Cybertron Toy Reviews: Excellion

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force, Velocitron / Speedia

General Information:
Release Year: April 2006
Retailer: General Release (Target, Wal-Mart, Kay Bee etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Missile launcher, Missile

Excellion package art

Images:

Tech Specs:
An outsider among the AUTOBOTS because of his brooding attitude,
EXCELLION is one of the very few AUTOBOT warriors who the DECEPTICONS think of with any respect, but that respect is earned. EXCELLION has made an art
of speed and stealth, moving back and forth across enemy lines as if he were invisible. More than once, he has retrieved vital information from within a
DECEPTICON stronghold, or quickly and quietly disposed of a particularly annoying enemy agent.

Strength: 6 Intelligence: 7 Speed: 8.5 Endurance: 8 Rank: 6.5 Courage: 9 Firepower: 7 Skill: 9

Most Cybertron figures include Cyber Planet Keys. Each of these has a code printed on the back that reveal information about the character on the official Transformers web site. Excellion's code is d7p5 and it unlocks Excellion's color chart and the following text: As a repaint of Hot Shot, this name is far more fitting than one would actually believe. In the Japanese version of Transformers: Cybertron - entitled Transformers: Galaxy Force - Hot Shot is actually called Excellion! In the past for Transformers Armada and Transformers Energon, there have been re-painted versions of Hot Shot in these exact colors as well. This color scheme is an homage to the 1986 Generation 1 Transformer Autobot cavalier HOT ROD - a futuristic roadster.

Excellion is a redeco of Hot Shot, who was the US release of Galaxy Force Exillion. Check out those reviews for a look at the mechanics of this figure and a more detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Excellion draws its color inspiration from G1 Hot Rod. If you're getting flashbacks, Takara did something very similar with their Exillion DVD figure release. However this is not a re-release of that figure. Excellion has his own unique color scheme. The metallic blue plastic from Hot Shot has been replaced with red. The translucent yellow plastic from Hot Shot has been replaced with translucent blue. This includes his gun. The dark blue plastic (from the wheels and the Cyber Key slot section) is dark grey.

Excellion uses a different color pattern than Hot Shot. On the hood are flames running along the front end and going back as if he had just driven into fire. Similarly patterned flames can be found on his spoiler. The flames are all painted metallic gold. Certain parts such as the cabin cover/windshield and the doors are cast in translucent blue plastic, so the sides are painted red to match the rest of the vehicle. Metallic silver can be found on the triangular section on the top of the cabin section and the headlights. The small Autobot symbol in the front is painted red on a white background.

Insert the Cyber Key and the spoiler wings still swing out as they did on Hot Shot. However they are colored blue now instead of yellow. Ironically he would be more "Hot Rod-ish" if they were yellow as they were on Hot Shot. Still the color works well since translucent blue was one of the key colors on G1 Hot Rod.

Robot Mode:
Much like the vehicle mode, Exellion's robot mode color scheme takes plenty of inspiration from G1 Hot Rod, but then goes off in its own direction making him distinct. Here the grey color from the vehicle mode features prominantly on the torso, lower arms, head and feet. His shoulder pieces and legs are red while this upper arms and legs are orange. The underside of the car cabin/windshield is also orange, offering something of a backdrop for the darker grey on his torso.

Excellion has different paint applications in this form than Hot Shot. The head has the familiar visor piece on the forehead, but instead of being translucent this one is painted metallic gold. His shoulders are cast in red, but a lot of the tech detail is painted metallic silver. The raised Autobot symbol is painted red, and looks really nice against the silver background. The chest is the section that follows Hot Shot's pattern the most. Here orange is found on the upper section, gold on the lower section and finally the mid-body is painted metallic silver. The angled details in the center are painted metallic gold. The waist section (which was unpainted on Hot Shot) has metallic silver paint on the raised sections and finally the large areas above the feet on the lower legs are painted metallic gold.

For the most part, it seems that gold substitutes for parts that one would normally expect to be yellow on a G1 Hot Rod homage. I do like the way the designers resisted just using the same exact locations for all the paint applications. In particular I'm glad they colored the tech details on his shoulders, which I have always found very well sculpted and deserving of some attention.

Final Thoughts:
It's almost a universal statement that homages are generall appreciated. Well done homages even more so. Excellion definitely qualifies as that, but at the same time he brings us a new Cybertron character to boot. He's also based on one of my favorite sculpts from this series. All that adds up to him being highly recommended.