Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Saturday, June 1st, 2019 12:07pm CDT

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Every two weeks, Seibertron.com brings you a Top 5 list related to all things Transformers written by me, your fellow editor. These are our opinions so what matters most is what you guys think of the topic or list, and I hope to see your own lists or comments on omissions and ranking. Let's have fun! All previous lists can be found here.


Top 5 Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Even though he was the autobot leader, Hot Rod/Rodimus often had the short end of the stick when it came to toys in the past. It's all due to his design that, while really cool and sleek looking, didn't have enough shared elements between both his modes. He transforms at least three different ways in the original film and, unless I am very wrong about this, it seems the entire dome of his car mode shrinks into becoming his crotch. So not an easy design to have a toy imitate. There were attempts, of course, but as time went on we definitely got some gems. His evolved form, Rodimus Prime, also had a rocky start with the G1 toy but we eventually go something better, as you will soon see.

5. Transformers The last Knight Hot Rod

Ok so this will look like the odd duck in this list, but he is still a version of Hot Rod and a pretty good toy at that. A pretty awesome toy actually. I know people will be turned off by his looks but the alt mode is gorgeous (and to me the most appropriate real life alt mode he would have if futuristic cars are not an option), the transformation is smart, especially for the arms, and he has very nice alt mode integration, reminiscent of his G1 self with the front of the sports car becoming his torso and folding vertically the same way (as opposed to it sticking out ala Datsuns). I find him really fun to mess with and I think he looks kick ass in both his modes. Easily one of the best deluxes from the Transformers: The Last Knight toyline. - William-James88

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys


4. Power of the Prime Rodimus Prime with Hot Rod

It's first and foremost a great toy with a lot of playability options. Secondarily, it can be good display piece and offer a lot of different display options, though some are better than others.
It's nice to finally have that form of Rodimus Prime in a big, chunky toy for the first time in the "Classics" era of Transformers. It looks pretty good, all told. He really looks like a viable Autobot leader. I love the face sculpt, which conveys the increase in experience, wisdom, and confidence that Rodimus Prime cultivated during his tenure as "Prime." Much of the "super armor" to form Rodimus Prime is in a darker, more maroon leaning shade of red, contrasting the brighter "cherry red" that dominates more of his "unevolved" self in both robot and alternate modes. Again, this gives a nice sense of maturity in the evolution of the character and calls back to details from the original cartoon as well. - Wolfman Jake

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys


3. Transformers Masterpiece Hot Rod (Hot Rodimus)

He. Might be. My... FAVORITE Masterpiece yet. And I do NOT say that lightly.
Out of the box, he's in car mode. And I'm not even kidding, I just starred at it for a good 10 minutes. It's just so friggin sleek! I couldn't take my eyes off that engine block or the rear end, he looked EXACTLY like he did in the movie. I got tingles.
Transformation flows naturally and is a joy. The backpack doesn't look like anything out of the ordinary to me and neither does the chest.
What do I love? Posability is a dream. Arm cannon thingies are somehow more satisfying than MP09. Head sculpt and shades are perfect. The hood panels that become the shoulders, just fill him out and give him a real organic look.
I %^&*#$@ing LOVE this figure. And I'm almost positive I'm buying a second one just to have in car mode. - Shajaki

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys


2. Titans Return Hot Rod

Yeah, this is a better toy than the MP, especially when you look at cost to value ratio. When I look at this toy and how compact and streamlined the transformation is, I can't help but wonder how making a sleek MP with a minimal backpack could be so hard. This toy also has a better silhouette at every angle, with his magnificent spoiler, he has his own car mode detail at the bottom of the car which doesn't look like a robot hiding, and I am much less scared of breaking him when transforming. The fact that he is a headmaster greatly helps and works in this case because of all characters, Hot Rod is the one where the alt mode's cockpit area begs for use in car mode since it totally dissapears in robot mode, like several headmasters. So its a perfect fit to have someone make use of that cockpit and add functionality to it. Plus, him being a headmaster means there is one less part to hide in vehicle mode, helping the sleek transformation and resulting robot.
I fear this is a toy that does everything so right without doing anything overly special that it may not get the spotlight it deserves and hopefully this entry cements the achievement of this toy. - William-James88

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys


1. Transformers Animated Rodimus Minor (Rodimus)

To me, this is still the Rodimus/ Hot Rod toy to beat when it comes to engineering/price point ratio and overal style. Everything is just so elegant in every mode. Everything you want from a Hot Rod toy is there and done expertly while also adding a few details that are specific to this rendition, setting him apart. The sleek alt mode even goes one step beyond the usual idea of the futuristic car by giving him back windows as well. The front wheels hide like a charm and the effect of the continuing exhaust pipes in alt mode will never grow old. Plus we have the most minimal backpack on any Hot Rod toy. He is one of the transformer toys I enjoy transforming the most and I recommend him every chance I get. - William-James88

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys


Honourable Mention: I realize this list only has newer Hot Rod/Rodimus toys but that is because his design is so tricky (due to having minimal alt mode integration) that only more recent engineering has been able to pull it off effectively. The other way to do a good version was to totally change his alt mode, which they did in the Energon line. I have to admit, the design is pretty awesome and the alt mode is cool. I also like how the feet are front and center in vehicle mode but work perfectly as being part of the truck. He can't pose very well though and ends up having a truncated torso due to being able to form both the pants and shirt of a two part combiner. Easily the best of the Autobot Deluxes from the Energon line, but to be honest that isn't saying much.

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys
Transformers Energon Rodimus (Rodimus Convoy) Gallery

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

Transformers News: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys

This article was last modified on Saturday, June 1st, 2019 12:14pm CDT


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Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023182)
Posted by Flashwave on June 1st, 2019 @ 12:34pm CDT
100% agree with this list. I struggled for quite a while with whether Potp or TR Hot Rod had the better Hot Rod figure, but I like both too much.

Energon Rodimus Major feels like a perfect CHUG take on Rodimus Prime, still a truck but as a dragster semi, fully un line with the roots of his character. For anyobe not wanting to go with the POTP Leader of RP, its still a good figure.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023186)
Posted by Nathaniel Prime on June 1st, 2019 @ 12:48pm CDT
Awesome list Will! I don't own any Hot Rod figures, but I agree with your list completely. I'm glad to see the Classics figure was excluded, as I now realize that it's not that good.

If it weren't for the breaking issue of the first MP Rodimus, I would have liked that one alot more, since it looks great in all 4 modes.

Now, what do you think of the G1 figure? Would it have been worthy enough for an honorable mention?
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023187)
Posted by frogbat on June 1st, 2019 @ 12:50pm CDT
Was playing with my potp Rodimus..l the guy is a good looking figure for the most part, really flawed though. His leg joints... knees and ankles can hardly hold him up in many poses due to his top heaviness. It was a valiant attempt but I feel they could’ve done a much better job,

Think the original hot rod was pretty cool, obviously has the burden of being of its day. Of the recent releases, the tr version is my current favourite... had to get used to his proportions but was fun. The mp figure is great but for heavens sake... the chrome was fading within a week.

The original classic hot rod was a very good and fun figure, one of the better releases back then.

My g1 Rodimus is a fun toy.... he’s so crap in many ways but I reckon it was his little mobile base that made him a more enjoyable figure.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023192)
Posted by Ultra Markus on June 1st, 2019 @ 2:07pm CDT
classics hot rod should be were the last night hot rod is
the last night version shouldnt even be on the list :???:
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023193)
Posted by Stargrave on June 1st, 2019 @ 2:27pm CDT
This is the best hobby - Thank you Will! I love G1 Hot Rod and I love Classics Rodimus but I can’t say their engineering and design, while great at the time, rate as highly as these others. My regrets are not having the MP or the Animated which I hunted high and low for...gah, See? Total time machine - so fun to reminisce and debate.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023194)
Posted by AllNewSuperRobot on June 1st, 2019 @ 2:31pm CDT
Another impressive list!

Hot Rodimus being the only non-Beast Wars MP I own, that I actually wanted (other than Galvatron.. someday, HasTak eh?) and although mine is the MP-40 with the "dreaded" alternate palette, I love it just the same. I'd agree with pretty much all your list. Now, number one looks like a very impressive figure, but that face... Being the issue I had with Animated toys.

Maybe Takara might give us a real Rodimus Prime MP figure someday too. One without gimmicks...
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023200)
Posted by Wireless_Phantom on June 1st, 2019 @ 3:06pm CDT
Personally I really like the TR and POTP figures, although POTP Rodimus is too big in robot mode, I've personally headcanoned things in such a way that he is my powermaster rodimus prime (or an equivalent upgrade), his smaller bot is Rodimus on his own, and the TR figure is Hotrod.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023201)
Posted by Wireless_Phantom on June 1st, 2019 @ 3:09pm CDT
Ultra Markus wrote:classics hot rod should be were the last night hot rod is
the last night version shouldnt even be on the list :???:


If we are trying to be objective here, TLK Hotrod is way better as a figure. Better articulation and better engineering place it as fairly superior. Classics Hotrod probably should've at least been an honorable mention though.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023203)
Posted by Optimutt on June 1st, 2019 @ 3:22pm CDT
Nice list!

I'm happy that TR Hot / Rodimus was on it. Since I got that toy, it has been on nearly permanent display in one of its various forms.

Additionally, I'm sadly pleased to see that the abomination of MP-09 was not on the list anywhere. A beauty it may be, but it's fragile, explosive, and frustrating to no end.

I wish I could get behind the Animated aesthetic. I wish I could see your love for that Rod, WJ. Sadly, I just can't get behind the designs of the characters. The toys - brilliant; utterly brilliant - but I don't want to look at them. Not a fan of the style.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023213)
Posted by Ultra Markus on June 1st, 2019 @ 5:49pm CDT
Wireless_Phantom wrote:
Ultra Markus wrote:classics hot rod should be were the last night hot rod is
the last night version shouldnt even be on the list :???:


If we are trying to be objective here, TLK Hotrod is way better as a figure. Better articulation and better engineering place it as fairly superior. Classics Hotrod probably should've at least been an honorable mention though.

Maybe so but but we shouldn't consider that a hotrod worthy of the others on the list he's not remotely close to any in character design he only shares a name and that's not enough
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023214)
Posted by hausjam on June 1st, 2019 @ 6:08pm CDT
I can’t believe POTP Rodimus is on here. He is a pile of kibble and turd.

MP28 looks decent in alt mode. That’s all I got.

For my money MP9 is the best hot rod/Rodimus. If he didn’t have crumbling joints, he would be the greatest masterpiece ever.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023216)
Posted by Glarryg on June 1st, 2019 @ 6:14pm CDT
I just recently ramped up my Hot Rod collecting, and I'd say this is list jives with my thoughts pretty well. For me there's a really close race between Animated Roddy and TR Roddy. The Animated version really nails the "representation of a character's TV show model" better than most TF figures in any line (not that that in and of itself is ever a deciding factor in my enjoyment; it's more of a bonus). TR Roddy is a sweet update of the character in general, though, and has just a few of the basic figure aspects, like stability and simplicity of design, down better. Both have rockin' vehicle modes, though.

Last Knight Hot Rod was a pleasant surprise to me, given that movie figures had become rather hit-or-miss at the time in my opinion. My only beef was that being a mostly black vehicle didn't seem very "Hot Rod"-esque; I know his traditional alternate mode always been more of a sports car than a true hot rod, but there's always been an ostentatious element of style to it. At least put more color on him than that tiny strip of orange/red along the bottom.

Glarryg
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023231)
Posted by Stargrave on June 1st, 2019 @ 8:37pm CDT
I want to go on record in saying that I was utterly disappointed with the cinematic Hot Rod we were given. So character-wise, Last Knight Hot Rod is trash to me. Figure-wise, I have to give it up to the engineering but I can totally see where people are coming from.

In a critical sense, although I personally like Classics Hot Rod, and personally like G1 Hot Rod, both are clunky. G1 Hot Rod has two joints in robot mode. That's it. And its elbows for god's sake, not even shoulders. Classics Hot Rod is technically full of joints, but have fun posing him in too many meaningful poses with all his panel kibble. Yes he's got a flip out sawblade, but does he? Really? Is that what you'd call that? Both could win heavy on their great car modes don't get me wrong I love each of these for so many different reasons.

*You know I don't want to digress too much here but only because it's being mentioned a few times - if anyone wants to, I posted a pretty low key custom for your PotP Rodimus that completely changes the profile and playability of the figure. If you shelled out $50 for him and were a little disappointed with that kibble, go check it out in the Transtopia thread you might be surprised how easy it is to get more out of your purchase.


**Also of note while we're talking about Classics Hot Rod - everyone remember that crotch piece slides forward in robot mode making him stand way better. It was forever before I realized that.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023237)
Posted by Wolfman Jake on June 1st, 2019 @ 11:05pm CDT
Wow, I'm honored to see my little blurb about PotP Rodimus Prime used to describe his place on this top 5 list. I think I must have written than almost a year and a half ago. William-James88 dug deep for that one, lol! :)
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023240)
Posted by ausbot on June 2nd, 2019 @ 2:38am CDT
The titanium Rodimus would be great if it were made from all plastic, the metal parts and its weight spoil it.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023242)
Posted by steve2275 on June 2nd, 2019 @ 3:06am CDT
fugly ass #1 alt mode
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023248)
Posted by ThunderThruster on June 2nd, 2019 @ 9:56am CDT
Awesome list, and probably the only time I can say this, but I have every figure on this list, and can say all 6 are awesome.
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023251)
Posted by Gauntlet101010 on June 2nd, 2019 @ 11:34am CDT
Ooo, I disagree with this list a bit.

PotP was a fine idea, but the execution was sorely lacking. The backpack in both modes is just about irredeemable! The proportions on "Hot Rod" more are all off and that backpack site far too low to be excusable. Both classics and Titans version of that mode are better, which is a disappointment. And that combined vehicle mode is alright, but suffers from his hands being completely obvious. And the size of the super mode ... he's too tall to fit in anywhere. I mean he's an alright toy all on his own, but I can't say he's a "top five" sort of toy. I guess the smaller robot is the best official Rodimus figure for Classics, but that feels more like a fail on Hasbro's part than a win.

Energon Roddy was a good idea, but the execution is all off. If we want to choose an honorable mention, what about Excellion? Sure, he isn't labelled "Hot Rod", but he's a clear homage. He does everything a modern Hot Rod toy does and does it in style with nothing sacrificed for the sake of his gimmick. Unlike the Rodumus toy which is completely compromised in favor of turning into pants.

I still like Alternators Roddy. He's articulated, his vehicle mode fits him to a "t", he has his "glasses" from the movie ... for a long time I didn't really want for a Hot Rod in that scale. Sure he's a repaint, but he's a good one!
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023252)
Posted by Flashwave on June 2nd, 2019 @ 12:48pm CDT
Gauntlet101010 wrote:Ooo, I disagree with this list a bit.

PotP was a fine idea, but the execution was sorely lacking. The backpack in both modes is just about irredeemable! The proportions on "Hot Rod" more are all off and that backpack site far too low to be excusable. Both classics and Titans version of that mode are better, which is a disappointment. And that combined vehicle mode is alright, but suffers from his hands being completely obvious. And the size of the super mode ... he's too tall to fit in anywhere. I mean he's an alright toy all on his own, but I can't say he's a "top five" sort of toy. I guess the smaller robot is the best official Rodimus figure for Classics, but that feels more like a fail on Hasbro's part than a win.

Energon Roddy was a good idea, but the execution is all off. If we want to choose an honorable mention, what about Excellion? Sure, he isn't labelled "Hot Rod", but he's a clear homage. He does everything a modern Hot Rod toy does and does it in style with nothing sacrificed for the sake of his gimmick. Unlike the Rodumus toy which is completely compromised in favor of turning into pants.

I still like Alternators Roddy. He's articulated, his vehicle mode fits him to a "t", he has his "glasses" from the movie ... for a long time I didn't really want for a Hot Rod in that scale. Sure he's a repaint, but he's a good one!

I forgot about Alternators Rod, is that the Mirage redeco
Re: Top 5 Best Hot Rod / Rodimus Transformers toys (2023259)
Posted by william-james88 on June 2nd, 2019 @ 2:49pm CDT
Gauntlet101010 wrote:Energon Roddy was a good idea, but the execution is all off. If we want to choose an honorable mention, what about Excellion? Sure, he isn't labelled "Hot Rod", but he's a clear homage. He does everything a modern Hot Rod toy does and does it in style with nothing sacrificed for the sake of his gimmick. Unlike the Rodumus toy which is completely compromised in favor of turning into pants.
I still like Alternators Roddy. He's articulated, his vehicle mode fits him to a "t", he has his "glasses" from the movie ... for a long time I didn't really want for a Hot Rod in that scale. Sure he's a repaint, but he's a good one!


Alternators Roddy would be in a top 10 for sure, but for my top 5 I didn't like the idea of having a repaint (and yes, it is a Mirage repaint). It's not just that, I am also not a fan of the transformation nor the overall look of the figure in robot mode, especially in the way the arms and legs connect to his body, it doen't look good to me.

As for Excellion, I thought of it, but to keep things less complicated I went with the more black and white approach of just going by name. It's a great toy which already got a lot of mentions on lists in the past (and will get more) but in the end its an homage and not the character himself being evoked. It wouldnt be fair to skip over a mention of an actual hot rod toy, I wanted to show as many hot rod toys as possible within a top 5.

In the end, this just shows that unlike Optimus, Bumblebee, Shockwave, Megatron or even Ravage, Hot Rod / Rodimus doesn't have that many good toys out there.

Wolfman Jake wrote:Wow, I'm honored to see my little blurb about PotP Rodimus Prime used to describe his place on this top 5 list. I think I must have written than almost a year and a half ago. William-James88 dug deep for that one, lol! :)


I wrote this list a year ago back when your quote was fresh. It just takes time to get to lists sometimes, only 2 come out per month. Thanks for having contributed.

ausbot wrote:The titanium Rodimus would be great if it were made from all plastic, the metal parts and its weight spoil it.


Would he really? I feel he would need more reworking than that. The design is really cool and it could be a great jumping off point for a good toy some day.

Ultra Markus wrote:Maybe so but but we shouldn't consider that a hotrod worthy of the others on the list he's not remotely close to any in character design he only shares a name and that's not enough


The same could be said for any movie character, including Bumblebee. And it goes for most Megatrons in the 15 years after G1. If we can count RID Megatron in a top 5 Megatron list, then this Hot Rod counts just as much. And it's a pretty good toy, I recomend him over another other Hot Rod toy that didn't make the list. I wouldn't want people to miss out on a good Hot Rod toy.

Nathaniel Prime wrote:Now, what do you think of the G1 figure? Would it have been worthy enough for an honorable mention?


If I include anymore figures, then it becomes a ranking rather than concentrating on the best. And while the G1 toy is ok, he was never seen as a great toy. For many (including Hasbro), he is the herald of a drop in quality, especially compared to other G1 figures. I don't mind him personally, I like having him in my collection, I just don't think its a great toy.

As for comments asking about Classics Hot Rod, it's all opinions but I don't know why anyone would go to bat for that figure. It's basically the G1 figure without the charm of it being a G1 figure. It wasn't good at the time (compare to other classics like Prime, Megatron, Sideswipe, Cyclonus or Hound) and it has only aged worse since.

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