Release Date: August 2010
Price Point: $12.99
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Gun, Engine/rocket pack
There are some repaints of figures that fans expect to happen fairly quickly. Who didn't think that Starscream wouldn't be repainted into Thundercracker and Skywarp eventually? And so it goes that it was inevitable the Universe 2.0 Sideswipe sculpt would be given a reworking into Red Alert, the Generation One Autobot security officer. In Generation One, Red Alert's figure was a redeco of G1 Sideswipe with a siren attached on top. History has repeated itself with the release of Red Alert in the Generations toy line.
I've reviewed this sculpt in its myriad forms a few times already including the reviews of: Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Botcon 2010 Breakdown and Punch/Counterpunch. This review will focus on the changes made to this figure for this release.
In Generation One Red Alert was a super sleek fire department car. Thanks to being a redeco of an already sleek vehicle, he gets that benefit again. This is certainly one eye catching vehicle! In addition to the awesome design and the powerful looking engine piece on top of the vehicle, this version of the sculpt now has a lightbar added on top. The lightbar may look familiar to some readers. It is in fact, the same lightbar used for Universe 2.0 Prowl. It's V shape with the small circles inside add another layer of detail to the figure that distinguishes it from all the other releases of this figure. This is definitely not a vehicle you want chasing you down with sirens blazing!
While the Japanese "Henkei!" version of Red Alert went with a very G1 inspired deco, this one takes the G1 deco and only uses certain elements of those colors. The primary plastic color used on this figure is white. The wheels and the middle section of the engine piece are black. Dark silver is used for the vent sections on either side. A lot of black plastic can be found inside the vehicle as well as on the front grille piece. The translucent plastic is a very subtle smokey grey color. What's nice is that this color is not so opaque that you can't see through it. This allows you to see the deco details inside the cabin section of the vehicle. This same clear plastic is used for the headlights. The lightbar on the top of the vehicle is translucent red, standing out in striking contrast to the white color that dominates the vehicle.
The paint decos are what really show a lot of the G1 influence in this vehicle. Red paint is used to paint details on the hood and sides of the vehicle. The details that most harken back to the G1 design are the rectangular paint deco on the hood and the line of red on the sides of the vehicle that start low in front of the front wheel well and then angle upward to the rear. G1 Red Alert had very similar details on the front and sides. On the hood, you'll also find a detail done in red and black outline that resembles a shield. Underneath it are the words "Fire Rescue". This is a modernized version of what G1 Red Alert had on his hood, the words "Fire Chief". The words "Fire Rescue" appear again on the doors of the car, painted in red with black outlines. The font has thick, bold lines with sleek top sections that give the look of motion. Inside the cabin section are red line details with an Autobot symbol in the center. This brings the Autobot symbol very close to the hood section where G1 Red Alert had his Autobot symbol. I like the way some elements were retained from the G1 version of the character while others were modernized.
Other small details help complete the deco on this figure. In front of the forward wheels are small, gold triangles that look like lights. The rear of the vehicle is painted black with the letters "05 Alert" on the license plate. The rear lights are painted a really rich metallic red, making them look extra nice. The sides of the wheels are painted silver, contrasting nicely against the black plastic that makes up the wheels.
Red Alert's vehicle mode looks absolutely awesome. I love the way it takes elements of the G1 deco and pays proper homage to them while using some stylings unique to this figure.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
- Detach the engine/air intake piece.
- Flip the car over and detach the exhaust pipe pieces/gun.
- Swing the black grille piece up.
- Swing out the panels on the rear of the vehicle to the sides so they cover the rear wheels.
- Gently pull the opposite halves of the vehicle apart so the doors separate out from the front and back portions.
- Swing the robot arms out.
- Swing the rear of the vehicle back and down.
- Swing out the robot feet from the sections you just swung out.
- Rotate the robot legs so the sections with the rear lights face forward. The feet should point the same way.
- Slide the front of the car forward.
- Swing out the robot arms to the sides.
- Swing the car's front section down and snap it against the area right above the waist.
- Rotate the waist around so the feet point in the same direction as the front of the car.
- Rotate the windshield/windows section around. The robot head will slide up at the same time. Rotate the robot head around so it faces the same direction as the front section of the vehicle.
- Swing each robot arm up on the hinge at the shoulder so it is level with the rest of the upper body.
- Swing each car door to the side of the lower arms and rotate them around.
- Attach the weapon to the figure's fist or shoulder. The engine piece can be connected to the weapon by folding down the vents over the sides of the weapon.
The beauty of Red Alert's robot mode is that it pays homage to G1 Red Alert in some ways while offering up a diverse set of colors all coming together very well. The newly revealed parts are cast in colors all seen in the vehicle mode including dark silver, black, red and white. All four of these colors come into play on the arms, wher ethe top of the arms are white, the upper arms are red and the forearms are silver with black fists. With the door panels from the vehicle mode winding up on the sides of the arms, there is a strong design and color callback to G1 Red Alert happening here. On G1 Red Alert, his doors wound up on his arms as well, and his forearms were vacuum metallized silver. By placing the silver in this section, it pays homage to that very nicely. Another section that is set up appropriately to pay homage are the thighs, which are cast in silver. G1 Red Alert's thighs were silver as well, albeit vacuum metallized silver. Black plastic is seen on parts spread throughout the figure including the head, waist and feet.
Several of the decos from the vehicle mode carry over into the robot mode. His chest is made from the front of the car, so there you'll find his red coloring in the center with the shield symbol and "Fire Rescue" logo. The door panels on his arms also have a "Fire Rescue" logo along with a red stripe on the bottom edge. The legs show the details from the rear of the vehicle on his knee armor. Additional decos can be found on the head, where the face is painted silver and on his thighs, where the vent details are painted red. His chest has one of the most prominent decos in this mode, a T shaped red section at the top of his chest with an Autobot logo in the middle. This was visible in the vehicle mode, and just as it paid homage to G1 Red Alert in that mode, it does so here as well since G1 Red Alert also had an Autobot symbol in a very similar place. Overall, this deco makes the G1 fan in me smile. It looks fantastic and somehow makes me not mind that I already own this mold several times over. It's appropriate and looks really awesome.
All the articulation points on this figure are still intact. However, there is one joint that is a bit loose on my Red Alert. The swivel joint on the left leg is a bit more loose than the one on the right leg. It's not floppy by any means, but it is a very noticable difference. Also, because of the light bar on his back, you can no longer clip on the engine piece to his back, which explains why his packaging shows the engine piece combining with his weapon whereas other versions of the figure (other than perhaps Punch/Counterpunch) did not emphasize this feature.
It's funny, but there are some molds that get a bit tiring after owning them several times (I'm looking at you, deluxe Movie Bumblebee), but at times a mold is so well done and utilized as different characters you don't mind at all. In this case, the use of the sculpt is perfect and it's hard to believe that this sculpt was not developed with at least four characters in mind from the beginning, Red Alert being one of them. I have a huge fondness for this sculpt and this deco is awesome. Highly recommended!