Cliffbee.com: Super Mach Alert Toy Review

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Name: Super Mach Alert
Series: Car Robots (Robots in Disguise)
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Sonic Speed Patrol (not sure what that's supposed to mean)
Alternate Mode: Lamborghini Diablo Police Car



The Anglophone version, Prowl


DIABLO MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 7cm

   A blue and white Diablo police car with black bumpers, grey engine cover and tinted transparent windows. The roof and doors are white, the rest is a metallic blue. The word "POLICE" is splashed across the front in white and on the doors in black with the words "MACH ALERT" along the sides in white (inside a black block). He has a strobe rack on his roof, one blue and one red. This is a pretty realistic car mode. The proportions are good, the wheels are chromed -although gold - the tyres are rubber, he has front indicators painted on the front _and_ sides, transparent red taillights, two sets of twin exhausts at the back and rear vision mirrors. Heck, this toy has _seats_ moulded into the undersides of the robot feet inside the cabin!

   I'm not sure if you'd ever see a police in car in this scheme - especially with the gold hubcaps. But it's a very nice colour scheme, and the moulding is excellent. Of course, most police cars don't have their name painted on the side, either, but it's small enough to not ruin the illusion. The RiD version of this toy also has an Autobot symbol on the hood, which kind of gets in the way with the "POLICE" already there.

   His spoiler has tips that fold up to reveal attachment points for his weapons. If you point them forward they become flamethrowers or missile launcher, if you attach them backwards he's got rockets. He also rolls quite well on his wheels, but you've got to make sure the chestplate is folded up properly for this to work.

   Overall, this is an excellent car mode. In fact it's difficult to flaw - I suppose the colour scheme isn't 100% realistic, but it looks fantastic so I can let that slide.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the sides, lift up the roof. Fold up the front section, exposing the legs. Unfold the legs, slide the section to which they attach in, fold the front section up and the roof down again. Fold the chest down and push in, position the mufflers upwards or out to form chestguns (whichever you prefer). Spilt the rear section, fold the sides out to form the shoulderpads. Position the arms, as well as the shield on the left arm. Rotate the shins 180, swing down the feet and rotate forward. You can put his guns on his right forearm or attach them to the tips of his spoiler (ie on the shield) on his right arm.

   I've heard people call this mould a "shellformer", but it's more than just unfolding panels. Aside from that, this isn't a mould with panels hanging off it everywhere.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 14cm

   Wider than he is tall, Super Mach Alert's robot mode is blue, white and grey with transparent smokey plastic. Blue still dominates, but he has white thighs, forearms and hip panels, grey feet & upper arms and a smokey torso. His head is blue and white with a silver face, he has smokey and gold shoulderpads, one with a red and one with a blue circle (in fact the red bit is the only piece of red plastic on this entire toy). It's a very good colour scheme, better than the original colour scheme Mach Alert, in fact. He has a gold chromed Autobot symbol on his chest, along with silver engine like bits - it's a great centrepiece.

   Lanky and poseable, Super Mach Alert does have some car kibble, but it all serves to enhance the aesthetic. The doors are hanging off his hips, but give his legs plenty of clearance. The shield attached to his right forearm is the engine cover & spoiler, and the shoulderpads are the rear fenders. The shoulderpads look cool, the hip pads the sides form look decent, the shield is nice, too. It'd be nicer if you had the option of detaching it, but it's attached with a metal post through it's joint. Still, the joint gives it meaning since he can do stuff with it, rather than just have it as kibble.

   This toy is really poseable. His head turns, he has ball joints at his shoulders, and swivels below his shoulderpads on his upper arms. He has two joints on each elbow giving full poseability, as well as the joint on the shield's attachment point as mentioned. His hips and knees are ball joints and his ankles have _two_ ball joints each! So yeah, this guy's pretty much a contortionist. He's reasonably top-heavy, since the car bits are almost entirely above his waist, so while you have to balance him, he has a wide range of poses available, and the twin ball joints in each ankle mean you can find a way to make him stand up in the vast majority of poses.

   The wide array of poses, the missile launchers, shield and chest guns give Super Mach Alert a _lot_ of play value in this mode. Add to this a good colour scheme and a great moulding and this is a good robot mode, hampered really only by minor balance issues and the fact the shield can't detach.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Mach Alert, Super Mach Alert is essentially the same character, but an upgraded version. Released later in RiD as Prowl's redecoration.

   There was a limited release of the Super Car Brothers in Japan in 2000 as convention exclusives, with colourless clear vehicular shells. I split the pack with two friends and have Super Speedbreaker. Clear Mach Alert retains his police markings over clear plastic - the effect is really quite nice but at 1500 pieces the price of the set might be prohibitive (if you can find it!).

OVERALL

   This is a great recolour of a good toy, and the RiD version is just as good. I actually have the Japanese one, not the RiD version, and I do prefer it without the Autobot symbol on the hood. Either way, it's an improvement on the original's colour scheme. The few faults in this toy are minor. The only way I could see people seriously not liking this toy is due to aesthetic (and then it's a personal thing) - 10/10

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