Release Date: March 2022
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Spoiler, Sword
Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
- DISCOVER KINGDOM: Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever
- 3.5-INCH CORE CLASS SCALE: This Autobot Hot Rod collectible figure stands at the new Core Class scale! The 3.5-inch mini-figure allows fans to collect a mini version of the iconic character to pose out with other Autobot Hot Rod figures at larger scales! (Each sold separately, subject to availability)
- CLASSIC G1 EARTH MODE: This Core Class Autobot Hot Rod toy converts to G1-inspired racecar mode in 8 steps
- ENERGON WEAPON ACCESSORY: Comes with Energon sword accessory that attaches in both modes
- GREAT GIFT: This 3.5-inch Autobot Hot Rod makes a great gift for both kids and adults!
Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever. This Autobot Hot Rod collectible figure stands at the new Core Class scale! The 3.5-inch mini-figure allows fans to collect a mini version of the iconic character to pose out with other Autobot Hot Rod toys at larger scales! (Each sold separately, subject to availability.) This Core Class Autobot Hot Rod figure converts to G1-inspired racecar mode in 8 steps and comes with Energon sword accessory that attaches in both modes. This 3.5-inch Autobot Hot Rod makes a great gift for both kids and adults! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
As Kingdom closed out in early 2022 one of the last figures released in the line was a Core Class Hot Rod. This is not the first time Hot Rod has been released in a small scale. In G1 there was a Micromaster version released with the Japanese exclusive Star Convoy figure. Many (many) years later there was a Legends Class version in the Universe 2.0 line and then later a different kind of Legends Class was released in Combiner Wars.
If anyone misses out on the Kingdom Hot Rod figure, don't worry! This figure will be re-released (along with his sword) as part of Legacy, so fans will be able to have another chance at this figure in 2022.
The Core Class is now the only class of figures in Kingdom that are carded with a traditional clear bubble on top of a card. The card itself features gorgeous artwork showing Hot Rod in robot mode holding his sword. Hot Rod's name is printed vertically on the left side (as "Autobot Hot Rod") while the now familiar vertical Transformers logo is on the right. The insert features the Kingdom logo set at an angle. Right under that is a small image of the Ark on top of an erupting volcano. The artwork is all in a beautiful painted style that evokes the G1/Beast Wars era of packaging.
The back of the card features Hot Rod in both modes and an Autobot symbol towards the top calling out an 8 step transformation. A Transformers logo is found at the top with the classic "More than Meets the Eye" tag line under it. Hot Rod stands on top of graphics that look like a portal which likely plays a role in the story idea of having G1 and Beast Wars characters mix.
Note: This exact same figure was later reissued in Legacy packaging. Those images are included in the gallery below.
Hot Rod includes two accessories:
- Sword: It may seem odd to give Hot Rod a sword but in the 1986 film he was seen using a practice sword and many (many) years later he would wield the Sword of Primus so this is not without precedent. This sword is sculpted to look like it has a handle with an energy blade extending out from it. This piece is made of red plastic with the blade painted light blue. The handle has a 3mm peg for Hot Rod to use and the top section is a 5mm peg. There is a 3mm port on one side of the sword, allowing it to attach to the spoiler piece in vehicle mode.
- Spoiler: One of Hot Rod's classic features is a bit spoiler on his back with two points on either side. This figure is no exception. The spoiler was designed to separate so it could act as an accessory to attach to accessories from other Core Class figures (specifically in the Legacy line). This piece has a bit more detail than we traditionally see on Hot Rod's spoiler including vertical bits towards the sides and a line running across from one side to another. One side of the spoiler has a 5mm peg while the other has a 5mm peg. The front has a 3mm port as well, allowing you to attach the sword and forming a kind of crossbow weapon.
If you take the accessories that come with Legacy Core Class Skywarp and Iguanus, they connect to Hot Rod's sword to form a more elaborate looking weapon. I do not have those figures yet but once I do I will add a picture of that combination to this review.
Previous Hot Rod based figures at smaller scales have taken liberties with the character's design to accommodate the smaller price points. This time out, it appears Hasbro made a strong attempt to work in all the classic Hot Rod details they could into this figure. These include:
- The head sculpt is classic Hot Rod complete with the rounded helmet, thin crest in the middle and circles on the sides of the helmet.
- The torso design is a streamlined version of the car's front end complete with headlights on the edges and a "collar" design near the neck.
- The wrists each feature cone shaped sections leading to the wrists.
- Each forearm has exhaust pipes on the sides that double as blasters in the G1 cartoon.
- The spoiler attaches to the back panel, creating the classic look of Hot Rod's spoiler sticking up out of his back.
- The legs featured curved shapes along with three distinct triangular shapes on the lower legs that come right from a sticker on the G1 Hot Rod action figure.
Given the size class, I'm very fond of this sculpt. It's not perfect however. Presumably as a cost savings measure, the head is actually hollow when you look at it from the back and the profile view shows how the top part of the figure is really just a few thin sheets of plastic smooshed together, but honestly I don't care. I don't tend to stare at my figures from the back or side (but hey, if that's your thing, more power to you). Overall the sculpt looks cool in my book.
Hot Rod is made up of red and black plastic, with red making up most of the figure. As you'd expect, paint colors include yellow, orange, silver, grey and blue colors. There is a tiny Autobot symbol painted onto the middle of the chest on top of his classic flame design.
There are nine points of articulation on this figure. Many of them are ball joints, allowing a good range of movement. The joints are not super tight, but they aren't loose either. He has a 5mm port on his back (for the spoiler or weapons from other figures if you wish) and each hand has a 3mm port.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- On the back of each lower leg, swing out the car hood panels, then the windshield panels.
- Swing the arms up at the shoulders.
- Swing the lower legs out to the sides.
- Swing the back panel out to where the lower legs were.
- Swing the lower legs up and in.
- Bring the windshield/hood panels together.
- Push the windshield/hood section down.
- Attach the spoiler to the top of the vehicle towards the back.
- The sword can be attached to the spoiler.
*Note: The windshield section does not always sit flush against the rest of the vehicle right away. You may have to push it down firmly to get it to sit in place.
Creating Hot Rod on a small scale has presented challenges to designers in the past including the creation of a sleek, relatively thin vehicle mode that reflects the character's appearance in the G1 cartoon. The Combiner Wars version came close, but this one definitely beats in that department. The lines on th is vehicle mode are beautifully done. Sleek, curved and with the spoiler in the back it looks like it came right out of the cartoon. It also has some really nice detailing thanks to the engine sculpted into the hood, the exhaust pipes on the sides and the details on the spoiler. If you look carefully he even has rear lights sculpted into the bottom of his feet. My only reservation are the wheels, which unfortunately betray the large clips that keep them attached and lack any paint to cover them up. That said, I still think this mode looks fantastic.
All the colors form the robot mode carry over here with silver on the engine and the windows painted light blue. I do wish there had been paint on the sides of the wheels and the headlights, but I get the restrictions on this price point.
Core Class Hot Rod is an excellent figure. I love the sculpt in both modes and he has a unique transformation in the size class. His weapons add play value as well. Recommended!
- Excellent sculpt.
- Good play value.
- Good (but not perfect) deco.
- Could use a bit more deco.
- Not fond of the hollow head.