Saturday 25 April 2015

Transformers Combiner Wars Hot Spot Review

combiner wars hot spot review

Rolling in to deal with the flames caused by the craziness of the Transformers Combiner Wars we have Voyager Protectobot Hot Spot.
As the combiner torso for Defensor, Hot Spot is one of the original Generation 1 gestalts, and a toy I believe most children of the 80's probably had.

Hasbro have finally relented, and for the first time since the 1980's issued a true, combining, update to the Lenor loving leader of the Protectobots - as a Voayger as part of Combiner Wars wave 3.

Hit the button below to see the full Combiner Wars Hot Spot review

Fire Truck Mode

Hot Spots fire truck  combiner wars

Hot Spot transforms into a futuristic looking Fire Engine, something you would more expect to see at an air port than sorting out a factory fire in a Birmingham back street.

Whereas the original Hot Spot was a more traditionally styled Fire Engine, his Combiner Wars counterpart has an altogether more Thunderbirds like appearance.
It is very reminiscent of RID (the early 2000's attempt) Optimus Prime, who also transformed into a fire truck, and who's Titanium toy was repainted into Hot Spot.

It all comes full circle, snake eating its tail and all that sort of stuff.

Hot Spot from the side combiner wars

Hot Spot has a rotating ladder, with a couple of bonus points of articulation owing to transformation, and you can store his cannons to the side if you so wish.

At the end of the ladder, you will notice a bucket which transforms into Defensors head, but in this mode can quite comfortably accommodate a smaller factor- such as those Takara keep packing in with Masterpiece figures.

If you peak inside, into what is ostensibly Defensors brain you will feel a warm fuzzy feeling inside when you glimpse the metal floor detail added in there.
Awwwww Hasbro, you beautiful people.

You can also mount Hot Spots fireball cannons (at least that is what they were in G1 I think, unless my brain has overwritten itself), to the bucket to act as fire hoses....or massive cannons.
Your choice,

But when you peg them into the bucket, it does add weight, and can cause the ladder to slowly sag.
Makes it look like a Blue, Fire truck version of Eyeore, because it looks so sad.

Hot Spot, First Aid, Streetwise and Spike

Hot Spots baby blue colour is iconic at this stage, so Hasbro were always going to have to recreate it with any Combiner Wars version of the character. So it is good news that they have used exactly the same colour, at least that is what my inner child is very excited about.

There are a handful of paint apps, with his classic fireball decal added to the side, but modified to include an Autobot logo - so it does end up looking like the Combiner Wars sigil you see on the boxes. A light bar is also painted a dark Red, and looks nice, as do the Black and Silver paint applications on the front of the truck.

combiner wars protectobots

Hot Spots alt mode is excellent, and a really ace update of the original G1 alt mode. It adds something new to the character whilst being very faithful - it is exactly what classics was about when it first started. You can really see how this mold will be reused for Onslaught, as it seems to have been designed with him in mind.

My only gripe, is the bits of plastic that seem to have been cut out, such as on the truck bed which has massive slits, that any fireman would probably fall through.

It's all fun and games till someone gets a foot stuck, twists and breaks an ankle.

Robot Mode

Transformers Generations Voyager Hot Spot

Transforming Combiner Wars Hot Spot is a total joy, and very similar to his G1 toy - only in reverse.
Instead of the front cab splitting to form the arms, it is the rear of the truck, and the cab instead form the legs.

I have seen a few complaints on the web, about his knees not locking and indeed I didn't think they did either - but it turns out they do . You will naturally extend them fully and then notice that as you move him, his knee likes to move around, but it should actually lock into place improving stability dramatically.

You angle the knee joint into the shin, then you should feel it click into place.

transformers combiner wars hot spot ladder

As a fire engine Transformer, he does unfortunately suffer from massive kibble hanging from his back, but if it was not there we would all be complaining that isn't accurate so there.
Plus it can act as a built in stand when trying to pose him in mad Kung-Fu kicking poses (just wait till you scroll down a bit...).

The way the Defensor chest shield pegs into the bucket does worry me a tad, because the plastic is very thin. When you go to separate the pegs, the plastic has a knack of bending and I can see that snapping pretty easy if you are not careful.
It is very bendy.

Voyager Hot Spots Fireball blasters

Hot Spots head is based on his animation model, and as such is coloured in Blue instead of the originals Black. He does have the glowing Red eyes, which makes him look a little evil, or if I was trying to be arty I would say it is a profound homage to the flames he has dedicated his life to dousing with foam.
But it isn't, they just look cool in Red and his head is superb. Mine has some random Green paint on his forehead, and I have no idea where that has come from.

It is on a ball joint, but is limited in what it does because it does not seem to move very much.

transformers combiner wars hotspot head

Combiner Wars Hot Spots look is completely G1, with the Red chest, abundance of Blue and some Silver chucked in for the novelty. He has that tall, slim aesthetic that you would associate with Hot Spot from the cartoon rather than the toy. If anything, that is another future echo of the Onslaught he will one day become, because the proportions scream everyones favourite Combaticon leader.

But Hot Spot still wears the mold exceptionally well- I mean it is virtually perfect.

Earlier I complained about the gaps in the plastic, and it is something which is very much in evidence in bot mode. This time on his forearms, meaning you can see into his arms.
That, for me should have been solid plastic, with paint apps for those details. It would have looked phenomenal if those cut out bits were instead Red or Yellow marks.
The cut plastic is part of the aesthetic though, as if you look at his chest, shoulders and combiner port covers he has bits molded to look like that.
I really dislike when figures have gaps in the plastic, especially the thighs or inner arms - just to save money. It spoils the look and screams cost cutting, when are buying something to look more than just good from the front.

Transformers Voyager Hot Spot

He is really articulated too, with swivels all over the shop, and you can get some incredible poses out of him - including the almost mythical in toys arm folding pose.
He has no wrist swivel as his fists are molded closed, and into the back of the truck, but it feels fine for this sort of figure.

The cab of the truck act as his feet, and because of their transformation hinge you can use them for extra balance. There is no tilt side to side, but there is plenty of room to adjust them forwards and backwards.

Hot Spot welcomes you to the gun show

His only real problems with articulation come from his hip ratchets being spaced too far apart, and his dangling ladder. The ratchet problem afflicts all of the Combiner Wars figures that are larger than a Deluxe and means the legs click at wider intervals, limiting what you can do.
As they form Defensors hips, you can understand the need for them to be strong and resilient but they spoil what would be a very dynamic, posable figure otherwise. I am half tempted to remove the ratchets and just apply a ton of clear nail polish.

His ladder is always going to be a problem, but it does have the bonus of being able to be positioned at times to aid in holding a pose.

Small victories.

Transformers Hot Spot guns

Hot Spot does come with his two fireball cannons, which are quite nifty and look fantastic when he is posed with them. They have hose detailing on one side, and it is not the same side so you can tell one is for the left, and one is for the right.

transformers protectobots combiner wars

Minor complaints about the holey plastic aside, Combiner Wars Hot Spot is as close to perfect as Hasbro have managed in an age. He takes all of the details from the original character, updates them without wrecking your childhood (ha!nerd rage).
He has a brilliant transformation that is fun, his robot mode is crazy fun to mess with and looks incredible and his truck mode looks cool and like something out of an episode of Thunderbirds.
All of his joints are tight, he has great articulation and is just a brilliant, brilliant toy.

He has overtaken Silverbolt as the pinnacle of Combiner Wars so far in my opinion, so if you can I definitely recommend buying him.

I want another.


combiner wars defensor cartoon

Ooooooh now this is what we all want isn't it? Defensor, the combined form off the Protectobot.

The torso spectacular is completely unique, and is even more inspired than Silverbolts.
You push the legs up over a peg to lock them in place, and you notice this instantly gives him a waist plate as it is painted on the sides.
Then the fun really begins, as you take his ladder and wrap around his body to become the chest shield. That in itself is mind blowing, but then his head forms out of the ladders bucket.

Hasbro, well done, you have gone and blown my Rum addled mind.

combiner wars defensor head

Instantly recognisable as Defensor, once you have attached all the limbs, he stands quite tall and maintains that G1 Defensor thing of looking like a giant wall.
That fits his personality as a line of Defence (see the name), and is a very cool and interesting look.

He is also one who is tough to pose as he tends to look oddly proportioned in photos, when in your hand he looks much better.

combiner wars defensor combined gun

A large part of that comes down to the massive thighs in my opinion, which if they were a tad thinner (they could have worked in a bit of folding action here) it would look just right.
As it is, if you muck about with your Protectobot configuration you can sort of negate it a bit.

I tend to go for the G1 line up, mostly (though clearly not in all these photos), so I am using Rook in place of Groove (at least that is shown in the pics). As a leg, Rook is too fat looking, purely due to the way his roof folds over the truck. If you look at it from the side, it is massive, and throws off his proportions somewhat.

It is not terrible though, and Hot Spots cab, turning into 1980's cargo pant pockets helps to draw your eye a bit. The cab pieces kind of make the legs appear to taper inwards to the thigh.

Transformers G1 Defensor combiner wars

I love Defensor, and this toy is a wonderful homage to the original. It does suffer the same tiny feet syndrome as all of the other Combiners, but Perfect Effect should fix that.
Combining Hot Spots gun gives him a sniper rifle which looks nice, but you just feel he needed a riot cannon of some description.
Still, it looks cool which is all that matters - especially with those aviators on.

Overall Hot Spot is amazing, and Combiner Wars Defensor is great too - you can't go wrong so open your wallet and just chuck money at the screen*

*Buy it online.

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  1. Replies
    1. Sir, that is a wonderful compliment. I raise my Rum to you!

  2. Which, in your opinion. Is the best one: Defensor or Superion?

    I'm planning to buy only 1 group as my collection is mostly soc's and super sentai bots. I love both but just one 1 group :)

    1. Ooooh that is a tough one, as both are pretty great. If I had to pick though, I would definitely say Defensor. There is just more variety amongst the individuals, and they are all just a bit better than the Aerialbots.
      Hot Spot and Silverbolt are tied as to which one is better, both are just too great to choose between!

      Combined modes, I'd say Defensor just shades it too

      You can't go wrong with either though :)