Name: Hot Shot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car
Height: 4.5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 7cm
Just like the last time around, Hot Shot is a yellow sports car. Unlike last time, he's not "cover your eyes and run" yellow. Instead he's a fairly tasteful solid yellow with some silver, grey and black highlights, including charcoal spoiler and tyres with silver hubcaps. The windshield and headlights are composed of a transparent plastic with a slight purple tinge. A good solid colour scheme that's a vast improvement on the Armada version of this character.
A somewhat boxy two door car, Hot Shot looks like your typical American sports car. He's very low to the ground and generally quite smooth. Despite the sleek look, there's some attention to detail here, including moulded doorhandles, air intakes, grille, sports lights and taillights (the last three all painted). If you lift up the hood - which hinges at the front - you'll uncover a fairly detailed charcoal engineblock complete with a red Autobot logo - that's only visible in this mode. A great touch. alldarker points out that Hot Shot is loosely based on the Aston Martin DB9.
The wheels roll quite well considering how low he rides, and along with the opening hood, his doors also open, although they do so only to reveal folded up arms. His Energon weapon is a transparent red & purple missile launcher with a solid charcoal missile. It can clip into holes behind the roof or onto either side just above the bumper (the holes are actually well concealed powerlinx mode hands). If you do clip it into the roof, the purple sight can detach and clip into the other side. I actually prefer attaching it to the side, but the fact we get options is pretty good. The missile itself will easily fire a metre or more.
Other than the grey robot feet being quite obvious on the back, I can't really complain here. Yellow's not the best colour but at least they've used it well this time. The play value is good for a deluxe vehicle mode and transparent headlights on a deluxe is more than what I'd expect.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the weaponry, extend the rear to form his legs. Flip out the feet, swing the roof halves down to form kneecaps and separate the legs. Fold the front of the car onto his back to become a backpack. Lift out the engineblock and unfold the robot head from underneath. The head sits over his powerlinx connectors - on the shoulderblades. Lift up the doors to form shoulderpads and unfold his arms. Place the missile launcher in either hand.
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm
Considering how yellow the car is, the robot mode is surprisingly unyellow. The torso is mainly charcoal, along with the thighs, ankles and upper arms. The head, shoulders, forearms and feet are cobalt blue while the boots and shoulderpads are the only yellow parts. Despite the dimensions listed above, this isn't a terribly wide toy - the shoulderpads count for most of the width. There's some deep red paint apps here and there, including on his forehead. The face is silver with mid blue eyes and looks a little odd thanks to a rather large chin guard. The colour scheme is easily better than that of the Armada toy, and the loss of yellow makes it better than the car mode's colours, if only because there's more happening.
The torso itself is robotic with an Autobot spark crystal on his lower chest, offset to the left. The roof panels sit sort of awkwardly as kneecaps, since they stick out no matter what you do. Along with the shoulderpads, they're the only obvious car parts in this mode. I'm happy to report there's no parachute pack in sight.
The poseability here isn't great. The shoulders are stuck in place with ball joints just below them. These ball joints can move forward but only have sideways motion to about 20°, which doesn't look so good on a toy with big boots. The elbows are double hinged and the wrists static. The head and waist, by virtue of the transformation, don't move. The hips can swing out to the sides and the legs can rotate out to the sides but the knees don't move and there's no meaningful foot movement. There are hinges at the top of the thighs, which can kinda work as knees but he'll look really strange.
The play value is below what we could hope, but then this toy does powerlink and it's obvious a lot of the engineering is geared towards that. The launcher still works well and the loss of yellow is a good thing. Above everything else, the weird shoulder configuration bugs me here. While it's not a bad robot mode, Hot Shot's quite mediocre here. Better arms would have gone a long way.
I quite like his arm configuration. The forearms are huge, but since so much of his jointing is geared towards combining, it works fairly well (at the expense of his own leg motion). His leg mode is little more than his robot mode with head stowed and arms behind his back - it looks okay but suffers the same limited movement Hot Shot himself suffers from.
There is a recolour, rather imaginatively called "Energon Hot Shot". Which makes the full name "Transformers Energon: Energon Hot Shot". FFS Hasbro...
Anyway the yellow is replaced by a nice silver and there are red flames on the roof and hood. The transparent purple plastic is replaced by orange, while the missile launcher is entirely orange. With white bumpers and midnight blue tyres and gold hubcaps, the car mode looks really nice. The charcoal has been partially replaced with red and partially with midnight blue. Meanwhile the cobalt blue gives way to a light orange. The light orange looks bad in robot mode - a silver and red robot with yellow arms just doesn't quite work. For some reason the hood on mine has a tendency to pop off.
While the vehicle mode looks great, the robot mode is ultimately disappointing thanks to the orange. I don't see why they didn't just go with midnight blue for the entire colour swap. It's not awful, but doesn't quite match the colour scheme of the original in robot mode. Unless you really dig the car mode or get it on special (I got both for less than the price of a deluxe combined!), you can safely skip the recolour.
Collector Club Nightbeat is a repaint and retool of Hot Shot.
The vehicle mode is a clear improvement on the Armada version, the missile launcher is far more useful and is better than a lot of Energon weapons, but Hot Shot's robot mode has a few flaws dragging him down, many of which wouldn't have been to difficult to fix. Still there is quite a level of detail on the toy and some nice touches (mainly in car mode), so if you like the Energon line Hot Shot is probably worth picking up - 6/10