Armada Toy Reviews: Emergency Team (Redeco)

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Armada, Mini-Con


General Information:
Release Year: November 2003
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price Point: Mini-con (Approximately $5.99 depending on retailer)
Accessories: None

The Emergency Team was one of the few Mini-Con teams released for Armada whose members
had a triple transform pattern of vehicle, robot and weapon. This made them pretty much a "must have" for any Armada collection, and they were done well to boot. Now, as part of Armada's bowing out wave, they have been given new decos and released as, well...the Emergency Team. The packaging for this redeco group is the same as the first one's. Indeed, even their names remain the same. For detailed reviews of the toys themselves, check out the Emergency Team Review. This review will cover the changes made to these toys for this release.

Firebot's deco pattern should be quite familiar to any Generation One fans out there. Its primarily light blue color with the orange and white striped section on the top mark this as a homage to the classic Transformer Hot Spot, leader of the Protectobots. This deco pattern greatly simplifies the look of the vehicle mode. It's mostly light blue, the hose is now red and the aforementioned striped section is on the octagon at the top of the vehicle. The windows are painted black. It's a nice, simple homage but it would have been neat to add on a tiny bit of extra deco to make the toy look less plain.

As a robot, Firebot has a darker blue for his chest sections, with red for the center of his robot body. The missile details on the chest pieces are painted red. The robot eyes are black. The added color is most welcome here, and it was nice to see the missile details painted in.

As a missile launcher, Firebot is still mostly light blue, but the missiles are painted bright orange. The orange actually manages to contrast nicely against the light blue, making for some imposing looking firepower.

Makeshift's color scheme was done to synch up with Prowl's (who is a homage himself, see below). His primary colors are dark blue, red and black. His cockpit window is painted white. The orange used on the original Makeshift's rear thrusters has been replaced with yellow. However, orange is still used on the toy, but this time for the eyes and the center of his mouthplate in robot mode.

This new color scheme is very different from the first, which was light and a bit more "futuristic" looking with its translucent plastic and lighter colors. This one looks more like something you would find in a present day comic book. It would have been neat if his fingers/gun barrels were translucent red instead of solid red, but that's a small nitpick to what is a really cool toy. In fact, one of my fave things to do is Powerlink him to Energon Inferno, whose colors match him very well.

Makeshift reveals a bit more yellow at the back of the toy in weapon mode. The gun barrels all still turn nicely, and he Powerlinks just fine to any Armada or Energon figure with Powerlinx points.

I mentioned above that Prowl is a homage. At first, now everyone (including myself) "got it". When I saw red and blue, for some reason, my first thought went to the G1 Autobot Gears (who was mostly red and blue). But the dead giveaway here is the number 38 on the hood of the car. This is the same number that G1 Smokescreen has on his hood, and his primary colors are red and blue as well.

Prowl also has some other nice coloring. His headlights, grille and sirens are all metallic gold. The windows of the car mode are metallic silver. While this sounds a bit loud, it's really not. The colors work well with the darker red and blue. In robot mode, his face is silver and there are some gold details painted on his arms. While it's not a bad color scheme
by any means, I still prefer the mostly translucent look of the original. Still, this one is not a bad substitute.

The one complaint I have is with the weapon mode. For some reason, the gun barrel section of mine will not stay pointing straight ahead, it flops down a bit. This did not happen on my original. However, it also has not happened to two other collectors I know, so I'll chalk it up to a fluke. Still, it is something to be wary of.

In principle, this team is a great idea, and any half way decent redecos are welcome in my collection. I wish the quality control was better so stuff like my Prowl's problems didn't happen, but other than that, I do like this team. I prefer the original however.