Alternate Mode: Chrysler ME 412 Sports Car
Thanks to i_amtrunks for lending me Excellion for this review.
Height: 6.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm
Excellion is a red sports car closely modelled on the Chrysler ME 412 (but not close enough to have to pay licensing) with transparent blue windows and gold flames on his hood. Excellion is a repaint of Cybertron Hot Shot, adopting and changing the spelling of his Galaxy Force Counterpart (Exillion). The repaint tributes Hot Rod, although the colours are a fairly vague match - the flames are the strongest part of the tribute. There are some gold flames on the spoiler while his tyres are dark grey with silver hubcaps and headlights. The air intakes on his bonnet and sides are unpainted (unlike on Hot Shot). Excellion sports a dark grey engineblock behind the cockpit on which his weapon rests. The weapon is a transparent blue missile launcher, and while many Cybertron/Galaxy Force toys integrate their weapons into their alternate modes well, this thing stands out. Anyway, the hood ornament is a small red and white stamped Autobot logo. I wouldn't say this colour scheme is any better or worse that Hot Shot - Hot Shot's colours are more adventurous than this insipidly vague Hot Rod match, but Excellion does sport a more unified colour scheme.
The overall detail here is good, despite the relatively simple flames. Inside the cockpit of this Le-Mans racer shaped vehicle are two seats and a steering wheel (left hand drive), there's a grille on the front bumper and ridged grip on the tyres. The doors and frame of the roof are painted red, which lines up to the red plastic quite well. There are no taillights, which is disappointing, although there are some taillight-like moulded details at the back. Without paint, they're a little too ambivalent.
The play value of this car mode is fairly minimal, really. The weapon detaches, and you can press on the orange trigger to fire his single missile, which fires quite well. Plugging Exillion's red Planet Key (code" d7p5) into the back of the engine block releases twin transparent blue tailwings from the sides of his spoiler, giving him a wingspan of 10.5cm. While the mechanism works well enough, I would have happily given this up for opening doors. At least the Planet Key doesn't look out of place when inserted - since it sits flush with the top of the spoiler. The winglets will not stow while the key is inserted.
The mould itself is fairly unimaginative, and the repaint is trying to latch onto the generally popular Hot Rod colours, without any real effort. The end result is okay, but doesn't offer much next to Hot Shot. The missile launcher looks downright ugly on top, the wings are frankly a really lame main gimmick. I don't mind the wings themselves, and they don't cause any problems, but as a central gimmick they're just so uninspired. Excellion doesn't have any giant pitfalls, but has no real peaks either.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the missile launcher, and you can either detach or leave the Planet Key in place. Extend and split the rear fenders to form boots, flip up the feet. Pull out the doors to form his arms, split the front to form his shoulderpads. Rotate the roof section to form his back, place the missile launcher in either hand.
Height: 16.5cm Width: 10.5cm
A mixture of red, orange and dark grey, Excellion has dark grey on his torso, head, forearms and feet while his shoulderpads and boots are red. His upper arms and thighs are orange. His face and some of the chest detail is silver, his eyes blue while his forehead is gold - this was transparent on Hot Shot. The blue winglets sit above and behind the shoulderpads, if deployed. The transparent blue doors sit on the outside of his forearms, and cannot stow. Rounding things out is a large Autobot logo on his left shoulderpad, which is painted red with silver relief. The colour scheme doesn't look so much like a half-assed Hot Rod, which is a good thing. Sure, he gains orange but we don't get lazy flames on the chest, so Excellion is free to be Excellion. The Autobot logo on his shoulderpad is awesome.
I really hate the arms here. For starters, the elbows are lower than they should be, and the forearms are really short. The shoulderpads aren't actually _meant_ to be shoulderpads, so if you swing his arms at all you realise how uneven his arms are. Making matters worse, the transparent doors are twice as long as his forearms, so they hang right off the outside of his hands. At least they're not transparent yellow this time, I guess. The proportions are generally good aside from the arms, although the Planet Key doesn't look very good plugged in behind his head. I would nonetheless recommend leaving the winglets deployed, so that the orange panel between them is part of a wing rather than just backplate kibble.
The poseability here is mixed. The head turns 90° each way, but there's not much point going past around 30° because the shoulderpads block his view. Mind you, any further looks unnatural anyway, so this is okay. The shoulders swing but cannot lift out to the sides, and you may find that the backplate will move around as you swing the shoulders, since it doesn't actually lock in place. The elbows are ball jointed, but lifting up the forearms only makes them look worse, since the doors on the outside become even more prominent. Just to round this off, the missile launcher gets in the way of the elbow, so if you want to pose that arm, you have to use the restricted shoulder joint - he can lift the gun but can't point it out to the side more than about 10°. The hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged and the feet fixed. The heelspurs are decent but the knees are a little loose, so you're quite limited in the range of stable leg poses.
While his shoulderpads look good - especially the Autobot logo, the arm poseability is not very good. The arms themselves look bad, although the rest of Exillion looks decent. I prefer this mode because it's largely discarding the weak Hot Rod copy. There's just not enough poseability for this mode to rise at all above mediocrity, even if the colours are decent.
This mould has seen several incarnations. Excellion is a repaint of Hot Shot, the Japanese version of Hot Shot is called Exillion (who is slightly different). Exillion himself was repainted twice in red just to make things confusing.
Like Hot Shot before him, Excellion feels like the designer wasn't really trying. The robot arms are the only _bad_ feature here, but the poor paint job on car mode holds him back. Neither mode is very ambitious, the transformation is little more than that of Hot Rod. His Planet Key doesn't really do anything - the fins should be part of the transformation. The missile launcher is not at all integrated in vehicle mode, which is a disappointment alongside the rest of this line. While he's not a bad toy, there's just a malaise in the designing of this toy, and a lack of effort in the repaint. He's neither better nor worse that Hot Shot - I wouldn't recommend getting both - 4.5/10