figure in black, it defeats the purpose.  The Autobot logo I am not sure, as he doesn’t have many to start with and the main one on his bonnet is the one that counts is already there.  One for the roof of the car perhaps?



Anyway, to see how the looked I applied them.  Prime doesn’t have these marks on his shoulders, but since I will be having this version as Hot Rod anyway, it doesn’t matter.  Only problem I have is that they aren’t covered in vehicle mode.  So now I am thinking of taking them off.  They will come off easily enough though, so that’s no major worry.

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The main differences between this guy and his Japanese counterpart are the colours.  his face is a darker grey, the legs are red, not the black and the red and oranges of the main body are less cartoon looking.  Convoy was more pinky in colour than this guy as well.

The flames on his chest are different as well, which is why I have this guy as Hot Rod.  Convoy/Prime has a less flamey look with fewer ‘licks of fire’ than Hot Rod does.  To me this chest screams Hot Rod, while Convoy’s is all about his Rodimus Prime mode.  The blue headlights make it look a bit more show accurate as well.  He still has the small removable matrix for chest storage and a big one, which I have managed to neglect taking any shot of.  Never mind though, as I have the figure close at hand and should get to those photos later.  The larger matrix can open up a little for the old “Arise, Rodimus Prime” conversion ala movie styles.

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The face is the same sculpt and works the same way as the Japanese one (in that you lift up his ‘skull’ and one face slips over to cover the other.).  His zoom goggles are still included.  His face is a darker grey than before.

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Looking worried in both Prime and Hot Rod faces I see.  I still would have liked to see his Hot Rod face smiling a bit.


Robot mode articulation is excellent and balance is pretty good for a figure this tall.  AS far as I have been able to tell, a lot of the issues that the Japanese release suffered (front leg panels coming off, dodgy hands not able to hold guns, and some paint work issues) have been corrected with this guy, which is nice as they were really annoying.

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He can hold the weapons a LOT better now, before it was a ‘put them in and walk away without breathing’ sort of set up, not you can plug them in and pose him as well without them falling out every time you touch them.  They weapons have had a little extra paint added to them and they too are a darker plastic than Convoy’s.  Improvement?  I don’t really think so, I wouldn’t class it as a point off though either, just something different.

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They look pretty cool individually and join together with the same mechanism that Convoy’s does. I.E a springy insertion of one gun into the other.  Good news is with the slight modifications to fix his issues, he holds the guns a lot easier, even in two hands!!

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Of course one more weapon exists!

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Offshoot in gun mode.  Which I also forgot to take some photos in his hand.  Whoops…  Anyhoo, Offshoot changes into a double barrelled gun with a square bit at the back.  He comes with 2 handles, one for the robot hands and one for mounting on the bonnet of the car.

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Keep the handles folded down and it sits right in there giving it a nice low profile for the car.


Offshoot of course Transforms!!  Targetmasters for the win baby!!

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He is about minicon in size and as he is designed as only a robot and gun, he is pretty cool.  L-R head movement, double jointed elbows, ball jointed hips, knees and shoulders makes him so cool, I was ashamed to admit I liked him more than Hot Rod (mainly as I had seen Roddy before).  Balance is very well done on this guy as well!  Good paint work that is nice and clear also helps a lot too!!


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Really diggin that Targetmaster!

Finally we have a little look at Hot Rod’s vehicle mode.

Quite nicely done.  No option for Rodimus Prime’s mode as there is no trailer, although if you have the Japanese version, you could easily pop this guy in without any issues as the car mode is practically hidden.  The clearance is pretty good and he rolls without any issues.  The guns can be mounted on the vehicle mode engine and the hood flames look sooo cooooool!

In some of the photos you can see the shoulder stickers on the hood above the wheels.  It doesn’t look horrible, and I am still undecided as to whether I like them or not.

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I really like the vehicle mode.  It is spot on to the design of how he looks in the movie and the colours are pretty darn close as well. 


All up, the Masterpiece is pretty damn good.  I would strongly recommend this to G1 lovers and those who like toys in general.  It isn’t all that frustrating to transform (although the instructions are a bit useless when it comes to the placement of his feet) and the level of detail on Hot Rod make it totally ace!  Then it’s topped off with a fantastic design for the Targetmaster weapon Offshoot.  the price is a hell of a lot cheaper than the Japanese release and although you lose the trailer for Rodimus Prime, you still keep the robot mode and really that’s what counts isn’t it?  After all a hotted up camper van isn’t THAT cool.  Amusing, but not cool.  And having a look at the price, since the Trailer will cost you and extra 150-200 dollars, it’s not worth it.  It is only a nice looking box.

Hasbro’s version of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime is completely worth it!  Very nice indeed!   See the Japanese Rodimus Convoy here

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