Cliffbee.com: Generations Red Alert Toy Review

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



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

   A white sports car with red around the bottom on the sides, front and back. Red Alert is a retooling of Sideswipe and of Sunstreaker, with the addition of a stroberack on his roof. He's not a straight variant of Henkei Alert, who has a somewhat different paint job based on the same concept, a different stroberack & no engineblock. His windows are transparent while the rear is black with red taillights and a white number plate that reads "05ALERT" in black letters. The hood is red and the headlights colourless while both the doors feature "FIRE RESCUE" in red lettering. The hood has a badge and the works "FIRE RESCUE, in white against the red painted on the central portion of the hood. The tyres are black with silver hubcaps while his tailpipes are grey. The colours line up closely to the G1 Red Alert, although the style of the markings are different. It's a good paint job - all the red is painted and there's even an Autobot logo visible underneath the windshield. Unusually, this toy is _less_ faithful a tribute to the earlier Henkei toy (usually the later versions improve on the accuracy), but it's still very clear where the tribute is here.

   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. Hasbro have actually sculpted a new stroberack, not just used Takara's one. The engineblock kinda clashes with this element, so I prefer to leave it out (something Takara did with Henkei Alert, as it happened).

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

   A fairly straightforward car mode - which is a good thing. It captures the Lamborghini feel well, so it fits Red Alert just as well as the twins. The paint job fits this mould very well and while this repaint was always inevitable it works well and care has gone into making it work. The paint job is subtly different o Henkei Alert in many ways, and while that toy is more faithful to G1, the effort here is great.

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 Red Alert (and Sideswipe). It's clever trick which not only suits Red Alert well, but brings this twins closer together.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   A white robot with black feet and hands, a black waist and a black head. Red Alert has a silver face and colourless eyes with a fairly weak lightpipe. Parts of his boots and chest are red while his thighs and forearms are grey, along with his weapon. The head is more toy-like than the cartoonesque red head of the Henkei version. The hood complete with logo is on his chest along with the red Autobot logo, now revealed on his collar. It's a good colour scheme although I wish they'd avoided using "Hasbro Grey".

   This is a good robot mode. The head is more Sideswipe than Red Alert - while they shared the same mould, it's designed to be closer to Sideswipe's head in the cartoon. It still works here, but red have been preferable to distinguish the character. 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, 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.

   There's nowhere to really put the engineblock here. Hasbro suggest you wrap it around the gun, but this is a hack and it doesn't attach well, nor can you properly attach it to his back - not without it floating awkwardly behind his head, anyway. The gun can plug into holes on either side of his head, as a shoulder cannon.

   A good robot mode with good colours and while the head isn't quite Red Alert, the tribute still works well. 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, although as mentioned he's a retool of Sunstreaker & Sideswipe. Henkei Alert is a different version of the same concept. BotCon 2010 Breakdown also uses this mould (with a different head).

OVERALL

   It's not quite up to the standard of Henkei Alert - who has a red head, car mode markings which are closer to G1 & no Hasbro Grey - but this is still a good toy. The tribute is still strong and it remains a good mould. The engineblock is superflous now but Red Alert has nice detailing, a well done colour scheme and a lot of attention focussed on making sure the character is present here. I'd recommend the Henkei version over this toy, but this one's likely to be easier to get and is still satisfying - 8/10.

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