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As leader of the Protectobots, Hot Spot holds a key place within the Transformers mythology, though like some other characters, he’s one I haven’t had much attachment to, even back in the 80s.
It’s a familiar theme. The original fire truck, Inferno, was a pretty key character to me back in my childhood, and as such, I never paid a whole lot of attention to Hot Spot. He was a part of a combiner team that I didn’t have any other figures to attach to, so unlike the appealing Stunticons and Aerialbots, the Protectobots all got left on a store shelf and I never really formed that attachment. Unlike First Aid, though, Hot Spot hasn’t played any especially key roles in recent comics, so I still don’t have a firm allegiance to him as a character. That doesn’t do a whole lot to diminish how I feel about him as a toy, though, and as a toy, Hot Spot is pretty good.
The Combiner Wars voyagers to this point have been somewhat hit or miss, though mostly hits. I love Silverbolt, and I like Motormaster okay, though his failure as a central piece to Menasor left me feeling a bit cold after using him for a little while. Hot Spot doesn’t have any of these drawbacks.
In vehicle mode, he’s a powder blue fire and rescue truck, a color that isn’t seen very often, but it seen from time to time. The long form of the vehicle looks nice, and the sloped front and back make him look sleek and quick, even as a potentially lumbering fire truck. He has six wheels, and a lot of play value, with a working ladder. The Defensor head even flips back to reveal a bucket for a tiny figure to stand in. I like the colors (even though the blue doesn’t match a whole lot of other Protectobot vehicles closely) and the design is pretty good. The mid-section of his vehicle mode is a bit thin, looking a lot like robot legs barely covered by a closed shell. It kind of resembles an elongated ladder truck, but not really, and that does take away, just a bit, from the vehicle mode.
His transformation works nicely and even as a newly tooled Voyager, I found it pretty straight forward and quick to get him from fire truck to robot. Separating the rear to create armored arms, and the front to create his large feet works nicely and the end result is a fairly sleek looking robot.
At least until you look at his back. Hot Spot is a great looking robot, especially head on, but before long you do notice quite a bit of ladder-based kibble strapped to his back, just kind of hanging off. I understand why, I mean it’s difficult to do a ladder truck without having this obvious slab of ladder hanging from the figure, and full credit to the design team for making it less visible from the front. I really like the large, wide shoulders, and the small spring-details in the forearms. In robot mode, there’s a lot more red to tie him into the rest of the team than he has in vehicle mode, with a nice allotment of blue and black, too. His head is somewhat reminiscent of Optimus Prime, I thought, but still looks individual enough to work. He stands tall among his teammates and looks really nice leading the team, with his dual laser weapons and impressive stature.
Combiner Wars Hot Spot
As the leader of the Protectobots, Hot Spot stands tall and proud among his teammates, weilding dual lasers and a great looking head sculpt. In fire truck mode he has a working ladder and a great look, even if some unfortunate robot kibble takes away from the overall look. In robot mode, if you can get over the ladder hanging off his back, he’s a well articulated and impressive looking Voyager scale figure ready to lead the Protectobots against the Decepticon onslaught and give their lives for the Autobot cause.