Transformers Review – Hot Spot & Gaia Guardian (Kabaya)

Intro:
Gaia Guardian Boxes
            Now, I’m not really sure how to begin with this review. Initially, I thought of breaking this review into two parts: one for Hotspot and the other for Gaia Guardian – we’re talking about six boxes here. But then, after a long consideration, considering the gimmicks that these figures share, I eventually came to a decision to combine their review. 
            First and foremost, Gaia Guardian is not an official Transformer – it’s actually an original idea from the good people at Kabaya. Gaia Guardian consist of 6 individual robots, i.e. Blades (helicopter), First Aid (ambulance), Groove (police bike), Streetwise (police car), Heatrock (drill tank) and Skyfeather (fighter jet). Now, if you think the first four characters sound familiar, it’s because they are also a part of the original Protectobots, along with Hotspot (fire truck). 
Hot Spot - Box
            This set of seven robots, which I would consider as one complete set, is undoubtedly one of the most unique sets in the entire Kabaya line, if not the most unique one. As you will see from the following review, the reason to combine all of them into one review is self-explanatory. 
            So without further ado, let’s go on with the review.

Gaia Guardian:

Alternate Mode:
Gaia Guardian components - vehicle modes
            Well, it’s really pointless to break down this review into individual characters, as most of these guys have almost the same features and articulations. But what catches me the most about these guys is that they are literally transformable Kabaya Transformers, which is pretty amazing considering that all other Kabaya Transformers that I have so far are part-formers. 
First Aid
Skyfeather
            For Kabaya to be able to do just that on such small figures, and not be able to do the same on their larger cousins really puzzles me. Still, when all is said and done, I think they did a marvelous job.
Heatrock
Groove
            As mentioned before, Gaia Guardian consists of 6 components, with Blades, First Aid, Groove and Streetwise being 4/5 of the Protectobots, while Heatrock and Skyfeather are new Kabaya creations. 
Streetwise
Blades
            Of all six of them, Skyfeather is probably my least favorite. The jet mode looks good, no doubt about that, but the front nosecone is just too loosely attached. I mean, the nosecone would just drop, even without anyone fiddling with the figure.
            As far as scale goes, all 6 components are literally out of scale. Groove is way too big; Blades, Skyfeather and Heatrock are too small; and Streetwise and First Aid are out of scale with one another.
            Still, having said that, I am really impressed with these alternate modes as their kibbles ranges from minimal to none!
            Excellent alternate modes.

Robot Mode:
The Gaia Guardian Components
            I really like the fact that all of these robots are of the same size, and also the fact that some of them even have better articulations than their original G1 counterparts. 
Streetwise
            All of them actually have separated two legs rather than a combined one like their old G1 counterpart. 
First Aid
Heatrock
            Heatrock even has a waist joint!
Groove
Skyfeather
Blades
            Between the six of them, I’d vote Heatrock as the best of the lot. His articulation alone is the bomb here. Skyfeather, on the other hand, is the worst of the lot, in my opinion. His articulations suck. His nosecone, which is supposed to double up as his chest piece, is just too loose. Even as I hold up the figure, it tends to drop off.
            Each robot comes with a small gun, with each of the original Protectobots carrying either a food piece or a fist piece. Generally, Streetwise and Groove come with a foot piece each, while First Aid and Blades each come with a fist.
            Those foot and fist pieces came for reason and the reason is as follows…

Gaia Guardian:
 
            This is literally one of the reasons why you want to get this set – at least for me it was. I’ve never had any Kabaya gestalts before, so this is really something new for me. 
            For its price point, and considering that this is a Kabaya figure, Gaia Guardian is impressive, although the thighs are a bit too slim for my liking. With the exception of Heatrock’s loose nosecone, the entire set feels solid though. 
Scramble Power
            Gaia Guardian doesn’t have any weapons to wield, but I’d just like to arm him up with First Aid and Blade’s blasters.
            Another feature that is also depicted here is the “Scramble Power” – the ability for the giant robot to switch limbs, i.e. arms can become the legs and vice versa.
            This combination doesn’t look that good in my opinion, but it’s there and it’s an option.

Hot Spot:
            Now Hot Spot isn’t exactly part of the Gaia Guardian set, in fact he is a part of the Kabaya Wave 5 release along with Deathsaurus and War for Cybertron Optimus Prime.

Alternate Mode:
            I kinda dig the fire truck mode, which is really accurate to his original G1 form. For a Kabaya figure, he feels quite bulky and huge.
            As with his original incarnation, his truck possesses the ladder, but unlike his predecessor, his ladder is not extendable.
            For a fire truck, he is sure packed to the teeth. In this mode, he is armed with two blasters, as well as a couple of hoses that looks like blasters.
            So yeah, this is definitely not a fire truck that you’d wanna mess with.

Repair Bay Mode:
            Well, that’s what it says in the instructions. Quite frankly, I can’t even be bothered with this mode. To me, he looks more like a mobile defense base than anything else.

Robot Mode:
            His robot mode looks really cool. For a Kabaya Transformer, he’s actually pretty darn good by having knee articulations.
            Transformation is quite simple and unlike the Gaia Guardian components, he is a part-former. 
Hot Spot vs Gaia Guardian
Defensor:
            To be honest with you, this is the reason you buy Hot Spot, and despite the fact that he is sold in a totally different set than Gaia Guardian, you really need to have both sets in order to fully appreciate this entire getup. 
Scramble Power
            By abstracting the original Protectobots members from the Gaia Guardian set, you can actually combine them with Hot Spot to form Defensor, or Guardian as he is known in Japan. 
Hot Spot and the rest of the Protectobots - robot modes
            Apart from the fact that he is small, Defensor is actually pretty darn good and really does look like his original G1 counterpart.
            Unlike the Gaia Guardian, Defensor feels a little bit more stable and stout. Each limbs peg in quite well and the joints are all pretty tight. 
Protectobots - Vehicle Modes
            The one significant drawback from this set though, is that Defensor cannot wield Hot Spots blasters, which in my opinion is better proportioned for the giant gestalt than any other guns from the members of Gaia Guardian.
            This mode is really well done.

God Guardian:
            If you think those were it, then you are definitely mistaken. There is one more surprise in store for Kabaya collectors – that is the ability for all members of Gaia Guardian and Hot Spot to form a super-robot that would technically dwarf even Defensor and Gaia Guardian themselves.
            God Guardian is actually Defensor with Heatrock added as a chest shield; Skyfeather added as a massive shield; and wielding a super gun formed from all of the smaller robots’ guns.
            I know the combination mode is a bit simple, but it works. For Kabaya figure, God Guardian is absolutely massive, that ultimately causes him to be extremely front heavy.
            You’d really need to take your time to balance him up and get that sweet spot, or else you are going to end up cleaning up a massive pileup.
            Still, I really do love this God Guardian mode.

Summary:
            It is official, the Gaia Guardian / Hot Spot set has become my most favorite set/ assembly kit from Kabaya. It is my first ever Kabaya gestalt and to have each member of the team a true Transformer instead a part-former truly make this a worthy set to own.
            Added with Hot Spot to mix, this set is an absolute must for Kabaya collectors. The end product is simply fun to construct, transform and to simply play with. In fact, I had more fun with this guy than some other actual Deluxe-class figure that I have.  
            Extremely recommended.

Verdict: 10/10

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