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Hot Shot

Transformers: Prime
by yo go re

Hmm. Something seems amiss, here.

Hot Shot spends most of his time trying to prove himself worthy of being called warrior by the older Autobots. Unfortunately, this often means either showing off, which bugs the more experienced soldiers, or rushing headlong into danger, which requires a rescue. He's got a lot of potential, but he's also got a lot to learn.

Hot Shot's altmode is a made-up sports car, known in-universe as an "Urbana 500." We know because an ad for the car model appeared on tv in one episode, proving that when Transformers take these STBLDF car models, they're still technically "in disguise" for whatever universe they're inhabiting. The Urbana 500 is a low, square vehicle with its engine poking up through a hole in the hood. The body of the car is blue and has yellow and orange flames running back from the front, which kind of makes him look like Tracks, but is actually a combo homage to Cybertron and Robots in Disguise Hot Shots.

At Toy Fair this year, Hot Shot somehow ended up being displayed with four guns instead of two, and ridiculous as it was, it kind of makes sense for a character with "Shot" in his name - so I gave him a second set from Bumblebee and now he looks stupidly overpowered. Hooray!

The reason Hot Shot can use Bumblebee's weapons? Because he's the same mold. Not the First Edition Bumblebee we reviewed before, the regular release. It's smaller and less complex, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Converting Hot Shot is a totally elegant process. Pull out the car's trunk to form legs, open the doors, fold down the forearms, and when you spread the shoulders out to the sides, an automorph feature raises his head into place by itself. Clever! The entire process is smooth and easy to master, and thus a lot of fun.

Hot Shot is Prime's version of Hot Rod. But "Hot Rod" isn't a trademarkable name, so in the videogame they planned to call him Rodimus. But then they decided fans should get to see how he becomes Rodimus, so they called him Hot Shot. But that now means that instead of going from a character named Hot Rod to Rodimus, he goes from Hot Shot to Rodimus. Shouldn't he then be "Hotimus?"

Just as the car is smaller than the First Edition BB, so the robot is smaller too. There's a chunk of kibble behind his head that takes him up to 5⅝", but his head is about ½" lower than that. The sculptural detail is easily on par, however, so don't assume that just because he's smaller he's not as good. The bot is still mainly blue, but a lot of orange appears in this mode as well, so the robot really "pops." This is a very cool looking TF, and you'd never mistake him for Bumblebee.

The head is new, and does its part to homage Armada Hot Shot by having a visor that drops down over his eyes. It's black, and has translucent blue lenses that allow light to shine through - or they would, if the kibble didn't block his lightpiping. His face is silver and blue, and he has silver eyebrows. Yes, those are his eyebrows, not his eyes.

Hot Shot moves at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, forearms, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck, which is plenty to get him into dynamic butt-kicking poses. The guns that formerly fit on the car's hood can either be held in his hands or plugged into his forearms. And since each gun has a 5mm hole in the back, you can plug more weapons into them! This guy is a total gun nut. Yet again, doubling up the weapons makes them look insanely cool.

Since I already had one Bumblebee, I wasn't about to buy a second - but since I didn't buy the new figure, Hot Shot managed to avoid the "only one of a mold" pitfall! Success! This is a really good figure, too - the only area in which it's not better than the First Edition BB mold is the size.

-- 07/10/12

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