Transformers Animated Rodimus Minor Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Toys R Us Exclusive, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: September 2010
Price Point: $14.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: Missile launcher bow, Missiles x 2


*Images and text from
Our Tranformers Animated Deluxe Action Figure - Rodimus Minor is an awesome robot-to-vehicle warrior that converts from robot mode with two firing missile accessories to race car vehicle mode - and back again! "Missiles launch from bow accessory! Figure comes with accessories. Ages 5 and up.

RODIMUS MINOR is one of the most promising young robots ever to graduate from the Academy. His trainers were so impressed with him that he was given command of a small unit right after graduation. During the short time he has commanded his troops, he has molded them into a tight-knit force to be reckoned with. Everyone expects him to one day rise to the rank of Magnus, and command AUTOBOT® forces across the galaxy.

Gear up for an intense robot battle with this RODIMUS MINOR figure! Based on the character from the animated television series, this warrior wields two firing missile accessories that he can launch toward his enemies from his bow accessory. Convert him to race car vehicle mode so he can chase down his adversaries wherever they run!

Figure comes with accessories.

Rodimus Minor as a name has an interesting history. Most Transformers fans will of course recognize this Transformer as based off the Generation One Autobot known as Hot Rod. Introduced in the original "Transformers: The Movie" feature film in 1986, the character went from a brash, young Autobot to being the leader of the Autobots as Rodimus Prime after absorbing the power of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Over the years, the character has gone through many name changes thanks to the name "Hot Rod" being trademarked by a company other than Hasbro. One of these names was for the US Toys R Us exclusive reissue years ago as "Rodimus Major". For the most part since then he has simply been called "Rodimus". For this release, the "Rodimus" name carries over, with "Minor" added on as a designation of his ranking in the whole "Prime/Magnus" system laid down in the "Animated" television series.

Rodimus is a Toys R Us exclusive figure. Following on the heels of Arcee and Cybertron Autobot Ratchet, this was one of the most anticipated figures of the "Animated" line that did not see a mass release when the line was cut short. This figure ships with Cybertron Ironhide, a redeco and retool of Cybertron Autobot Ratchet. It was fairly difficult to find but it was also released in a slightly different deco in Japan as a general release.

Vehicle Mode:
While this "Rodimus" is a commander of his own team of Autobots, his vehicle mode is based off Hot Rod's sleek, futuristic sports car rather than Rodimus Prime's futuristic "winnebego" mode. This particular interpretation of the classic Hot Rod vehicle mode is really slick looking. The overall design is the same, a curved front end with an engine on top leading to a stylized cabin section with a V shaped spoiler mounted on the back. What distinguishes this from its predecessors is the exaggeration of several features. Instead of having a design line that simply goes back from the front of the vehicle, the profile starts low in the front, curves up, then angles down towards the center before sloping back upwards towards the back. Also, while other incarnations of Hot Rod/Rodimus' vehicle mode generally have average sized wheels, the wheels on this vehicle mode are relatively large compared to the rest of the vehicle, conveying a sense of power while drawing your eye to them at the same time.

Some smaller details are inspired by G1 Hot Rod, but take a different spin. For instance, on G1 Hot Rod he had triple exhaust pipes that ran along the sides of the vehicle. here, there are three curved exhaust pipes on the side before the rear wheel wells, but the long pipe details are actually set at an angle on top of the vehicle mode, flanking either side of the cabin's rear window. Another interesting details is how exaggerated the spoiler design is. It is V shaped and angles up on the sides quite a bit, adding to the fast, sleek look of the vehicle form.

Rodimus Minor is cast in five primary plastic colors: red (not a bright one, but a dark shade), silver, gold, black and translucent blue. The red and translucent blue makes up most of the vehicle including its outer panels on the vehicle. These are some of the iconic G1 Hot Rod colors and they look fantastic. The dark red allows other details such as the silver exhaust pipes and engine to really stand out. The translucent blue used on the windows is really nice and striking. As you would expect, black is used for the four wheels.

Paint decos for this mode are done up in silver, gold, yellow and orange. The silver is found on the sides of the wheels, but it is also used to paint a medium sized Autobot symbol on the top of the car and the rear lights. The infamous flame pattern on the hood of the car is painted in gold with an orange outline, which was a really nice idea. It's simple but really helps offer a nice border between the flame pattern and the red plastic that makes up the hood. Finally, you'll find yellow is used for the headlights, harking back to a detail found on G1 Hot Rod.

Rodimus includes a twin missile launcher. The launcher is designed to look like a bow and arrow set, but with two launchers instead of just one. It has a nice curved portion on the "bow" section. The weapon is cast in red and gold plastic, with orange plastic used for the missiles that are cast with a flame like pattern. This weapon can be attached to the top of the vehicle by sliding the tabs on the weapon into the slots towards the back of the vehicle on the rear window section. While the weapon attaches to this well enough not to fall out if you hold the figure backwards, it doesn't snap in so if you shook the car enough, the weapon will fall out, so be warned. Press the tabs on each launching tube to fire the missiles.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Pull the sides of the vehicle from the middle to the back out to the sides.
  2. Swing out the robot hands.
  3. Holding the car upside down, you'll see the robot feet attached to the underside of the hood. Detach the feet and swing them down.
  4. Rotate the waist section around.
  5. On each leg, swing the silver exhaust piece up.
  6. Move the lower half of the lower leg out to the sides a bit to straighten out the legs.
  7. On the hood, flip the engine piece around to reveal the Autobot symbol.
  8. Swing the robot arms up to lock them into place.
  9. Raise the middle of the windshield piece.
  10. Swing the front wheels into the underside of the hood piece.
  11. Push the window piece back in place.
  12. Swing the piece with the spoiler up, rotate the spoiler around then fold down the piece the spoiler is attached to.

Robot Mode:
One of the key parts of the various redesigns of G1 characters in "Animted" was making them fresh but also instantly recognizable as inspired by their G1 counterparts. In Rodimus Minor's case this has held true (more so than some other characters in fact). He has a lot of the classic "Hot Rod" type elements including the spoiler on his back, the car front as his chest, exhaust pipes on his arms, a central crest design on his head and a "collar" of sorts at the base of his neck. A paint deco even alludes to a design from the G1 figure. On his shoulders you'll find silver details from the vehicle's rear lights. These resemble the notches that were found on the shoulders of G1 Hot Rod.

Where the figure differs from other Hot Rod style figures is its proportions. Rodimus' head and neck are a bit larger than you would expect, and his upper arms and chest are rather wide, giving him the look of having a powerful upper body. His legs are rather thin in contrast, but not lanky. The way they are sculpted with certain curves they look almost like the legs of an athlete. Given his "young up and coming star" profile in the show, this look makes perfect sense and it looks great. This also aligns him more with the way the G1 animation model (and of course the "Animated" model) looked, with a more stylized, curved look instead of the relatively blocky G1 action figure.

"Animated" characters are not like movie characters where they are choc full of little details but they do have just enough to look good. One of the nicest features on the figure is the head sculpt. Like the G1 Hot Rod head sculpt he has a central crest with details that curve around the head leading to a regular face with two eyes, a nose and mouth. However, in keeping with the exaggerated look of "Animated" figures, the pointed and curved sections around the crest are made much larger than they are on other interpretations of the character resulting in a very crown-like appearance. Look at the lower legs and you'll find details that look like layers of armor around the ankles and knees while his feet have verticla lines sculpted into the sides of the feet, making it look like he's wearing some type of thick boot. This goes along with the "athlete" like appearance of the figure and adds an interesting detail I did not expect.

In this mode orange plastic is revealed on the arms, legs and waist, but the red color still dominates on parts like the lower legs, chest, head and upper arms. Silver is used a bit on smaller pieces like his hands and the exhaust pipe pieces on the sides of his legs. His eyes are light piped via translucent blue plastic, matching the blue from the windows in vehicle mode. I really have to say I liked the introduction of orange in this mode. It's so easy to focus on his red, silver, yellow and gold details that the orange could easily be forgotten, but look at the original Hot Rod (and several versions that came out afterwards) and you'll find orange on almost all the same parts. Speaking of orange, a bit of orange paint is used to give him additional details on his head and feet.

Rodimus has twenty points of articulation, many of which are ball joints such as the shoulders and elbows. Unfortunately, the exhaust pipes on his forearms do not point forward, so you cannot do the classic pose of having Rodimus point his "exhaust pipe blasters" forward, but that is made up for by using his missile launcher bow instead. Slide the handle into one of his fists and Rodimus Minor is armed for battle. The weapon snaps tightly into his hands and does not slip out at all.

Final Thoughts:
Rodimus Minor is an awesome reinterpretation of the Hot Rod/Rodimus archetype in the Transformers universe. The status of this figure as a Toys R Us exclusive that was almost not released makes it even more desirable among fans. I am personally thrilled with this figure and highly recommend it!