So how about that Animated Rodimus?
He's pretty neat, that's how about him.
Car!:The car's about as classic-design Hot Rod as you can get. There's a few differences between Classics Rodimus and Animated Rodimus in vehicle mode, but considering how wildly different the two aesthetics are, they're surprisingly similar. The biggest one is that the exhaust pipes that are always a part of this car go over the top of the car, instead of along the sides. Beyond that, even if you didn't know the first damn thing about Animated, you'd look at this thing and say, "Hey, Rodimus!" So if you generally like that ride, you're set here. The bow weapon doesn't integrate as such into this mode, but you can clip it onto the top for an "attack mode" which...is pretty silly-looking, actually. But it's not like this is without precedent in this line, and it is reminiscent of a lot of the G1 "attack modes", so I let it go. One minor nitpick, dude's got two sets of exhaust pipes. The ones that come up on the top, then a set at the bottom of the car, I'm not sure if it's supposed to look like one thing, but the two don't really line up. Minor quibble, though.
Transforming!: Frustrating at first, a lot of fun after you figure it out. Everything locks together really well on the car, so it's a trick finding a place to pull him open. Once you do, it's just a matter of getting everything lined up right. The way the arms become the back of the car and swing up to be up by the hood reminds me of Animated Blurr, the legs don't change much, they're just there under the car and swing down, and they roof, spoiler, and hood of the car just fold up to be the chest and back. There's a lot of things going on here I really like, the front tires folding down into the chest is a good bit, and I'm always a fan of things like the panel that flips over on the chest, with the Autobot symbol on one side and the car's engine on the other. The arrangement that the roof and spoiler go into when folding up into the back is pretty clever, it all manages to fold up neatly, and not give the guy a huge backpack. Everything locks together tightly in robot mode, too, and there's a bit where the windshield opens up during transformation and then closes to clip onto a couple pegs to lock the head in place that works fantastically, you're not moving that bit again without opening the windshield back up. I'm gassing on and on and probably making it sound complicated, but it isn't, really. Once you get it down, you can flip this guy back and forth fairly easily, and still get two pretty distinct modes without a lot of kibble. God dammit, I miss you Animated. One bit, though, I can't figure. There's a clip right on the front of the car's hood that looks like it's supposed to clip into the robot waist. As far as I can tell, it doesn't. Odd. But the robot, like I said, holds together well anyhow.
Robot!: This thing's great. Again, you'd look at this guy and go "Hey, Rodimus", but there's a few liberties taken what with the different aesthetic of his line. For one thing, dude's chest and arms are huge, his legs are fairly skinny. It's not ridiculously so, but it's enough to give him more cartoony proportions. The crest that Hot Rod's usually got on his head is blown up some, combined with his choice of weapon he reminds me of Hawkeye the Archer. I don't know if that's intentional, but I like it. The main problems I usually have with Animated toys is with the faces, I just feel like they'd be better without lightpiping, and just having their eyes painted and their mouths drawn on instead of sculpted. But with this dude, it's not as bad as with some. His the 'piping in his eyes works well enough to make the blue in 'em stand out, and the mouth's distinct enough to be clearly visible. Another neat detail typical of Animated, his feet look like some kind of running shoes, not overtly so, there's not a shoelace-pattern or anything, but that's the vibe they give off. He's also got Hot Rod's traditional collar, where you see his neck and it looks a bit like he's a guy in an armored suit than a robot, which is something about the movie guys I always kind of liked. Rodimus is kind of bowlegged, his stance is pretty wide, which helps with standing the toy, but can look goofy unless you've posed him right. So then you've got his weapon, instead of the traditional gun he's armed with a double-barreled "energy bow", which is one of the more implausible weapons I've heard of, but it can't be denied, it looks cool. At least, on the cartoon it does, in three-dimensional form, you get a double-barreled bow that launches two missles and doesn't have a string. I gotta give 'em credit, I did like how there was a wide array of weapons for these guys instead of everyone having guns, but this one's a little unwieldy for a lot of poses. The good news, though, is that he can pose in a "drawing the bow" position, even if that takes a little imagination because said bow's got no string. The colors here are, again, pretty standard Hot Rod stuff, dark red, gold, grey "skin", but it's set off by a crazily bright orange. It's almost that day-glo hunter orange, there's no problem finding him in a dark room. I'm okay with that, but again, your mileage may vary.
Bio!: This is more of what I wanted to see from the original Rodimus. Nicknamed "The Chosen One", assumed by most to be on the fast-track to Magnusdom, and all around pretty cool guy for someone so young. It's Rodimus Prime right at the end of the Transformers movie. I am definitely okay with that.
Overall!: A great reinterpretation of Rodimus, a great example of Animated's strengths, and a fun figure with an oddball but kind of cool weapon. If these sound like the kind of things you'd like, you should probably get one of these. He's not perfect, but in my eyes, he's damn close. Highly recommended.
Dominic wrote: too many people likely would have enjoyed it as....well a house-elf gang-bang.