Transformers Generations War for Cybertron Trilogy Hotlink with Heatstroke and Heartburn Action Figure Hasbro, 2020
Day #2,214: July 21, 2020
Hotlink with Heatstroke and Heartburn New Seeker paint masks with almost identical twin buddies
Transformers Generations War for Cybertron Trilogy Walmart Exclusive Netflix Voyager
Item No.: Asst. E9490 No. E9501 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:2 HPIO Null-Ray Laser Launcher, 3 transforming robots, 2 C.O.M.B.A.T. effects Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Tetrajet Retail:$39.99 Availability: April 2020 Other: Just as good as you would hope
The undisputed champion of the line, Hotlink with Heatstroke and Heartburn was the 2020 Toy Fair repaint debut that made us all sit on the edge of our seats. In 2019, Hasbro sold Starscream using this same mold - who had a Decepticon sigil variant, and then 6 additional repaints as other characters! And we loved them and bought them all, hoping for more - this is more. The class of 2019 mostly used the same templates for the paint applications, with the exact same pattern of weathering on Starscream as Ion Storm as Red Wing. For Heatstroke, Hasbro added new patterns and it really makes buying the mold yet again more exciting. It also helps that Hotlink hasn't had many toys, the last of which was part of an expensive BotCon set using the 2007 Starscream mold.
The two Battle Masters Heartburn and Heatstroke are both repaints of Blowpipe, but for some reason Hasbro left out the ring of fire part of the C.O.M.B.A.T. blast. Both are a pale blue meant to look like Heatstroke's flamethrowers on The Transformers cartoon series, and they're almost identical. Their visors are different - a detail you may have also missed. Heatstroke is red, Heartburn is yellow. How you'll remember this, I don't know. It's outright difficult to remember the names of sidekick characters with no cartoon or comic characterization.
Unless you burned out on this mold already, Hotlink is a must-buy. He's like Skywarp, but different - and maybe better. The black toy has wonderful purple sprays, with gorgeous fades and highlights that make the figure pop nicely. The glossy grey scowl on his face is fine, the red light-up eyeport is also fine, and the bright orange under his wings really sings. Articulation is still exceptional, and the joints on my sample are all nice and tight. It's so good you'll be mad Hasbro hasn't already announced Bitstream and Sunstorm. The 2013 BotCon toy has more cartoon-accurate colors, but this one has a more cartoon-accurate alt mode and more articulation. Also, for the time being, it's likely to be cheaper and builds out a very nice growing collection.
I love the colors of the alt mode. The bright orange windshield pops against the black and purple body, providing excellent contrast in a much more interesting Tetrajet. The vehicle benefits greatly from the aforementioned purples and blacks, all fading in and out to give you something that demands you pick it up and make "swoosh" noises. There are also several places to plug in those little flame pieces, so have fun making this one a centerpiece of your stash based on a character that doesn't really talk or have any real significance. He's just a repaint that you'll want because if you're like me, you get really obsessive about trooper repaints and robot repaints, and this is both.
The weapon buddies are identical cousins. Both are almost the same, minus the visors, and they both resemble cartoon flamethrowers. The weapon modes fit right in Hotlink's fists or on his 5mm holes on the shoulders, giving you all sorts of options. You can pull the blasts off and put them on the Null-Ray lasers, too. Transformation from robot to weapon is easy, and they're fun to fidget with - but like most smaller Generations toys, I assume their ultimate fate is forgotten residents of the parts bin. Thankfully most of the Battle Masters can be used to outfit the bigger toys, but it's likely few of these are going to be sought-after in the long run. It's no fault of their own - they're sturdy little guys, they're just not characters.
If you like the look of the set, it's worth the asking price at Walmart. Assuming, of course, you see it there and are still interested in braving crowds. (I'm writing this in May after picking it up in April. Who knows what your world looks like today?) This set, and Decepticon Mirage, are probably the best items in the line so far. Of course, if you're not some sort of collector nut, you're probably just mad that it isn't Starscream because you missed him last year.
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