Cybertron Red Alert

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Xcandescent, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Xcandescent

    Xcandescent TRUKKS are the new MUNKYS

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    This guy is an odd, odd figure. Patterned after his Armada counterpart, he manages to be smaller, less articulated, more complicated, and far less armed than his previous incarnation -- and yet somehow, strangely cool.

    Alt. mode is a pretty obvious "homage" (read: rip-off) to the Dodge Magnum oversize station wagon. You know what it is, but there's enough different that they can't be sued for it. I really like it -- SUV's are pretty damned generic, and the unique body shape combined with a nice, glossy paint job really make him stand out. Too bad his head is clearly visible in the middle of that light cluster -- though, to be fair, it looks like it was actually designed to be part of it (as opposed to E. Ironhide, whose head on a turret was ... a head on a turret.)

    Speaking of paint -- a big portion of this figure is molded in transparent red plastic, then painted over. That's why you have red windows (which are a nice touch ... and necessary to obscure the shellformer inside). The paint seems fairly sturdy ... but on the off chance it isn't, and your Red Alert gets scratched and becomes a LOT more red than you want -- well, you've been warned.

    The Cyber Key gimmick activates two tiny, tiny laser pistol things, that pop out of rear side panels. In addition to his arm laser, those are ALL his armaments. Unlike his Armada version, this guy is clearly just a medic -- NOT a fighter. The gimmick can be activated in robot mode as well (the pistols rest on his shoulders), but they need to be retracted/put away before transforming between modes, as they're spring-loaded and quickly get in the way.

    Transformation is simple in theory, messy in practice. In fact, the very first thing you have to do -- pry out the rear legs -- is stymied by the lack of finger grooves or indents to leverage against. In fact, there are no indents to be found ANYWHERE on the toy -- which makes prying out the head and front feet an absolute pain in the ass the first few times. That, plus the fact that many parts of this toy peg together TIGHT, means that you'll be nursing sore fingers the first few times you try to transform this guy -- assuming you can get your fingers around the part at ALL. On one occasion, I had to fish out a screwdriver to pry the head loose -- and I was tempted to use it on the front feet too. The joint used for the shoulder transformation is ultra stiff, and you have to be clever about how you leverage the arms in and out. (To get them back in, I usually extend the arms and pull down to start the joint moving, then push the shoulder in from the rear. I strongly suggest NOT using the doors as leverage.)

    There's one other odd bit too. Red Alert technically doesn't have two legs -- he has four. The front hood and rear bumper each have feet, and merge together to make two legs. If you wish, you can leave them separated, to make a sort-of White-Carachnia. It's quite clever and gimmicky -- but it's one of the two big reasons this figure is a brick. Merging two sets of legs together automatically kills any sort of rotation possability -- it's front/back, or bust. Since there's no separate waist piece, there's no waist articulation together -- he can split his legs, but that's about it. It also means he's got BIG feet. It's one of those things that's cool for a one-off gimmick, but you wouldn't necessarily want to see used again.

    The other big articulation issue is with the arms. Here, two problems combine to limit movement: a limited shoulder joint, and giant doors hanging off the shoulders. The positioning of the doors causes them to hit Red Alert's back a lot, preventing further movement. Activating the Cyber Key gimmick effectively widens the width of his back, making the problem worse. The shoulders, while on a ball joint, do not pivot outward well at any angle other than straight down. As a result, you'd be hard pressed to do anything with the arms other than forward/back movement. The extra forward/back wrist joints mitigate this a bit, but not much.

    The final odd bit is that Red Alert is SHORT. He's a little more than half Hot Shot's height, and is really somewhere between a Deluxe and a Scout. It wouldn't surprise me if he was an upsized Scout, as he has Scout-level articulation. I like his head and overall look better than the Armada version, but he's definitely a step backward articulation-wise.

    However, unlike in Armada, this Red Alert comes with some decent repair tools. A hammerhead and claw arm are stored in the legs under the hood, and attach to the end of his laser arm (rather than swapping with it). The hammer looks better, if only because the laser arm makes a decent handle. The claw attachment sticks an arm where a hand should go -- it's long, and looks really odd.

    In summary: Red Alert is different. He is a brick, but that's in trade for a unique transformation. He's got a lovely paint job, a nice sculpt, and some nice tools. People who like fiddly transformations will be all over him. He's not for everyone, but he's definitely worth a look.

    Final grade: B-

    -XCN-
     
  2. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    It's a bit strong to use the "B" word for Red Alert, considering he has all the basic set of joints, just a few minor issues with exactly where they go.

    He is kinda short (and Hot Shot is just plain tall), but all that means to me is that he hangs out with Armada Suprcon Prime and Energon Grimlock. Then he looks perfectly in scale. :) 

    Either way, I like this Red Alert about 200x more than I ever liked Armada Red Alert.
     
  3. misterd

    misterd Well-Known Member

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    It seems to me everyone loved GF Red Alert, but I'm not feeling it. Besides the shortness, he just seems to kibbly - too much car, not enough robot. I hope the toy proves me wrong.
     
  4. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I wouldn't say Red Alert is anywhere near a brick. Just the fact that he has knees with a decent motion range and full hip movement disqualify him from that. I agree with most of the other stuff you said.

    I love how this guy looks just like his old Armada self, only not awful. Really cool design trick. The Dodge Magnum is an awesome alt mode as well. I also like how in alt mode they made the robot head look like part of the light array. It looks like it belongs there.

    Finally, the arm attachment compartments in the hood are beyond cool. Just making the hood open is a neat enough bonus, but storing accesories in there...awesome!

    This guy is my new favorite Cybertron deluxe (until Sideways comes out that is...).
     
  5. King Starscream

    King Starscream <b><font color=blue>The Royal Seeker</font></b> Veteran

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    I just got him today and I like this one way better than his Armada counterpart. The transformation is very original, and despite little sideways movement of the legs, I like how they can swing forward and backwards and have his knees move at the same time. I also love how the legs store his attachements and the fact said attachments can hook up to his gun arm. The attempt to have his head blend with the light bar in vehicle seems to be a nice idea, but lacking in execution. And Red Alert has got some bling! Large gold rims. Not very many transformer cars in any line have that.
     
  6. Renidragon

    Renidragon Toys on my table!

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    I've been looking forward to this guy since I picked up Hot Shot... From what you guys are saying, I don't think I'll be disappointed. :) 
     
  7. Xcandescent

    Xcandescent TRUKKS are the new MUNKYS

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    OK ... maybe the B-word was a bit strong, but in terms of basic articulation, he's very limited. The joints themselves are limited by design, and the arms are further limited by door kibble. He DOESN'T have full hip articulation -- there's no waist or hip ball joints, and the legs can't rotate due to the four-leg transformation.

    It doesn't help that he physically LOOKS rather brick-like ... particularly the legs. :wink: 

    We need a new category of stuff that's almost, but not quite a brick. Because that's really what Red Alert is: he's got JUST enough articulation to duck the B-word, but no more.

    -XCN-
     
  8. Xaxis

    Xaxis Well-Known Member

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    I just took a look at Remy's photos of GF Red Alert. While there's no swivel to the legs, it's very impressive how they do have knee joints. Very interesting transformation and it looks like a pretty fun toy. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person, especially after this review and the additional comments. Sounds like an awkward, but interesting figure and I'm intrigued by it.

    Thanks, dudes!
     
  9. rherk

    rherk KNERDOUT

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  10. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I tend to think the word "brick" should be reserved for the toys that have serious lacks in basic articulation, like many G1 toys, Spychangers, or Armada toys like Blurr.

    Yeah, there probably should be some in-between terminology for toys with limited, but not crippled 'brick' articulation.

    Interesting that we've come to expect better articulation from our Transformers than is seen in many action figure lines that don't have to convert to another form.
     
  11. Zylly

    Zylly Member

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    You know, I must be the only transfan left out there who doesn't give a hoot about articulation beyond the TF being able to point his or her gun.
     
  12. Master Fwiffo

    Master Fwiffo Bonecrusher Hates You

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    Red Alert is the Tiny God. Don't you dare impune him. He kicks ass seven days to Sunday, and ios the msot fun toy Ive had the pleasure of handling in ages. I love the guy.
     
  13. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    I think he's awesome. While I did let my brother get the only one they had at Target, I still got to play with it. His hammer and claw accessories are sweet. A little handgun/blaster would have been the last little bit of icing on the cake.
     
  14. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    I used to think I wanted a ton of articulation and posability in my TF figures, but in practice I found I was pretty much happy if the figure can stand up in a reasonably 'natural'- looking stance. Anything more is just gravy.

    Red Alert fits that requirement and then some.
     
  15. artiepants

    artiepants Just over here punching Unicron.

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  16. Zylly

    Zylly Member

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    Agree with you there for sure. Armada Blurr, for example, is one of my favorites from that line, despite having few posibility options. After all, he looks cool and has a great alt.mode and minicon feature.
     
  17. SentinelPrime

    SentinelPrime I NEEDED THAT!

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    It seems like lots of articulation can lead to lots of kibble.

    Example: Car Brothers
     
  18. Frognal

    Frognal Prodigal Son Returned

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    Which isn't an inherently bad thing.
     
  19. Cheebs

    Cheebs Well-Known Member

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    True....and all three of the Car Brothers are in my personal top-10 TF deluxe molds ever...so what's your point? :D 
     
  20. Gears

    Gears buh-buh-body ya Veteran

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    Picked him up yesterday. Vehicle mode is awesome. The key gimmick is pretty weak in both modes, as the guns are tiny. The transformation sequence is pretty interesting and fun. I do think the fact that you have to stick your nails in Red Alert's eyes to pull out his head is pretty dumb. The bot mode is nice and bulky looking...like a strong experienced soldier. I really like the paint scheme. Love how the hammer and claw attachments are stored in the hood / legs. Recommended!
     

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