Rescue Bots Heatwave the Fire-Bot (Boat) Toy Review

in 2014, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Rescue Bots

Rescue Bots

General Information:
Release Date: April 2014
Price Point: $7.97 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text in italics from Amazon.com:
Your little hero will save the day with this Rescue Bots hero! It's easy for his little hands to convert his Heatwave the Fire-Bot figure from fierce robot warrior mode to fireboat mode. Then he can race his Heatwave the Fire-Bot fireboat to one rescue adventure after another! He'll love converting his robot warrior back and forth for awesome Transformers fun! Playskool, Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Rescue Bots continues in its third year as the segment of the "Transformers" line aimed at kids 7 years and below. Unlike last year's line, which focused on a bulk of the characters being retools and redecos of the previous years toys, this year introduces a whole new set of sculpts along with a new size. This line of "Rescue Bots" figures is about 2/3 the size of the previous figures. This still makes them big enough for kids to manipulate, but also reduces the cost (and for collectors, storage room) of each toy. One of the characters in this new assortment is Heatwave the Fire-Bot!

Robot Mode:
Heatwave's new vehicle form is a boat, which means his robot mode winds up some drastic design changes. Instead of a boxy set of squares and rectangles, he is a lot more curved and sleek looking. That doesn't mean the doesn't retail bulk (and thus the appearance of strength), he totally does. His shoulders and chest are wide, his legs thick and the feet are large. He definitely looks like he could handle himself in an emergency or even battle. One of my favorite design elements is the head, which looks like a fireman's helmet on top with visor eyes and a robotic mouth. This is how he looks on the show, but it's not how the first Heatwave toy looked. It's cool to see a "cartoon accurate" head on this figure. Many of the boat mode's elements appear here, most notably his arms which are curved up to a point at the top. Each one has a small non-working hose near his wrists. The chest as a curved windshield leading to a hint of a grille - both elements inspired by similar designs from his fire truck form. His legs are slightly curved on the sides, but they do have some angles on the edges, knee armor and feet. It's a very layered design and it looks great.

Heatwave is cast in red and yellow plastic. Red makes up most of the figure, with yellow forming smaller parts like the joints between the torso and the arms. White, light blue, silver and yellow paint is used to give him details. The white is featured on the chest, outlining the windshield and his knee armor. The light blue is used for the windshield on his chest and the robot eyes. Silver gives some metallic coloring to his waist area, feet and face. Yellow paint is used for the crest/searchlight on top of his head and the hoses sculpted into the forearms. The various colors chosen pop off the red plastic nicely and he looks good. The only bad part on my copy of this figure is a bit of the white paint that outlines the windshield was chipped away, probably during the drying process. I doubt this is a widespread problem.

There is no articulation to really speak of with this figure, which is not surprising given that most Rescue Bots toys don't have much going on in that department. That said, Heatwave's fists are designed to accomodate 5mm peg weapons and accessories. This means he can also hold some of the tools that came out in the first year of the "Rescue Bots" toy line.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
Flip the figure over an dyou'll see a lightbar for the vehicle mode. Push it up and several pieces will move in to form the boat mode. This includes the feet (which move closer together) and the arms (which press up against the sides of the robot). It's a neat little "auto" transformation and offers the fast transformation that is characteristic to many "Rescue Bots" figures.

Vehicle Mode:
Trading in land for the sea, Heatwave now transforms into an emergency speedboat, complete with hoses and a lightbar on top. The design is meant to represent a sleek, thinner vehicle and not some bulky tugboat. The front end comes to points towards the middle, the sides angle back to rotors in the back. The cabin section is rounded, also adding to the slick appearance of this vehicle. Stick wheels on it and it could pass for a race car.

Several smaller details really help make the figure. The front section has a sculpted "Rescue Bots" Autobot symbol in the center. There are also smaller symbols sculpted onto the sides of the vehicle towards the front. The hoses in the front lead to tube details that wind up flanking the cabin section. Behind the cabin section is a lightbar with raised sections on the sides indicating where the lights would be flashing if this were a real vehicle. Overall, the sculpt for this form looks great.

Red is still the primary color in this form, but yellow gets to play more of a role. The water cannons in front are cast in yellow, and the tubes leading up to them are painted yellow. The lightbar is white with blue on the sides. Perhaps the most heavily used color is light blue. This is used to paint all the windows of the cabin and the Autobot symbol in the front o fthe vehicle. It is also used to paint some seriously cool details on the sides where the smaller, sculpted Autobot symbols are. The symbols are painted blue, and then a circuit pattern comes out of them, also painted light blue. I really dig this detail and think it looks awesome.

The water cannons in this mode can be turned, allowing kids to imagine they're helping to fight a fire or maybe blast away some dastardly villain. The rest is up to the imagination!

Final Thoughts:
I really dig the idea of turning Heatwave into a fire fighting boat instead of just a variation on a fire truck in the vehicle mode. It gives the design a refreshing take while allowing some sleekness to his form he might not otherwise have. I also appreciate the cartoon accurate head sculpt and the way some elements of the fire truck mode still carry over. Remember, this figure is aimed at younger kids so older fans looking for a "Generations" style figure will want to avoid this. For everyone else, this piece is recommended!