Monday, March 4, 2013

Transformers Alternators Ford GT Rodimus Part 1

Complicated relationships

First Transformers review in 2013. ^^

A long sought-after Transformers figure of mine this is: Ford GT Rodimus from the Alternators series. ^^ Honestly, I actually wanted the Japanese Kiss Player version in the first place because of the lovely double white stripes that stretch all the way from the bumper to the spoiler of the car and on both sides of its body. The stripes provide great color contrast to the entire model in both vehicle and robot modes, which is a design feature that I really love. Plus, it has a cute girl figurine included as well. ^^ Alas, after the search for that Japanese version turned up unsuccessful after a couple of years, I gave up continuing the search and grabbed it when a local forum member who were willing to let go of this Alternators version from his collection. ^^

Despite the difference in series and release companies, the actual differences between the two versions of Rodimus are rather cosmetic in my opinion. The little figurine and another fishing rod-like weapon for the Kiss Player version (formerly called Hot Rodimus) are accessories that don't alter the actual figure too much, nor does Hot Rodimus require them for some special vital features. With that, the major difference between the two versions came down to just their paint scheme. In terms of material used for producing the figures, both used just ABS - the material for Kiss Player Hot Rodimus is mentioned explicitly on HobbyLink Japan.

Regardless of the different product versions, this Ford GT incarnation of Rodimus is actually not a completely new design when it first came out, but a remold of Alternator Mirage which was released in June 2006. The Kiss Player version came out next (October 2006), followed by this Alternators version in July 2007 - the third in line. XD Two months after that, in September 2007, Mirage was "reissued" as BT-18 Rijie in the Japanese Binaltech series with a translucent body, so he could be considered as a distance relative of Alternators Rodimus as well. ^^

The connection between the different versions is getting more and more convoluted as the release history is examined, which is not surprising at all given the freedom to release and re-release variations of Transformers figures by both Hasbro and Takara Tomy. Their products flow everywhere, even though the conventional idea is that Takara Tomy's releases are more focused for the Japanese market while Hasbro's are for the rest of the world. When one does get a genuine figure from either company, tracing its root can be a challenging task. ^^

Also, reading up on its release information, it seems that Alternators Rodimus wasn't given a regular release in the United States when it first came out in 2007. Luckily, that limited treatment wasn't the case for Asian markets. I'm quite sure the original owner of this figure got it from a regular local toy store in the past before letting it go last year. Otherwise, I don't think it would be possible for me to get it at all, in an unopened state at such a bargain price. ^^;

Front view of package.

Illustration of Rodimus on the box.

Series label and figure name.

In vehicle mode, the entire figure of Rodimus can be seen very easily through the clear package.

With the car nicely positioned on top the cardboard base, the design of the package allows it to be showcased without being taken out. ^^

Closeups on the car details through the clear cover.

Side views of the package

Introduction of the figure and some of its gimmicks on the bottom face of the package.

"Wisdom will always defeat firepower."
Well, that's because you don't have the firepower. XD When you get to have a jet pack, tons of guns, two swords and a brass knuckle full of blades and claws like Prime in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon", other robots will definitely pay great attention to your wisdom (through that massive firepower). XD

Comparison with Binal-Tech BT-22 Convoy featuring Dodge Ram SRT-10's box.

Since all the vehicle models in both Alternators and Binal-Tech are designed to be in 1/24 scale of their actual vehicles, the similarity in package/box size is obvious. ^^ In terms of the models themselves, Convoy is clearly larger given his vehicle model - Dodge Ram SRT-10 versus Ford GT. ^^

Interestingly, in a rather say way, Rodimus and Convoy are the last releases of their respective series. ^^; Rodimus is the 27th release of the Alternator series, while Convoy is the 22nd in the Binaltech line. It's an amazing point to me because both of them are the only Transformers figures I have from the two lines. I never realized before looking up information on Rodimus that they are in fact swan song releases of their respective series. On the other hand, it's also interesting that instead of starting with the commander characters, like most conventional toy lines, the two merchandise series ended with them instead. ^^

More comparison between the two will definitely be shown in subsequent part of the review. ^^

Box open.

The cardboard label and the lower plastic tray that supports Rodimus are taped to the clear cover and paper base respectively.
A good measure to keep everything in place, but quite a hassle to remove as the tapes has to be cut carefully to avoid damaging the car, base and cardboard label. ^^;

The clear lower plastic tray prevents the car from rolling around freely on the paper base. For that, it's quite an important part of the base. ^^

Alternators Rodimus in vehicle mode.

A large Autobots symbol on the paper base.

The folded instruction sheet is "hidden" inside the paper base. ^^

Just a one-page instruction sheet showing how to transform Rodimus from vehicle to robot mode.

The flattened cardboard label from the clear cover.

More images of Alternators Rodimus in vehicle mode coming up next. ^^

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