Way long, long ago, back when I was but a lad, BotCon was run by some other folks. But the 2005 convention was not to be, and the license was taken away from those folks and given to the current folks. But because of that and other things, we didn't get a very awesome exclusive.
Defensor! Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime was to be redecoed as an homage to G1 Defensor, with its smaller robot as Hot Spot. Defensor woulda gotten a new head, even. And he was to be from a universe where he was the last surviving Autobot, at the mercy of Megazarak and his genocidal armies. It would have been awesome. But, as I said, the convention changed ownership. We got Megazarak, but never his intended arch-nemesis.
So I was happy when the relatively-small Titanium Series Robots in Disguise Optimus Prime toy was recently redecoed as Hot Spot. It's not really the same deco at all - the BotCon toy was decoed as Defensor, while this one is decoed as Hot Spot. And, wow, the BotCon toy would have had a buttload of paint. And Hasbro doesn't have Hot Spot's name, so he's "Hot Zone." But dammit, it's close enough.
I'd never bought this mold before, so it was a new toy to me. It involves a lot of turning itself inside out. The legs, for example, just peel open like a banana and reverse. The torso and arms are a lot more straight-forward. Like all Titaniums, he's partly die-cast metal, too. The feet are, thankfully, (which really helps him stand up, I'd imagine), and the chest. It's probably one of the least-bad Titaniums. Titaniums were never good toys. But this mold's definitely on the good side of mediocre.
Since Hot Zone's packaging bio paints him as nothing more than your normal, everyday Hot Spot, and not the alternate-universe Last Autobot guy, I wrote my own bio for him. I asked the Transformers Fan Club guys if they wanted one, but 2004 Universe stuff isn't really their focus at the moment. So I'll print it here! I've included as much as I remember from the original concept, hoping to stay true to the original purpose. Megazarak, for example, was going to join the side of good against Unicron in the Universe conflict, despite being history's greatest monster. That seemed like a terrible thing for Hot Spot, so I played with that a bit. Hope you enjoy!
Hot Spot's life has been a neverending nightmare. It began when Megatron returned from the dead, reanimated as the merciless Megazarak, and his armies scoured the surface of Cybertron, wiping out Autobot and Decepticon alike. Not even Optimus Prime was spared from the slaughter. Hot Spot was able to wrestle the Matrix from Megazarak's hands as Optimus was left a dry husk on the shores of the Rust Sea, but even then Hot Spot never imagined it would fall to him to wield it. With Ultra Trion dead, leaving him the sole remaining Autobot left on Cybertron, he had little choice. Even though Cybertron was littered with the corpses of millions of slain Transformers, many of them friends, Hot Spot refused to give up.Oh, and Hot Zone is a Target-exclusive, along with an Optimus Prime and a Thrust. Go check out their endcaps if you're interested. Meanwhile, all those links above remind me that there are a lot of stubs from that fiction-era needing badly to be filled.
But even that wasn't the end! Both Hot Spot and Megazarak were pulled into a multiversal conflict between Unicron, his minions, and the so-called Children of Primus. When Hot Spot finally emerged from the Cauldron, warped by the Pit into a scorched, twisted midnight vision of himself, and tainted by Unicron's dark energies, he made a shocking discovery. Megazarak had joined the forces of good! The brutal tyrant had singlehandedly turned the tide of victory away from Unicron's minions, becoming a cruel beacon of hope. In a final twist of irony, Hot Spot was forced to fight at the side of the very being who had slaughtered the entire population of his home universe. This turn of events is not lost on Megazarak himself.
For now, Hot Spot bides his time. With the help of Rhinox and Ratchet, he has shed the Unicron contamination from his body, becoming Hot Zone. Though the visual scars were removed, dark schemes plague his mind. He quietly entertains thoughts of assassinating Megazarak, avenging his Cybertron, but robbing the war of its greatest hero.