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Series: War for Cybertron: Kingdom
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Commander
Year: 2021

Prelude: He is Rodimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, Destroyer of Unicron, Chosen One of the Matrix, and a far better leader than Optimus Prime ever was. But sadly, the way they had him replace Optimus traumatized a generation of kids and caused some truly epic backpedaling from Hasbro, thus ensuring that Optimus Prime would always come back, no matter the toy line, no matter how often he was killed. And Rodimus? Well, he remains the greatest Autobot leader ever, but it took forever for Hasbro to finally give us a new figure of him that wasn’t really a Hot Rod with upgrade parts. But here he is now, the new Commander Class Rodimus Prime. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Let’s start by saying that Kingdom Rodimus Prime is, in my opinion, the best official Rodimus Prime robot ever. He is Voyager-sized and manages the rather difficult of job of looking like Rodimus, not like Hot Rod (it’s mostly the face). The look and feel of the figure is fabulous, the colors really pop, and the flame deco on the chest works just as well as it did 35 years ago. The figure is amazingly well articulated, including articulated hands, double knee and elbow joints, the whole nine yards. The figure is also very lean and smooth, no kibble worth mentioning, everything tabs together very solidly, and did I mention it looks fabulous?

Apart from being a great robot all by himself, Rodimus comes with a ton of cool accessories. He has a rifle that can fold in two for storage on the sides of his rucksack. He carries the great-looking Sword of Primus from the Regeneration comic series, which can tab into his back. And, of course, he comes with a Matrix of Leadership, too, which can store in his chest. Here, too, Rodimus is the best ever, as all the previous Rodimus figures that had a Matrix in its chest were kind of awkward to open up (I’m looking at you, Power of the Primes Rodimus), but it works very smoothly here. Rodimus can (just) hold the Matrix in his hands and there is even a special effects part for it to make it light out darkest hour. Very nice.

So bottom line: the robot mode is pretty damn perfect. If one simply has to see a flaw, then one could mention that the backs of his legs tend to pop open here and there, but that’s really just a very, very minor thing. Apart from that, a robot mode that gets two thumbs up from me.

Alternate Mode: Rodimus Prime’s classic alternate mode is the so-called Space Winnebago (from Spaaaaace!), a futuristic kind of caravan vehicle. Now when I saw the first pictures of this mode, I figured that someone had mistransformed it. Sadly, I was mistaken and I blame it on the fact that Hasbro could not quite stop themselves from putting some elements of Hot Rod into this figure. Because the actual Rodimus robot transforms not into a front portion for the Winnebago, but rather into the classic Hot Rod car mode.

Which isn’t a bad thing as such, mind you, and the car looks pretty good except for the rear end. You can use the car on its own, of course, and both the rifle and the sword can store in this mode, too. Nicely done. Unfortunately it means that, when linked up to the trailer, the car sticks out much too far, making for a very, very long Space Winnebago. I originally thought that there had to be some way to push him in further to shorten the vehicle, but there isn’t. So the Space Winnebago, while looking good, is too long.

There is also a rather common problem that the trailer does not quite close properly. This is apparently due to the way it’s stored in the package, which causes the plastic to warp slightly. There are tutorials on youtube how to fix that, but it’s not particularly bad on mine, so I didn’t bother. The Space Winnebago can open up it’s rear and, if the gun turret is removed from inside it, there is enough room for your average-sized car Autobot to up the ramp and store inside. The gun turret can be mounted on top of the trailer to give Rodimus fire power in vehicle mode, too.

So bottom line for the vehicle mode: not bad, but too long.

Accessories: Apart from the weapons and Matrix already mentioned above, Rodimus’ main accessory is, of course, the trailer. Much like the trailer of G1 Rodimus Prime, the trailer can open up to unveil a large gun turret that Rodimus can man. Unlike the G1 version, this gun turret can be removed to stand on its own or attach to the back of the robot mode, too. The latter feature is not mentioned in the instructions, by the way, but clearly intended, as the two pegs fit perfectly into the robot’s back.

At first glance the trailer itself is nothing special. It’s really just a box that opens up and has a ramp that can connect to other Transformers base/city modes from the WFC line. Then you see that it has a storage compartment underneath where you can store the Matrix effect and the two (rather ugly) smoke effects that can attach to Rodimus’ exhausts in both car and Space Winnebago mode. There is another, smaller compartment up front where you can store some of the other effect parts Rodimus comes with, too. There are 20+ sockets inside the trailer where you can attach weapons or effect parts. You can also set the trailer upright as a kind of throne / hang-out for the Rodimus robot. Our you can seat the robot behind the turret and turn the entire thing into a kind of gun sled / air boat thing. So what I’m trying to say here: the trailer offers tons of play value.

Bottom line for the trailer: it’s not much to look at, but it does offer so many possibilities to interact with the robot mode, it’s just plain fun. Just play with it a little and you’ll see.

Remarks: I’m sure you know the story: In the 1986 Transformers Movie, Hot Rod became the new Autobot Leader after Optimus Prime was killed in battle with Megatron. He defeated Unicron, he led the Autobots all through season 3 of the cartoon and was then demoted back to Hot Rod because apparently 80s kids would all kill themselves unless Optimus became leader again. Sadly Rodimus Prime never really recovered from that, as we usually only see him in his Hot Rod persona.

At the end of the day Rodimus Prime is an excellent toy with lots of play value. Some minor issues such as the trailer not closing properly and the alternate mode being too long don’t really distract from that. He is one of those toys that actually becomes more fun the more you play with him. That said, I still feel he is slightly overpriced in the Commander Class. Leader Class? No problem, he’s worth it easily. Commander Class, though? Not quite. So bottom line: a very fun figure and fully recommended to all fans of Rodimus / Hot Rod, but I do not recommend paying full price if you can help it. I got mine at a slight discount (thanks, Sentinel Bay Reviews) and am very happy with my purchase.

Rating: B+

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