Cliffbee.com: Armada Hot Shot Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hot Shot
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Hot Rod Car



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm, 5.5cm with Jolt on the back Length: 13cm, 14 with Jolt Width: 8.5cm

   A bright yellow hot rod car with blue windows, grey trim, black bumper and some red highlights - noticeably the hubcaps. I got the Japanese version, which is a rather sedate yellow, unlike the Anglophone version which is an awful canary yellow. I found the colour so much of an eyesore I bothered importing mine.

   Anyway, colour aside it's a good car mode. All four wheels turn, he has an engine block you can sit on the front and there's no real kibble. While it's clearly not any real car model, it's close enough, really. You have to be careful when mounting the engine mode - it's meant to unlock his front bumper to give him a clamp at the front (similar to Tankor), but if you put it in gently it stays there without popping the bumper out.

   The details at the front include a grill and headlights, and at the back he's got tail lights. On the left of the spoiler he has an Autobot symbol. The level of paint detail is fairly low for the size, but the mould detail is good and the overall effect is good. As a bonus with the Japanese version, only the raised part of the Autobot Symbol (the parts that are usually red) are red, the grooves between are yellow - the Anglophone version this entire area is red.

   He has three connectors in this mode - one of the back to which Jolt can attach to give him a flight mode, and one on either side of the spoiler. You can attach the engine block to the spoiler connectors, it's designed to resemble a twin-barrelled gun.

   Overall this is a good car mode. I _really_ don't like the Anglophone yellow, but the mould is good and the attachment points and claw gimmick work well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove any Minicons and the engine block. lift up the rear attachment point and fold it over onto the roof, then lift out the doors and fold them over the front wheels. Grab the two halves of the cockpit and swing them out to the sides. Unlock the clamp halves to form the feet and then split and rotate the front to form the legs. Lift up the visor, rotate the arms and attach minicons/engine block as desired. It's a fairly clever transformation, although simple. There's an elegance to the fact he uses so many panels yet manages to avoid being a "shellformer".

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 8.5cm (assuming arms to sides)

   The dominance of yellow has been tempered somewhat with a lot more red. He's got a red torso and red thighs. His feet are black and forearms are grey. The visor, which can be swivelled or down, is black.

   His head rests inside the rear of the car, which basically forms the shoulders and head. It doesn't move, although the visor does. His shoulders are swivel joints, and can only swing up and down, but this is offset to a large degree by the fact he has two sets of joints in his elbows. While he can't lift his arms above level, he can do lots below the elbow. The hips and knees are ball joints. There are hinges on his feet, but since the clamp is spring loaded, they'll always spring back to the normal position. But he can stand in a variety of poses anyway.

   The two spoiler attachment points are now on his shoulders, and he has another point on his back. This one's live. Attach a Minicon and push it up and his rear axle will spring up. Push it again it'll swivel and a missile fire out. I rather foolishly first tried this in a Supermarket, and had to scurry away after the damn thing. The visor's meant as a sight when he's firing his missile. Overall, it's a nice gimmick in that it works well, although it doesn't do a lot for me, aside from make me chase it.

   Exclusive to the Japanese version is a red LED inside the right fist. You can get Hot Shot _with_ the Star Sabre (or without, if you prefer) in Japan, so the LED is designed for the lightpipe effect. It's one of the newer high-powered LEDs, I blinded myself whilst transforming him. Anyway, it's probably the reason most people would want the Japanese version (unlike me and my colour hang-up). It's a very nice touch.

   He's got a rather stocky robot mode, but it works well. The gimmick works, and if you have the Japanese one, you get another one.


Name: Jolt
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Helicopter

HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 7cm

   A small, almost totally red, helicopter. He's got black windows and silvery-blue pontoons on the side but otherwise, he's a chilli. A nice helicopter, nonetheless, and the rotor spins fairly well. He has two sockets instead of the standard one, one under the fuselage and one under the tail.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Transforming him involves folding down the front to form feet and fold down the tail to form the chest. There's an extra joint in his fuselage to allow his rotor to fold over also, but this is for attaching him to the back of Hot Shot so the rotor can point back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7cm Width: 6cm

The robot mode is still all about red, though his face is the same silvery-blue as the pontoons (which are now the upper arms). It's amazingly poseable for such a small Transformer with such a simple transform. The shoulders are (slightly restricted) ball joints, the hips are freely moving ones and the knees are hinged. The two legs even come apart to aid in poseability. With rotor on his back he looks suitably powerful for his size.


VARIATIONS

   Well, there's the Anglophone and the Japanese versions, which I've already covered. And in Japan he comes with or without the Star Sabre Minicons. Jolt is the same in all cases.

   There are two Powerlinx versions, on which the red and yellow plastic are reversed - Hot Shot is now red & Jolt yellow. Hot Shot's visor is moulded open and his missile launcher needs a second motion to shoot. On the second version the Autobot symbol only the raised sections are painted, the first version it's all painted like the original US release.

OVERALL

   When I first saw pictures of Hot Shot online, I thought it was a pretty weak concept. I still think this, to an extent. But they've done it well. The modes both work, the gimmicks work and the transform is nice. Jolt is a good Minicon, also. Of course, I abhor the yellow chosen by Hasbro, but that's a personal thing. Whilst I'm not the only one who thinks the Takara one is a nicer colour, I doubt it'd make the difference for a lot of people as it did for me. Nonetheless, in canary yellow, I give it 7/10, and in sedate yellow, 7.5/10

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