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Hot Spot

Transformers Combiner Wars
by yo go re

Don't just stand there! We have justice - and water - to dispense!

The duty of the Protectobots does not stop when the battle is over. Hot Spot and his team of heroes will come to mankind's defense whenever danger threatens.

Again, the bio says nothing about Hot Spot individually, just as part of his team. So we turn to Generation 1, where we learn that he's charismatic, inspirational, and generally would have been a great choice to lead all the Autobots, not just the Protectobots (so suck it, Ultra Magnus and Hot Rod). His only major flaw was that he didn't know how to relax - the robotic equivalent of that pantload you know who can't stop jiggling his leg. Sit the hell still, jerkwad!

He'd also make a good Autobot leader because he's clearly just got Optimus Prime's head. Ear antennae, forehead crest, big mouthplate, the whole shebang. The cartoon often showed him as having a mouth, but that just looks silly. Of course, it would also be a perfect excuse to reuse one of those goofy Unicron Trilogy "open" mouthplates.

The G1 toy was, like most G1 toys, a barely immobile block of a thing. This one kind of keeps that tradition alive, by being very square, but there are a lot of cool sculptural embellishments spicing him up. Look at the chest, with its open grill structure and interior springs (a pattern duplicated on the shoulders and legs). How about the big, heavy duty springs in his forearms, or the ones visible in the sides of his feet? He may not have a cool silhouette, but there a ton of nifty little details for you to enjoy.

Also, his articulation is pretty impressive as well. Since Hot Spot is the central part of a combiner, he bears the weight (literally) of holding everything together, so his shoulders and hips have some heavy-duty ratchet joints. He also moves at the head, biceps, elbows, thighs and knees. He's armed with a matched pair of rifles, presumably meant to be his fireball cannons: they can shoot bursts of 2000° blue flame 1.5 miles. The fictional items, not the toy's guns. That would be... excessive. Also, how do you control guns that can shoot 1.5 miles? It's fine if you hit what you're aiming at, but what if they dodge?

Back in the day, Hot Spot's altmode was a fire engine that actually looked like a real fire engine, with the exception of blowing the "in disguise" portion of "robots in disguise" by being that most traditional of fire engine colors, baby powder blue.

This new one keeps the blue, but loses the "looks like an inconspicuous truck" part of the equation, making for a weaker vehicle overall. Maybe it's based on some weird Japanese truck, but it certainly doesn't look like anything you'd see regularly. He's 9" long, 2¼" wide, and about 3" tall with the ladder down. The ladder rotates and elevates, but doesn't extend.

The truck gets weridly thin in the center, and there are big gaps that leave the robot face totally visible, just staring up at the sky. Plus, thanks to the ratchet joints, it's hard to get the front end of the truck aligned properly, leaving it angled down slightly. Overall, this is not a very impressive Transformer.

Luckily for Hot Spot, he's eventually going to have a whole set of additional Protectobots to support him and add some value. I haven't tried playing with his "Defensor torso" mode (because if you only get him and nothing else, you'll have no call to use it), so maybe that's really super awesome. But for now, we've got a nice robot, a vehicle that wants desperately to be repainted as RiD Optimus Prime, and a mediocre conversion between the two.

-- 06/23/15

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