Dion here is a repaint of the Henkei Hot Rod toy that was an update to the Armada version of Hot Shot. He was called Hot Rod in Japan, even in the days of Armada and Micron Densetsu series of toys. Dion has been made before and is based on some Transformers lore from somewhere. Apparently a friend of Orion Pax (Optimus before he was Optimus), as the E-hobby toy of Orion Pax comes with a Dion figure, which was a repaint of Wheelie.
I have the Hot Rod toy of this and I think it is a fairly decent toy. Especially when comparing it to the original Armada version. The Japanese Henkei version differs from the Hasbro Universe release in a couple of ways. Hasbro neglected to include the guns and ammo and filled in a couple of spots in the back of the car to cover this loss, as they formed the exhaust pipes for vehicle mode. This affected the robot mode a bit, as the back of the car hangs of the shoulders and the extra bits of plastic clashed with each other getting in the way. Anyway, it’s much cooler with his guns.
Dion’s main colours are blue and orange and he transforms into a miscellaneous sports car mode, with and exposed engine on the front. Copt-Turr is my main reason for getting this toy, as it is a nice throw back to the days of the Machine Men series, as Cop-Turr was a bad guy from that series. That makes quite a few escapees from the collapsed universe of Machine Men now with Fracture from the Movie 1 series, Bugbite who was an OFTCC exclusive in the ‘Wings of Deception’ set and some others as well. Especially considering how the Transformers caused the end of Machine Men, through competition and eventual buy-out.
Sadly though, this toy version of Coop-Turr, despite being 20 odd years on, is probably a worse toy than the machine men one. It cannot stand by itself in robot mode at all and will need to be lent upon something all the time. Or Blu-tacked down. he does have reasonable articulation in his arms and hip movement, but that is it, lack of any heels at all are the causes for bad balance. Paint isn’t bad, mainly because it is fairly miniscule. But then, the guy is mostly an accessory, so when taking that into account, it’s pretty good.
Cop-Turr is designed to combine with Dion by plugging into the spoiler on the back whilst in helicopter mode. The joining isn’t terribly tight, but it does manage to hold together most of the time. The helicopter itself is well designed and tricky to photograph well. It can be clipped onto the shoulder of Dion for the combined mode of the robot.
Dion is a nicely done figure. It has pretty good articulation, a surprising transformation and lots of kibble, but that is to be expected considering the toys origins. The main colours for the robot are blue, white and orange, the paint applications are pretty clean and the white plastic is nice, clean white. The Elite Guard insignia is proudly displayed on his shoulder, although it doesn’t feature on the vehicle mode. His shoulder and arm movement is hindered by the shoulder kibble and the balance is pretty good. His legs are thick, especially his lower legs, so you need to be careful when posing, as they do get in the way of each other a bit. Specifically, the windshield, which folds back in the legs a bit, but manages to clip the other leg a touch during some poses. Some of the joints on mine are a little bit loose, but nothing that can’t be fixed up with some TLC. The legs have great articulation on them, allowing for heaps of cool posing and the feet have joints in the middle of them for transforming which can be worked in to aid balance as well.
He has some cool light-piping in his head that is easy to activate and a nice feature is the visor that the original toy had is included as well. As a bonus, the visor can be slid over his eyes, and the when lit up, they can still be seen through the visor. The visor has some nice ‘tech’ details on it as well. Next up, his blasters. Wooo, these are nice. You can mount them on a couple of ways. The first is obvious, in his fists. The next I like, as you can mount them on the side of his fore-arms, kind of like the way they were done in his short cameo in the Animated cartoon, and the final way, is to mount them in his back, where they would go far the car mode. this way they look like he has a jetpack. Which is made more effective considering how his missiles are flames.
The vehicle mode is a bit of a fatter sports car than normal, but that fits in with the original toy. The blasters clip in under the car to make exhaust pipes, and the missiles can be put in to make some pretty cool looking flames. I really like the paint job on this guy. It is simple, with just blue paint on the hood and around the sides, some slight hi-lights for the spoiler, but the real cool bit is on the side of the doors. The Autobot insignia is there, although disrupted by a join, but it blends in to the speed blur of sorts on the side. I like it! The underside shows lots of colour, but due to the way it transforms manages to hide most of the robot parts fairly well. Unless you have the exhaust pipes missing.
Overall, this toy is pretty good. The initially horrid colours (so much orange is kind of bleh) aren’t that bad when combined with the nice application of the blue. The toy has a lot of playability and can be transformed fairly easily with a bit of practise, Cop-Turr is a bit weak as a lone figure, but as an accessory he is pretty ace and the guns and possible configurations that be used with Dion make him a pretty good toy. I recommend this toy if it isn’t overpriced. It was the ‘free toy’ that club members automatically receive which is a nice step up from the scout figures from the past 5 years, but if it becomes a rare and wanted piece, I probably wouldn’t recommend it, as it isn’t brilliant, just ok.