Quote:As far as the toys were concerned the explanation is probably a simple one.
Quote:Season 3 of the animated series (in which Rodimus was still leader) ended in February 1987. Season 4 (in which it was intended Optimus once more become leader) aired in November of the same year. The Headmasters comic book (which first introduced Hot Rod as a Target Master) was published between these dates in July 1987. Transformers the Movie (which had first introduced Rodimus) had also just been released in December 1986.
Season 3 ended in March 1987. That Headmasters comic must have come out May 1987, as there was two-month gap there between when Marvel (and perhaps other comic book company) issues were really released, and what they're listed cover-month was (at least back then; or maybe March, see also: http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Ring_of_Hate
!). TFTM was released in the states on Aug. 8th of 1986 (see also: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092106/?ref_=nv_sr_1
Quote:In light of this what were probably looking at is a simple scheduling conflict as both Hot Rod and Rodimus had appeared in both the comics and animated series/movie extensively within the space of the last 12 months and were both probably popular sellers.
So you're saying that the RP toy was only rereleased in 1987 because it was a good seller?
Quote:The fact that the Headmasters comic was published after the end of Season 3 but before the start of Season 4 of the animated series suggests that it was always the plan to make Hot Rod a Target Master.
Quote:I expect that had the animated series continued to run throughout 1988 that Rodimus Prime toys would have been slowly phased off the shelves of toy stores in the same way that Hasbro had done with other toys that had been 'killed off'.
But Optimus Prime wasn't originally supposed to have returned. I still can't help thinking if they hadn't brought him back, Rodimus Prime would still have to be in charge, and there's be a TM HR too, as they're on the 1987 toy catalog together, and the catalogs usually featured toys that were promoted in the corresponding years of each season, and is reflected in some 1987 toy commercial cartoons. For example, Rodimus and Goldbug are shown at the start of the Punch/Counterpunch commercial toon, and him, Kup and Blurr in the Monsterbots one.
There has always been some DIS-continuity in the old G1 days between toys/comics/cartoons.
The comics likely wanted Hot Rod to be a Targetmaster and then show us stories in the future where he is instead RODIMUS PRIME.