Transformers Robot Heroes – Rodimus & Insecticon Shrapnel

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The whole time I spent writing this review I had “The Touch” by Stan Bush stuck in my head. It’s a bit annoying but I’m sure I’ll survive. Since the first two waves of the Robot Heroes only focused on characters from the original movie, it’s a little odd to be that both of these characters have multiple names.

Rodimus, formerly known as Hot Rod and sometimes known as Rodimus Prime depending on the trademark situation, is the character who undeservingly got to take up Optimus Prime‘s mantle as the leader of the Autobots and the wielder of the Matrix of Leadership. The reason he was most qualified? Because he touched the Matrix first after Optimus Prime died. And this is after Ultra Magnus was appointed to leader. All I’m saying is the Autobots have a terrible way of passing leadership since it seems to be little more than who can go “FIRST!”

One thing that’s always bugged me about Rodimus is that the character model is essentially identical for both versions of him in robot mode, even though Hot Rod turns into a sports car and Rodimus Prime turns into a tractor trailer truck! The only real difference is the face and since this toy looks young and smiley, I think it’s Hot Rod.

Hot Rodimus Prime was one of those characters designed to look cool to kids. Since he was created in the 80s that meant bright colors, a paint scheme of flames and a hip attitude – everything a kid would want! Except for the minor part about how he keeps one of Optimus Prime’s robot organs in his chest!

Hot Rod’s a bright red and orange robot with black shoes on and yellow wings. Remarkably, he’s able to pull the look off without looking completely absurd. He’s even got some evidence of his other mode being a car with his chest made up of the hood and his arms having wheels on them. His wrists are each covered with guns and his silver face is smirking.

He looks good overall but what’s most odd is that he doesn’t match up with his cartoon appearance much. All of the right elements are there, but everything is slightly off. Like, nothing matches his character model at all: the legs, hands, arms – everything but the torso and head. The figure looks good but isn’t the 80s cartoon version of Rodimus or Hot Rod. Whatever his name is, he moves at the shoulders but his arms rest on his knees so he can only aim upwards.

The package labeled the Decepticon in this pack as “Insecticon” since Hasbro tends to lose their trademarks on character names regularly. Naming this figure “Insecticon” would be like naming Megatron “Decepticon.” Since I am not bound by these pesky trademark terms, I shall call him by his real name: Shrapnel! Or Sharpshot, but I’m sticking with Shrapnel.

One of the Insecticons, Shrapnel took the form of stag beetle and only really cared about one thing: food. Well, that and torturing with electricity. While Rodimus was off model, Shrapnel looks to be pretty dead on with his character model.

Shrapnel is a black, purple, gold and silver monstrosity that somehow works for me. He’s got an intricate, mechanical sculpt that that looks like a robot. His legs are bulky while his arms are curved. His right hand is reaching out and his left is in a fist and both have wrist-mounted guns. His most distinguishing feature is the horns coming off his back that he uses to channel electricit. Shrapnel’s face is made to look like he’s wearing sunglasses and is smirking.

Shrapnel really only moves at the shoulders, but his neck is technically articulated. His collar only gives him a few degrees of motion. But the best part of the figure has to be the paint. All of the paint on him that isn’t black is metallic. He’s covered in golds, silvers, purples and even metallic sky blue. He just looks good and I don’t know why it works so well.

It’s odd that Hasbro packed two characters together that they had lost both trademarked names for. Sure, Shrapnel met his doom in the Transformers movie after being booted out of Astrotrain and then turned into one of Galvatron’s minions. But while the character may have been remade, Shrapnel has one fantastic design going for him. As for Hot Rodimus Prime, at first glance he’s good and he is a fine toy. He just doesn’t really look like Hot Rod or Rodimus. He just looks like a red robot.

Transformers Robot Heroes Wave 1
Optimus Prime & RavageStarscream & Mirage
Grimlock & ShockwaveRodimus & Insecticon Shrapnel

Written by jestergoblin

May 25th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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