CGI Hotrod by Iaconcity
Autobot Cavalier "Hot Rod" is the quintessential example of a free spirited youth in all aspect of the word. He made his debut in the annuls of Transformers history in the 86" Transformers animated movie. I remember how incredibly excited i was the first time i saw this new and cool looking Autobot. Not only does he look good in robot form.. his vehicle form is pretty sweet too. He is portrayed as a cocky young Autobot whose over confidence in himself is put to the test all throughout the movie.
Prime's Death - HotRod's Destiny
But the introduction of Hotrod could have backfired badly with fans throughout the world. Especially when he was the one indirectly responsible for the death of Optimus Prime in Megatron's hand. To top it off.. he intercepted the passing of the "Autobot Matrix of Leadership" that had fallen from the dying grasp of Optimus Prime, which was originally intended for Ultra Magnus... Poor Ultra Magnus, he just can't catch a break LOL.
He was basically the heart and soul of the entire movie as it is more of a journey for him to discover his potential for something far greater... His appearance as Hot Rod was pretty much almost a one time deal as he was no longer Hot Rod by the end of the movie and didn't revert back to HotRod until almost the end of Season 3 of the US animated series.
I'll get back to this in a while...Now let us talk about my experience with the toy itself. :P
G1 HotRod 2000/2001 Reissue
I am not very sure if i did have a Hot Rod toy as a kid... bcoz i seems to have jumbled up memories of ever transforming one. Afterall, if i never had one b4, how did i know how to transform it when i finally got myself one in 2000??? But then again, u don't have to be a rocket scientist to transform a G1 Transformer toy neeways LOL
G1 Vintage/Reissue HotRod
Anyhow i finally mange to get myself a minty fresh Hot Rod around 2000/01 when it was reissued by Takara in it's G1 style box. I actually had to sell off my first HotRod shortly after in 2002 due to financial problems, but i manage to get it again in the later half of that year... It is a good feeling to have a very sought after fan fav toy in my hands.. and transforming it is a real treat as well. Short of it being super articulated.. this toy is still pretty sweet even though it's a typical G1 blockish robot with very few or little articulations.
In my 8 yrs as a Transformers toy collector, there are only a handful of TF toys that is a "Must Get" for me.. and HotRod is definitely one of them. I have got 3 different version of G1 Hot Rod toy to date and they are among my most prized possessions.
Arise Rodimus Prime!!!
Ok, Let us get back to the movie now... as I've said earlier, HotRod's appearance was pretty much a one time deal when he first made his debut in the animated movie bcoz by the end of the movie, he was transformed by the power of the "Matrix" into the new leader of the Autobots - "Rodimus Prime". Aside for being the one single handedly destroying the chaos bringer "Unicron" with the power of the Matrix.. Rodimus Prime was a super lame leader and pale in comparison with Optimus Prime.
The downfall of the Transformers series in the US is pretty much Rodimus Prime's fault. His leadership is often mediocre and often borders at idiotic. I guess it is due to this that they decided to bring Optimus Prime back towards the end of the season. I remember breathing a sigh of relief when Rodimus returns the Matrix to Optimus Prime as the leader of the Autobots and he reverting back to the cocky young Hot Rod once more. Hot Rod later becomes a "Targetmaster" in the Season 4, 3 part mini series "The Rebirth", which is also marks the end of the Transformers TV series in the US.
Depicted above are the 3 G1 Hot Rod's i mentioned that's currently in my possession. From Left to Right.. G1 Vintage/Reissued HotRod, G1 Vintage Reissued Targetmaster Hot Rod and E-Hobby Exclusive clear crystal HotRod. Each of these figures are featured in their own individual postings to do them justice..
Unfortunately for us, the name "HotRod" can and will never be used for this character by "HaskaraTomy" again as the name is no longer copyrighted under them. Throughout the years in the various revival of the Transformers series... various characters have been portrayed as "Hot Rod-like", but none is named Hot Rod anymore.. Infact he's been renamed as "Hot Rodimus" and "Rodimus Major", which sounded immensely corny LOL. But in the memories of every old school G1 Transformers fan.. he will always be known as "Hot Rod"!!!