When my favourite car was made into a Transformer, it was awesome. When it was used for a repaint with a new head, it was awesome. When that repaint turned out to be a San Diego Comic Con exclusive, it was slightly less awesome. When that Comic Con exclusive sold out while I was in the middle of trying to purchase it, that was remarkably, astoundingly, stupendously not awesome. That was 2007. Fast forward to 2011 and who do I find sitting all over the Botcon Dealer room for a very, very reasonable price?
Alternators Hot Rod! Granted, Hasbro has long ago lost the ability to call their character “Hot Rod”, so he is labelled Alternators Rodimus. Mirage is wonderful because he is the most famous of the paintjobs applied to the Ford GT. Hot Rod is awesome because he’s a Ford GT in the paintjob Ford GT owners probably wish the vehicle came in.
The classic Hot Rod paintjob just fits this car so well, it’s a crime this never happened. The closest a real-life Ford GT came to a flaming paintjob was when a red Ford GT actually burst into flames (caution, viewing that image can be a traumatic experience.) So, despite the fact that Alternators Rodimus has Rodimus Prime’s name and his quote,
“Wisdom will always defeat firepower.”
both point to him being his stodgy, grown-up form Rodimus Prime, I state categorically this is the turbo revvin’ young punk, Hot Rod. Why? First piece of evidence, the license plate.
Speaking of his headsculpt, another change he incorporates is a sliding visor that can be raised or lowered, in an homage to his appearance in the 1986 animated movie.
No, I like to think that the Alterators universe is one where the young, headstrong, confident Hot Rod never had to endure the overwhelming pressure of Autobot leadership. More importantly, never having to transform into a Space Winnebago.
There’s just too much fun and youthful showiness in this toy not to be Hot Rod.