Release Date: June 2010
Price Point: $72 (in a two pack with Cindersaur, limited to 1500 pieces)
Retailer: Botcon 2010 Exclusive
*Official photos from Botcon.com.
I have very fond memories of Rapido. He was the first Generation 2 figure I owned that was not a redeco or reissue of a Generation One figure. He struck me as being a rather interesting figure with his futuristic car mode and weapon that could be stashed away in vehicle mode (not something that was common at the time). I really dug him and when the time came to develop a Generation 2 set, Rapido was a natural fit for the set. I'd say he was one of those characters everyone who contributed to the set absolutely agreed upon without dispute. In many ways, he is one of the more "pure" G2 characters in the set who was original to G2 and not carried over from a previous generation.
Each year, when planning for the Botcon toys, we work hard to find ways to utilize the same sculpt for a couple different characters if possible. Rapido's base sculpt is the Universe 2.0 Silverstreak mold. This was later repurposed as Smokescreen. For Botcon 2010, this sculpt was given a new deco as Streetstar. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release, and arguably this is the version that was changed the most out of all those mentioned above.
It was a conscious choice to make the tech spec for Rapido written in Spanish since the name "Rapido" means fast in that language. We of course later posted the English version on Botcon.com, but I think it's a touch that most fans appreciated.
Rapido's vehicle mode is quite the change from his source figure. Instead of silver, red is the primary plastic color here. In addition there is black and clear plastic. The wheels are cast in black while the windows and headlights are clear. The red is not an exact match to the G2 Rapido, but it is very close. The clear plastic is a good choice as Rapido actually had two different window colors in G2, a grey one and a pink one (the pink only came out in Europe). The plastic is less obtrusive than pink and keeps the focus on the other colors in the figure. Due to the way the tooling is laid out, the side doors and the top of the cabin section are cast in translucent plastic, necesitating heavy use of paint decos to give them color.
The decos on this figure take their inspiration from the G2 Rapido's colors. Rapido uses a combination of tampographed details and paint applicatons. Black paint is found on the front end and the top of the cabin section. It's also used for a huge number "19" on the doors, which is a direct homage to details found on G2 Rapido. There is also a black stripe running down the bottom edge of the vehicle on the sides, another detail carried over directly from G2 Rapido. Silver is used for the sides of the wheels and the rear window. The rear window detail in particular is interesting since this is where G2 Rapido had his silver weapon stored in vehicle mode. This is a particularly awesome bit of deco work that manages to pay homage to the original in a way that isn't immediately obvious. Additional paint work is done with yellow and white. The front lights have rectangular yellow lights while the top of the windshield has a G2 Autobot symbol with the word "Autobot" next to it. This may seem to defeat the purpose of being a "robot in disguise", but it is in fact a direct carry over detail from G2 Rapido and it looks fantastic. The white paint is found on the rear of the vehicle, where it is used to paint the rear lights.
The front of the vehicle has a silver G2 Autobot symbol tampographed onto it with a black border. The back section has black and pink stripe details. These match up with very similar details to those found in the same area on G2 Rapido. The pink also helps reinforce some of the "bright color" stereotype that G2 Transformers are known for. Considering the Botcon exclusives are generally targeted at a very specific group that loves homages (for the most part), this works out perfectly.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Flip the car over and detach the gun from the front end. Fold its halves out and set it aside for now.
- Swing up the panels at the rear of the vehicle.
- Swing back the rear of the vehicle.
- Swing the roobt feet pieces forward, and swing out the heel pieces.
- Pull the sides of the vehicle out and rotate them around on the ball joint (if it pops off, just snap it back on).
- Swing the robot arms down and then out to the sides.
- Fold the two halves of the car sides together.
- Swing the center of the car's front section forward and the robot head will swing up automatically, push the section back down.
- Swing the robot chest down.
- Swing up the rocket launchers over the shoulders.
- Straighten out the arms and put the gun in one of the fists.
Between Streetstar and Rapido, it was Rapido who was chosen to receive a new head sculpt. Based on his G2 predecessor, this head features a really nice design that takes its design cues from past generations of Transformers but adds some detailing. The "helmet" portion has a V shaped crest in the center which leads to a long "U" shaped section. The sides have vent like protrusions while the face has two small eyes with a mouth plate. The mouth plate has a chin piece sticking out in the middle. This design matches up very well with the G2 Rapido figure. Kudos to the designers on this sculpt!
If Generation 2 is to be remembered for its dedication to unusual colors, then the robot mode definitely helps fit the bill. This mode introduces two new colors into the mix: silver and a bright shade of green. The green is directly inspired by the green color used on G2 Rapido and makes up parts such as the shoulder rockets, upper legs and thighs. Silver makes up other parts such as the waist, forearms and his blaster weapon. His chest, doors, hands and legs are all red, with black making up smaller parts such as his feet and hip sections. What's interesting is that you'll find certain parts such as his fists and heel pieces are a metallic type of red plastic instead of the flat red used on the rest of the figure. This adds a nice element of color that looks fantastic. Silver was not really used heavily in the original Rapido, but here it serves as a great color to break up the monotony of having only the green and red colors make up the robot mode.
Many of the vehicle mode paint decos take center stage in this mode as well. This includes the silver from the back of the vehicle mode, now found on his lower legs as well as the huge number "19" on his car doors (now his wings). New paint decos are show up in the form of green, silver and orange paint. The green matches up with the green plastic and is found on his face and hip section. Silver is used for the rockets on his shoulders and the "helmet" portion of the head. The colors come together very well and show that as "loud" as some of the colors from Generation 2 may be, they work very well together.
In terms of production quality, the Rapido figure I have suffers from none of the issues of Streetstar. All his joints are tight and none of the parts come off easily. This was quite a relief as when I reviewed Streetstar I was worried the tooling was wearing out.
Botcon 2010 Rapido is a fantastic redeco and retool. The sculpt works perfectly for the character and the new head sculpt is awesome. It's not going to be cheap to find this, so I really only recommend this for hardcore fans who appreciated the original figure (either for its design or aesthetics). Given all that, this figure is highly recommended!