Hotrod G1, Hasbro 1986

True confession. I used to hate Hotrod. Not just cuz of his personality, voice over-acting by Judd Nelson, but because the 1986 movie marked the end of an era. No more realistic full die-cast vehicle replicas, no more Diaclone and Microchange. Out with the old, in with new super futuristic vehicles that looked to me more like Tonka than Transformers in design. But over time, he grew on me and after all these years I’ve come to consider him one of the best G1 figures. Cool features like tinted windows, flashy spoiler, lots of chrome, and those die-cast toes.

Kind of looking like a retro-futuristic Chrysler station wagon.
The marks for Hasbro and Takara are both date stamped 1986.
Faster on the draw than your average gunslinger.
I can appreciate some blingy chrome highlights.
Definitely a Mazinger wing. Definitely.
Hotrod’s backside almost looks like some other robots’ front sides.
The face of the Chosen One, or an Egyptian God?

I tend to prefer figures that are well proportioned, as most of the main characters are humanoid robots. For faces, I’m cool with both styles – humanoid (eyes, nose, mouth), and “masked” faces. Where I’m a little left for wanting are those head sculpts that are so uber simplistic that it looks like they were just being lazy on the design: Jetfire, Huffer, the Omnibots, some gestalts… Whether masked or not, look – if it takes less than eight lines to draw their face, I’d call it lazy design. Fortunately, Hot Rod was blessed by the design gods (Primus?) a handsome visage which was then immediately aged within the span of a movie to the wrinkly squinty mug of Rodimus Prime. Not a fan, nor will I ever be. Futuristic station wagon hotrods are one thing, futuristic campervan trailers are another. Drop me a line if you feel otherwise.

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