Saturday 10 December 2022

Autobot Hot Rod (Retro Reissue, 2022)

Autobot Hot Rod
Function: Cavalier
Motto: "My actions speak louder than words."
Hot Rod is a headstrong and self-confident young Autobot. In spite of this, he is destined for greatness, and to light the darkest hour.
STR...9; INT...10; SPD...9; FBL...10

Other Resources:

Hot Rod was designed by Sunbow artist Floro Dery for the 1986 Transformers The Movie and the initial design was not far off what appeared on screen. 

The initial toy designed by Takara based from Floro Dery's design was much larger and had a more complex transformation than the finished product. A basic prototype had been made by a new toy designer but when Hasbro wanted to reduce the price point half way through development, the design was taken over by Takashi Kunihiro. 

In the Transformers movie, Hot Rod was magenta in colour however the final toy was a dark red colour. Many transformers have undergone colour changes between prototype and final toy stage however, potentially because of the movie, the magenta coloured Hot Rod has stayed in many peoples minds.

Magenta Hot Rods did exist as two were pictured in the 1986 Toy Fair promotional magazines, one in robot mode and one in vehicle mode.

These prototypes were also used in the transparencies for the box photography.

Below is a comparison between one of the prototypes and the final version of Hot Rod courtesy of The Space-Bridge.

Then in October 2022 at Walmart Collector Con, two G1 reissues were announced, they were Hot Rod and Starscream however they had cartoon accurate colour schemes. The cartoon styled Starscream has been released before in 2003 by Takara, although this did not feature a painted face. Hot Rod however was finally in his true magenta colours. This was not just a release based on the prototype but Hasbro has gone further and overall it looks great.

The box is very different from the previous Walmart reissues. It is a new plastic free box with artwork depicting Hot Rod on the shuttle from the movie which has been drawn by artist Marcelo Matere. For some reason however the Hot Rod depicted looks more like the Studio Series version.

Inside the box Hot Rod is packaged in vehicle mode and the weapons are stored in the white tissue paper. As well as the magenta colour the next noticeable thing is the lack of chrome which has been replaced by a light grey matt plastic, the same colour as the two included guns. There is also no rub sign on the car roof although the indentation is still present and there is no included sticker sheet.

Like the previous Walmart reissue, this version of Hot Rod uses the Targetmaster mould so if you have Firebolt you can plug him into the engine.

In robot mode the legs are now coloured grey and the feet are a lighter grey die-cast metal. The hands have also been painted a light grey colour.

Overall this is a much anticipated repaint of a classic toy. Although there isn't much in terms of articulation other than the elbows and shoulders, it is still a fantastic piece. 

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