Name: Hot Spot
Alternate Mode: Fire Engine
FIRE ENGINE MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 17cm Width: 6.5cm
A baby blue modern fire truck with a dark grey front & mid panels. Hot Spot has red & orange stylised fireballs on the doors similar to the decals on his original toy. Hot Spot has black painted windows and transparent pink strobes on his roof. The front grille area and some hose details on the sides are painted silver while the headlights are painted white and orange. His tyres are black while the wheels are painted baby blue. There's large black silver water cannon on top with a transparent blue jetstream (it looks suspiciously like a missile!) and red Autobot logos stamped on either side behind the doors. It's a simple yet detailed colour scheme which matches his G1 toy nicely; and it's a natural choice for this mould (which was designed for Inferno); he really doesn't feel like a repaint & instead just feels like an update of Hot Spot here.
Unlike his G1 toy, there's no visible ladder here - which is common on modern fire trucks. The back of the truck is bulkier than the flatbed style of his G1 vehicle mode. This is a very satisfying fire engine mode, even without a visible ladder. The water cannon on top firmly anchors Hot Spot as a fire truck.
There's not a whole lot of play value here since the emphasis is on a good vehicle mode, but there's still some stuff you can do. The wheels all roll and do so on ridged tyres so he'll rumble as he rolls. The cannon can lift up to around 30° and it can also turn through 360°, although not while lifted. Turning it will reveal the gaps on top between the arms and feet, but this isn't a deal breaker by any stretch. The water stream is a missile - pressing the trigger on top will cause the missile to fire maybe 2 feet. There are no electronic gimmicks here, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned - there's no awkward electronics block dominating the engineering, so Hot Spot is dedicated to being a good Transformer.
Aside from the limitation on rotating the cannon I have no real complaints with this mode. The colours work well - this truck doesn't feel like a forced Inferno repaint by any stretch. The fire engine is detailed with elements such as windshield wipers the fireball motif on his doors. The play value is about what you'd expect of a simple vehicle mode like this, making this a satisfying and strong if straightforward alt mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Unclip the grey side panels and fold forward. Unclip the rear side panels and do the same. Fold away the front wheels, unclip the underside and fold down to form his legs. Fold the front bumper down to form the groin, split and rotate the boots, fold down the feet. Unclip the sides of the cabin, lift them up, split and swing forward as shoulderpads. Swing the arms down into position, fold away the visible side windows (underneath the shoulderpads) and bring the shoulderpads down. Rotate the arms into position, rotate the panels on the outsides of his arms and the water cannon on the right forearm. Pull back the black panel behind the torso, the head should spring out into position - fold the panel up as a backplate and you're done.
Height: 18cm Width: 15cm
A baby blue robot with a black head, black feet, elbows and fists, a dark grey groin and dark grey thighs. The front of the truck is his torso, complete with the headlight assembly. His face is painted silver while his eyes are red. The red chest of G1 is gone although he does have the red strobes & some red on his shoulders - the fact that this is an Inferno repaint is a lot more obvious here. The colours here are pretty clearly Hot Spot, although the blue is actually a shade darker than his original toy (and this is far more evident in this mode). I'd like the best to have featured more red - perhaps red windows.
Hot Spot has a good bodyshape and while there is some kibble, it's used well. The shoulderpads are visually unobtrusive and they can also clear room for arm poseability. The head has been resculpted; at a glance it seems to be an Optimus Prime head but it actually _is_ Hot Spot - the ears are his & not Prime's. The silver mouth plate gives him that Prime-like look - I suspect it's trying to bridge the gap between the very black G1 toy head & light blue cartoon head, with a Generations feel. The water cannon is a carry over from his vehicle mode, but this integrated weapon isn't really kibble. I especially like the backplate getting itself right out of the way, it's clever and is designed purely to avoid a gap at that spot. Oddly while his eyes are painted solid and this is a new head, the back of his head is transparent - suggesting that Hot Spot was at one point going to have a light pipe.
Hot Spot's poseability is very good here. His head sits on a ball joint and his wrists rotate while his waist is fixed. His shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and _ankles_ are move in two planes of motion, despite the neck being the only ball joint used here. The range of poses available is impressive and the double jointed ankles coupled with the transformation hinges in his feet make Inferno quite stable. There are holes in his fists and while at a glance they might seem token, Inferno can hold his missile as a club quite easily. The missile can also be fired from the cannon sitting underneath his right forearm. This launcher cannot detach, which makes it impossible to lose (well, unless you break the toy), but sits in a position where it can be unobtrusive when it needs to be.
If there's a negative here it's the lack of a waist - his torso is a box with a groinplate underneath, and no waist to speak of. While various Optimus Prime toys down the years have employed different tricks to give the truck cab a waist, this is a fairly inelegant attempt.
A good robot mode with colours that really make it obvious this is Hot Spot despite a layout that belongs to Inferno. The colours work well and really help make this Hot Spot - although OI really want more red on his chest. He's not burdened by gimmicks & the poseability is impressive for a toy that turns into a boxy vehicle, yet he has surprisingly little kibble thanks to some clever panel tricks. While it's not a bad robot mode, this is his weaker mode as the tribute is weaker - despite the resculpted head.
A retool of Inferno as mentioned. He also shares the basic mould with Spark and Grapple.
While the robot mode does feel a little shoehorned, this Inferno repaint works quite well overall. The colours ensure this toy is very much Hot Spot & the retooled head is welcome. Hot Spot's play value is good without getting in the way of making him a good Transformer he's a well engineered toy. I wouldn't recommend him over Inferno (or Grapple); in fact he's one for those who really like Generations or Hot Spot - mainly because the original version is better & it's an expensive price point - 7.5/10