Alrighty, folks, over the past four weeks I’ve been through all of the Deluxe Class Protectobots and that means there’s just one bot left to look at: Hot Spot! I can remember coming close to picking up the Generations version of him, which was just a repaint of the Inferno mold, and now that Hasbro has delivered a brand new version of the character, who also happens to be part of a genuine combiner team, I’m mighty glad I never pulled that trigger. Let’s take a look…
I don’t get to show off the Combiner Wars Voyager Class packaging here too often. In fact, I think the only other one I’ve picked up was Motormaster. Don’t forget my Silverbolt came in the Takara Giftset. The overall deco isn’t changed. It’s still a mostly black box with Transformers running up the side and a decent piece of character art on the front. There’s no free comic book, but you do get an art card. Hot Spot comes packaged in his robot mode, but as usual, I’m starting with the alt mode…
It wouldn’t be Hot Spot without a powder-blue fire engine as the alt mode and that’s exactly what you get here. While still plenty long, Hot Spot’s truck mode is a lot less bulky than I imagined it would be. That’s not really a criticism, just an observation. He still looks great with the rest of the Protectobot vehicles and while he’s a modern take on the fire engine, I find he still remains faithful to the original G1 toy. Everything tabs together beautifully making him a solid truck, although if you don’t get everything locked together just right he can have some clearance problems and you don’t want his beautiful chestplate scraping the ground.
There aren’t a lot of paint apps here, Hot Spot gets by mostly with blue, black, and white plastic. And that’s fine because he looks great. You do get a little red paint on the lights and some silver paint on the front of the vehicle. He also sports some bitchin’ “FIRE RESCUE” tampos on the sides complete with a flaming Autobot symbol. Nice! The mold also features a lot of nice sculpted details like grills, doors, equipment lockers and other doo-dads.
The ladder does raise and lower and it can rotate 360-degrees at the base, so there’s a little bit of play value there. You can also plug his guns into the side of the ladder base and they actually look like they’re meant to go there, rather than just tacked on goofiness. All in all, this is a great looking truck and a fine compromise between modern look and G1 nostalgia. He’d also make for an interesting RID Optimus Prime repaint. Just saying, Hasbro.
Transforming Hot Spot holds few surprises, but I do love the results. His legs are made up of the front of the truck with the lights forming his knees and the front of the cab his feet. The fact that the wheels land inside the legs is an interesting mix up and I dig the sculpted springs between his armor and his arms. The proportions here are quite nice too.
Yeah, Hot Spot is a fire engine, so obviously there’s going to be ladder kibble. I’ll concede that his back isn’t exactly pretty, but everything does pack away as neatly as can be expected. The ladder does clear the ground when Hot Spot is standing straight and it can be angled back so it’s out of the way for those wider stances. It does also come in handy sometimes as a counterbalance when posing him.
The headsculpt is pure G1 Sunbow goodness and between the “helmet” and that mouth plate, Hot Shot does indeed bear more than a passing resemblance to Optimus Prime. The darker blue for the mouth plate and the sharp red paint for the eyes are nice extra touches. I’m particularly impressed by the sculpted detail in the chest and shoulders and the silver and red paint really give the figure that extra pop. Very pretty!
Hot Spot comes with a pair of rifles, which can be neatly stored by pegging them into his backpack. You know, for those times that he’s not murdering the shit out of Decepticons and actually rescuing people. These guns continue the trend of Hasbro giving the Protectobots some truly great looking weapons. They can also combine into a longer weapon, but I’ll save that for the Defensor Feature.
The Combiner Wars Protectobots have been exceptional figures from the get-go and Hot Spot is no exception. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and say that he’s my favorite of the CW Voyager Class figures so far. The only real nitpick I can level against him is that he still has those rather unforgiving ratchet joints in his hips that don’t allow for a lot of subtlety when deciding on his stance. But that’s hardly a crippling issue and when a figure looks this good, I’m willing to overlook certain things. But can a team of figures this good possibly still manage to pull off a great combined mode? Well, I’ll find out next Thursday when I combine them all into Defensor!