Tags: hot shot

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Glow tummy!

Shortpacked!: Smug alert!


Figgered I'd go ahead and take pictures of my other knockoff Armada Hot Shot.  While yesterday's knockoff was a fairly competent attempt that looked way nicer than it deserves, this knockoff is more true to the genre. 

Hilarious gutted features?  Check!  His Axelzooka flips up over his head, but does not rotate to face forward.  He doesn't have Jolt or Jolt's hot rod engine gun, either. 

And gutted new features!  As mentioned yesterday, there's a button on the small of his back (where the old Powerlinx point was) that is supposed to light up that thing in  his chest.  There's even a "try me" hole in the back of the packaging that's about an inch too low, and he sure doesn't light up.  I don't think there's even a compartment for a battery.  Despite all this, his packaging still claims he is "Lightning Able."

Wacky losses of sculpted detail?  Ha ha, yes.  He looks for all the world like there's a dong sculpted on his crotch.  He no longer has either of his fistholes.  His head does not have the visor.  

Extraneous chrome things?  Two random extra handguns!  And, yeah, as mentioned above, he has no fistholes.  And even if he did, the handles are the wrong shape. 

And that's all of the strangeness yet.  He has no red plastic.  All of that red is actually paint.  Sloppy, sloppy red paint.  Even his upper legs!  That's all yellow plastic under there.  Another bit of trivia is that he's based on the Japanese version of the mold.  You can tell because of his right hand, which is different from his left.  The Japanese version of Armada  Hot Shot had an LED in the right hand for use with the Star Saber sword.  

Man oh man.  What a lovely knockoff.  It really does deliver on one's typical expectations.

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Why his everything hurt?

Shortpacked!: This one's for you, Corsetto.

Birthday present #2!

This knockoff Armada Hot Shot, aka "Speed Pioneer," was a gift from Ron.  I do have one other knockoff Armada Hot Shot (one I have dumbly neglected to yet photograph for you) but this one's way cooler.  The other one was still basically in the same colors, for one.  But Ron's is in awesome rally colors!  He's in all white with swooshes and cursive writing and green windows! 

(The other one, while not being in awesome colors, does try to do some different things with the mold.  For example, it tried to put an LED in his chest, activated by a button on his back where the old Powerlinx point used to be.  It does not work.)

"Speed Pioneer," mold-wise, is your standard Armada Hot Shot, though now with bonus unworking features.  I mean, you can get him to do most of all of the same stuff, but it sure ain't gonna be Mini-Con activated.  The blue Jolt knockoff doesn't really fit on any of the Powerlinx pegs.  However, you can get his cannon to fold up over his head and his "driving claws" to open, using your finger.  And by "most of" his features still work, I mean of course his spring-loaded Axelzooka is not so spring-loaded.  Nor does it fire a missile, since the toy doesn't come with one.  

He's got a pretty good amount of paint, really!  I like that there's red panels painted along the side of his Axelzooka, and of course there's the various racing deco.  There was, unfortunately, a bad splattering incident on his left shoulder.  Oh well.  

Speed Pioneer reminds me that I'd have liked the original Armada Hot Shot to have been decoed into non-Hot Shot guys.  We almost got a Smokescreen out of him, but it was not to be.  Oh, what could have been.
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What would make birds do something about that?

 Joyce and Walky!: You know the drill.

Steve and I celebrated our birthdays today, though about a week early since that's when folks could meet up.  I gots a Skeletor/Luthor set, an awesome knockoff Hot Shot in white rally colors, and... a bike!  (My previous bike got stolen out of our garage last year.)  Expect some reviews of the non-bike items next week.

We also watched Birdemic: Shock and Horror.  It featured some revolutionary green tech that I am very passionate about, really.

Tonight Fun Publications put up preorders for their new Transformers Club exclusives Punch/Counterpunch and Shattered Glass Cyclonus.  Oh, and you can buy a Dion, too, if you missed the deadline to get a free one or just want extras.  So if you're a club member, don't miss out.  Apparently Punch is selling out crazy fast!  Not, like, at MattyCollector speeds, mind you, but fairly quickly.  
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Why his shoulders hurt?

Shortpacked!: Different approach, similar results.

Hey! Patch Together tells me that the Amber statues arrived in the States last week, but they've been stuck in customs. They expect to start working their magic on them some time next week!

Man, customs is so not my friend.

So the comic book store version of this year's BotCon comic book is out now, and you can buy it. ("Wings of Honor," Transformers: Timelines #4) If you weren't at BotCon, and your local comic book retailer carried it, you can now read it yourself.

Mostly I care because it has a profile for everybody's favorite FREE ORANGE HOT SHOT, Dion!

What do we learn? Stuff, I guess. It says he has twin flame throwers, so Dion's probably getting the Japanese version of the Hot Shot mold (pictured on the right), which is very good! Not only does that mean he gets his launchers, but it also means he'll have the gap molded into his back kibble that accommodates them in vehicle mode. And since there's so much physical-space-sharing going on with those backpack pieces, any gap back there helps make him not a frustrating unposeable pile of plastic. He'll be able to move his arms better than he would've otherwise! So, woo!

(Hilariously enough, one of Dion's weaknesses is apparently his arms. They get locked sometimes, restricting their movement. Hahahaha. Meta.)

I can't wait for spring for this dude. I need him now.
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Lotta spots

Shortpacked!: Cocksblock?

Hey, remember my fabled FREE ORANGE HOT SHOT? Well, you all can see pictures of Elite Guard Dion now! Everybody! And he's gorgeous. Between his orange, blue, and nigh-white silver, he looks like a toy of my Joyce and Walky! website.

And that car mode deco is great! Kind of a weird patch of unpaintable plastic there, but otherwise I think I love him.

Anyway, check out my pile of Cheetors on the right. I put together an image for the top of Cheetor's toys page on the Transformers Wiki, incorporating whatever Cheetors I had lying around, and thought I'd share. (Man, why can't I find either of my Nightslash/Universe2003 Cheetors?)

See, our good friend Abates filled out, like, pages and pages of stuff for Cheetor's Beast Wars cartoon and Beast Machines cartoon appearances, and so we only had to hack at what little remained to get Cheetor's page complete enough to graduate to a Featured Article.

And so he's our December Featured Article!

What I'm saying is, I have too many Cheetors.
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FREE ORANGE HOT SHOT

Shortpacked!: Rush the stage!

Hey, I know most of you folks out there are Americans, and since today is American Thanksgiving, I'm basically talking to the Canadians, British, and the Swedes. And some people of statistically-negligible nationalities.

Howdy, guys!

Anyway, since basically nobody's home, no new photos for you! Batman will be punching nobody! (Note to self: take photo of Batman punching our turkey tomorrow.) But hey, today we found out what next year's free membership toy is for the Transformers Collectors' Club! It's Hot Shot! In orange! As Dion! Everybody knows I love two things: Hot Shot and orange. Dion's not really on my list, but he'll do.

Now, for the moment, only current subscribers can see art of him by logging into the website. But I had to geek out anyway.

(It's especially mean because outside-of-America folks have to pay ridiculous prices to be in the club, and basically that's all who's reading right now.)

But!

FREE ORANGE HOT SHOT.

(there's a comic in there somewhere)
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Hot Shot, part deux

Shortpacked!: Some like it hot.


If you remember my review of Universe Hot Shot, I had a few negative things to say about him, despite my unconditional love of all things Hot Shot.  Here's a list:

1) Absurd transformation complexity makes David angry
2) Backpack kibble pieces try to occupy same space at same time
3) Crotch halves won't peg securely together
4) Fistholes are not standard size, so won't hold weapons with 5mm pegs

Some of these problems were solved or blunted with Henkei! Henkei! Hot Rod, Japan's version of the toy.  For starters, their version's crotch pegs together!  And stays!  For more than a split second!  It may just be a plastic tolerance issue, or I got a bum Universe toy, but regardless I'm thankful.

Secondly, he's got weapons now.  This makes his inability to hold standard Transformer weapons somewhat less frustrating, plus the retooling that came with the weapons helps with the backpack problem just a little tiny bit.  The addition of guns isn't the only thing new on the toy.  Holes for the missile launchers to poke out the back in vehicle mode were added, which means his backpack kibble has gaps in it right where the two pieces most like to intersect.  It doesn't solve the problem entirely, but it does help.  The two halves of backpack kibble no longer try to take up all the same space.  Just most of it.  

(He of course still has the spoiler halves on his shoulders, which still restrict his articulation there.  I really wish the engineers  had moved those to the kibble or something.)

The guns also make me feel less bad about the kibble.  They peg underneath in car mode, and so you can sort of see why they made some of the decisions they did.  In order to accommodate those missile launchers, compromises had to be made, and so we ended up with Kibbles McGee here.  Then the American version budgeted out those missile launchers and so he was left with those problems for no practical gain.  D'oh.

Still, the Takara version isn't superior in every way.  I vastly prefer the American colors, with its dark blue forearms and trim.  Takara replaced the blue with a more anime-accurate gray, which kind of makes the color scheme more stale, in my opinion.  In my mind, Hot Shot is yellow, red, and dark blue.

Also, they replaced the JaAM license plate with one that displays his Japanese name, Hot Rod, instead.  That is very unfortunate.
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Otherwise known as The Ultimate Warrior. No, not the wrestler.

Joyce and Walky!: Burnsauce!

Transformers Animated season 3 begins tomorrow (today?) with a 3-episode movie! Check it. Cartoon Network, 8am Saturday morning, Eastern time. Rock it!

(There is a good chance of Hot Shot.)

Hasbro mistakenly shipped me a Vector Prime instead of Inferno, and since it was Busy Holiday Time at the time, I never got around to addressing the mistake. So yesterday I opened the damn thing and started painting it.

If you made Universe Vector Prime's brown into orange and his black into blue, you'd have a perfect Last Autobot. You couldn't ask for a better color breakdown. And in a perfect world, I'd be able to paint over that black with blue, no problem, and it'd look nice and clean. But I know my limitations, and figgered I'd leave most of the black. Instead, I detailed those areas WITH blue, since he has no shortage of little cut out areas you can shove a brush into.

Which worked out pretty nicely, I think! I started out putting orange here and there, and it looked really sharp with the black. So I was glad I kept the black, in the end. It's not 100% accurate, but the Last Autobot is pretty boring if you keep 100% faithful. You need more than two colors.

This one almost wasn't finished, though. I tried an orange wash on the original brown, and that looked so so bad. I tried wiping it off, but I was afraid this required a skill level higher than I possessed. It looked like crap. So I threw the damn thing away. Outside. In the dumpster.

I rescued it a few hours later when I had second thoughts. (Though I seem to have neglected to dig out the missile, and the trash pickup was this morning...)

Anyway, I ended up washing gold paint over his orange places, mostly to help tie him in better with his gold Mini-Con partner. It looks beautiful in person. It really reminds me of those painted background shots of the Ark in the Sunbow cartoon. It also doesn't photograph well at all in my photography studio, so I took a picture of him "in the wild" so you could get a better idea of the actual color.

His sail-like wings are rubbery plastic, so I ain't touchin' 'em. I imagine paint will eventually crack and flake off them like crazy, regardless of how I treat the toy.

He's not an exact match of the color layout of the Last Autobot, but I think my version is better for the adjustments. Now to send him into the attic to magically revive all my busted toys! Sorry, Bludgeon.
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It's Beer Goggles Hot Shot!

Shortpacked!: The merely casual Transformers fan may not get the last panel.

Woof! I was expecting the new Hot Shot to be kinda fiddly and Side Burn-y, but he really does take the cake. You look at the promotional images of him, and you know going in that he's not going to be a 10-second conversion deal like the first Hot Shot, but wow. This guy's transformation is crazy. He has one of those setups where you have to move *everything* all at once, with all his parts sliding past and around all his other parts all at the same time. Jesus Christ, dude.

The worst offenders are the two slabs of car that attach to his back, seen in the photo on the right. You will hate them. You will hate them forever. They don't really get out of the way. Sure, there's a few hinges and a rotator between them and Hot Shot's back, which in theory should allow you some sort of configuration where they stop ruining everything, but this is not the case. I've tried everything. Pointing down, pointing out to the sides, overlapping each other... the problem is they're also tied to the shoulder joints, so if you maneuver them too far in the wrong directions, his torso starts collapsing.

And you know those Transformers that have crotches that are supposed to peg together in the middle, but they don't really? Hot Shot is one of those guys.

Basically, this new Hot Shot is everything the original Hot Shot wasn't, and vice versa. The original Hot Shot emphasized playability and fun, with several spring-loaded gadgets, a simple transformation, and a block-like sturdiness built in to afford rough play. This new Hot Shot emphasizes complexity and poseability. This mostly means Hot Shot gets in the way of himself. Universe Hot Shot has a buttload of poseability. He has what amounts to universal-jointed shoulders, double-jointed elbows, and bicep swivels. Unfortunately, those big masses of car on his back, the aforementioned ones... they get in the way, big time. It's partly the fault of the spoiler halves on his shoulders, too. There's so much clipping going on every time you so much as want to budge his arms.

Another big thing going for the original Hot Shot was interactivity. This Hot Shot throws that out the window. He doesn't even have fistholes that are compatible with 99% of all other Transformers toys. The fistholes are just shy of the 5mm standard peghole size. Don't try to squeeze the Star Saber sword in there, 'cuz it won't fit. He can't hold any of the other Hot Shots' weapons. (Seriously, what the hell.) I have a theory why this happened, and it has a lot to do with being told at some point that the early prototype for him was a bit bigger. Did they downsize all of him but not widen his fistholes? Hard to say. Regardless, it results in him not being able to hold any swords or guns or Mini-Con weapons.

Oh, and he has a very neutral expression on his face. No dippy open-mouthed grin that I fell in love with.

So while being very obviously based on the original Hot Shot, he's definitely not Armada Hot Shot in spirit. Fun, playability, and interactivity are gone. But he can pose pretty okay from the waist down! (As I said earlier, his arms pose well... in theory.) And he's got transparent windows and less dorky robot mode proportions, and is covered in sculpted detail.

Man, it sounds like I hate this thing. I shouldn't, really! And it was mostly what I was expecting, short of the incompatible peghole snafu. I really was expecting, going in, that I'd still like the first Hot Shot toy more. No, I still like this new Hot Shot. ...but as a sort of curiosity. It takes an old design and flip-flops its priorities. And so, maybe along that vein, maybe I like him as a cautionary tale.

Also, I like him for being a friggin' Transformers 25th Anniversary Hot Shot. I mean, holy crap. That's just awesome on the face of it. And his license plate says JAAM. And his tech spec bio also talks about how he loves JAAM. Frankly, the whole production, on its surface, feels like a big-ass love letter to yours truly. It's just in the details where things go awry.

I put up a few more images at The Allspark, if you're interested. Check 'em out.