Monday, December 27, 2010

Hironori Kobayashi Talks About MP Rodimus!

12.27.2010 - Transformers Masterpiece toy designer Hironori Kobayashi talks about his insights and in designing Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy.

Special thanks to TFW2005 where the translated interview can be found.

Better known for designing Speed Breaker from "Car Robot" (Side Burn from Robots in Disguise) as well as the man behind the Alternity and Master Piece toyline.
Jump after the cut for full interview...

- Do you have any memory of G1 Hot Rodimus or Rodimus Convoy?

I didn't get a chance to play with the Hot Rodimus toy when I was a child partly because the release of the Movie was late. I watched "Transformers the Movie" as a grown-up, and it prompted me to look for the toy, but it was very hard to come by. Then one day, I found an almost brand new one in the box at a collectors' shop I happened to go in. It wasn't on a regular shelf, but in the special display behind the cashier counter. I asked the price, and the answer was a challenging "Well, it's quite expensive." (*laughs)

It really was, but I thought I might never have another chance to have one if I missed it, and bought it as a special occasion. I was truly amazed at how masterfully it was made.

- As for Masterpiece Rodimus Convoy, did you consider a transformation process that included the trailer as seen in "the Movie"?

The trailer is mostly constructed with flat surfaces while Rodimus Convoy has many curved lines. So, if I tried to incorporate the trailer, it might result in boxy legs on Rodimus or the trailer might lose its flat surfaces. I didn't want to sacrifice either and decided on separating Mobile Defence Bay like the original toy. Of course Mobile Defence Bay has fun features only possible as a Masterpiece, such as the storage for the optional parts or fully transformable Blast Shield.

- How did you develop the transformation gimmick?

I had a rough concept of quadruple transformation, but first of all it was difficult to recreate Hot Rodimus, and he is the core. I recall most of my working hours were spent on bringing the appearance of the vehicle to its final form, because without finishing it I wouldn't be even able to decide on the width of the trailer. Also, there was a scene in "the Movie" in which Hot Rodimus switched his left and right arm during transformation, and I took that into consideration and included the rotation of the body into the transformation process. The thinness of the bonnet was also achieved because I managed to recreate the outward appearance.

- Any particular details that you hope to be appreciated?

The selling point of Rodimus is of course the quadruple transformation, but to be honest, I am hoping the combining Photon Eliminator will impress the most when you have the product in hand. I have always wondered why the original toy came with two guns. He used the laser on his arm most of the time, or when he used a firearm it was just one gun (in the cartoon). When I developed this Masterpiece version, I tried the combining option when creating (the gun) and it worked so perfectly that I was convinced it was always meant to be this way. It was a transformation gimmick like never before, and it took me the same amount or even longer time than the main figure to make it into a three dimensional form.

The clear panel parts on the waist are also where I put extra thoughts into. As you see in the anime character set up, his waist has side windows as an apparent morphing of the vehicle cockpit. Needless to say, it is not possible to have the vehicle windows there, but as a respect I made the parts clear like the windows. I also added the steering wheel and seats details on the other side. I'll be happy if you notice those parts in the actual toy.

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