Cliffbee.com: Hot House Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Hot House
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Long Range Defence
Alt Mode: A-10 Bomber, Fire Station



PLANE MODE
Height: 2cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 5.5cm

   A white A-10 Thunderbolt bomber plane (think Powerglide, Hot House is a repaint of Tailwind of the Air Strike Patrol. There are some dark red hints in plane mode, while he has black wheels under each wing and a gold canopy. While the white and gold works, the black and red don't do much than provide some breaks in colour. There's a little gun under the nose, twin engines behind the flat tail which has two fins on either end. The level of detailing is actually fairly good, and these details come out on the white fairly well.

   There's only two wheels here - Hot House can't roll but he does lie flat on his belly, rather than sagging one way or the other. The plane has no play value but looks convincing enough for a Micromaster plane. Of course, this is a very distinctive type of plane, which helps make this plane mode work.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the tail down to form his boots and straighten the legs. Fold up the wings to reveal his arms underneath, fold the nose onto his back and stand him up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5cm Width: 3cm

   With a dark red body, red thighs and head, Hot House's white is now limited to his limbs. His face is light yellow, which doesn't really go with the white on his limbs. If he had good facial detail, I could handle the yellow (since it'll bring detail out), but his face is merely a mouthplate and eyestrip.

   The arms are thin affairs with tapering fists that have moulded finger yet the hands don't look like hands. The legs are the underside of the plane's tail, but since there are hollow pieces and the ankle region is almost as thin as his arms, the legs look pretty stupid. Sure, Powerglide uses a similar trick but his legs are far better proportioned, and without Hot House's hollow knees.

   The knees can fold back as one (the boots are a single piece) but since the hips don't fold forward, there's no useful jointing in this robot mode at all. Hot House pretty much stands there looking awkward.

   While he's a victim of trying to use a very distinct plane model, I can't help but dislike this robot mode. The yellow face is a bad choice, while the boots could have been better with a little more effort. While Micromasters aren't generally terribly poseable, Hot House has zero meaningful points of articulation, which is very poor.

FIRE STATION MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 9cm Width: 9cm
(Ignoring 8cm ramps which can be attached in different spots)

   A brick red block with a red fake garage and orange tower one side and a blue real garage on the other. The fake garage is little more than a sticker with a fire station theme and the words "FIRE STATION" in red at the top. The blue garage has an orange door which looks like a roller door, but swings up - inwards. The inwards swinging door makes this garage completely useless - not that it matters when Hot House wouldn't fit inside anyway. I'm not even going to get into the merits of bundling a bomber plane with a fire station.

   The ramp that comes with this set is grey, and this can interconnect with other Micromaster bases. Hot House can't roll up the ramp, although it wouldn't make much sense for him to do so anyway. The real play value here is interconnectivity, if you have a few Micromaster bases you can create your own little city, which is cool - even if Hot House doesn't really belong there.

   The tower is somewhat similar to a control tower, and I don't understand why a radar dish wasn't put on top - there's a floodlight. The blue garage could easily pass as a hangar, and with a change of sticker this thing could actually have a _reason_ for being sold with Hot House. OK, it still wouldn't be fantastic, but as an airport/airbase it would be far better than it is now.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROLLING FORTESS

   Swing the garages forward, unfold the area below them (which becomes the front of the fortress), fold out the cannon from within the tower and extend the barrel. Place Hot House into the blue canopy and you're done.

ROLLING FORTESS
Height: 7.5cm Depth: 14cm Width: 9cm

   Again mainly brick red, with a blue cockpit on the right and a long orange cannon on the left. There are red treads on the bottom (which were visible on the fire station, of course), while the front of this thing is more or less wedge shaped. The front of the blue cockpit is the orange roller door, which again has no reason to swing inwards (why is this joint even there?).

   While it's not the best Micromaster base by a long shot, the rolling fortress idea is kinda cool and it actually has some reason for selling with Hot House. There's no peg inside the cockpit, so he'll jiggle around if you pick up the fortress, but the floor is flat, and he will stand okay if it's just sitting there.

   The cannon can lift up and down, and while the joint is part of it's transformation the motion is still meaningful here. It gives the fortress a legitimacy this base badly needs, too. The brick red, orange and blue don't really go together, nor do they match Hot House, I'm not sure I like the mixture of reds.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Hot House is a repaint of Tailwind as mentioned.

OVERALL

   No matter which way you look at it, this isn't as good set. Hot House himself is at best mediocre, the fire station mode is simply ridiculous alongside a bomber plane. The rolling fortress is okay, which makes it the best aspect of this set. Unless you're after the Micromaster city thing, you can safely skip Hot House - 3/10

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