TRANSFORMERS: ARMADA (HASBRO)
“Hot Shot is a young, heroic fighter who rushes into danger without regard to his own safety. He courageously charges into the middle of the fight to aid his friends in battle. He has taken charge in several battles, showing great leadership potential. But he needs the guidance of his elders before he can hope to lead the Autobots. Will he learn to be a leader who strives for good, or will his reckless nature ruin his promising future?”
As a child of the ’90s, as well as someone who sometimes dabbles in Transformers, it would be easy to assume that I’m into Beast Wars, but I’ve actually never had a particular attachment to it. I mean, aside from Silverbolt. That guy’s awesome. Generally, I’ve tended to be more into the vehicle-based Transformers stuff. I first dabbled with the franchise with 2001’s Robots in Disguise (which instilled in me a love of Ultra Magnus), but my first real investment in the franchise was during the show that followed in 2002, Transformers: Armada. One of the central characters in Armada, and in fact the rest of the Unicron Trilogy, was Hot Shot, who I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Hot Shot was part of Transformers: Armada‘s first wave of Super-Con Class figures, which were the line’s Deluxe Class equivalent. He was the only Autobot in the assortment (which also included Cyclonus and Demolisher), and they all hit alongside the launch of the show in 2002. In his robot mode, Hot Shot stands about 5 inches tall and he has 10 working points of articulation, as well as a moving visor for his helmet. Emphasis was still very much on the transformations and vehicle modes at this point, so Hot Shot’s movement is rather restricted. The legs do alright, but his head doesn’t move, and his shoulders move side to side, but there’s no forward and back. For the time, though, he remained remarkably mobile. Hot Shot’s sculpt actually does an okay job of matching up with how he looked in the cartoon. His race car driver design is carried over well. There’s a fair bit of kibble from his alt mode, especially on the backs of the arms, but it at least folds up to be out of the way. Hot Shot got his own Mini-Con partner, Jolt. Jolt is a much smaller robot, standing about inches tall, and having a whole 6 points of articulation. Using Jolt (or any Mini-Con, really, but Jolt’s the best one), you can unlock Hot Shot’s built-in weapon, affectionately referred to as his “axlezooka”, which is spring loaded to deploy. The springs on mine are a little weak, so it needs a little extra help, but it’s still pretty cool. There’s meant to be a missile, but it’s missing from mine. Jolt also has a rather big gun piece which Hot Shot can wear as chest armor.
Hot Shot’s alt-mode is a modified Audi TT, which is a fairly generic looking sports car, really. The transformation sequence is actually rather simple, so it makes it very easy to switch him back and forth without much trouble. He also stays in the mode very securely. In general, it just works very well. Jolt has his own alt-mode; he transforms into a small helicopter through an even simpler transformation process. Jolt’s gun can also be mounted to the front of Hot Shot’s hood, and Jolt can be mounted on one of the three Mini-Con ports on the vehicle mode. The central one actually releases the springs on Hot Shot’s feet, to use as “driving claws.” You know, as you do.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Despite how much I liked the show and kept up with it when it was new, I didn’t actually get any of the toys first hand when they were new. Instead, my initial exposure to them was through my cousin Patrick, who had a small handful of them, and would frequently bring them over for both of us to play with. During that time, Hot Shot was always my go-to. Patrick decided fairly quickly that he didn’t need to keep them, so they were rather quickly gifted to me. Hot Shot himself wound up getting lost at my grandparents’ house some time during my childhood, and it wasn’t until after I moved into their house a few years ago that I actually found him again. He was missing all of his extra stuff, but fortunately for me, Max was able to help me out and get me set-up with Jolt and the gun. I like this guy a lot, and he’s probably the most nostalgic I get about Transformers.