Rodimus Prime / Rodimus Convoy
Review by VF5SS
Transformers continues to expand as a brand beyond its shape-changing robot toy roots, as more and more companies produce action figures based solely on the characters, without their signature gimmick. After a straight repaint of their ES Gokin Mugen Calibur in Roadbuster colors, Action Toys (in collaboration with Fewture Models and Art Storm) served up the first two Cybertron Supreme Commanders with back-to-back releases of Optimus Prime (Convoy) and Rodimus Prime (Rodimus Convoy). As an admitted Rodimus fanboy, you can probably guess which one of those two I was the most excited about...
Please check out my video review!
The ES Gokin Rodimus stands a stately four and a half inches tall, which makes him roughly the size of a Legends-class figure. However, the generous use of diecast metal in his construction puts the toy above normal Transformers toys in terms of feel. Rodimus's chest, legs, and feet are all chunks of glossily painted diecast.
And while this toy's design is primarily based on Rodimus's cartoon model, it incorporates elements of the Studio OX version (and by extension, the G1 toy), such as the design of his waist and the more angular spoiler. It's an interesting aesthetic choice that seems to have been done to better serve the toy's engineering and gimmicks.
To better illustrate this, here is the ES Gokin with the Heroes of Cybertron figure (left) and G1 toy (right). And oddly enough, the most recent Rodimus has much more diecast than his original incarnation.
Here is the ES Gokin figure next to Combiner Wars Rodimus. The character has been getting a lot of love recently, and I, for one, couldn't be happier.
For comparisons with another SD Rodimus, here is the ES Gokin alongside the transformable Choro-Q Robo toy. Both are heavily cartoon based, but deviate in certain ways to accommodate their own gimmicks.
And for no reason whatsoever, here is Rodimus next to the standard Nendoroid Dayo.
Starting at the top, this Rodimus's head rests on a single ball-joint, and is a tasteful SD-styled rendition of the Autobot leader's visage.
While the toy is mostly cartoon based, a closer look at the eyes reveal some almost live-action movie style optics underneath his clear blue eyes.
A close look reveals that this Rodimus's trademark chest flame is actually sculpted into his torso, giving the familiar detail a more physical presence. Even his Autobot symbol is a molded detail, with its face lines picked out with red paint.
ES Gokins are very much action figures, as this toy will readily demonstrate. Rodimus's pointy shoulder pads can rotate out of the way to allow his arms greater freedom of movement (and prevent paint scraping on the spoiler). The arms themselves feature ball-jointed shoulders, a bicep swivel, a single jointed elbow, and ball-jointed wrists.
Flipping the shoulder pads out of the way reveals the spherically shaped universal joint within. This, coupled with the ball-jointed connection to Rodimus's body, provides the toy's arms with a very smooth range of motion.
His waist also features a single ball-joint for its articulation. This joint is a bit too tight on my figure, so just rotating Rodimus's upper body means I have to wiggle it around to get his waist to cooperate. I'd prefer the motion be more smooth, but I haven't seen signs of trouble yet.
The toy's knees are each a single hinge, which bend a little over 90 degrees.
His ankles have a double ball-joint setup with a ring-shaped detail piece clipped around the interior. This fills in the interior of Rodimus's robo-boots with some faux hydraulic pistons for a more mechanical look.
Rodimus's hip joints are another simple ball and socket setup with an additional upper thigh swivel. These, coupled with the toy's flexible PVC waist armor plates, allow the toy to pull off some pretty dynamic poses that its chunky SD body belies. It is here I can see why the Studio OX style groin armor was used on this toy, as it is easier to section off into Gundam-esque skirt plates than the cartoon design. Although, the way this is executed with soft PVC parts leaves me feeling a little ambivalent about this part of the toy, as moving Rodimus's thighs means mashing solid diecast against thin rubbery joint covers. As such, I wouldn't recommend leaving him in a wide-legged pose for too long. Maybe I am being too cautious, but this aspect of the ES Gokin just feels weird when I handle it.
Waist leeriness aside, this Rodimus is quite fun to pose and can even recreate some of the character's iconic scenes, such as the newly upgraded Hot Rod running through the innards of an exploding Unicorn.
The toy comes with a total of four pairs of hands, which can all be plugged into a handy little storage rack. You get fists, fists with a slot for accessories, pointing hands, and open hands. The hands have a slightly rubbery feel, and can be easily swapped into and out of Rodimus's forearms.
"Hey, Dinos! Get your bots out of the ceremonial pool!"
Having pointing hands is an unwritten rule for Japanese toys of Autobot leaders. It's a welcome staple that provides some extra emotion to even the simplest pose.
"This is the end of the road, Galvatron!"
The only thing that could make this better is an alternate face with an open mouth.
"You're pretty good."
And since Rodimus comes with two pointing hands, you can totally have him dual-wielding finger guns.
For actual weaponry, Rodimus is armed with a tidily designed SD version of his rifle, the Photon Eliminator.
The handle of the weapon plugs tightly into either accessory-holding hand, and the toy has no issues wielding the gun.
And I greatly appreciate that this gun is just a simple accessory, which seems to be a rarity with modern Rodimus toys.
I say this as my eyes glance disappointingly at the weapons that come with MP Rodimus and DX9's Carry...
"As long as he delivers, I don't care about Sky Lynx's ego!"
I think my personal standard for Rodimus toys is gonna be whether or not they can emulate the "Call of the Primitives" cel I own. The ES Gokin manages this scene of heroic pointing quite well!
For maximum Transformers: The Movie and Season 3 fun times, the ES Gokin comes with its own Matrix of Leadership. It is molded in clear plastic, with paint covering everything except the middle gem.
The bottom part of the Matrix comes off to allow you to thread the handles into Rodimus's hands. I recommend posing the toy before inserting the Autobots' precious artifact, as the handles are a bit on the thin side.
"Arise, Rodimus Prime!"
"Now... light our darkest hour!"
With Matrix in hand, the ES Gokin handily passes the "can do the climactic movie scene" test.
And last but not least is this extensive array of display stand parts that are very much a building toy on their own. You get two base plates, four triangular frames (two left and right pairs), two struts, a three-holed connector piece, and three ratcheting joint parts.
The parts can be assembled in a number of ways, like a Tamashii Stage style armature that plugs into the back of Rodimus's spoiler. Also, this is where aspects of the Studio OX design provide a beefy midsection where you could plug a stand into without compromising the look of the toy's backpack.
And while the whole arrangement makes for a decent display stand, the toy itself is heavy enough to make me leery of leaving Rodimus up in the air. The joints used to make the armature are certainly hardy enough, but the connection between them and the struts may loosen up over time.
The primary configuration for the stand's parts is this impressive looking (if somewhat generic) display base. Everything plugs together quite solidly, but I would recommend pulling the bits apart slowly, as one wrong move can cost you a broken tab.
These parts also come with ES Gokin Optimus, which translates to them not having character specific accessory slots. While the hand rack can clip onto the back, there is no place to put Rodimus's gun or the Matrix, leaving you to just stick them wherever they'll fit. The gun can be held by one of the hands, and I suppose you can rest the Matrix on top somewhere...
Roadimus Prime, don't stop fighting! For Captain Optimus Prime and all citizens who love peace, don't give up!
The ES Gokin Rodimus Prime is a cool little character toy, and is a neat item for fans of the character. At 4,800 yen, it is an affordable piece of diecast robot goodness that is a fun desktop toy. And despite my few misgivings about parts of the figure, it still definitely has the touch and the (SD) power!
|Posted 18 September, 2015 - 13:27 by VF5SS|