Alright, I was weak. I was going to try to resist buying more Transformers for a while but
when I started to see the new deluxe wave that resolve quickly disappeared. The three
newest deluxe figures are showing up now: Rodimus, Prowl and Snow Cat. I was really tempted
by both Snow Cat and Rodimus due in part to the originality of their vehicle forms.
Packaging - 7/10The new Energon packaging is attractive, durable and just unique enough to set it apart on the shelves. It is a nice combination of G1 and Armada. It uses a the grid pattern similar to much of the G1 packaging. And like the Armada packaging, the card is not the standard bubble with a logo across the top. The bubble is attached to the right side of the card while the left side features the line logo and image of the character. The back of the package has the energon backstory, images of several of the other toys on the left and pictures of Rodimus in both of his forms and Powerlinx forms on the right. Unfortunately, as with all the recent packaging, this is a tri-lingual cardwhich imposes too much of a space constraint on the packaging. As a result, for all the printing there is very little content.
Sculpting - 6/10I really like Rodimus's truck mode. It is a rather unique combination of a semi and race vehicle, similar to the G1 Rodimus Prime. The cab and hood sections have a nice streamlined appearance with the angled grill and wind scoop on the roof. The rear has two jets with a large spoiler on top of them. There is also a peg hole on the back for hooking up a trailer. Unfortunately I don't know if he can tow Optimus' trailer since I don't have Optimus.
The Robot Mode isn't quite as nice. The cab splits in half to form the feet. But they are way out of proportion. And the grill of the truck form what can best be described as kneecaps which actually going all the way up to his hips. This is especially disappointing since he really does have well designed legs underneath. His body is serviceable. It is well proportioned to the rest of the figure (except the feet) and has a fairly clean look except for the hinge that runs across the center. The wheels from the rear of the semi becomes the large shoulders and the jets form the arms. They actually did a great job incorporating the wheels that would have been kible into a design feature. The arms themselves suffer slightly from having the large spoiler attached to them. The also seem small due to the oversized feet and large shoulder pads.
Like the other deluxe Autobots in the Energon line, Rodimus also has two Powerlinx forms: One where he forms the legs and one where he forms the arms and head. In either case the transformation is fairly similar. The upper torso flips back and just hangs there while the lower portion becomes either the feet or arms. He actually works fairly well as the lower portion where the large feet help balance out having another figure sitting on top while still maintaining decent articulation. As the upper torso, the legs form arms which are hterribly oversized and they lose half of their articulation.
Paint - 6/10Like most Transforms, Rodimus sports a nice clean set of paint applications. Unfortunately the paint was used almost exclusively for the front of his robot mode. In his truck mode that works out all right as the feet/cab form the majority of the vehicle. The same is true of his Powerlinx legs form. But when he forms the top of a Powerlinx combination there is no paint work on the arms which furthers the feeling of big clunky arms.
Articulation - 7/10In robot mode Rodimus has the equivalent of eighteen points of articulation: double jointed knees (or knee and ankle depending on your point of view), double joints in each hip, ball joint for each shoulder, a joint between the shoulder pads and upper arms and ball jointed elbows. The head is also on a ball joint but it is only used for the transformation process and provides very little range of movement in robot mode. As the legs of a Powerlinx mode, Rodimus retains all of his regular robot mode leg articulation but the extra parts on the back limit the range of motion. As the upper portion of a Powerlinx combination he sacrifices almost all of his artiulation. He is reduced to rotating shoulders and two points of lateral movement in each arm.
Accessories - 2/10Rodimus has two accessories, a translucent orange missle launcher and a matching fire ball to be launched. The firing mechanism on mine doesn't work that well and it doesn't store well in vehicle mode. It can be attached to the spoiler but I don't care for the way it looks.
Value - 6/10At $10, Rodimus isn't a must buy. But he does have a solid vehicle mode and a pretty good robot mode. Whe the character is introduced into the show that might increase his appeal as well since given his namesake, he is likely to plan a fairly major role in the show.
Happy Hunting:The deluxe Energon figures can be found at just about any toy retailer. I picked Rodimus up at Walmart on the east side of Madison, WI. I haven't seen this wave show up at TRU or Target so far, but they won't be far behind.