The Fire-Fightin’ Dogged Dalmatian
Released in 1993
Something about Dalmatians has always appealed to me. Sure, Disney films may have had something to do with it, but I honestly think it has more to do with their reputation to aid firemen in saving people from unforgiving fires. I like their sleek coats and their loyalty to humans and their ability to keep other animals calm.
The Dalmatian has had a long and storied history as mascots for firemen, both here in America, and across the pond in Europe. They were chosen as such for their courage, build and ability to keep up with the horse drawn carriages that were prevalent in the late nineteenth century. And Since the Ninja Turtles are nothing if not loyal and noble, it should come as no surprise that Hot Spot is mutant firefighting Dalmatian.
I cannot imagine how hard it must’ve been to design what is essentially a white, plastic figure and give him personality. I mean, sure, he is wearing the traditional yellow trousers that all fireman wear as a part of their bunker gear, and he also has a fireman’s signature red helmet atop his furry head.
Once again, I do have to give props to Playmates for being able to emulate a furry texture on a plastic toy. Even a short-haired animal like a Dalmatian still comes across as more than a smooth caricature of what it’s trying to be. On top of that Hot Spot’s actual spots may be an added bit of paint, but it doesn’t look like some poor guy at the end of an assembly line just poked him a few times with a black magic marker. On top of all of this, I think my favorite little detail is the fact that he’s chomping on a large bone where a cigar might have been were Hot Spot a human.
I wish I had more to say about this figure, but there is sadly very little to go on here. Like so many other figures in the line, Hot Spot had no other impact on the TMNT outside of his figure released in ’93. He was never in any video games or comics, and no TV appearances to mention. I haven’t mentioned this before, but I think that makes this figure kind of special. I know that many other collectors have marveled at the rarity of this figure, but to be honest, I got mine relatively cheap, based on the prices that I’ve seen online. But with all of that being said, I really do like this figure, mostly because he’s a dog and if you don’t like dogs, that’s fine. But I have always been in awe of the bond between dogs and humans. Aside from something like Cujo or The Beast, most of us love dogs and seeing a dog that can fight fires, (with a damn battle axe!), I don’t know why, but I just appreciate that he’s here.
Turtle Trivia: A Dalmatian’s spotted coat is considered a piebald coat. That means he’s got irregular patches of pigment on a coat with no pigment.