Rescue Bots Heatwave Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot

Rescue Bots

General Information:
Release Date: July 2011
Price Point: $11.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Transformers.com:
Your HEATWAVE THE FIRE-BOT figure is ready to join the rest of his RESCUE BOT friends on another rescue mission, and all he needs is you! Convert him to vehicle mode in one easy step and back again. No matter what dangers await, your HEATWAVE THE FIRE-BOT figure is ready to be a hero! Pull the ladder to convert to robot mode. Ages 3 and up.

As long as Transformers have been around, there have always been sub-lines of toys dedicated to a younger age group than the main toy line. In 2011, the "Rescue Bots" line takes this role. Focusing around Transformers working with humans on rescue missions using equipment ranging from helicopters to rocket packs. Unlike previous attempts such as "1-2-3 Transformers" and "Go-Go-Gobots" however, this line actually includes Generation One inspired characters in it. This line is firmly aimed at the younger set (ages 3-6 according to the packaging), so I'll say right away that older collectors may find it a bit lacking by their standards.

One of the new characters introduced in the "Rescue Bots" toy line is Heatwave. Whereas Autobots like Bumblebee have non-rescue vehicle modes, Heatwave has the form of a fire engine, something you'd expect from a team of Autobots and humans whose job it is to participate in rescue operations.

Robot Mode:
Heatwave is a very blocky looking Transformer, and reminds me a lot of what you would have seen in Generation One in both the main line and the lines aimed at younger kids. This makes sense since chunky figures are easier for kids to grasp and manipulate. In particular, Heatwave's torso, arms and legs are all rectangular or squarish in shape. This includes his fists which are huge and look like they could either lift a car off someone or smash a Decepticon in the face (though there are none in this line). The most "human" feature of this figure is the head sculpt, which is a robotic version of a person wearing a firefighter helmet. The helmet part is rounded off with a rim in the front. On the top is a shield like design and a tube wraps itself around his chin, resembling the breathing masks that firefighters sometimes wear. Heatwave looks formidable and like a Transformer who could definitely add some strength to a rescue effort.

There are quite a few smaller details among the chunky parts of the figure. Aside from the larger details on the head, Heatwave also has smaller antennae on the sides connected to discs, similar in shape to Optimus Prime's head design. Each of his four fingers is sculpted in a fist shape/position and his headlights look like they fire something in this form (fire extinguishers perhaps?). On the legs there are pistons sculpted near the knees and his feet have bars sculpted into them that I can imagine would be used for traction. If you look on the inside of his inner arms there are several tubes sculpted there that seem to lead to the "headlights" on the fists. That was a really unexpected bit of a detail and I was very happy to see it.

Heatwave is cast in four primary plastic colors: red, grey, black and white. The red and grey make up most of the figure, with red making up most of the upper body and the panels on the sides of his legs. His legs and forearms are grey while the wheels are black. The ladder on his back is white and is quite prominent despite being a feature of his vehicle mode. These are the basic colors I think anyone could expect from a guy who becomes a fire engine, but the colors are rather bright and friendly, a trademark of toy lines aimed at younger kids.

Bright colors continue with the selection of paints used for this figure. Silver, yellow, white, black and light blue all provide additional color details. Silver is heavily used. You'll find it on his torso, his fists and face. Light blue is used to paint the windshield on his chest as well as his eyes (using the traditional Autobot eye color). Yellow is painted onto the siren details on top of his chest and on the shield on his head. Smaller bits of yellow are found on his hands where they paint the headlights. White provides a really nice looking trim around the edges of his windshield as well as the "teeth" inside his smiling mouth. Black is used only a tiny bit in the robot mode. You'll find it on his head for the tube that goes across his face against his chin and on the edge of his sirens.

Heatwave does not have any articulation. He is, in effect a statue, but to be fair that's pretty much normal for this line. His arms are designed so they look like they're positioned at a right angle, so he loooks ready for action even if you can't move his body parts. What Heatwave can do is interact with the smaller vehicle/tools included with sets such as the Charlie Burns set. On the underside of each fist is a hole that allows Heatwave to hold onto the vehicles in their "tool" mode. This is a simple, yet effective way of providing the figure with more abilities than just transforming.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Push the robot feet up into the lower legs.
  2. Pull the ladder down. This will fold up most of the robot into vehicle mode.
  3. Push the robot arms in.

This simple type of transformation has a lot to do with the design philosphy behind the Rescue Bots. The idea of each of these figures is to have a child focus on using a certain set of motor skills, but not overly complicated to the point where they're folding panels around and swinging limbs left and right. In the case of Heatwave, his transformation focuses on pulling a lever to transform the figure.

Vehicle Mode:
Just as his robot mode is a chunky one, so is the vehicle mode. It is definitely recognizable as a fire truck with a boxy front end and rectangular back end and a ladder on top. It's very cute looking, but the details sculpted into the vehicle really add a lot of substance to the vehicle mode. Along the sides you'll see control panels, gauges and other mechanical bits that really make him look like a complex machine. On the back of the vehicle are six dials and panels that look almost like doors. That's not all! Along the top of the vehicle are raised lines set at angles that look like they're meant to serve as traction to allow his human allies to walk along the top of the vehicle. It's definitely a well sculpted vehicle and looks great.

The "newly revealed" details running along the sides and back of the vehicle are mostly painted silver. A bit of color is added using green on the center section on one of the control panels. Silver is also used to paint the sides of his wheels. They're rather large, so the silver is very prominent, whereas normally it's one of the more understated details on a vehicle.

Heatwave rolls on all four wheels. That's about it for functionality, but for younger kids I think that's just fine. Overall, the vehicle is nicely detailed and well painted.

Final Thoughts:
I'm always a fan of introducing new characters into the Transformers canon, especially in alternative toy lines such as this one. Not everyone has to be a Starscream or Bumblebee. I also love the design of the character in both his forms. For the specific target audience of younger kids, this figure is highly recommended!