Now, maybe in Japanese this is a perfectly harmless word. I personally just giggle a little anytime I see the name. This is probably why Hasbro was more than happy to rename the little fire engine “Red Alert” when they released it. Of course, why they couldn’t simply use the name Hot Spot, like the G1 fire engine Protectobot, we’ll never know. Likewise, why they choose instead to apply the name Hot Spot to the yellow sportscar of the group (the one that is just begging to be named Sunstreaker.)
Whereas Discharge is a fire engine of indiscriminate origin, Hot Spot is apparently a Mitsubishi Fuso Super Great fire engine (the name alone already sounds like a Japanese Transformer).
Now Discharge, in the new 2002 bios is described as disliking “aggressively participating in battle,” while being “rather scary when angered”, but pointing out that Discharge is a she. “Contrary to her robust outward appearance, Discharge is a female Cybertron warrior.” Let’s try not to think about the various uses for the word “discharge”, especially now that we know she is female.
Hot Spot on the other hand “likes to be where the action is.” Of course, Hot Spot’s quote is,
“Rust never sleeps, and neither do I.”
Which really doesn’t make too much sense, all things considered. As if Transformers were just naturally inclined to rust due to inaction. One thing I did learn while writing this post is that there is actually a difference between the Japan release of Discharge and the American release of Universe Red Alert. Discharge shares the original 1992 release’s white upper legs, whereas Universe Red Alert actually has shiny silver upper legs.
Like most of the Combiner commanders that form the torsos in the Scramble City style combiners, Hot Spot’s robot mode has a pretty decent level of articulation for a G1 toy.
Also, like those other commanders, Hot Spot has a third “Base” mode, in which he plays the part of a repair bay, complete with extra articulated arms.
However, unlike his commander bretheren, Hot Spot has a fourth mode, described as “Emergency Car Carrier” in his instructions.
Just an all ’round good guy, ready for just about any emergency situation.