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with Firedrive

Series: Titans Return
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe Headmaster
Year: 2016

With the Decepticons rising, the Autobots power up with Titan Master partners to stop them! Firedrive gives Hot Rod an electrostatic fire blast that disables the systems of enemy targets it hits.

Robot Mode: There are certain things a figure called Hot Rod or Rodimus just has to have: it needs to be red and orange, possibly mauve, and have flames on its chest. A yellow spoiler on its back is not quite a must, but it helps. A grey face inside a red helmet, on the other hand, is quite necessary. And, of course, grey or silver triple exhaust pipes on the arms, which can double as guns. Titans Return Hot Rod ticks all those boxes, so quite clearly: he’s a Hot Rod.

Detailing is good, if a bit plain, and articulation leaves no room for complaint, either. Hot Rod can wield his two guns (which can combine into a bigger one) in all sorts of poses and has no stability issues, either. The fact that he is a Headmaster with a detachable head isn’t easily apparent, so whether you like the gimmick or not doesn’t matter much. So bottom line: a good, clean-cut, straight-forward Hot Rod in robot mode. No complaints.

Alternate Mode: As befits all figures called Hot Rod, this one here too transforms into a futuristic red sports car with exposed engine, flames on the hood, and a big yellow spoiler. No surprises here. The car looks very cool and sleek, no visible robot parts, and the cockpit can open up to show a seat for Hot Rod’s Titan Master partner Firedrive (see below). Hot Rod’s two rifles can either be mounted separately on the side of the car or joint together on top of the engine block. So overall, a good car mode, looking exactly like a Hot Rod should look in car mode.

Partner: Hot Rod comes with his Titan Master partner Firedrive, who takes his name (and his look, too) from the G1 Targetmaster Firebolt. Firedrive is a typical Titan Master with ball-jointed shoulders and connected knees, who can use the combined rifle of Hot Rod as a gunnery seat that can connect to Leader-class Titans Return figures’ base modes. He is, of course, also compatible with every other Headmaster figure from Titans Return. So no complaints here, an average Titan Master figure.

Remarks: Despite the rather controversial way he was originally introduced (by causing Optimus Prime to die and then taking his place), Hot Rod / Rodimus has quickly become one of the big names among Transformers and there have been numerous incarnations of him. Unsurprisingly another one has been created for Titans Return, now once again carrying the name Hot Rod where copyright restrictions previously left him with only Rodimus as a name.

Titans Return Hot Rod is a pretty good figure and doesn’t take a backseat to the reigning champion of Rodimi in this size class, Classics Rodimus. While I wouldn’t have needed Hot Rod as a Headmaster, the gimmick doesn’t take anything away from him and this is a fun figure overall. It doesn’t really bring anything new to Hot Rod, mind you, hence no A-rating, but otherwise: thumbs up. Recommended to all Hot Rod and Titans Return fans.

Rating: B+
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