Cliffbee.com: Shot Hole Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Shot Hole
Series: e-Hobby exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Invader (clone of Kickback)
Alternate Mode: Grasshopper



GRASSHOPPER MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A midnight blue mecha grasshopper with dark brown legs, red lower legs and chromed silver vertical wings, Shot Hole has yellow antennae and a transparent red cover on his thorax, which is a hollow die cast metal box. While for the most part, Shot Hole and his fellow clones, Salvo and Zaptrap, are colour swaps of the Insecticons, Shot Hole's thorax is painted metallic green while Kickback's is dark like the rest of the toy. Along with the red being lighter than Kickback's purple, the end result is a more colourful grasshopper than the original. While the metallic green surrounding the transparent red cover is a strange concept, it works fairly well since the extra colour makes him brighter and distinct from Kickback. There are wheels on the front and rear feet and a rubsign on the outside of his left wing.

   Shot Hole's legs are easily the most insect-like of the three Diaclone based Insecticon moulds. Whereas the other rely more on rails, he actually has distinct legs and the rear legs are long, barbed and bent as you'd expect of a hopping insect. While he lacks the abdomen that Ransack has, he's still the most insect-like of this trio. His antennae are very organic, with round banded segments rather than angular edges, and it's only really the flat panels of his wings that are out-and-out mechanical. Of course, the wheels also qualify as mechanical, but since Shot Hole lacks the rails of his teammates, the wheels are more or less irrelevant.

   The wheels are close to non-functional - you have to get the legs in exactly the right configuration for the wheels to roll and frankly it's more fulfilling and logical to go with a hopping motion if you're playing with him. The wings can swing up and down, the head turns and the antennae can lift up and down, while all six legs have some hip rotation, making this easily the most poseable insect of the set. The panel on his thorax of course opens, to reveal a cavity just right for a Diaclone pilot.

   The realism and articulation make this the most realistic insect mode of the trio, and the trailing legs look pretty cool, making this my favourite. In terms of repaints, the green paint really brings something extra to Shot Hole that his bundled teammates lack.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Shot Hole's transformation has some elements that are atypical of the Diaclone line - ironically the limb transformation tricks are reminiscent of the Beetras line (which spawned the Deluxe Insecticons), although he's nowhere near as complex as that line.

   Fold the trailing feet under his "thighs" to form the robot legs, swing the front sets of legs together to form his robot arms and swing them up in line with the body. Rotate the head to reveal the robot face and swing his wings up so they sit on top of his shoulders. Stand him up, give him his handgun and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 5.5cm

   Only 9cm tall at the top of his head, Shot Hole's actually the tallest of the trio thanks to his wings, but would otherwise be the shortest. The metallic green torso makes him the most colourful (whereas Kickback was the darkest), and again means he's more than a simple colour swap. The forearms and feet are red, his antennae are yellow, the chestplate transparent red and his wings and face are silver. The colour scheme is slightly garish since the green, solid red and yellow are all fairly prominent, but I don't mind for an exclusive repaint, since it helps differentiate him.

   Shot Hole comes with a transparent pink Energon cube, composed of soft plastic. It's an iridescent little block that's deliberately designed to fit inside his chest, and is a nice addition that was actually created for the 2004 reissue Insecticons and carried over into the eHobby repaints.

   The transformation results in a robot mode with surprisingly little animal kibble, compared to the other Insecticons or the Dinobots. But this is a double edged sword - features like the stinger on Salvo add character yet the tail hanging off Slag doesn't help visually. In Shot Hole's case I'd lean towards saying it's a good thing, when you consider the mass of limbs that some insect Beast Wars toys transform into.

   Since his robot legs are formed from the "thighs" of the grasshopper, Shot Hole's legs are solid dark brown pieces, which at first glance could be mistaken for boots without thighs. He does actually have thighs, but the transition is lost in the dark plastic. He has claws in place of hands, although they do look fairly handlike, anyway. They're two-pronged pincer affairs, and his hand chromed handgun slots over the narrow hand rather than fitting into the claw, since the holes are on the sides.

   Poseability is about what you'd expect - the shoulders rotate, the hips swing and the head rotates, which is a by-product of his transformation and something of a bonus. The effective poseability of his legs is fairly limited without any sort of kneejoints, but then it's not like too many Diaclone toys had poseable legs anyway.

   More interesting than Kickback's robot mode thanks to the green paint, and while he might be slightly garish, it's an addition I appreciate. The mould is still slightly dull, but Shot Hole's robot mode is on par with those of his teammates.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Paradoxically the best insect mode and worst robot mode of the Insecticons, but now the robot mode has improved. Shot Hole's also the most interesting member of his set, as a repaint. I appreciate the changes and the Energon cube is a very cool accessory. Whether or not you want to shell out the money for him (and Salvo and Zaptrap) is up to you, but if you do you'll get a pretty good repaint of Kickback - 7/10

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