Cliffbee.com: Henkei Alert Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Alert (Red Alert)
Series: Henkei
Allegiance: Cybertron (Autobot)
Alternate Mode: Fire Chief's Sports Car

Thanks to kup for loaning me Alert for this review.



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 5.5cm

   A white sports car with red around the bottom on the sides, front and back, Alert is a retooling of Lambor and of Sunstreaker, with the addition of a stroberack on his roof and loss of the engineblock. His windows are transparent blue while the rear is black with red taillights and a white number plate that reads "ALERT" in black letters. The hood is red and the headlights colourless while both the doors and the hood feature a "FD" badge with "FIRE CHIEF" below. The tyres are black with silver hubcaps while his tailpipes and spoiler are chromed silver. The colours line up closely to the G1 Red Alert, although the blue tint and chrome elements are new. It's a very good paint job - all the red is painted and there's even an Autobot logo visible underneath the windshield. I can't fault the execution here - it works aesthetically and the tribute is spot on.

   Even leaving the colours aside, this is a pretty good sports car mode. The detailing is low in areas, purely because sports cars tend to have smooth lines. There's quite a lot of detailing on the back. This car is essentially a mishmash of various Lamborghini elements (thanks to FortMax Reed for this info), and so it looks realistic enough, and has a similar feel to the original Countache. I like the fact that they've added on a non-detachable stroberack, rather than just swapping out the detachable engineblock of the twins - this is not a lazy repaint.

   There's no play value here aside from rolling wheels, which is fairly typically of the Classics/Henkei style.

   A fairly straightforward car mode - which is a good thing. It captures the Lamborghini feel well, so it fits Alert just as well as the twins. The paint job fits this mould very well and there's a lot of effort making sure that it fits the character. I really can't fault this vehicle mode - it just doesn't feel like a repaint.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside the exhaust. Pull the rear out slightly, open the panels at the back. Fold over the rear halves to form boots, rotate the boots. Fold the panels down as kneecaps, flip out his feet. Rotate the waist. Extend the front, rotate the roof to form his back and push out the head. Rotate the shoulders and arms into place (there are a few rotations needed), fold the front of the car down to form his chest. Give Sunstreaker the exhausts as a handgun.

   With a simple rotating of the waist, this mould goes from Sunstreaker to Alert (and Lambor). It's clever trick which not only suits Alert well, but brings this twins closer together.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   A white robot with black feet and hands as well as a black waist. Parts of his boots and chest are red along with his head, which features a silver face with blue eyes and a useful lightpipe. The red head is more cartoon Red Alert than toy, and is the only major change in the colour scheme of this toy compared to that original toy. The hood complete with "FD" logo is on his chest along with the red Autobot logo, now revealed on his collar. Again this is a good colour scheme which clearly works as Alert. The blue is less apparent now and there's some more black, but this toy is still just as centred on white and red.

   This is an excellent robot mode. The head is more Lambor than Alert - while they shared the same mould, it's designed to be closer to Lambor's head in the cartoon. It still works here, but a lighter face would have been preferable. The proportions are good and there are lots of visible car elements. The gun looks like a gun - not a muffler in his hand. The rear panels as kneepads are a touch kibbly, but this is a very minor thing. Despite the head being a little more Lambor than Alert, this is a strong tribute and a well designed robot mode.

   The poseability here is very good. His head and waist both turn, although the latter is restricted. His shoulders, hips and ankles are ball joints while the knees and elbows are hinged with rotators and his wrists rotate. There are no heelspurs, but the poseable ankles largely make up for that anyway. There are no gimmicks here, but I am happy about this, since it allows for his poseability to come to the fore.

   A really good robot mode with good colours and while the head isn't quite Alert, it avoids being Not Alert as well - the red sees to that. The poseability, body shape and layout of car elements are all well thought out. It's clear that a lot of thought has gone into this robot mode overall - it's very focused and the character is unmistakable, even if the mould is treading the line between three characters.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. BotCon 2010 Breakdown also uses this mould (with a different head). Generations Red Alert is Hasbro's later attempt at the same thing, using a different stroberack and a somewhat different paint job.

OVERALL

   A really nice toy, Alert is a well designed Transformer with two good modes, nice detailing, a well done colour scheme and a lot of attention focussed on making sure the character is present here. The robot head could have been a little more like Red Alert from the cartoon, but the tribute is still strong. While the tribute is good, what I really like is how well engineered this toy is, while still managing such a good tribute - 9/10.

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.