Armada Toy Reviews: Hot Shot

in 2002, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot

Armada

General Information:
Price Point: Deluxe
Retailer: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart etc.)
Release Date: July 2002
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3 (Advanced)
Accessories: Jolt Mini-Con figure, Missile, Engine

Almost every Transformers series since Transformers: The Movie has had it. "It" being the young character who transformed into something sleek (be it a sports car or cheetah) who was brash yet showed leadership potential. In Armada, this character is Hot Shot. Hot Shot is
paired with the Mini-Con, Jolt. This review will first cover Jolt and then Hot Shot and their interaction with each other.

Jolt Review

Vehicle Mode:
Jolt's vehicle mode is a helicoptor. He is mostly red with some silver details. Jolt has quite a bit of detailing in this form, but unfortunately the uniform color of the red makes a lot of detail tough to see unless you look at the toy super close. Among these details are metal plates that look bolted onto the inner workings of the vehicle. The helicoptor blades (an oft ignored detail) also have this plate/bolt look. The Mini-Con symbol is etched into the left side of this form.

As a helicoptor, Jolt carries Hot Shot's additional engine with him. This mounts on the underside of the toy. The way it looks in this form is like a gigantic, dual barrelled cannon.

Jolt has a neat vehicle form, but some extra paint to bring out the details would have been nice.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the engine.
  2. Flip the cockpit outwards.
  3. Fold down the tail of the helicoptor.
  4. Move the engines on the sides down to form the arms.

Robot Mode:
Like his vehicle mode, Jolt is mostly red in this mode. Sivler peeks through on the robot face and on the upper arms. Some fans may disagree with this, but the most interesting aspect of this robot mode to me is the robot head. He looks a lot like the Generation One character Powerglide. Like Powerglide, Jolt's face is cone shaped and the mouthplate comes to a rectangular plate in the center. Also, like Powerglide, his head is cone shaped. The colors of red and silver are also very similar to Powerglide's red and grey. Perhaps this is just a happy coincidence.

Jolt has six points of articulation, which is pretty good for a toy so small. He also seems to be one of the few Mini-Cons to carry a big honkin' weapon (that's not a built in missile launcher). The engine can attach to his hand, and even more surprising, he stands fine while wielding the weapon.

Despite being somewhat bland in the color department, Jolt is a neat little Mini-Con and him holding the engine/gun is one impressive site (as far as Mini-Cons go).

Hot Shot

Hot Shot's vehicle mode looks like a modified sports car. The primary color is yellow. The tires are black with red hubcaps. The windows are metallic dark blue. His spoiler has an Autobot symbol sculpted into it and painted red. The pegs on the side of his spoiler (for Mini-Cons to attach to) are red as well. Silver has been used for sections such as the headlights and front grill.

Hot Shot looks a lot like a modified car you would see in movies such as "Fast and the Furious". Although mostly smooth and lacking detail, certain parts show some of the mechanical inner workings of the vehicle. For instance, the hood is partially cut away to reveal machinery in the middle. Of course, this is also the spot where you would attach the engine to.

The designers "cheated" a bit with Hot Shot's action feature in this mode. Rather than having a Mini-Con activate his feature, it is the engine, a solid, non-transformable piece. When you attach the engine and push it down, two grips swing out from the front of the car. Hot Shot can attach up to three Mini-Cons in this form: one on the middle of the spoiler and one on each side of the spoiler. If you take Jolt in helicoptor mode and attach him on the middle peg, you can fold down Jolt so the helicoptor blade points to the rear, making Hot Shot look like a car with a propeller. This isn't really as thrilling as having the Mini-Con actually "activate" a feature. It would have been nicer if say, for instance, Jolt connected and small rocket boosters appeared in the back of the car or something.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Open the car doors and fold them forward.
  2. Fold the panels that form the rear top portion of the car forward.
  3. Split the car in half down the middle.
  4. Separate the passenger section of the car from the hood section.
  5. Swivel the passenger section/windows to the sides to form the robot arms.
  6. Twist the lower legs/car hood around so the panels that were the car doors face forward.
  7. Flip up the grip claws from the vehicle mode to form the robot feet.

Robot Mode:
Hot Shot's robot mode reveals a big splash of red with some dark green, silver and black thrown in for good measure. The red is mostly on the main body and upper legs. The silver is on the
X pattern on his main body and the robot face.

Hot Shot's robot form is an obvious analogy to a race car driver. His head is helmet shaped and he even has a visor which folds down over his face. The silver X design on his chest looks like some type of seat belt as well. The sculpt of the main body is nice, and the face has a good amount of detail. This includes the visor which has grooves and a targeting reticle sculpted in.

The engine can be attached to his chest via the four holes on the chest and the four pegs on the engine. I actually prefer the engine off, but it looks nice on as well. The design of the lower arms are kind of odd looking because of the huge car bits hanging off of them.

In this form, Hot Shot has ten points of articulation. His arms technically have three points of articulation each but one of those only allows them to swing out to the sides at the shoulder. The upper legs are on ball joints however, allowing for a greater range of poses.

Hot Shot's Powerlinx is on his rear end (no kidding). Attach a Mini-Con there and then push up and his cannon will flip up. Push again and the cannon twists around and fires its missile. You can attach two more Mini-Cons on the pegs on either side of the spoiler (now part of the upper body).

Hot Shot really feels like someone other than than the person who designed the likes of Cyclonus and Demolishor was at work here. There does not seem to be as much detail as there could be and the robot mode looks kind of odd, almost like this was meant to be a simpler Transformer. It would also have been nice to see some greater ability for Hot Shot to interact with Mini-Cons other than the missile launcher. Somewhat recommended if you are a completist or wish to bolster your Autobot forces.