"The Last Knight" Deluxe Autobot Hot Rod Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Autobots Unite, Deluxe, The Last Knight, Wal-Mart Exclusive

The Last Knight

Hot Rod General Information:
Release Date: October 2017
Price Point: $15.47-$19.99 (Price changed from initial release to the date this review was written)
Retailer: Walmart Exclusive (United States), General Release (in countries such as Japan)
Accessories: None

Official Photos above and text in italics below from Walmart.com:
Rally alongside the bravest bots in the universe when the Autobots Unite. Autobots Unite figures feature the greatest Autobot heroes from Transformers: The Last Knight movie. This Transformers Premier Edition Deluxe Autobot Hot Rod figure is articulated with eye-catching detail.

In the explosive Transformers: The Last Knight movie, the greatest Autobot heroes unite to protect the freedom of all sentient beings. Autobot Hot Rod doesn't look back at the battles he's won, only the feats yet to come. The brash warrior charges full force into a Decepticon firefight, eager to encounter his next chance to be a hero and inspire his fellow comrades to join the fight.

Figure Specs:

  • Premier Edition Deluxe Autobot Hot Rod figure
  • Modes: robot, Lamborghini Centenario vehicle
  • Converts in 14 steps
  • 2016 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • Licensed by Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Italy.

Transformers: Autobots Unite Premier Edition Deluxe Autobot Hot Rod:

  • Premier Edition Deluxe Autobot Hot Rod figure
  • Designed with eye-catching detail
  • Converts to Lamborghini Centenario vehicle mode
  • Converts in 14 steps
  • Unite with the greatest Autobot heroes
  • Includes Autobots Unite Premier Edition Deluxe Autobot Hot Rod figure and instructions
  • Ages 8 and up

Packaging:
Autobot Hot Rod is packaged in a "Premier Edition" style box, however the graphics are not exactly the same. Most notably, there is an "Autobots United" logo on the top and near the top of the figure. The lower portion does not just feature artwork for Hot Rod, but rather it shows Hot Rod and Bumblebee side by side. While the "Autobots United" campaign was originally revealed to be a Walmart exclusive theme (akin to the Toys 'R' Us "Mission to Cybertron" series) Hot Rod figures with this same packaging have been found at mass release in other countries such as Japan.

Robot Mode:
When this figure was first revealed, fans immediately recognized the basic design of the figure as belonging to "Age of Extinction" Lockdown. Indeed, the two figures do share some engineering and parts, making him a retool. However, there is significant retooling done and Hot Rod is actually larger than Lockdown in both modes. In many ways, this retooling is akin to the work done to turn the "Titans Return" Triggerhappy figure into "Titans Return" Misfire but with a size bump up!

Aside from size, here are the major changes made between Lockdown and this figure:

  • The head sculpt is different (of course), using the design seen in the movie. To me the design is vaguely bird-like, with large eyes and amouth that looks a bit like a tiny beak. It's not my favorite head design among the movie figures, but it does look like the character on screen.
  • The shoulder armor is different, with three thin piece sticking out in front instead of being one smooth piece.
  • The forearms are completely different design than Lockdown's, featuring part of the front wheels on them and regular fists instead of Lockdown's more claw-like hands.
  • The chest armor panels are different since Lockdown and Hot Rod transform into different versions of the Lamborghini and these panels form part of the vehicle's front end.
  • The piece in the center of the chest, underneath the panels has a completely different sculpt than Lockdown's, and more of it is covered by the aforementioned chest panels than on Lockdown.
  • The waist/hip area is not only a different sculpt than Lockdown's, it is also longer. This adds some height to the figure and gives it better proportions than Lockdown.
  • The thighs on the figure are completely new sculpts featuring angled armor at the top and overlapping armor on top of machinery underneath. This does not have wheels on the hips (since they are now on the arms) nor does it have the distinctive "spring" shaped detail on Lockdown's thighs.
  • The lower legs use the same sculpting as Lockdown's lower legs and feet but they have been "upsized" to be in proportion with the rest of the figure.
  • The pieces that form the back of the figure are different, though the fold up the same way as they do on Lockdown. More details on this in the vehicle mode review section.

For the most part, the design of this figure matches up with the look of the CG model used in "The Last Knight". This is no surprise since it was recently revealed that Hot Rod's CG model was in part, based on the model for Lockdown. There are some slight differences however. The chest panels lay flat against the chest on the toy, but the CG model has them slightly raised. Also this figure has a flat back whereas the CG model has the doors on the back (they wind up on the arms on this toy). The feet on this figure look like Lockdown's, complete with the "toes" sticking out in front, but the movie concept art shows Hot Rod with feet that look almost like a pair of shoes on the character with a rounded edge and no toes. There are also differences in the shape of his shoulder armor. Still, the overall look does a good job of representing the on screen character.

Hot Rod is mostly cast in a beautiful metallic black and silver plastic. This matches fairly well with his CG model, though I think if it were to be more screen accurate the silver would have to be a darker gunmetal grey. Red, black and silver paint are used on various parts (mostly focused on the lower torso and legs) to provide detailing. The eyes appear to be translucent plastic with some blue painted around them, but there is no light piping. The deco looks good and represents one of my favorite color combinations (black, silver and red).

There are fifteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes three on each arm and four on each leg. There is no waist articulation sadly. Both of Hot Rod's fists have 5mm ports but the figure does not come with any accessories for him to hold. This is a shame because his weapon in the movie was a very unique one, allowing him to slow down time in a contained area. It would have been awesome if he had the weapon to use in this form.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Point the feet down.
  3. Turn the lower legs out, then push them together.
  4. On each arm, swing the outer panels in to begin forming the sides of the vehicle mode.
  5. On the chest, push each chest panel out to the sides slightly.
  6. Pull the back section and swing it up.
  7. Pull the section with the windshield up and swing it forward.
  8. Swing the section with the robot head on it down.
  9. Rotate the lower robot body piece around and swing it up, lining the chest panels up with the central part of the vehicle mode's hood.
  10. On the section under the rear window, there are two small black panels on either side. Swing those out.
  11. Swing the robot leg sections back.
  12. On each arm, rotate the forearms out.
  13. Push the arms in to form the sides of the car.
  14. Swing the shoulder armor back and connect them together.

Vehicle Mode:
Hot Rod transforms into a Lamborghini Centenario. This high end sports car has a low profile, sleek lines and a fierce appearance that fits the "spirit" of G1 Hot Rod. This is a different model from Lockdown's vehicle form (which was a Lamborghini Aventador). While both are sleek sports cars with some design similarities, the Centenario has a distinctive design. This figure mirrors several of the real life car's design elements including:

  • The design of the hood section has a design that is raised in the middle and then extends out to the sides before angling towards the sides of the car.
  • The middle of the hood has the Lamborghini logo sculpted into it.
  • The section under the front of the hood has distinct vertical panels set at angles.
  • The side view mirrors are "L" shaped, with the mirror forming the long part set on top of a vertical post connected to the doors.
  • The headlights are triangular in shape with the angle going inward towards the middle of the hood.
  • The sides have a section along the bottom that extends outward, making the doors look like they are pushed into the sides.
  • The sides of the wheels have five "spokes" that look like fan blades.
  • The top of the rear section has a distinctive cover including three panels that overlap in the center.
  • The middle of the rear section has a thin rectangle for the license plate.
  • The exhaust pipes are three, oval shaped openings in the center.
  • The lower part of the rear section has vertical panels that extend outward, serving as a visual callback to the panels in the front.

The joy of licensed vehicle modes on Transformers toys is the attention to detail (since these are subject to licensor approval). From a sculpting perspective this vehicle mode looks absolutely amazing.

This mode mostly shows off the metallic black plastic from the robot mode. The windows are cast in a smokey grey translucent plastic. Metallic black paint is used to paint the top of the cabin section and matches up very nicely with the black plastic. Red trim is used on the bottom edges of the vehicle in a similar pattern to the real life vehicle. However, he lacks the red lines running along the sides of the windshield section. The sides of the wheels are painted silver and the Lamborghini logo in the front has gold trim on it. The deco could have used a bit more in the back (like painting in the rear lights), but overall it's a goreous looking vehicle mode that represents its real life counterpart very well.

Final Thoughts:
Hot Rod is a really great (and interesting) retool/redeco of Lockdown. It is not often a retool not only has new parts but also gets sized up. If you can get your hands on this figure for retail price, I absolutely recommend it to add to your Autobots from "The Last Knight". The biggest strike against this figure is its lack of accessories. It would be one thing if he just had a regular gun that fired bullets or lasers, but his weapon was so distinctive (and featured heavily in two key scenes) that it really deserved to be included. Now, it is likely that the designers did not even have footage to work off of when they made this figure, but some type of blaster would have at least been a nice substitute.

Pros:

  • Amazing retool and redeco work (including the upsizing and alteration of the transformation).
  • Great details in both modes.
  • Lamborghini mode is about 90% accurate to the real life vehicle's design.

Cons:

  • No weapon included.
  • The deco could use a bit more work in vehicle mode.