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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Numbat's review of: LOC red Hotshot

Name: Hot Shot (Series 4 repaint)
Allegiance: Autobot
Function:
Sub-Group: Legends of Cybertron

A strange thing has happened since Hasbro lost the rights to the name 'Hot Rod'. Although 'Rodimus' was the original replacement name, the various characters in more recent lines carrying Hot Rod's legacy have diverged, so as you might even say that Hot Rod's character has been split in twain. Now we have the Rodimi and the Hot Shots. Rodimus characters always have a very striking resemblance to Hot Rod in colour scheme, whereas Hot Shots tend to look somewhat like him physically, but the greatest resemblance is in persona. The Cybertron series created a Hot Shot that smacked of Hot Rod in every way... bar one the stark contrast of a cool blue paintjob. Of course, Hasbro / Takara, ever ready to cash in on, erm, anything, released the figure in more Hot Rod-esque colours as Excellion (Hasbro) and Red Exillion (Takara). I have to say, I was very close to picking up the Hasbro version of these deluxe figures for the Hot Rod nostalgia, but with Classics already ordered, I figured I'd just wait...

But we have, of course, my love of wee Transformers, and the Legends of Cybertron (LOC) line. Hot Shot, being such a central character, was released as a LOC figure as part of the first wave, in his original colours. However, Series 4 saw him repainted as his Deluxe Excellion counterpart. Oddly, though, the name was not changed as with his larger brother, and Hot Shot he remains, with no other written distinction from his blue version than the series mark on the box...

I do have to say, though, given the fact Hasbro has their Classics line planned, and were repainting the LOC figures for this, I have no idea why they didn't hold off on releasing this figure with the Classics. The 'Bumblebee' repaint seems terribly ill-advised, and this would have made a perfectly acceptable Classics Legends Rodimus. I'm sure Hasbro could have filled the spot with say, an LOC Sky Shadow instead, but, hey, I doubt I'll ever fathom some of Hasbro's thinking...


Alternate Mode:

Hot Shot's alternate mode is a 3 1/4 (8.5cm) long futuristic sports car. That puts him in at a length equivalent to your average Spychanger, although he is a little more bulky.

The colours of this Series 4 repaint are, of course, a huge homage to G1 Hot Rod. The car design is a beautiful update of that classic character, and the new colour scheme really sets it off. I could never really get into the original Hot Shot blue set-up, even after watching a fair bit of the Cybertron show (thank you internet...). It just always screamed to be red, with flames! And now, this LOC version is following in the deluxe repaint's footsteps.

The red is a little brighter than G1 Hot Rod's maroon, but it looks good, and the golden flames are wonderfully done. The headlights are brought out with silver, while the huge canopy screens are steel-blue. Detailing is superb, with even the wheels given spokes and a simple tread. A touch of orange on the front bumper really complements the flames.

The wings at the rear can be manually extended, and are orange, making the homage complete.

This is one Hell of a cool alternate mode, knocked up a notch ('Bam!') by the superb nostalgia element and its small size (not a Spice Weasel).


Robot Mode:

The LOC figures are miniature representations of their larger counterparts, and, unlike those few Spychangers who would claim the same, these guys are designed to mimic even the transformation. This has been done to mixed success, but the issues of over complexity were never going to arise with Hot Shot. An oft repeated comment on the deluxe is the simplicity of its transformation. This need not be a bad thing, and is rarely brought up as a negative merely a fact. Our friendly little Hot Shot, red or blue, shares this transformation with his larger counterpart. And it is simple compared with other LOC figures, and unfortunately, the designers have not capitalised on the possibilities this opens up for the robot mode.

Standing 4 (10cm) tall, Hot Shot looks like he could give LOC Galvatron a run for his money. He is bulky in width, although slim front-to-back. With such a well detailed alternate mode, it is a shame the designers slacked off when it came to the robot. There is little molded detail, and the guy is missing even a suggestion of feet (Spychangers at the very least had those inadequate exhaust-feet!). The only real consolation here is the totally out-of-place head sculpt which is good.

The paint scheme is not bad, although the solid black does give something of an S&M quality that would be gratefully absent with a softer tone.

Unfortunately, the proportions are very strange at points such as the terribly thin upper-arms! Also, there are excellent opportunities for decent articulation in this little figure all of which have been squandered. Although his arms are vaguely poseable thanks to shoulder ball joints, and the hinge from the transformation, the legs, totally unhindered by anything mode than a slide, are endowed with a single ball joint at the hip. A knee hinge is actually naturally there thanks to the construction, but the molding of the legs prevents any movement. A terrible and careless oversight!

But, as I am discovering, articulation is the single most widespread problem with the LOC line.

Still, the robot mode, although a lot less Hot Rod-like than the car, delivers heavy nostalgia with the wings, head, gold leg triangles, and most wonderfully those wrist blasters (even if a bit hidden by the car window)!


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 5 It is rather easy, especially given others in this line, but is nice. Unfortunately, the back of the car is apt to slide around in robot mode.
Durability: 7 Hot Shot is one of the more robust LOC figures, and has detachable joints. Still, I think some elements are likely to loosen in time, and the wings are flimsy.
Fun: 8 He is an exceedingly fun wee TF! Particularly in car mode, which is very displayable to boot!
Price: At 2.97 ($5.50), I consider mine a bargain. You can expect to find much higher prices online, so I'd recommend picking him up in a store if you see him you'll save up to half the alternative price!
Overall: 7 If you are going to own a LOC Hot Shot, I'd say this should be that one. Although the robot mode is, unfortunately, one of the poorer of the line, the nostalgia element far outweighs this. Frankly, this version of LOC Hot Shot should be in any serious collection of wee Transformers.

 
 
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