It’s likely that next week I’ll have a new figure to look at for Transformers Thursday, but in the meantime, I’m rolling up my sleeve and digging into one of the Unicron Trilogy totes for this week’s feature. I came out with Cybertron Hot Shot and I dove back in to find his repaint Excellion. I’ve got no packaged shots to show you, so let’s just get started with Hot Shot and his alt mode.
Cybertron had some totally bitchin’ alt modes and this is definitely one of them. Keep in mind, this is his sports car mode, before he went all “Defense Force” on us and turned into an armored personnel carrier, but that’s a Feature for another day. Here his car mode is sleek and futuristic and sports a rather large yellow tinted canopy. There isn’t a whole lot of sculpted detail on this car, but you do get some intake vents and a tiny Autobot emblem on the front of the hood. The deco is blue with some yellow on the back and a few red accents. The wheels are painted silver and you get some additional yellow tinted plastic on the headlamps. The choice of colors here doesn’t do a whole lot for me, but it’s not bad. There’s also a top mounted engine on the back, which has a port on it so you can peg in his gun. It also houses his CyberKey gimmick. Plug in the key…
…And it just pops out a pair of rather anemic looking wings. On the one hand, it gives the toy some more of that glorious clear yellow plastic. On the other hand, I’m not sure the purpose here. Are those supposed to get the car off the ground? Eh, why not. If it worked for Tracks, I’ll buy it. It’s worth noting that the springs on my toy are showing their age and it is an absolute bitch to get the wings to lock back into place.
Transforming Hot Shot results in a robot mode that both impresses and disappoints. Overall he has a decent profile and he’d have good proportions too if it weren’t for the derpy little forearms. His car door kibble also extends way beyond his hands making them seem beyond intrusive. If you look closely, Hasbro tried to rationalize it buy sculpting some guns in there, but they’re really hard to see. The back of the bot features the canopy hanging off as a sort of tail and the spoiler serves as heel spurs.
But damn, look at that face! One thing the Cybertron series knew how to do was sculpt some handsome robot faces. He’s so damn regal looking, even with those ugly exposed screws on the fronts of his shoulders. The deco in robot mode adds a lot of darker blue and some more red. I dig how his chest looks almost like it’s the hood of a car, albeit a different car. Not sure if that was by design, but it sort of drives home his Autobot heritage. That was a robo-pun. And, oh yeah… that’s a sculpted Autobot emblem on his shoulder. Always a plus in my book!
In robot mode, Hot Shot’s CyberKey gimmick doesn’t really do much except he does look better with the wings extended. Naturally, he can wield his gun, which fires a missile and is crafted in more of that delicious clear yellow plastic. I’m really not a clear plastic nut when it comes to my toys, but the Cybertron figures sure knew how to use it to enhance the look of these toys. Moving on to his buddy, Excellion…
Thankfully, Hot Shot was repainted into a new character and not just a powered up version of himself. I know, I can call these figures whatever I want, but releasing a repaint under the same character name just cheeses me off. In auto mode, Excellion is mostly red and orange with a gold flame motif on his hood. It also replaces all the yellow clear plastic with blue clear plastic. I can’t help but presume that Hasbro was going for a Hot Rod/Rodimus homage here, although going with the gold and blue instead of yellow does kind of make it more unique than your average copy-cat paint job. Strictly as a matter of personal taste, I do like this deco better than Hot Shot’s, at least in auto mode.
In robot mode, it’s a bit of a toss up. I think I like both paint schemes fairly equally. They’re definitely distinctive from another and in this case without the bright yellow calling attention to the door kibble, it seems a little less obtrusive on Excellion. The silver panels on his shoulders are also rather striking!
Back in the day, in this case around 2005/2006, I remember being blown away by these figures. Nowadays, I can still see what I loved in them. The robot mode designs look great and the coloring on both figures is quite nice. On the other hand, they haven’t aged all that well as toys. The articulation is clunky by today’s standards and the arms could have used some re-work. Still, stand these guys on the shelf and they still look magnificent and rather robust for Deluxe Class figures. In my quest to weed out some of my many Change-o-bots, these guys are getting a pass and going back into the bin for keepsies!