U.S. Name: RODIMUS PRIME/ HOT ROD (Masterpiece Edition) Jap. Name: RODIMUS CONVOY/ HOT SPOT
Cartoon First Appearance: T.F. The Movie - Aug. 8, 1986
Classic Box Number: C-77 & C-71 This Line Box Number: MP-9
I would say every transfan was thrilled knowing that MP-9 was released as Rodimus Prime. The excitement didn't stop there when later on a glimpse to MP-9 prototype revealed a four modes including Hot Rod as well. MP-9 has one of the best engineering and designs since MP-1 Optimus Prime. I purchased from ImageAnime and cost me $CC (CCXVII) on Feb. Iii, Mmxi.
NOTE-1: This review page is meant to give you some ideas about the figure should you decide to obtain one, or even just for nostalgic or sentimental purposes. They're just my opinion and I hold no responsibility for your action. If you have questions about this review or if there's a section or image that owned by you and I didn't give you credit, please click email from the main page. I'll make the correction once I receive your info. Have fun.
- Click on the Thumbnails to view them at a Larger Scale -
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R-1 MP-9 Rodimus Prime/ Hot Rod in its Original condition:
R-2 Pre-Applied Decals/ Stickers:
The Masterpiece edition of Rodimus Prime/ Hot Rod does not come with any Pre-applied sticker/ decals adhered to the toy itself like the G1 line. Instead, the entire action figure contain colored mold, some paint applications, and tampograph.
R-3 As MP-9 Hot Rod Mode:
When you looked at the front and top of the box, it's pretty much about MP Rodimus. Once you opened the box and removed the plastic tray, the first thing to greet you is......MP Hot Rod! You would've expected Takara/Tomy to pack him in the Rodimus form but that's not the case.
When the clear play trays are removed, MP Hot Rod, the trailer, and all of its contents looks utterly magnificent. Colors wise, he is more of red magenta at the head, arm, and waist. Orange in the thigh and chest with the yellow fire flame mixed in. MP Hot Rod's lower legs and feet are more of dark gray than black. All of the exhausted pipes are chromed. In term of material, only the feet has the die cast metal which is a little bit of let down. The window shield are transparent, wheels are rubbers, and the rest are all plastic. The originally 1986 Hot Rod looks good for its time when compared to the other G1 figures, but the MP Hot Rod version just blow your eyes! MP Hot Rod face and the entire body design are just too exquisite! The figure looks so balance and proportionally correct as well. MP-9 or shall I say, this is one of the few transformers where it is best to leave it as robot mode than the alternated mode. Both Hot Rod and Rodimus really look like their cartoon counterpart. Personally, I think MP-9 comes with the most gimmicks and with 4 modes to back up, it feels this figure has so many playing values to offer. Scroll down from R-3 to R-14 and see what I mean.
R-4 MP-9 Hot Rod w/ Magnifying Glass or Goggle - As Seen on TF The Movie:
I have to admit but I did not expect MP Hot Rod comes with the magnifying glass, visor, or goggle whatever you want to call it. This was definitely a nice touch and a big tribute to 1986 TF The Movie. What makes this gimmick so loving is that designer did it with style. To bring the magnifying glass out, you would have to keep on rolling Hot Rod round ear knob, bottom left image, until the glass reach its maximum. And to close it back or hide, just roll the knob in the reverse direction. For those that are curious whether the magnifying glass works on Rodimus face, the answer is yes, see image. This technique was well executed and well done I must say. The right image is the recreated scene from TF The Movie where Hot Rod used the magnifying glass and fired onto the Decepticons after they took over the Autobots space shuttle.
R-5 MP-9 Hot Rod w/ Welder & Saw Blade - As Seen on TF The Movie:
It appears MP Hot Rod owes a lot to 1986 TF The Movie because all of his accessories seem to come from there. Without further saying, here are two more gimmicks, the spinning saw blade and the welder. To use these accessories, simply push the hand out from the wrist and the lower arm compartment panel will open, middle image from bottom. Next, pull the hand out and then rotate it in 180 degree so the pivot clip point outward, close the lower arm panel, see top middle image. Now do it for the other arm and when it completed, insert the spinning saw blade and the welder to any pivot. The left image is a recreated scene where Hot Rod used the welder to repair Kup from TF The Movie.
R-6 MP-9 Hot Rod w/ The Matrix - As Seen on TF The Movie:
When MP-9 was announced, transfans kind of sense the Matrix was likely to include as part of the accessory just because it was too obvious thanks to TF The Movie. Indeed the figure does come with the Matrix. In the lower portion of Hot Rod chest, the thin orange panel of his chest swing out to reveal a cavity for storing the Matrix, middle image. Insert the Matrix to recreate to the scene from TF The Movie. This little gimmick really add playing value to the figure as well the important moment for the character itself. You can leave the Matrix inside his chest cavity even in vehicle mode and that won't affect the transformation. In fact, that's the best way to store the Matrix from losing it. Moving away from the positive aspects, the Matrix itself is fixed and cannot be opened out like the previous MP Prime/ Magnus. Moreover, it's like 3 times smaller than MP Prime/ Magnus Matrix. So if you want to recreate that scene where Hot Rod raised both of his hand and opened the Matrix above his head, it's not gonna happened with this Matrix since too small and will not fit into the hands. Instead, you would have to use MP Prime/ Magnus (MP-1, MP-2, MP-4, MP-1B, MP-4S) Matrix as describe by MP-9 instruction sheet to be compatible with MP Hot Rod/ Rodimus hands.
So far, there aren't that many " transformable figures" Transformers or un-official TF come with the Matrix. If I'm not mistakenly, only the following characters have them: 2001 New Year Prime, Galvatron Anime Version, MP-1 Prime (MP-4, MP-1B, MP-4S), MP-2 Magnus, MP-9 Rodimus. For the unofficial transformers, only the Igear PP01 Series have them. Here are the Matrix size comparison from smallest to largest in the length x width x dept in inch format:
- 2011 MP-9 Rodimus and TRU Masterpiece Rodimus: 3/4 x 7/16 x 5/16 - Cannot be expanded out.
- 2010 Igear PP01 Series (Ultra Leader): 1 x 10/16 x 5/16 - Expand out to 1 3/16 in length.
- 2011 MP-10 Prime: 1 3/16 x 9/16 x 7/16 - Cannot be expanded out.
- 2002 New Year Prime (Silver): 1 4/16 x 11/16 x 7/16 - Cannot be expanded out., comes with long silver chain to fit any person neck.
- 2005 Gavatron Anime (Gold): 1 4/16 x 11/16 x 7/16 - Cannot be expanded out., comes with short silver chain to fit Galvatron neck/head.
- 2004 MP-1, MP-4, MP-1B, MP-4S Prime, MP-2 Magnus: 1 6/16 x 13/16 x 7/16 - Expand out to 1 11/16 in length.
- 2011 TRU Rodimus Prime Prime: 1 7/16 x 13/16x 8/16 - Expand out to 1 9/16 in length.
R-7 As MP-9 Rodimus Prime Mode:
Once Hot Rod put the Matrix inside him in continuation from R-6, the result...behold....Rodimus Prime! Anyhow, if any G1 Transformer deserves to get a make over, then none deserves more than Rodimus Prime. The original 1986 Rodimus Prime figure has a face that looks like he's in constipation and the robot mode was too skinny and thin. After more than 2 decades, finally Rodimus Prime gets the respect and reputation of the masterpiece treatment. What is even amazingly is that transfans were able to get both Hot Rod and Rodimus Prime as one figure from Takara/Tomy instead of two figures like old days. On top of that, to even achieve the 4 modes is priceless! Okay, the 4 modes is debatable, scroll down to R-12. This masterpiece edition of Rodimus is truly a magnificent and depict exactly just like the cartoon because you have to modify the figure when altering from Hot Rod to Rodimus with the reconfiguration of the face and height. Sure MP Rodimus face remind you of the politician Republican John Kerry, but the figure still looks splendid, LOL
R-8 The Guns:
Rarely do I make praise on accessory but one has to tip his/her hat to the designer department for coming up with such a brilliant idea of merging both Hot Rod's Photon Laser guns to form Rodimus' Photon Eliminator rifle. The design mechanism to make this concept work is so simple yet very effective and utterly beautiful. All it involved is just some springs inside both guns to make it works. To form Rodimus' Eliminator rifle, when the rear Hot Rod's photon laser gun inserts into the back of the front photon laser gun, the barrel of the front gun will project out and elongate its length. Simultaneously, the rear gun will do two things. First it also projects out and elongate the length of the gun handle. Second, the gun wings expand out. Finally, push it all the way in until you hear a clicking sound for the two guns to be fully interlocked with one another. That should complete the transformation. The rifle itself is roughly 6 x 1 11/16 x 1 1/2 (LxWxH in inch). Not only the concept is good, but the guns itself are designed with exquisite details and look superbly magnificent. Unfortunately, due to Rodimus/ Hot Rod skinny and thin hands, the guns do not hold well and tend to fall off.
NOTE-3: Don't over combine the rifle because if the pegs at the side of the rifle wear off, there's nothing to interlock the 2 components from separating. Then you'll stuck with only Hot Rod guns mode.
My favorite posture of all his articulation is the last image where he kneels down with his head bent down just like from one of the cartoon episodes called "Hardest to bear". As you can, I even included the image from the cartoon so you can make comparison to the actual figure. Like all the master piece figures, the articulations are very impressive. Head, shoulder, body, and limps, are all moveable. For further detail, see R-15 under Articulation.
R-10 MP-9 Hot Rod in Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, MP Hot Rod is a sport car whose measurement is approximately 8 3/4 x 4 1/4 x 2 1/8 (LxWxH in inch). With a little bit over 8 inch in length, the car itself is pretty big. Although the transformation isn't that complicate at all but the process of getting there is a hassle especially getting the feet and leg correctly. Transformation itself requires a lot of massaging and fiddling for the tabs and pegs to snap and align into one another properly; and that take a lot of time. Otherwise, you will get gaps and the wheels would not align evenly to the ground especially when it barely has enough clearance for the car to roll. As I'm writing this review, I still haven't master his transformation yet. On top of that, the two little red rectangle tabs at the rear of the car and especially the black panel of the lower leg side panels require extra attention and caution because it breaks easily. Once everything is correctly transformed, the alternate mode is superbly magnificent and truly to the cartoon. The sport car is very curvy, sleek, and looks so aerodynamic.
Unlike the original 1987 Hot Rod where only the targetmaster gun can be mounted onto his car engine, the Masterpiece edition made the engine hold the regular guns as well. Moreover, the engine was done with style not just here the engine and a hole on top of it like the original. Instead, a top portion of the engine has to be lifted up to reveal a hole for either gun to be plugged into, top left corner. Another cool feature is the cockpit canopy can now be opened revealing the interior design of the steering wheel and seat, top right corner, just like Transformers The Movie. Last but not least, the bottom right corner is the underside view of MP Hot Rod.
R-11 MP-9 Rodimus in Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, MP Rodimus is a "futuristic vehicle" as labeled by the original 1986 Rodimus Transformers Instruction Sheet. But sometime transfans considered him to be a Winnebago or Recreational Vehicle (RV). The latter terminologies are an insulting to some Rodimus fans so they prefer the futuristic vehicle. MP Rodimus in his vehicle mode is pretty big and measures approximately 12 3/4 x 4 14/16 x 4 1/4 (LxWxH in inch). I think it's totally impressive even though it only looks like an over size of the original 1986 Rodimus. In combine mode, the van itself is very secure, stable, and all piece lock nicely. The front canopy can be opened out to reveal the interior of the cab, right side image. Unlike the Hot Rod interior finish which has lots of details, Rodimus front interior finish only contains the seating. Takara/Tomy could've at least included the steering wheel just to make it more convincing.
I have 2 main issues and 1 minor personal preference with MP Rodimus vehicle mode. When the trailer is by itself, it rolls fine but the issue occurs in combine mode. It's bad enough that you have to align, fiddle, and massage everything properly just to make Hot Rod car rolls despites with a very tight clearance from the underside, now you have to deal with another issue. Once the cab is inserted into the trailer, the middle wheels (front wheel of the trailer) sort of lift and just barely touch the ground. As a result, sometime the middle wheels do not roll. On another aspect, at the top of the cab rear roof by the yellow spoiler, there is this annoying large rectangle hole, bigger than 1/4", that is so visible. Lastly, this is my wish list, I wish they include the Autobot insignia back at the top of the trailer just like the original 1986 but they chose to omit out on the masterpiece edition.
NOTE-4: Takara/Tomy MP-9 trailer is compatible with Hasbro Masterpiece Rodimus after all they're all the same mold with minor improvement on the joint and connection.
R-12 MP-9 Rodimus - The Secret to its Engineering::
So what's the engineering secret going from Hot Rod to Rodimus in robot mode? The designer used 3 techniques to disguise it. First, let's start with the face. Once you lift the top red head helmet all the way toward the back, it will reveal two faceplates behind one another joining by a long peg at the neck. To go from Hot Rod to Rodimus, simply swing Hot Rod faceplate and places it behind Rodimus faceplate. Next, lift the red head helmet over the top portion of the faceplate to conceal the revelation and conclude the configuration, middle image. The second alteration is the yellow spoiler at the back of the robot mode. When the Rodimus mode is used, the center spoiler above the white piece slides upward about 1/4" so that our eyes will see Rodimus spoiler is higher than Hot Rod spoiler. Finally, the last configuration involves the leg joints at the crotch which will result in a height difference between Hot Rod and Rodimus. For easy visibility and accessibility, first lift the waist plate upward to reveal the crotch and joints. Now pull the top of the red thigh downward to trigger the horizontal black crotch joint to go down as well. This will increase the length of the leg about 1/4" for the Rodimus mode. For Hot Rod mode, just collapse the joints upward back to its original location to decrease the length.
Back in the early stage when the prototype pictures started to appear everywhere on the internet, all transfans were wondering and talking about the mystery of Rodimus front cab and Hot Rod car mode. Will the robot transform into the front cab of Rodimus or Hot Rod car? Once Hot Rod alternated mode showed up, transfans were like so where is Rodimus front cab? Well, it turns out the infamous Rodimus front cab is actually hidden underneath the trailer itself, top left image. So, to transform into the Rodimus vehicle mode, the front cab or shell is rotated out at 180 degree, bottom left image. As you can see from this stage, we are already 95% from completing Rodmus alternated mode. With that, some fans may argue that Masterpiece Rodimus is not really a true 4 mode since the front cab of Rodimus is just a shell. Yes, it's a cheap trick but in my opinion it's very effective and clever. Personally, I love it after all in the end we get all 4 modes. Anyhow, the next step is to take Hot Rod car and reconfigures the roof and spoiler into the opposite direction so that rear car of Hot Rod becomes the front cab of Rodimus, top middle image. Next, move the Rodimus roof shell over top of Hot Rod to complete the transformation. The bottom right image is what the Hot Rod car and trailer looks like once they merged.
R-13 MP-9 Rodimus - Defense Bay:
Like any typical Transformers trailer, you can almost assume there is some sort of functionalities than just a simple box. On the top of the trailer, there is little black button, top left image. Press this button and it will automatically open the trailer by itself, bottom left image. Now pull up the gray double gun along with the black and gray launcher shaft all the way up until it reaches its maximum. Look for the 2 little gun handles at the side of the launcher shaft and rotate it up. Within each handle, there is a teeny tiny peg where it plugs into Rodimus hand for stability. Next, unfold the 2 black blast shield to complete Rodimus' Defense Bay which measures approximately 8 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 10 10/16 (LxWxH in inch). The launcher itself is very versatile, you can rotate sideway and move up or down. Unfortunately, the launcher does not come with any missile; that would've made it more fun.
R-14 MP-9 Rodimus - Defense Bay w/ Guns and Storage for Accessories:
This masterpiece edition of the defense bay doesn't just stop with the trailer opened up revealing a launcher as in R-13. No, it's more exciting than that, not like the original 1986 Rodimus defense bay. With the masterpiece version, the defense bay can get more firepower by inserting Rodimus' Eliminator rifle below the large double gray gun, center image with Rodimus on it. Or you can plug either one of the Hot Rod's Photon Laser gun on top of the double gray gun, bottom left corner image. If that weren't enough, both of Hot Rod's Photon Laser guns can be mounted on either side of the front trailer, bottom center image, or at the rear of the trailer, top center image. And when you are done with playing, all of the accessories including the welder, spinning blade saw, and the 2 Hot Rod's Photon Laser guns can all be stored inside the trailer. Each accessory has its own slot to be mounted onto so no fear of losing them, top and bottom of right side image. This feature is really neat!
R-15 MP-9 QC Issues:
Despites its greatness and beauty in both the design and engineering, MP-9 has more QC problem than any previous Masterpiece. I feel MP-9 was rushed just to release on schedule. The result is the poor quality control. If this figure was cheap, then it would be a different story, but MP-9 is madly expensive. Here are the lists of MP-9 QC problems that I encountered and other transfans encountered. My QC pertains to item 1,2,3,4,8:
1 - Rodimus' trailer: I see a series of depression marks or footprints, left image. It looks worst when it reflects the light in certain angle. When I touch the plastic, it feels flat, no depression. I think this issue only happen in mine, I haven't heard anyone made any comment regard the issue.
2 - Paint chips (on mine - rear side of the trailer, the rear of the wrist, and Hot Rod chrome exhaust pipe).
3 - White tab that hold the backpack doesn't clip well. So, the backpack is constantly fall down.
4 - Hot Rod's yellow spoiler gets paint scratched easily from inserting into the trailer. Be sure to sand the groove of the trailer if you want to avoid this issue. This was a good tip from Peaugh MP-9 Youtube video review. In fact, I filed mine off to widen the gap, see lower right image.
5 - Lower leg side flap panel connection joint that move up and down break too easily. A few people broke their off during transformation without putting much effort on the panels.
6 - Two rear tabs of the Hot Rod car mode holding the arm down and the Rodimus trailer canopy tabs barely have much thickness in them. Easily to get a stress or break.
7 - In the ratchet joint of the ankle, there is spring. The sprint deforms and damages easily.
8 - Hands can't hold the guns well.
9 - The plastic feels very cheap and fragile.
MP-9 is very delicate and should be handled with precaution when transforming to alternated mode. For those who are undecided whether to get MP-9 or wait for the Hasbro version, my recommendation is to wait for the Hasbro version especially if you are only interested in the Hot Rod figure. Hasbro is aware of the MP-9 flaws and hopefully their Masterpiece Targetmaster Hot Rod will solve these issues. Secondly, it would be much, much cheaper since it doesn't come with the trailer.
NOTE-5: If anyone is interested in obtaining the Takara/Tomy MP-9 Rodimus Prime, it is best to get MP-9 Version 2 since it resolved most of the issue just like Hasbro Rodimus. The best way to tell the two version apart is to look at the stamp date located at bottom of the box: Version 1: A0911, Version 2: H2511. Go to The All Spark or Borneotip blog for more information on MP-9 Version 2.
R-17 Original G1 Vs. Masterpiece Rodimus/Hot Rod and Scale Comparison To Other MPs and Igears PP01 Ultra:
R-18 Rémy's Masterpiece Rodimus Prime/ Hot Rod action figure review:
Manufacturer - Takara/Tomy
Line, Series/ Wave: Master Piece Line, Series MP-9.
Year Released: [Jan. 2011]
Box or Card Dimension In Inches: [LxWxD] - 13 14/16 x 13 14/16 x 6 6/16 - Box.
Packaging Method: Mint In Sealed Box. Contents were packed with the following procedure:
Sandwiched between the two clear plastic trays are: "1" Rodimus Prime/ Hot Rod, "1" trailer, "1" matrix, "1" saw blade, "1" welder, "1" photon laser front (form Rodimus front rifle), and "1" photon laser rear (form Rodimus rear rifle).
Beneath the top clear plastic tray, a taped bag contains: "1" Rodimus/ Hot Rod trading card, "1" instruction booklet, and "1" miscellaneous text sheet.
Box Special Note: Front Box Appearance: Actual toy. Back Box Appearance: Ads of Master Piece Rodimus and Hot Rod special features.
Box Point or Robot Point: [Four 1 point] - This number can be found on the top right side flap/ panel of the box. You have to open the box to see it. It contains number and the Autobots insignia next to it.
Approximately Dimension In Inch: Height Up To The Head: 9 1/2 Maximum Height: 10 1/4 (up to the wing spoiler) Width from shoulder to shoulder: 4 Maximum Width: 4 1/4 (from wing spoiler to wing spoiler) Dept: 5.
Figure's Stamp/ Fine Print: ŠTOMY; MADE IN CHINA | ŠTOMY; MADE IN CHINA; A0311
Figure's Stamp/ Fine Print Location: Can be found at the under side of MP Hot Rod front window shield. The 2nd copyright can be found at the underside of the trailer.
Transformation Of Difficulty: [Medium]
Material Durability: [B-] - Above average - Those tabs are too thin and fragile.
Materials: Die Cast Metal: Feet only. Chrome Part: Car and trailer exhaust pipes. Rubber: Wheels. Plastic: Main material. Clear Plastic Window: Window shield on Rodimus and Hot Rod.
Stability: [B-] - Above average - The darn backpack is constantly falling.
Fun Figure: [+A] - Definitely a fun toy due to many gimmicks, challenging, and a cool design.
Negative Drawback: The figure doesn't have real negative drawback, only many QC issue, see R-16.
Articulations: Head: Can be rotated at 180 degree sideway, tile 20 degree downward and 5 degree upward. Shoulder: Can be swung 360 degree forward or backward. Can also be tilted 45 degree outward. Lower portion can be rotated 360 degree sideway. Arm/ Elbow: Top elbow can be rotated 360 degree sideway and bottom portion bent at a 90 degree. Wrist/ Hand: Can be rotated 360 degree sideway as well as be bent at 90 degree inward. 4 jointed fingers have additional 2 points of articulation plus a moveable thumb. Hip/ Waist: Can be rotated 360 degree sideway. Leg: Can be bent at a 90 degree forward and backward, rotate 360 degree sideway, as well as a full split. Knee: Can be bent at a 90 degree from the top and bottom portion. Ankle/ Feet: Feet can only be bent 45 downward and upward.
Rub Sign Logo: [N/A] - Not Applicable.
Robot's Cartoon looks alike: [+A] - Definitely looks like the cartoon.
Vehicle's Cartoon looks alike: [+A] - Same as previous comment.
Special Notes: Here are "7" special notes that I think you should know:
1 - Before transforming Rodimus alternated mode for the first time, it is best to sand out the paint at the hole where the yellow spoiler will be inserted to. Otherwise, the tight space will smear out the paint and damaged the yellow spoiler.
2 - MP-9 lower leg outer panel that slide up and down, the joint connection is very fragile. Reckless act during transformation will force the panel to break off from the leg.
3 - The pegs at the rear of the Hot Rod car holding the arm down are extremely thin in thickness. The same can be said for the Rodimus cab shell tab. Be very gentle when connecting or disengaging during transformation. Again reckless will damage the piece.
4 - Rodimus's Eliminator combine rifle has spring and is held only by two pegs at the side, don't over combine on and off. If these pegs wear off, the rifle components will be detached and you'll stuck with only Hot Rod guns.
5 - Be gentle when removing Hot Rod mode from Rodimus' trailer. Reckless will scrape the chrome of Hot Rod exhaust pipes.
6 - Both Hot Rod and Rodimus alternated mode should roll finely, if not, it means you need to massage more until the all the connection align properly. Don't feel bad, I haven't ace this part too.
7 - MP-9 ankle joint connection is very rigid and has spring at the side, just be gentle when transforming because it can snap and break.
Overall Grade: [+A] - Although the figure feel it was rushed and had some issues, but on overall, MP-9 has too much to offer. The designs and engineering of MP-9 is truly a masterpiece and a must have especially for Hot Rod and Rodimus fans! To me, this is the most exciting Masterpiece since MP-1 Optimus Prime. And it gives you 4 splendid modes from one figure which is so true to the cartoon.