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Rodimus Prime

GI Joe and the Transformers
by yo go re

Hey, who wants to see my 4" Hot Rod!

Young, brash and irresponsible, Hot Rod lived life to the fullest until being chosen by the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to succeed Optimus Prime. This has since filled him with a sense of responsibility that he attempts to embrace, but for which he feels he is not quite ready. The accelerated maturing process initiated by the Matrix has left Rodimus Prime feeling pulled in two directions. On the one hand, he has accepted and embraced the rsponsibilites of leadership, while on the other, he yearns for his more carefree days as Hot Rod. During the short time his spark was incorporated into synthoid plasma by the criminals Victor Drath and Old Snake, his sense of self became even more confused. Rodmius' actions in situations requiring physical conflict resembled the uncontrolled actions of his younger self. He seemed to forget his physical limitations as a replicated human when charging into conflict, leaving him easily beaten on several occasions. Upon returning to his Cybertronian body, Rodimus has returned to his duties as the Autobot leader but continues to wonder how life would have been different had he remained "only human."

Well, for one thing, he probably would have gotten laid a lot more. Seriously: Victor Drath's girlfriend meets Human Rodimus, invites him into her house, sends the henchmen away, and the next thing you know she's making him breakfast. It's not even like she didn't recognize him! She knew who he was, but still took him inside. (And we're not talking about the house this time.) Roddy's color-coded overalls are mainly yellow and orange, leaving the red only for his forearms. The orange on this figure is a paler shade than it was in the cartoon, but there's no mistaking the intention. Almost all of this figure's construction is the same as Pursuit of Cobra/50th Anniversary Hawk - shirt, sleeves, boots - with only the thighs coming from a different figure. Using a vest to create the overalls is a clever move, especially with the pocket on the front. Shame the shirt's collar sticks out to the side and prevents it from sitting right on the torso.

The head is reused from that same Hawk, a mold that's gotten a lot of mileage. It's a decent choice, but honestly, it looks closer to the way Springer looked as a human than the way Rodimus looked. Part of that is surely the fact that the hair is so dark: in the show, Rod's hair was a lighter, redder shade, not this solid brown.

Since this particular body combo (most of it, at least) was already seen on a mass market release, it's no surprise that the articulation works just fine. Mr. Rod E. Musprime moves at the head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, hips, knees and ankles. Some Joes have had swivel/hinge wrists, but these arms are old enough that they're just swivels. The torso joint is limited somewhat by the vest, biut not terribly so. What really stands out, though, is how small the head looks on the body; maybe it's just an effect of all the The Corps! figures we've looked at lately, but this one looks itty bitty!

So, remember how we said Arcee's Sky Spy accessory wasn't really for her? Notice that it's molded in the same bright yellow as Rodimus' shirt is. And consider the fact that the drone has a peg that allows you to plug it into a figure's back, because that's totally how an expensive drone would be carted around in the real world: like a five-foot-long backpack. But if you do plug it in back there (not an easy prospect, thanks to the large pockets on the back of his jumper) and spread its wings, it ends up looking a lot like the bright yellow spoiler that traditionally rests across Robot Rodimus' shoulders. A fun little Easter egg! Rodimus also comes with the guns that usually accompany this drone mold, so it's almost like Fun Pub released a "build-an-accessory" between the two figures.

But the obscure references aren't done yet! He also comes with Blind Master's sword-cane bamboo staff thing, painted silver. Why? Well, because if you add the black-ring-on-a-string that also came with Blind Master, and the barracuda from Undertow (the Iron Grenadier frogman), you've got yourself a kitbashed fishing pole, a nod to the one scene where Hot Rod and Daniel Witwicky were fishing in Transformers: The Movie. That may seem like a silly thing to reference, but both Alternators and Masterpiece Hot Rod homaged it, as well, so if it's good enough for Japan, it's good enough for Fun Pub, I guess. Besides, the only character to use any tools in the original episode was Ultra Magnus threatening to kill himself with a grenade, so any accessories the figure comes with are going to be invented.

It's a shame Fun Publications lost the license for the Transformers Collectors' Club, because they had plans to release more of the "Only Human" figures, but now (unless Hasbro decides to do it themselves), the team will forever be incomplete. Rodimus isn't a terrfic figure, but geting a human version of a Transformers stalwart is a lot of fun and is a unique piece for your collection.

-- 02/27/18

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