Sunday 10 June 2018

Masterpiece Targetmaster Hot Rodimus MP-40

Profile (Translated from the Trading Card)
MP-40 Cybertron Cavalier Targetmaster Hot Rodimus
● Function: Cavalier
● Motto: “My actions speak louder than words.”
● Profile
Hot Rodimus is a young Cybertron warrior who dreams of becoming a hero. His youthful impulsive behaviour can put him at a disadvantage, but he is brave and conscientious, worthy of his Cavalier title. With his partner Firebolt, who transforms into an Electrostatic Discharge Rifle, he can temporarily electro magnetise Destrons micro-circuitry.
STR…10; INT…10; SPD…9; END…10; RNK…10; CRG…7; FBL…10; SKL…10

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In August 2017 a listing for MP-40 Targetmaster Hot Rodimus appeared in online toy stores and later that month, photographs of the final toy appeared on a Facebook group. 

MP-40 Targetmaster Hot Rodimus was released in February 2018 and is a direct repaint of MP-28 Hot Rodimus which was released two years prior in February 2016. To differentiate this from the original, MP-40 is based on Hot Rodimus appearance in the AKOM produced Season 3 episodes as well as the three Season 4 episodes "Transformers The Rebirth". In these episodes Hot Rodimus featured a slightly different colour scheme. 

Season 4 never aired in Japan and was replaced by The Headmasters cartoon series, however The Rebirth was released to home media in Japan in 1996 and was dubbed in Japanese. Only a few of the characters maintained their Japanese names, Convoy and Hot Rodimus being amongst them, the rest of the characters went by their western names.

The entirety of Transformers The Rebirth was animated by the South Korean animation company AKOM which was founded by Nelson Shin, the director of the 1986 Transformers The Movie. Unfortunately the Transformers episodes produced by AKOM feature sub-par animation, errors and the use of older animation models which explains why Hot Rodimus is coloured differently in this series.

MP-40 features a deep red body colour, a larger Cybertron / Autobot symbol on the bonnet, a grey painted section beneath the now clear windscreen and the lower section of his waist is painted white. The front of Hot Rodimus' legs are painted in a pale lavender colour because AKOM incorrectly used colours for shading.

Not only was MP-40 more expensive than MP-28 (10,000 Yen as opposed 8,000), it comes with fewer accessories, two in fact - 1 gun (a red repaint of one of MP-28's guns) and the Targetmaster figure. You could possibly excuse the higher price for the Targetmaster figure but this is a repaint of the Targetmaster figure which came with Hasbro's 2011 Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.

Although Firebolt is a cartoon accurate repaint of Offshoot, Firebolt features remoulding so it can fit in Hot Rodimus' hands and engine block. For some reason, Firebolt has a longer neck then Offshoot and the shoulders have been misassembled so in gun mode the robot arms don't sit flush alongside the body. It still transforms but it's just a shame for a premium figure.

I found the original MP-28 figure underwhelming and I did not anticipate that I would like MP-40 as I'm not a fan of the The Rebirth colour scheme, however in hand, I like this figure a lot better than MP-28. It has a quality feel to it that MP-28 was lacking and I would certainly recommend it over MP-28; my MP-28 came with a few stress marks out of the box and the plastic feels weak and there are certainly none of these issues with MP-40. The only negative on my copy is that the right arm is quite loose at the shoulder so posing with the heavier Targetmaster weapon can be difficult.


■ Introducing the evolved duo: the blazing cavalier and his loyal partner, Firebolt! (Translated from the back of the box)
An American hot rod-styled car with an aerodynamic body, a large engine, and a flame-themed paint job. This powerful and elegant car transforms into the Cybertron Cavalier Hot Rodimus. Appearing in “Transformers The Movie” and “Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: 2010”, he has attracted many fans. Hot Rodimus has garnered a dedicated fan base through his appearances in "Transformers The Movie" and "Fight! Super Robot Lifeform Transformers: 2010". As a dynamic and ambitious young Cybertron warrior, he aspires to be a hero and has played a pivotal role as the future General Commander. Following his tenure as General Commander, Rodimus assumed distinct roles in the Japanese and American cartoons, showcasing divergent narratives. In the Japanese cartoon series "The Headmasters," Rodimus passed on the mantle of Commander to Fortress Maximus before embarking on his own journey. Meanwhile, in the overseas cartoon "Transformers: The Rebirth," he underwent a transformative evolution, becoming a Targetmaster. “Transformers The Rebirth” was later released in Japan as a stand alone story with its own translation. This item in the Masterpiece series faithfully recreates Hot Rodimus (aka Hot Rod), who took on the role of a Targetmaster in "Transformers: The Rebirth". The colours have been designed with the cartoon in mind. Indulge in the presence of a youthful warrior who has experienced remarkable growth alongside his loyal partner Firebolt with this remarkable product.

■ Supercar (Commentary) (Translated from the back of the box)
There is an emphasis on “Do it Yourself” (DIY) in American culture, rather than a reliance on professionals. The advantage of this is it's much cheaper to do it yourself and provides a sense of fulfilment. American garages and barns are used as workshops and are filled with tools and equipment to repair broken down cars. Tinkering and modifying cars is a widely popular hobby, and this gave rise to the culture of creating "hot rods". Large OHV engines were fitted onto old cars found on the scrap heap, roofs were lowered and flames were painted all over the car body. During the 1970s, wedge-shaped supercars emerged, but their high price tags made them inaccessible as "hot rod" material for many young people. As they grew up, they had greater disposable income and leisure time, allowing them to indulge in the pleasure of modifying exotic supercars into hot rods. For many enthusiasts, owning an original hot rod supercar is the ultimate dream.

Vehicle Mode: Supercar (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Hot Rodimus’ vehicle mode strongly resembles an American custom hot rod car, featuring a prominent exposed engine protruding out of the bonnet and adorned with painted flames on its body. Hot Rodimus’ vehicle mode exudes a futuristic essence, characteristic of the Cybertron warriors from the 2010 era. Its beautiful and passionate vehicle mode is suitable for the young Hot Rodimus. It has a maximum speed of 193 km/h and whilst driving he can emit shockwaves which can temporarily electromagnetise Destron microcircuitry. He can also drive underwater.
Hot Rodimus is a close friend of Daniel, the son of the Cybertons first human ally. He’d rather take Daniel out for carefree drives instead of driving into battle. Because of his impulsive personality he is also a reckless driver, much to the annoyance of veteran warrior Char. However, he still has the courage to confront the Destrons head on. This product welcomes Targetmaster Firebolt who appeared in “Transformers The Rebirth”. You can attach Firebolt to the bonnet for a power up feature.

Robot Mode: Hot Rodimus (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Function: Cavalier
Motto: “My actions speak louder than words.”
Cybertron Cavalier Hot Rodimus, is a youthful individual with aspirations of becoming a hero. He embraces a youthful spirit that occasionally prompts impulsive actions, leaving veteran warriors grappling to comprehend his viewpoint and resulting in unjust judgement. Nevertheless, it is precisely this exuberant energy that defines Hot Rodimus as an appealing representative of a new generation of warriors. Despite his hot temper, Hot Rodimus remains a loyal companion who fearlessly confronts any crisis that comes his way, truly embodying the title of Cavalier. Following the victorious conclusion of the Unicron war, Hot Rodimus assumed the esteemed role of the new Supreme Commander. However, he later chose to relinquish the Matrix to the resurrected Convoy, reverting back to his warrior identity once more. In the overseas continuity “Transformers The Rebirth” he took part in the battle over plasma energy on planet Nebulon. The introduction of the new Headmasters initially provided the Cybertron warriors with a significant advantage in battle. However, their advantage waned when the Destrons responded by incorporating Targetmasters into their forces. During this struggle, Hot Rodimus (known overseas as Hot Rod) attained a significant power boost by utilising the formidable capabilities of the Nebulon, Firebolt. With a newfound partner in an unfamiliar realm, Hot Rodimus has experienced tremendous growth!

Weapon: Targetmaster Firebolt (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Firebolt transforms into an Electrostatic Discharge Rifle and has the ability to temporarily electomagnetise Destron micro-circuitry. Making his debut in "Transformers: The Rebirth," Firebolt is a Nebulon who was previously a nuclear physicist. Now, he embarks on exhilarating adventures alongside his close companion Hot Rodimus.

Weapon: Photon Laser (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Hot Rodimus wields a handgun with an impressive range of 6440m, and when combined with his exceptional shooting skills, he demonstrates remarkable accuracy and power. Additionally, he can seamlessly fire the weapon while driving by connecting it to his bonnet.

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