Time is rapidly running out on Extended Armada Week, with only three entries left. I hadn’t originally planned on bringing Hot Shot to the table, but I reconsidered. Hot Shot was, afterall, intended as a major character in the toyline, and he’s one that I would have probably resisted buying if I hadn’t been so mad with the Armada Fever at the time and buying everything in sight. He’s one of those figures that really makes me sit back and ponder that these are toys designed for kids, not aging alcoholics geeks pushing 40 looking at them as collectibles. Hot Shot is a fantastic toy, but as a collectible, he really sucks. Let’s see why.
Hot Shot’s auto mode is not that bad. Yes, it looks very toyish, maybe a little super deformed. The painted windows don’t help much and the blinding bright yellow plastic is a bit much on the eyes. I do kinda dig the removable engine that sits exposed on top of the hood. The car holds together really well and rolls great, and it has a chunky, sturdy build to it that seems like it would stand up really well to kids crashing it and roughhousing with it. You can’t say that for a lot of Transformers that have come since. Pressing down on the engine springs open Hot Shot’s front bumper into what I assume is supposed to be a capture claw or something. He has three Minicon Ports on his spoiler, but none of them are live.
Transforming Hot Shot is pretty easy, and what you get is one really goofy looking robot. His blinding canary yellow is now accompanied by a bright red, which doesn’t help things along much, but is probably helpful if you’re trying to get a little kid with ADD to play with it. The engine block plugs into his chest for a little added detail and while he has ball jointed hips and decent articulation in the legs, his arms are totally worthless. His head features a flip down visor, which is nice because it covers that, dopey “hey guys, come steal my milk money” look he’s got on his puss. Jamm, indeed.
In robot form, Hot Shot’s Minicon gimmick is actually pretty cool. His rear axel springs out and turns into a missile launcher. It’s a really clever design and concealed really well. In a toy that doesn’t show off a lot of good design, that gimmick is pretty impressive.
Hot Shot’s little Minicon buddy is the red helicopter Jolt. He’s definitely one of my favorite Minicons, because his helicopter and robot modes are both pretty solid. He’s also really sturdy for a Minicon. I’ve yet to have tiny bits fall off of him while transforming him.
As expected, Hot Shot was repainted and re-released (with a little bit of remolding) as Powerlinx Hot Shot. I know I originally said I wasn’t going to include any of the Powerlinx figures this week, but I really had to because Powerlinx Hot Shot is a fine example of how a great paint job can take a lacklustre toy and make it much, much better. As for regular flavor Hot Shot. He’s definitely not a figure I would produce if I was looking to show someone why I collect these things. On the other hand, the next time my 5-year old nephew comes over and demands to play with one of my toys, chances are pretty good he’s going to get Hot Shot here.