Cliffbee.com: Hotspark Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Hotspark
Series: Japanese Generation 1
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Fire Assault
Alternate Mode: Sports Car




CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 8cm Width: 4.5cm

   A red sport car with dark blue windows, a chrome silver engineblock in front of the windshield and brass coloured exhausts just in front of the doors. There's an Autobot logo sticker on the front of the hood, inside what would have been the rubsign indent had the idea of rubsigns made it this far. His tyres are black with the rear pair slightly larger. The red and blue work well together while the silver an brass also work for Hotspark - especially when you consider how uncommon chrome was in the line at this stage.

   This car is clearly a street racer, with a long front - longer than the cabin, which ends at the back of the car. The big engineblock and side exhausts indicate that this is a car built for power and performance. If Hotspark was a real car, flames would likely shoot out the side exhausts.

   There are two main flaws in this mode, and while neither are in themselves awful, they do conspire to drag this car down somewhat. There's a big lump on the back of the cabin, that houses the flint, which sticks out of the blue window. The second is the obvious hinge in front of the engineblock, which is strangely less prominent here than on the darker Sizzle.

   The whole point of the Sparkabots is the sparking mechanism. There's a rubber tyre underneath Hotspark, separate to the plastic wheels, and if you roll him along with some downward force flames will shoot out of a small hole at the back of the car - about 5 centimetres. You generally have to push a few times to get it working, since the friction that makes it work is reliant on heavy resistance and it won't work if there's not enough friction. There's a flint (the same as lighter flint) inside, which will eventually wear down, which provides the sparks. More likely to actually wear down is a white gear that transfers the tyre's motion to a flint wheel. A lot of second hand Sparkabots have worn mechanisms. My Hotspark still sparks well, although he was sealed for the first ten years of his existence.

   The spark mechanism actually works on Hotspark, although it is prone to wearing out. The chrome is a nice touch but otherwise there's not really anything special about his car mode. The colours are better than those on Sizzle, however.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the rear to form the legs, flip up the front of the hood and stand him up. The hinges on the hood are unnecessarily tight, so you have to be careful (there are stressmarks on my Hotspark).

ROBOT MODE
Height: 8cm Width: 4.5cm

   The red gives way here to a white robot mode, with the red only really prominent on his arms. His face is blue and has moulded eyes, mouth and nose. The black rubber tyre sits in the middle of the shins, which are a single piece.

   The robot mode is very white, and would have looked better with some stickers, the facial paint can't quite do it alone. There are four visible screws on the torso, which is a single piece. One on either hip and one on blocks on either side of his head. I wouldn't mind the screws so much except that the blocks aren't such a good idea to begin with and the screws make for bad kibble. Add to this the thing, single-piece thighs and big wide single-piece boots and Hotspark has a terrible shape here.

   The only play value in this robot mode is the fact the shoulders swing, but this is not enough to save the robot mode. Again the colours work slightly better than those of Sizzle, since the colours are brighter, but I wouldn't really call it much of an improvement.

VARIATIONS

   A recolour of Sizzle, Hotspark was only sold in Japan. No actual variants that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Hotspark just shades Sizzle for the better colours, but in truth he's as bad as his anglophone equivalent. If you have the choice, Hotspark is slightly better, but you're better off grabbing Hardspark if you have access to Japanese Sparkabots. The chrome is a nice touch and the spark mechanism works well, but they're not enough for me to recommend him - 3/10

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