Energon Toy Reviews: Energon Hot Shot

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Combiner / Gestalt, Energon, Superlink

Energon

General Information:
Release Year: August 2004
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $10.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 2
Accessories: Missile, Missile launcher, Radar attachment for missile
launcher

Images:

It's that time of year again, or rather that time within a single Transformers line's year: redeco time. In Armada, virtually every mold was given a new deco and reused at least once. Energon will probably be no exception. One of the first of the redecos among the deluxe sized toys is Hot Shot. Now known as "Energon Hot Shot", this toy is also one of the first deluxe "Powerlinx Battles" toys, a change in package design that echoes the "Unicron Battles" from Armada. This review will focus on the changes made to the toy for this release. I recommend reading the Hot Shot review for a more in depth look at the mechanics of the toy.

Vehicle Mode:
It's funny how your perspective changes on a toy from the time you see preview pictures to the time it winds up in your hands. When I first saw Hasbro's preview pictures of Energon Hot Shot, I really wasn't fond of the silver, but I thought the robot mode looked good. Now my opinion has taken a 180 degree turn. While it may be gaudy by some standards, I think it looks awesome. Silver as the primary color looks fantastic, especially since it's a nice metallic silver, not a dull one. The red parts look really nice on the top (they almost look like sirens of some sort) and the spoiler contrasts really nicely with the silver.

The flame stripes on the hood and the top of the car look really cool. They evoke the more straight "racing stripes" seen on some "race car" type toys such as Binaltech Dead End, but add a nice extra detail. I did find the choice of using dark blue for the front grill and wheels a bit out of the ordinary, but the color in itself is dark enough that it doesn't stick out too much.

Another nice touch: replacing the translucent red with translucent orange parts. From the card art the idea seems to be that Hot Shot is now glowing with energy, and using the translucent orange on the weapon, windshield and headlights looks fantastic.

Functionally speaking, nothing has changed. All the holes for Energon weapons still hold the weapons properly and his rifle still attaches to other Energon weapons and Mini-Cons well.

Robot Mode:
I mentioned earlier that I originally had no problems with the robot mode colors in this redeco, unfortunately holding this in my hands now, I can't say that anymore. The new color scheme brings the silver and red parts into play, which is fine. What kills the colors is the yellow. This yellow is a different shade than the previous Hot Shot toy. It's a slightly darker, more red tinged yellow (it almost looks a bit orange). The problem is that it's a color I've seen time and time again on knock off toys, or cheap robots in 99 cent stores - and it just doesn't work here.

Again, from the card art we see that Hot Shot is meant to be glowing with energy. The better choice here would have been to use translucent orange in place of the yellow, if not on the back plate (which does get moved a lot), at least on the shoulders, head and forearms. Other toys such as Starscream and Demolishor have used translucent plastic on the primary body of the toy, it would have been nice to see that used here.

Don't get me wrong, there are some really nice points to this scheme. The silver and red are contrasted nicely by som edark blue used on the chest and legs. It's just that the yellow is so distracting it's not even funny.

Powerlinx Modes:
Functionally speaking, nothing has changed with this toy for its Powerlinx modes. It still connects well to other Autobots and in both forms, the joints and parts are all as tight as they were on the first Hot Shot. Color-wise the silver/yellow/red combination blends in with virtually any Autobot out there quite well.

Final Thoughts:
Despite my severe reservations about the yellow used in the robot mode, this is still a great sculpt and a fun toy. Plus, I love the way the vehicle mode looks, so the redeco is not entirely bad. Recommended if you can't get your hands on last year's Hot Shot. Otherwise, go with the first one.