Cybertron doubles and how to tell them apart
Part I: Hotshot - The Light Up action feature!
The BIGGEST change to the Japanese version of Hotshot is not merely a cosmetic redeco make-over. Takara has given HotRod a light-up fist!
You see, in the Armada animated series, Hotshot manages to get hold of a super sword weapon called the STAR SABRE, created from the combination of a set of 3 Minicons (Sold separately). In Star Sabre mode, they glow on the show like a Jedi lightsabre. The Star Sabre toy is cast in translucent plastics, and supports any Transformers with a light-up fist action feature. In the US version of the toys, however, only the giant Optimus Prime figure has a light-up fist. On the show, Hotshot is the character that becomes associated with the Star Sabre, rather than Optimus, and I guess it is this that inspired Takara to make the change to their version of HotShot.
One more thing to note is that Takara has released 2 versions of HotRod. One comes individually boxed like his American counterpart, packaged with Jolt. The other comes packed with both Jolt and the Minicon Air Defense Team (which forms the Star Sabre). Just so you know, BOTH versions of HotRod light up!
pics should show you the difference between the two. On the right is
Hotshot's arm. The sculpt is identical to his left arm, and his hood is
HotRod's right arm looks completely different, and is assymetrical to his left (which looks like the pic of Hotshot's). The triangular shape at the elbow is missing, as is the very distinct T-shaped knuckle area. The whole forearm has been resculpted with a different design to house the lightbulb and the battery compartment, which is located in the area between his wrist and his elbow.
The switch has been hidden as the side-view mirror of the respective arm. Hotshot's mirror is cast as part of the same piece as the rest of the car top. HotRod's acts as a push-button which activates the light up mechanism.
The light is very brilliant when it illuminates. I was staring right at the fist when I tried it the first time and my eyes went fuzzy for a few moments. It's pretty darn powerful!
For those of you who already own Optimus and the Star Sabre, you will know that the sabre doesn't really transmit light all that well. The first Minicon lights up and that's about it. Taking that into consideration, I'd say that HotRod's feature does its best, with reasonable results.
30 Mar 03