January 20th, 2009



Shortpacked!: Holds a cup, any size! Smooshes thieves just like flies!

Let's just get this out of the way. I normally try to shy away from Stolen Test Shots From Asia news, but for everyone's sanity, I think addressing this directly is for the best.

Yes, I've seen Universe Hot Shot's license plate. (It says "JAAM." I know!) And, no, I haven't posted frothing, gushing responses anywhere on the Intermanets. I dunno, man. When super-cool geeky Transformers things are revealed, I have had an arms-race with myself to describe my elation in the most disturbing way possible, usually involving evocative boner imagery. This felt a little bit bigger than that, y'know? So instead I went with silence. I didn't post on Transformers message boards for pretty much a full day. I went AWOL.

So instead, everyone fell over themselves, wondering where I am, and what I have to say. When would I show up and go bananas? Where was Walky's reaction, dammit? It worked even better than my usual verbal depravity, I think. See, I was e-speechless.

But, yes, I have seen Hot Shot's "JAAM" license plate. I approve. Which is, of course, an immense understatement. (You can stop emailing me now.)

This is all fortuitous timing, because I have a new Hot Shot Shrine acquisition. See the guy in the middle? He's rare! I just got him. Let me explain.

The one in the back right is the normal domestic Hasbro Powerlinx Hot Shot. His shoulder symbol was supposed to not be a big blob, and his forehead was supposed to be red. These were both deco mistakes, and at a BotCon, Aaron Archer said that there would be a running change to fix both. Well, I sure never saw that running change! When Hasbro says they're going to change something minor like that in mid-production, it happens about only half the time before the toy disappears off the shelves. The communication between Hasbro and Asian factories is not so great! I doubted this running change to Powerlinx Hot Shot ever really happened for several years, mostly because I'd never seen one, nor any evidence of one.

Well, they do exist! And maybe just in Canada? And maybe other places that aren't the United States? Whichever places were getting this toy slightly later than us, basically. I saw one on eBay a week ago and snatched up that motherfucker.

The one in the back left is the Japanese release. It never had either of those deco problems. But, no, it's not identical to the fixed Hasbro version. For one, it's got yellow flames on the hood instead of gold (not pictured). But most importantly, the Japanese Hot Shot had an electronic right hand. When you press the side-view mirror, his fist lights up, so that when he holds the Star Saber sword, it (in theory) glows. See how inflated his right forearm is compared to the other's? This feature was priced out of the American version.

But, yeah! A Hot Shot variation I thought didn't exist is now mine. I'm pretty pleased. Now I suppose I should go after the variation that fixed the gloppy symbol but not the forehead? Hrm.

I'm so glad I save variant-hunting for only Hot Shot.

There's a few hours left for the Joyce & Walky! "Obama Special". For all of Tuesday, you can get the first year of member-only J&W! for just $10! That's a savings of $14. I said midnight to midnight, but you know how timezones go. I'll keep accepting them until I go to bed, whenever that is. *sips caffeine* The response has been tremendous!