The Re-Release of Hot Rod!

Special Thanks to Particle Man for researching and compiling this painstaking comparison between the original Hot Rod and the reissue Rodimus Major. Special thanks to myself for adding additional information, such as the reissue Targetmaster version info further below. :-) Note that the reissue Hot Rod from Takara is the same molding as the American TRU reissue.

An in-depth analysis of all the differences between original Hot Rod and reissue Hot Rod-reissue is always on the left, original on the right unless I seperated that particular change into two seperate pictures. A later-release plastic toed original Hot Rod was used.

(Editor's Note: Excepting the change in copyright stamping and the modified plastic toes, the metal and plastic original versions of Hot Rod are, mold-wise, functionally identical for this comparison)

First differences are the colors- the reissue Hot Rod main body is a lighter shade of red. The spoiler of the reissue is a darker shade of yellow. The reissue windshield is slightly lighter blue than the original.

The reissue Hot Rod's engine hole has a thick inner lip (and a deeper hole for the screw) wheras the original has a thin lip and a shallow hole. Hands were changed too. The original has flat hands, the repro has a circular ridge around each hand (think Defensor fist tabs).

(Editor's Note: That's because they essentially 'reverse-engineered' the later Targetmaster molding back into a pseudo original...good thing they had more than one TM mold to use. :-))



The guns are changed, and the peg of the original guns is too big for the reissue hands. (Editor's Note: So essentially, the reissue guns fall out of the originals hands too. :-)) The reissue guns are made of dull grey/silver plastic, while the original guns are made of shiny grey plastic.

Large gun changes: The original long gun is solid on the underside, the repro gun has a small molded hole. The original has a small 4 imprinted, while the reissue has a 3...there could be originals with multiple numbers like the jet fists though, I'm not sure.

(Editor's Note: Yes. :-) I've seen 2, 3, and 4 thus far, transitioning from Japan to Taiwan manufacture.)

Small gun changes: Both small guns have a 3, but the reissue gun has the same hole in the peg that the large gun has, while the original small gun has a solid peg. Since the pegs (that I have) are the same for the reissue but different for G1, perhaps there is a hollow peg G1 gun? (Editor's Note: Not that I've seen thus far, but don't discount it yet.)

What would any change be without an eye variant? The reissue version has light blue eyes, while the original has noticably darker blue eyes and noticably sloppier spray ops. The Autobot sticker is also printed differently. Speaking of stickers...the reissue Hot Rod has large thigh stickers, but they're slightly different than the original. In fact, all of the stickers are different. The G1 stickers are shinier and more sloppily printed, while the reissue stickers are printed on a little better stock.

(Editor's Note: Stickers on all the reissues are now expertly rendered on computer. Original sticker sheets on the jets used to be hand-drawn, therfore sloppy. The reissue jet stickers now look crisp. The phenomenon carries over to all stickers that needed a little touch-up, such as Hot Rod's. :-))

Oh, and one more change that maybe you'll be able to scan in better than I can-the copyright. Everyone makes a big deal how this Hot Rod has the 1986 copyright, but where both have the joint Hasbro and Takara stampings (the orange bar behind the hood in robot mode), the repro also has a big CHINA stamp on the right corner (looking at it) as well. OK, that's enough for me for now, next time (assuming I can get to my storage space), I'll tackle Ultra Magnus. There's also not one, not two, but at least 3 (!) disctint types of Turbomaster missle. Arrrgh! -Bryan/Particle Man

(Editor's Note: Again, unlike the Prime and Magnus reissues, the American version of reissue Hot Rod hasn't changed at all from his initial re-release in Japan. Molding is the same. The only difference is the packaging...well that, and the fact that Japan got these cool black and clear reissues, too. ;-))

The Re-release of Targetmaster Hot Rod!

What an unholy mess. They retooled again...and once again, no accessories are compatible with any others. :-) You have *got* to give these guys credit. Unavailable in the original TM versions, the reissue comes with a pair of photon rifles in addition to the Firebolt TM partner...excepting that the handles are now a molded 3-stage type. These reissue guns do not fit *anybody's* hands; they don't fit the original regular versions, the original TM versions, or the reissue regular version, ironically enough. They only fit the reissue TM version. Cool.

What I find quite nice is that firebolt is nearly identical in mold-sizing; he is the one gun that any of the TM versions of Hot Rod can hold. They will swap between them. It's a bit of an akward fit all around, but it can be done. That being said, don't bother, as you can tell the TM guns apart. Firebolt is now silver instead of grey, and the rivet that held him together has been replaced with a pin.

The change, once again, has been in the hand holes and engine block. The reissue copyright stamping once again reads 86 China. Speaking of changees; as PrimeSabre has pointed out, take note of the neat tampo-stamping that's going on in-place of regular factory sticker. I love it.

One final note of interest: Some reissue molds (minibot Warpath) get cleaned up/repaired when they are reissued. For some reason, when they redid this fellow, they left the corner of the mold damaged...heck, it looks worse than it did originally. Just odd. ;-)