Transformers Animated: Rodimus Minor by Hasbro

Transformers Animated is all but dead in the US now, but Hasbro is still tossing collectors a few bones by way of some Toys R Us Exclusives. So far, the retailer has brought us Cybertronian Ratchet and Ironhide, Arcee and now Rodimus Minor. Primus knows, I’m not the biggest Rodimus fan around, but I usually like the figures and homages to the character so when this figure turned up on the TRU website, I decided to grab him, rather than regret not getting him and having to go after him on Ebay later like I’ll probably be doing with Arcee.

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Rodimus comes on the standard Animated style card. He’s packaged in his vehicular mode and he has his bow-weapon mounted next to him on the card. The only thing separating the packaging from the wide release figures is an “Only At TRU” sticker on the bubble. The back panel shows off photos of the toy in both modes and has a short bio blurb. I haven’t seen any of the episodes of the show with Rodimus in it, so I’ll just have to take the biography at its word.

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Roddy’s vehicle mode is a futuristic (Cybertronian?) speedster. Or a Hot Rod, perhaps? The design and color scheme is very reminiscent of past incarnations of the character. The body is mostly a deep crimson with gold flames on the hood and a gold, exaggerated spoiler on the back. He’s got a grey exposed engine poking through the hood and grey exhaust pipes flanking the rear quarter panels on each side. The wraparound windshield is translucent blue and looks really nice. I just have a couple of quibbles here, one pertaining to the design and one the quality. The big vacant hole in the back of the car irks me a bit. It feels like something should go in there, like Classics Rodimus’ weapon did, but nope. That’s not the case here. The other issue are the scratches on my figure’s hood. I haven’t had the best of luck with QC on my Animated figures and Rodimus here is yet another unfortunate example of that. There’s some faded areas in the glittery paint that makes up his flames and there’s some scratching and rubbing on the plastic. It’s not terrible, but if I hadn’t removed this figure from a sealed package, I would swear that it had been played with. None of this shows up all that well in the photos, but take my word for it, it’s there.

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Transforming Rodimus is fairly simple, although there are a few steps that require a bit of precision. I found getting him back into vehicle mode a lot more difficult, particularly when trying to get the arms and hands positioned just right so that the car would lock together. There’s some nifty stuff here, like the way his lower legs snap are ever so slightly hinged to straighten out in robot mode. Or the way the engine flips to reveal his Autobot symbol… that’s just brilliant.

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In robot mode, Roddy is a perfect super-stylized homage to his G1 self, from the spoiler angled up behind his head, right down to the exhaust pipes on the backs of his arms. In addition to his base crimson plastic, he shows off some lighter orange parts in his legs and arms, which fits the original toy very well. Even from the back he’s very clean looking. It seems like there should be a way to store his bow on his back, but I haven’t been able to figure it out. Either I’m missing something or it’s just a huge missed opportunity in the design.

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I really dig the head sculpt too, I think it’s among the better ones featured in this line and the light piping gimmick looks great. It even looks like he’s got irises in there. It’s just beautiful!

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Roddy’s articulation includes a ball jointed neck, arms with ball joints in the shoulders, elbows with a hinge and ball joint and ball jointed wrists; and legs with ball joints in the hips, hinged elbows and ball jointed ankles. His joints are nice and tight and you can get him into a lot of cool poses.

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Rodimus includes a double-barreled bow type weapon, which he can hold in either hand and fires off two missiles. It looks cool, but sadly it doesn’t store anywhere in his vehicle mode, and while it’s hard to complain about getting a cool weapon, extra parts are something I’m not really down with when it comes to Transformers.

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Besides being an exclusive, TRU jacked the price on Rodimus Minor, bringing him up to $14.99, as opposed to the rest of the Animated Deluxe figures, which retailed closer to $10. I will concede that he is more complex a figure than most of the other Animated Deluxes that I own, and when you factor in  the bigger weapon, I suppose you are getting something a little extra for the extra money. I would definitely recommend him to TFA collectors, or even anyone who is just a fan of Rodimus. He ranks up there as one of my absolute favorites in this line.

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