August 16th, 2010


I wish I were an Oscar Mayer weiner.

Originally published at Shortpacked!. Please leave any comments there.

I photograph a lot pinker than I am.

So there’s this exclusive three-pack of Classics Rodimus, Galvatron, and Cyclonus that’s been released in Southeast Asia with no sign so far of release anywhere else.  Sometimes I get paid in toys for art, so I figgered I might as well check them out since Big Bad Toy Store had the set in stock.

This here is “Challenge at Cybertron” Rodimus in front of his regular American retail self.  He’s an attempt at doing the toy in pure cartoon colors, taste be damned.  I was super-interested in this toy when a few stolen samples of him showed up online just before BotCon.  I was interested because it looked like he was pinkish purple.  Hasbro and Takara try their damnedest to pretend that in the 1986 Animated Movie that Hot Rod is totally red and orange and yellow.  Ha!  It is to laugh.  He’s frigging pink. Magenta-ish, even.  Early in the toy’s design stage, Hasbro was gonna release him in pink, before they realized that holy crap no this is a boy’s toy that would be financial suicide.  The production version was dark red, and every Hot Rod or Rodimus since then has been too.

And so photos showed up online of this Rodimus who looked pretty damn pink.  So pink the plastic had a translucent quality.   Hot damn, I said!  That’ll be mine!

The actual toy is not pink.  In person it is a very brilliant red which that is pretty damn opaque.  Think of the color of, say, raw meat.  Or maybe watermelon.  Vaguely orangey, very vaguely pinkish, but definitely red.  Denied once again!

Dayglo Playskool

As a result the toy is a different kind of eyesore.  I think I kind of like it, but it’s definitely an acquired taste.  This toy is the Eighties punching you in the face.  Other than the missed opportunity to do the first pink Hot Rod ever, it’s a valiant effort to make the toy look like the cartoon model.  The fists are painted entirely over in light gray, as are the spoiler in a drab yellow and the fronts of the legs in dark gray.  Most noticeable is the canopy area which is no longer a translucent blue, but the same solid raw meat red as everything else but with painted light-blue windows.

Contrast it with the original Classics Rodimus toy, with its attempt to update and subdue Hot Rod’s original look into something more palatable.

The “Challenge at Cybertron” Rodimus is both horrible and great, in comparison, and I waver on whether I prefer the cartoony one or not.  It certainly stands out more on a shelf, good or bad.

And one of them has to go.  I don’t need two Classics Rodimuses.  We’ll hafta see which one it is.