1986 – Created for the Transformers the movie Hotrod has since gone through so many names, almost more names then any other Transformer in the history. Hotrod, Rodimus Prime, Rodimus, Rodimus Convoy, Hot Rodimus, Rodimus Major, Rodimus Minor, Black Rodimus and Crystal Rodimus. For every name there is at least one toy created across almost every alternate reality for Transformers and they met themselves in one comic. In the beginning there was Hotrod, he transforms into a red, orange and yellow futuristic race car. He was a brash teenager type transformer who was created specifically for the movie and toy line. In the movie time line he grabbed the Matrix of leadership and it chose him to be it’s new bearer, transforming his body into an older wiser being and renamed him Rodimus Prime. Now there was more then a few grumbles from people out there when this happened. First off was the ones who thought the name was way to similar to Opitmus Prime and the other point of contention is his form. He transforms into a futuristic truck reminiscent of his prior form in slightly different colors using a completely different mold, this form was way too much like a Winnebago motor home for some people.
1987 – With the exclusion of the events of the movie in the Marvel‘s comic book series, Hotrod did not grow up until way much later in 2014 a few years after IDW took over the comic book rights. But back on story, Hasbro‘s Targetmaster sub-line took a bunch of transformers from the movie and gave them new weapon master partners who changed into weapons and Hotrod was in this category. He was basically the same toy but holes in his fists and his engine block was retooled to fit the larger pegged Targetmaster weapon instead of his original weapons. (the cartoon series chose to revert Rodimus to Hotrod with him giving back the matrix to Optimus.)
1991 – Available only with Star Convoy, he was named Hot Rodimus and was a Micromaster, a simplified version of his original toy, transforming into the same futuristic race car. He featured a notch in the base of his feet that allows him to attach to Star Convoy‘s chest or stand on his base mode’s rotating turret. In 2005, this two pack was re-released with several deco changes, in Hot Rodimus‘s case, his stickers were replaced with paint applications.
2000 – Takara released the targetmaster Hotrod in a small group of reissues but they filled in the larger holes to allow him to use his original wepaons (not sure why they did not go with the original toy instead of doing the work involved to retro a newer toy back to original form)
2001 – Takara once again reissued the above toy as Crystal Rodimus but almost entirely cast in translucent red and yellow plastics. He was limited to 1500 pieces and was only available at Tokyo Toy Festival, with the joint purchase of the Black Rodimus that was a black repaint of the same toy but instead of factory applied stickers they were on a sheet for the consumer to apply.
2001 – Takara reissued the original Rodimus Prime toy with no changes except to his name he would now be called Rodimus Convoy.
2002 – Hasbro released their Commemorative Series and they remolded his weapon ports back to original toy size and named him Rodimus Major and in 2004 in the same series they released Rodimus Prime with no toy or name changes.
2004 – Takara once again released Hot Rodimus as his Targetmaster toy but this time his original weapons from his first toy were changed to fit the bigger holes meant for his targetmaster weapon partner..
2006 – Hasbro’s Classic line first saw Rodimus who is a heavily modified 1978 prototype Japanese sportscar called a Dome Zero has quite a few repaints including Hasbro‘s evil “Shattered Glass” Rodimus (in black and purple and is a take on original star trek’s reverse reality he came with a painted on goatee as a homage to that universe’s evil spock), Hasbro Malaysia’s South-East Asian market “Challenge at Cybertron” 3 pack (new more cartoon accurate colors came with Cyclonus and Galvatron) Hasbro‘s “Battle in Space” 2 pack (same as “Challenge at Cybertron” pack but without Galvatron), Takara‘s Gentei! Gentei! Hot Rodimus (basically the same toy with slightly different colors and a gold spoiler) and Takara’s exclusive Chara Hobby Wildrider (color scheme based on the stunticon Wildrider) and Timelines Side Burn (who is blue and white and was a 2011 Transformers Collectors’ Club free figure.) Non-US market Hasbro release Rodimus/Starscream two-pack on a new, shared cardback. Takara‘s United line Autobot Set 3-pack as Hotrod (in translucent cast in transparent blue plastics, emulating the scene in the Movie where Hot Rod catches the Matrix of Leadership) Takara‘s United line Rodimus Prime (a homage his original Generation 1 cartoon color scheme and he could hold minicon partners)
as a side note in 2011 third party Fansproject created a nifty looking trailer for the above classic’s toy to bring him up to being Rodimus Prime. as all trailers this company released (Ultra Magnus and others) these feature a bunch of parts that are taken apart from the trailer and attaches to the body and are not meant to be played with.
2006 – Takara‘s Kiss players Hot Rodimus is a retool and redeco of the Alternators Mirage toy, transforming into a red Ford GT with white racing stripes. (it also included a PVC figurine of the character’s “Kiss Player” partner Shaoshao Li and some other things including a CD)
2007 – Hasbro’s Alternators Rodimus is a San Diego Comic-Con and Hasbro Toy Shop exclusive figure, It is a repaint of Kiss Players Hot Rodimus
2007 – Hasbro‘s Titanium Series cast Rodimus Prime in all die-cast metal. Unlike his previous prime toys he is all in one with his trailer a part of him in vehicle mode.
2008 – Hasbro released Rodimus as Legends Class sport car with a huge spoiler. (released it again 2011 in a Walmart exclusive three pack as “Dark of the moon rodimus” in orange) Takara also released a version in darker red in their Chronicle line
2010 – Hasbro‘s Transformers Animated TV show spawned toys (of course!) and this time he would be called Rodimus Minor. He would also see a Takara release three versions, first the exclusive translucent plastic version (due to timing this would released first before Hasbro) the mass marketed version with purple instead of red and an exclusive Black Rodimus in black and purple like his “Shattered Glass” version (without goatee)
2011 – Takara‘s Masterpiece line would see the release of Rodimus Convoy, this version could change from Hot Rod to Rodimus Prime in one toy. (His hips could extend to make him a bit taller and he had a second pop out face to make him look older and a slide down sun-glass visor. He also came with his familiar trailer weapon platform and a bunch of other accessories such as a matrix of leadership and a buzzsaw.) Hasbro also released a version without the trailer but does include a Targetmaster figure and has several color changes from the original. (there is some problems with the construction making him transformable only a few times before he will break apart and he is very hard to transform as it is. I know I have one of the Hasbro releases) He was also made by Takara as Black Rodimus Convoy a homage to the evil “Shattered Glass“ Rodimus in black and purple with the trailer. (still without the goatee)
2014 – sold exclusively through Takara-Tomy Mall, this Hot Rodimus is a repaint and retool of Hasbro‘s Generations Triple changer Springer. This mold would be also reused as BotCon 2015 exclusive Battletrap and parts of him were used in making Generations Sandstorm (not picture).
2015 – Hasbro release of their new Combiner wars Sub-line and a legend class Rodimus will be coming out soon, he is a red and yellow repaint of Blackjack who can be a chest plate for the combiner figure and his spoiler becomes an axe.
We have now come to the end of this entry, I hope you enjoyed it and see you next time.