Cliffbee.com: Cybertron Red Alert Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Red Alert
Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Rescue Dodge Magnum Van



VAN MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13cm Width: 6.5cm

   A white Dodge Magnum (thanks for Fit For Natalie for the model name) with dark blue racing stripes on the hood and blue stripes on the doors. His windows and the stroberack on his roof are transparent red along with some seemingly random red posts on his roof. The combination of coloured windows and essentially realistic vehicle mode really reminds me of some of the late G1 European toys, actually. His tyres are black with bronze hubcaps, the fenders and and bumpers are dark grey. The colour scheme deliberately resembles that of Armada Red Alert (who is the same character) and works quite well, with only the stuff on the roof getting in the way.

   There are a couple of things that break the realism up here, some I can deal with such as the red windows and port at the back for his blue Planet Key (code d26w) and others that bug me like those red posts that don't do anything. The centre of his stroberack is a blue dome that's fairly obviously the top of his head. This bugs me, but it doesn't ruin the toy like on some toys (Energon Ironhide springs to mind). It may not be terribly well integrated, but at least there's an attempt to justify it being there. There are quite a few moulded details here which help the overall look - Red Alert has gold headlights, moulded wipers, supply boxes on the back, doorhandles, taillights and mirrors on the sides. So while he's not quite realistic, he's detailed enough to still look plausible.

   Red Alert rolls surprisingly well on his wheels, all of which will roll on a hard surface, rather than slide as on many Transformers. You can plug the key into the back and it'll happily sit there, pushing it in all the way will cause the side rear panels (loosely contiguous with the rear doors) to pop out to the sides, allowing two blue guns to spring forward like those on Backstreet. The gimmick isn't really anything new but it works quite well without really asking too much of Red Alert's engineering. I'm happy with it - useful without hampering the toy.

   This is a solid car mode and while it's not all that interesting, I have no real complaints other than those odd red posts. The head doesn't bug me that much and I'm quite impressed how well the toy is painted (most of the shell is painted white over transparent red plastic, but it's not terribly obvious). The gimmick works well without being innovative. Red Alert's car mode is certainly more realistic than most Cybertron alt modes, which is a plus.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the front and fold down to form his shins, flipping out his feet from underneath. Swing down the rear underside, flip out the heelspurs and fold away the rear wheels. Clip together two shins and calves to form rather chunky boots. Unclip the back of his roof and fold down, which will unlock the door panels. Pull out his shoulders and extend the door-shoulderpads. Straighten his arms, fold down his groinplates and pull out Red Alert's head.

   The transformation is probably the niftiest aspect of the toy. That the boots form from both the front and back of the car is quite amazing, moreso when you realise the legs are poseable. The left hand is a laser that doubles as an attachment post. If you fold down the shinpads (the bonnet and windshield halves) you'll find a black hammer head and a blue claw, both of which can attach to the laser. The groin plates are also quite unusual and exhibit a nice attention to detail. Red Alert has one of the most innovative transformations in years, and it almost makes him worth picking up on its own.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   The white isn't quite as prominent now, limited to his torso and shins. The arms, legs and head are dark blue while his hands and feet are black. The shoulderpads on the outsides of his shoulders, eyes and kneecaps (the windshield, which sticks out as on Overhaul), are all transparent red. The prominence of transparent plastic again reminds me of late G1 (especially the Stormtroopers), although the detailed sculpt and a stamped Autobot logo on his chest plant Red Alert firmly in Cybertron. The colour scheme is a lot busier here, but it's quite well laid out.

   This is a pretty attractive robot mode. The head bears a strong semblance to that of Armada Red Alert while the tool-hand also reminds me of that figure. The doors on his shoulders and front of the car on his shins give us some visible car elements, and both work visually.

   The play value here is pretty good - the spring loaded guns can deploy over his shoulders, although they're not all that visible against his blue shoulders. The versatile left hand tool is nice and the storable attachments only make it cooler. Poseability is pretty good considering his unusual transformation, too. The head turns, the shoulders are ball jointed while the elbows, knees, hips, feet and heelspurs are hinged. There are actually outwards hinges just above his hips (hidden in his groin) that allow the legs to lift out to the sides, and while you wouldn't want to spread the legs too far this is quite useful for natural stances. Considering the compound boots, I'm very happy with the knee hinges, and can't complain about the hips. The hinged feet and heelspurs give Red Alert stability, as do the heavy boots themselves.

   With a good Armada homage, no real kibble, innovative weapons and a Planet Key gimmick that still functions, this is a good robot mode. Adding to the play value is poseability that's fantastic considering Red Alert's transformation. The possibility of losing the add-on tools bugs me a little, but otherwise I can't complain about this robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Cannonball is a repaint of Red Alert. BotCon 2010 Kup is a repaint & retool of Red Alert.

OVERALL

   The car mode is solid if unspectacular, with a well executed gimmick and good detail and realism. The robot mode is good with useful weaponry and nice play value. The real star here is the transformation, which is very different from what we've come to expect of Transformers vehicles. The odd transformation doesn't have any significant impacts on either mode, and with a good robot mode makes Red Alert worth picking up - 8/10

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