Hot Shot is the quintessential young hero. He's been around long enough to earn a name for himself and a place in Optimus Prime's entourage, but he's still too young to know when he's in over his head. In other words, he's blunt, overconfident, and naive, yet brave and honorable. With time and experience, Prime believes, he could make an excellent leader, and has appointed him to his command structure accordingly. Hot Shot's got the goods, but he just needs to pay attention for more than five seconds. Until that day, Hot Shot's likely response to most anything is, "Yeah yeah, like, whatever."
- Japanese Micron Legend name: Hot Rod
- Japanese Galaxy Force name: Exillion/Exigeyser
Dreamwave comics continuity
One million years ago, Hot Shot was a member of the Autobots, the guardians of Cyber City. Soon news of a warlike faction called Decepticons, led by the power-hungry Megatron, reached Cyber City via a dying Mini-Con Hot Shot found. The Mini-Con handed him a video disc and with his dying breath, demanded Hot Shot take it to Optimus Prime. Optimus Prime played the disc, a distress signal from Leader-1, head of Mini-Con village D10, who begged the Autobots for help.
The Decepticons themselves soon arrived in Cyber City, armed with Mini-Cons they had captured and reconfigured to bestow incredible power when Powerlinxed. Outclassed and near total defeat, Optimus Prime called his troops into retreat, and after the majority of Mini-Cons escaped Cybertron to parts unknown, the Autobots lost much of the planet to the Mini-Con-powered Decepticons.
In the present day, both the Autobots and Decepticons received a signal of the Mini-Cons' activation on the planet Earth. Hot Shot and his colleagues Scavenger, Red Alert, and Smokescreen were led by Optimus Prime to the planet, where they met the Decepticons in battle. But this time, with the help of the estranged Mini-Cons, the Autobots regained the edge they lost against the Decepticons one million years prior. An uneasy alliance was formed, and Hot Shot was partnered with the Mini-Con Jolt.
After this initial battle on Earth, Megatron is quick to capture the Air Defense Mini-Con Team and forge them into the Star Saber sword. Optimus Prime led Hot Shot and Red Alert against the Decepticons again, despite being at a strategic disadvantage while the Mini-Cons were missing, a point Hot Shot belabored. Thankfully, the Autobot-allied Mini-Cons arrived just in time to Powerlinx with Hot Shot and the other Autobots, fend off Megatron, and rescue the Air Defense Mini-Cons from the Decepticon leader's clutches.
Soon, a Mini-Con beacon tower erected in Tranquility, Kansas, drawing all Earth-bound Mini-Cons to it. Hot Shot and the rest of the Autobots again met the Decepticons in battle at the location when the tower's effect was discovered. However, they were too busy fighting to notice the beacon tower blasting off towards the Earth's moon. Hot Shot and Red Alert secreted Optimus Prime into the Decepticon base for the use of their space bridge, so that the Autobot leader could ask for reinforcements from Cybertron.
After the Mini-Cons were evacuated from the moon, five did not return home safely and sent a distress signal from northern Alaska. When the Adventure Mini-Con Team failed to retrieve them, Hot Shot and the other Autobots arrived in full force, though they were kept in check by Cyclonus, who was suffering from a Mini-Con overdose. Though they were successful, Optimus Prime disappeared before their eyes, and when Hot Shot returned to Autobase, he found an Optimus Prime, dying, sent from another timeline to warn of Unicron's coming. Learning of the "real" Optimus Prime's disappearance, Megatron and his Decepticons stormed Autobase, nearly killing Smokescreen and heavily injuring Hot Shot, Red Alert, and Scavenger.
Optimus Prime was returned to them and insisted on teaming up with the Decepticons to battle the arriving Unicron. Hot Shot excused himself from this alliance, as Smokescreen's critical condition due to the Decepticons' recent attack still weighed heavily in his mind. So when Megatron stole away during the battle with Unicron to strike a deal with the Dark God, Hot Shot, Scavenger, and Red Alert ambushed him, leaving him to die as Unicron was seemingly destroyed by the Mini-Con Matrix.
Ten years later, at the beginning of the Energon Era, Hot Shot accompanied Optimus Prime, who was skeptic and restless about the new peacetime, to his visit with the High Council in Cyber City. Prime's demands for vigilance were denied, so Hot Shot later followed him to a special uplink platform that Over-Run had directed them to. This trip was a first outing for the rookie Autobot Ironhide, who fawned over Hot Shot. Hot Shot met this with difficulty. Learning of the continued existence of Unicron, Prime once again returned to the High Council, and again accompanied by Hot Shot. But this time, Cyber City was attacked by Cheetor, Rhinox, Airazor, and Terrorsaur, who were presumed dead during the Unicron Battles, but in fact were transformed into Unicron's Beasts of the Apocalypse. The Horsemen were deterred when Hot Shot and the other Autobots were granted the Spark of Combination.
Hot Shot followed Prime to Earth after a distress signal was received. Scorponok and his Terrorcons were after a young boy who could detect Energon named Kicker. The Terrorcons outclassed them, however, and left only when their Energon-mining gear was destroyed, but not without taking Kicker. After the Autobots reunited with Rad and Alexis, Hot Shot and the Omnicon Strongarm were able to pursue the Terrorcons and deliver a special suit to Kicker that his father, Dr. Jones, had made for him. With Kicker's help, the Terrorcons were defeated and returned to Unicron.
Special attacks: Axle Cannon
An indeterminate number of years ago on Cybertron, Hot Shot and the Autobot Wheeljack were amidst a fiery battlefield blaze. Wheeljack was incapacitated, so Hot Shot left him, promising to get help. However, his Autobot comrades would not let him return to help his friend. Instead, Wheeljack was rescued by Megatron and swore vengeance against Hot Shot and the Autobots.
When Optimus Prime received the Mini-Con distress signal, Hot Shot was one of two soldiers he brought with him to Earth to investigate. He soon scanned the form of an Earth sports car and partnered with the Mini-Con Jolt.
When all three Mini-Cons that combine to form the Star Saber sword were collected, Optimus assigned them to Hot Shot. The Autobot was young, inexperienced, and hotheaded, so the great advantage the Star Saber granted him went straight to his ego. With the sword, he was nearly unbeatable on the battlefield until a Decepticon named Scavenger taught him the hard way that power without skill was useless against an experienced opponent. Hot Shot's naivety was his downfall. The double-agent Sideways tricked Hot Shot out of the sword, and Hot Shot was beaten nearly to death by his frustrated opponents.
Wheeljack returned to Hot Shot's life, seeking revenge. The new Autobot recruit Side Swipe was caught up in Wheeljack's vendetta, so Hot Shot protected Side Swipe as best he could, hoping not to repeat his past mistakes. Wheeljack was deterred, but promised he'd be around later to revisit his ill will.
When Optimus Prime sacrificed himself to save Earth, Hot Shot was put in command. Hot Shot declined to take the Matrix of Leadership, which marked the beginning of a very unassertive and indecisive administration. It was also short, as Optimus Prime returned to life after not too long.
The Decepticons managed to take over Cybertron. Unicron, the Chaos Bringer, was looming over their planet, but Galvatron (previously Megatron) would not listen to Optimus Prime's pleas to unite their two factions against him. Hot Shot decided to take matters into his own hands and fought his way through the Decepticon base and countless Decepticon warriors to reach Galvatron and reason with him. If it were not for Wheeljack's intervention, he might not have survived. Under the Autobot/Decepticon alliance, Wheeljack's hatred of Hot Shot seemed to soften, and the two learned to trust each other again.
After the destruction of Unicron and the defeat of Galvatron, Optimus Prime felt he had failed as Autobot Leader, and with the end of conflict between the two factions, he exiled himself to parts unknown. Hot Shot and Jetfire were left in charge of the Transformers.
Hot Shot would find himself stationed on Earth as the commander of Ocean City while Optimus Prime was away training new soldiers on Cybertron. Although somewhat less headstrong, Hot Shot was still a young soldier with a large mass of responsibility placed on his shoulders.
Hot Shot often clashed with Kicker and Ironhide, the latter seeing Hot Shot as his idol, and was often paired with Inferno as his Powerlink partner. It wasn't until the arrival of Hot Shot's former commander and idol, Rodimus, that he would question his own allegiances. Not moved by Rodimus' plea to help him to resurrect Unicron, Hot Shot threatened to open fire, only to be struck down by Rodimus. After Rodimus saved Hot Shot's life, he regretted his quick judgment. The relationship between Hot Shot and Rodimus was eventually restored and they become Powerlink partners.
Hot Shot continued to serve under Optimus Prime, surviving many battles on Cybertron and other worlds. Along with several other Autobots, Hot Shot was injured when the reborn Unicron destroyed a fledgling planet in the reformed Q-system. Hot Shot was reformatted into a slick silver body along with his Autobot comrades. He eventually merged his spark with that of Optimus Supreme and his partners in the final battle with Galvatron.
- Voice Actor(s): Kirby Morrow (US), Daisuke Hirakawa (Japan)
- Special attacks: Accel Wing, Double X Shot, Battle Dagger
When Unicron's destruction resulted in a black hole that threatened the Transformers' home planet of Cybertron, Optimus Prime ordered the planet to retreat into hiding on Earth. Hot Shot took the form of a blue Earth sports car.
This form came in handy when Optimus reassigned Hot Shot and Red Alert to search for Velocitron's Cyber Planet Key. He quickly developed a competitive bond with Override, the leader of Velocitron. Against Red Alert's warnings, Hot Shot joined the Great Race. Hot Shot pushed himself beyond his means, almost to the point of destruction, but no matter how he tried, he could never defeat Override. The constant racing took a noticeable toll on his body. Was he really doing this to win the Key or just to prove to himself he was still the fastest in the galaxy?
Hot Shot was in big trouble when Optimus arrived on Velocitron and found out what he was up to. But Optimus Prime changed his mind when he realized that winning the race was the only way to win the Key. With the Autobots' full support and Coby's help, Hot Shot won the Great Race and the Cyber Planet Key.
Later, Hot Shot, Red Alert and Scattorshot faced Megatron alone when the Decepticon leader returned to Earth thristing for revenge against the treacherous Starscream. Humiliating the Decepticon in combat, Megatron, enraged, used his new Omega Lock-powered Death Machine Gun on the three Autobots, crippling them beyond repair.
Fortunately, the powers of Primus acting through the Omega Lock bathed the trio in the creator's holy light, repairing and reformatting the young Autobot into Cybertron Defense Hot Shot. Along with his newly reformatted friends, the Cybertron Defense Team arrived on the battlefield and easily defeated the Decepticons Scourge and Megatron.
As Optimus Prime and the other Autobots dealt with Starscream and Megatron's forces, the Cybertron Defense Team was sent on an advance mission to Planet Cybertron. Hot Shot and his fellow team members had to blast their way through a debris field littering the Space Bridge path to Cybertron, during the course of which Hot Shot's vision was obscured by a thick oily substance excreted out of an asteroid as it exploded.
When the unit finally arrived on Cybertron, they were shocked to discover the planet overrun with the parasitic Scrapmetal drones, and quickly had to fight their way through legions of the robotic pests.
After Override resigned from leadership of Velocitron in order to travel to a new world, Hot Shot won the race to determine who would be her successor, despite his bulky new body.
- Hot Shot (Super-Con, 2002/2003)
- Japanese ID number: MC-03
- Armada Hot Shot transforms into a modified yellow Audi TT. He is packaged with Mini-Con Jolt, who, when attached to the powerlinx port on Hot Shot's rear, deploys his rear axle over the back of his head and (in the same motion) fires a missile from his hubcap. Jolt's gun can either attach to Hot Shot's robot mode chest or unveil "driving claws" from Hot Shot's front bumper by attaching to Hot Shot's car mode hood as his engine. Hot Shot's visor can also flip over his face.
- "Hot Rod," Takara's Micron Legend version of Hot Shot, was released in altered colors, with a more saturated yellow and some dark gray paint in places instead of navy blue. Additionally, more of the belt straps on his chest were painted silver, his pelvis was painted a darker red, and clearer paint on his Autobot symbol. A retool (or vice versa) of Hasbro's Hot Shot, his right arm houses a light-up LED (for accommodating the translucent Star Saber sword) that glows when his side-view mirror is pressed, a feature that was dropped from the American version due to price-point concerns.
- Hot Rod w/ Jolt and Air Defense Microns (2002)
- Japanese ID number: MS-01
- Takara's Hot Rod was also released in a box set with the Air Defense Mini-Con Team.
- Hot Shot (Happy Meal, 2002)
- Powerlinx Hot Shot (Super-Con, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: MC-13
- A red, yellow, and black redeco and retool of the first Hot Shot, Powerlinx Hot Shot has a new head that has a more "serious" look, though his visor, sculpted directly into the new head, is no longer articulated. Intended to be an homage to Generation 1 Hot Rod, he has a yellow spoiler and flames on his hood. Due to a factory error, his forehead is painted gray instead of left red. The Japanese version, "Hot Rod Super Mode," fixed this forehead mistake, painted the shoulder symbol more clearly, and retained the LED light-up arm the first Japanese version featured.
- Rumors circulated that a Hot Shot with fixed forehead paint and a cleaner symbol would surface later in the run, but this did not seem to happen, and no specimens with these fixes have ever materialized.
- In November of 2003, US Toys "R" Us stores had special bonus pack Max-Con (Deluxe) toys, which came with a single bonus Mini-Con attached to the card over their sticker, for less than the price as a normal Max-Con during Toys "R" Us' post-Thanksgiving-day sale. Like Powerlinx Cyclonus, Powerlinx Hot Shot could come with one of the Adventure Mini-Con Team members: Dune Runner, Iceberg or Ransack.
- Hot Shot (Built to Rule, 2003)
- Hot Shot (Deluxe, 2004)
- Japanese ID number: SC-02
- In Energon, Hot Shot was updated as a modified yellow Aston-Martin Vanquish. He could carry a transparent red spring-loaded missile-launching weapon in either mode, and featured a small Autobot spark crystal on his chest on which Energon chips could be mounted. Like nearly all other Autobots in the Energon line, he could powerlinx with like-designed toys to form the top or bottom of a super robot.
- Takara released Hot Shot in similar colors, changing the slate blue plastic to a dark, nearly-black blue, dropping the black paint on his car roof, and adding metallic blue paint to his chest. His head is also a nearly-identical-but-different sculpt, most noticeably around the mouth, chin, and eyes. The reason for this is unknown.
- Hot Shot & Inferno (Multi-pack, 2003)
- Japanese ID number: SS-01
- In Japan, Takara released Hot Shot both individually and in a box set with Inferno.
- Energon Hot Shot (Deluxe, 2004)
- Japanese ID number: SC-23
- Energon Energon Hot Shot gave the car mode a silver-painted finish and the robot parts a dark blue, yellow, and red color scheme reminiscent of Armada Hot Shot's colors. Energon Hot Shot used the Hasbro version of Hot Shot's head (see above).
- When he was released in Japan as "Hot Shot Fire," his car mode was changed to an unpainted silver, and additionally the yellow plastic was changed to a sherbet orange, the dark blue plastic to black, and the transparent orange plastic to a transparent crimson red. He also came packaged with the Energy Cutter, a transparent watermelon-red redeco of Signal Flare's energon weapon, plus a matching energon chip. Hot Shot Fire used the Takara version of Hot Shot's head.
- Hot Shot (Deluxe Class, 2005)
- Japanese ID number: GC-02'
- An homage to Generation 1 Hot Rod in design but not in color scheme, Cybertron Hot Shot transforms into a modified blue Chrysler ME Four Twelve concept car. He comes with a Speed Planet Cyber Key that deploys transparent yellow wings from his spoiler when the key is inserted into the rear of the car. The toy also comes with a spring-loaded missile-launching gun that can be carried in robot mode or pegged into the roof of the car mode.
- The Japanese release, "Exillion," is completely identical other than a slight molding difference; two screws on either side of the spoiler are visible in the American release and all subsequent uses of the mold, but the original Japanese use of the mold had these screws buried. Though the Japanese release was treated as a separate character from Hot Shot, the toy was designed to be the character from Armada and Energon, as evident by his head design and control art labeling him as such.
- This mold was used to make Red Exillion (see below) and Excellion.
- Hot Shot (Legends of Cybertron, 2005/2006)
- A smaller, simplified version of Cybertron Hot Shot was released as part of the first wave of Legends of Cybertron toys. In 2006, a red version using Excellion's deco was released as part of the fourth assortment, but was marked as "Hot Shot".
- Cybertron Defense Hot Shot (Deluxe Class, 2005)
- Japanese ID number: GC-19
- Cybertron Defense Hot Shot transforms into a modified M1117 Guardian Armored Security Vehicle, in the same blue, navy, and red colorscheme as the previous Cybertron Hot Shot. A Cybertron Cyber Key is included and when the key is inserted into the back of the turret, the two gun barrels open up into dual (non-firing) missile launchers. Compartments on his shoulders and his thighs can also open up to reveal additional missile launchers. Cybertron Defense Hot Shot also comes with a dagger that stows between his legs in vehicle mode, and when in robot mode, the dagger can be hand-held, peg into the front of his fist, or be put away in a sheath on his leg.
- "Exigeyser," Cybertron Defense Hot Shot's Japanese counterpart, is completely identical, but also came with a cardboard standup depicting three Scrapmetal drones. The American version of Cybertron Defense Hot Shot was at some point intended to have a slightly altered deco, which is shown on the back of the packaging, but this altered deco for some reason never superseded the Japanese deco for American release.
- Red Exillion (DVD exclusive, 2005)
- Red Exillion is a redeco of the Cybertron Hot Shot toy in red, dark red, and orange, with transparent blue. Limited to 500, it came with the first Galaxy Force DVD and an empty box set to prepare against the next few Galaxy Force DVD releases. This redeco took advantage of the toy's homage to Generation 1 Hot Rod, completing the homage with appropriate colors, though the toy is still treated as Hot Shot in Hot Rod colors and not as a Hot Rod toy.
- Before the toy saw official release, several advance test shots entered the market, though in a slightly altered color treatment than the final. Originally, the dark red was a brighter red.
- This toy was the indirect inspiration for Cybertron Excellion. (The direct inspiration, of course, being the original Hot Rod.)
- Hot Shot (Booster, 2006)
- Attacktix ID number: TF09
- Part of the first assortment of Attacktix Booster Packs, Hot Shot is a "Super Rare" 40-point Warrior-class piece with a spring-loaded "shield-missile" attack. His Special Power "Rally" allows you to return one of your previously-defeated Autobot pieces back into play. The figure commonly has a black base, but like all Boosters, a rarer chrome-silver-base version was randomly packed into boxes as well.
- This mold was also used to make Attacktix Excellion, who was also a wave-1 Booster piece.
- Hot Rod (Super Collection Figure, 2002)
- A PVC figure of Hot Shot was available in Act 9 of Takara's Super Collection Figure series in both full color and solid-pewter finish. All SCF figures were blindpacked and came with a little stand.
- Hot Rod (Mega Super Collection Figure, 2002)
- Mega SCF Hot Rod is a larger, articulated non-transforming PVC action figure of Hot Shot, based upon his cartoon model. He came with his engine gun and a small, non-transformable PVC figurine of his Mini-Con partner, Jolt.
- Hot Shot (Bubble Twist, 2003)
- In 2003, Toys "R" Us carried a line of candy toys called Bubble Twist, which dispensed gum from its capsule-shaped container when twisted. Also contained in the capsule was an unpainted rubber figurine of a G.I. Joe or Transformers Armada character, including Hot Shot. Blindpacked, each figure came in several different possible colors.
- Hot Rod (Big Transformers)
- Die-cast car Hot Shot
- Hot Shot puzzle
- Hot Shot backpack
- Armada Hot Shot's toy had to be completely re-engineered close to release. Due to a structural flaw (and gravity), Hot Shot's arms were not able to attach securely to his shoulders. Furthermore, designer Aaron Archer felt the early design's wide, football player-like physique was inappropriate to the character archetype. Changes were made last-minute to the design to rework the transformation of the arms, necessitating the dropping of some articulation and the addition of kibble elsewhere to compensate.
- Armada Hot Shot's infamous "JaAm" grin was actually a misinterpretation of Aaron Archer's original concept art which depicted Hot Shot clenching his teeth together in an open-lipped, determined expression. The head of the original tooling had a maniacal, perhaps unhinged-looking smile in response to this concept art, so the grin was scaled back on the final toy. The grin was removed completely and replaced with a neutral, stern expression when the head was resculpted for Powerlinx Hot Shot.
- According to the Armada Playstation 2 game instruction booklet, Hot Shot's Armada body has the following statistics:
- Mass: 3,109 lbs
- Robot height: 16' 5"
- Robot top speed: 50 mph
- Vehicle height: 5' 11"
- Vehicle top speed: 186 mph
- Vehicle power: 400 hp @ 8000 rpm