Series: Galaxy Force
Alternate Mode: Chrysler ME 412 Sports Car
Note: I'm reviewing the Galaxy Force version of this toy, and will refer to it as Exillion, since I don't have the Cybertron version - Hot Shot. While Hot Shot is a continuation of the Armada and Energon character of the same name, Exillion is a new character. To make things difficult, Hasbro later repainted Hot Shot and called the new toy Excellion (note the added letter), while Takara repainted Exillion _twice_ without changing the name. Confused? Good, because my head is spinning also.
Height: 6.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 7cm
Exillion is a mid blue sports car closely modelled on the Chrysler ME 412 (but not close enough to have to pay licensing) with transparent yellow windows and headlights. The blue plastic is a shade or two lighter than what you'd call 'cobalt' blue. The spoiler is painted bright yellow while there are some cherry red outbursts here and there. The air intakes on his bonnet and sides are painted a dark grey, along with the engineblock behind the cockpit on which his weapon rests. The weapon is a transparent yellow missile launcher, and while many Cybertron/Galaxy Force toys integrate their weapons into their alternate modes well, this thing stands out. Anyway, the hood ornament is a small red and white stamped Cybertron (Autobot) logo and the plastic tyres are cobalt blue with graphite painted mags inside. If not for the bright yellow elements - the weapon and spoiler - this would have been a pretty good colour scheme. But the blue is a little too light to be able to support two different shades of yellow. The windows would have been fine on their own, mind you, since the stuff below them is cobalt blue (and this dampens the yellow's impact).
While the yellow spoiler is both garish and badly painted, the overall detail here is good. Inside the cockpit of this Le-Mans racer shaped vehicle are two seats and a steering wheel (left hand drive), there's a grille on the front bumper and ridged grip on the tyres. The doors and frame of the roof are painted blue, and I'm impressed with how well this lines up to the blue plastic - you don't even notice that they're different. There are no taillights, which is disappointing, although there are some taillight-like moulded details at the back. Without paint, they're a little too ambivalent.
The play value of this car mode is fairly minimal, really. The weapon detaches, and you can press on the red trigger to fire his single missile, which fires quite well. Plugging Exillion's red Planet Key into the back of the engine block releases twin tailwings from the sides of his spoiler, giving him a wingspan of 10.5cm. While the mechanism works well enough, I would have happily given this up for opening doors. At least the Planet Key doesn't look out of place when inserted - since it sits flush with the top of the spoiler. And hey, covering up that bright yellow is a good thing. The winglets will not stow while the key is inserted.
A slightly disappointing vehicle mode, not so much because it's bad but because there's little imagination here. The missile launcher looks downright ugly on top, the wings are frankly a really lame main gimmick and the yellow paint is awful. I don't mind the wings themselves, and they don't cause any problems, but as a central gimmick they're just so uninspired. Exillion's car mode is passable, but fails to reach any heights.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the missile launcher, and you can either detach or leave the Planet Key in place. Extend and split the rear fenders to form boots, flip up the feet. Pull out the doors to form his arms, split the front to form his shoulderpads. Rotate the roof section to form his back, place the missile launcher in either hand.
Height: 16.5cm Width: 10.5cm
A mixture of cherry red, mid blue and cobalt blue, Exillion has cobalt blue on his torso, head, forearms and feet while his shoulderpads and boots are mid blue. His upper arms and thighs are cherry red. His face and some of the chest detail is silver, his eyes light blue while his antennae are bright yellow. There's a transparent yellow visor fixed in place just _above_ his eyes, which is a little weird, while the yellow winglets sit above and behind the shoulderpads, if deployed. The transparent yellow doors sit on the outside of his forearms, and cannot stow. Rounding things out is a large Autobot logo on his left shoulderpad, which is painted red with white relief. The colour scheme is better with less yellow here, although the yellow on his head looks bad. The Autobot logo on his shoulderpad is fantastic, however.
I really hate the arms here. For starters, the elbows are lower than they should be, and the forearms are really short. The shoulderpads aren't actually _meant_ to be shoulderpads, so if you swing his arms at all you realise how uneven his arms are. Making matters worse, the transparent yellow doors are twice as long as Exillion's forearms, so they hang right off the outside of his hands. Being transparent yellow, they're not in the background. Placing the missile launcher into one hand helps, but the other one will still be visible.
The proportions are generally good aside from the arms, although the Planet Key doesn't look very good plugged in behind his head. I would nonetheless recommend leaving the winglets deployed, so that the red panel between them is part of a wing rather than just backplate kibble.
The poseability here is mixed. The head turns 90° each way, but there's not much point going past around 30° because the shoulderpads block his view. Mind you, any further looks unnatural anyway, so this is okay. The shoulders swing but cannot lift out to the sides, and you may find that the backplate will move around as you swing the shoulders, since it doesn't actually lock in place. The elbows are ball jointed, but lifting up the forearms only makes them look worse, since the yellow doors on the outside become even more prominent. Just to round this off, the missile launcher gets in the way of the elbow, so if you want to pose that arm, you have to use the restricted shoulder joint - he can lift the gun but can't point it out to the side more than about 10°. The hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged and the feet fixed. The heelspurs are decent but the knees are a little loose, so you're quite limited in the range of stable leg poses.
While the head is quite well sculpted, the yellow again gets in Exillion's way there, and while the shoulderpads look good - especially the Autobot logo, the arm poseability is not very good. The arms themselves look bad, and while the rest of Exillion looks decent, there's just not enough poseability in his legs for this mode to rise at all above mediocrity. As poor as the arms are, it's still not a _bad_ robot mode. But with such an unambitious vehicle mode and a by the numbers transformation, I would have hoped for more than we get here.
As mentioned, the mould has seen five different incarnations. Exillion himself was repainted twice in red, Hot Shot had a code added to his Planet Key (d85b), and possibly some other tweaks. Hot Shot was repainted in red, this repaint gained the name Excellion (with a c) - thanks to xenedar for the correct spelling here. There is also a retooled Goldbug which was exclusively available at BotCon 2008.
A toy that never really tries, and as a result this is a figure that fails to excite. The robot arms are the only _bad_ feature here, but the poor yellow paint applications are debatable. Neither mode is very ambitious, the transformation is little more than that of Hot Rod, without the cool flame motif carrying over. His Planet Key doesn't really do anything - the fins should be part of the transformation. The missile launcher is not at all integrated in vehicle mode, which is a disappointment alongside the rest of this line. While he's not a bad toy, there's just a malaise in the designing of this toy which prevents me from being able to get at all excited - 4.5/10