More Images: Toy Gallery
|Release Date||March 2004 (March 2004)|
|Wave||Worlds Smallest Transformers Wave 2|
|Recolors / Reuses||Worlds Smallest Transformers Lambor|
|Figure Type||Emergency Vehicle|
-Submitted by: Omegus Prime
Since July of 2003, Takara has been releasing the World's Smallest Transformers, toys made as convenience store items that are shrunken down versions of original G1 toys. Packaged like trading cards, you don't know which you got until you open it. The first look at Wave 2 featured Hot Rod, Tracks, Skids, as well as Megatron's cannon parts. Plans seemed to change between first glance and release, as remolds from Wave 1 worked their way into the assortment. For whatever reason the mentioned figures were put off, and one of their replacements came in the form of Red Alert, remolded from Wave 1's Sideswipe. (Though I should say Lambor for a Japanese figure. I should, but I won't)
Being a somewhat more obscure character, though his name is often used and his vehicle mode has had two incarnations in the Universe toy line, Red Alert's "fire chief lamborgini" mode measures 2 inches long. Though I never heard of a fire chief riding in such an expensive car, he manages to look very good doing it. One problem the original Sideswipe had was a rather plain looking vehicle mode. This is not at all the case with Red Alert, using many of the original decals the original featured. Against the red on the hood the "Fire Chief" decal and badge logo stand out well, as do the same decals on the doors of the car. I was impressed seeing how clear the text was on such a tiny figure. Actually the only decals missing from the original toy's vehicle mode is a couple of "FD" decals on the top of the rear section. The light bar, red trim on the bottom, even the headlights are painted silver. More surprising is, in a detail left out of Smallest Sideswipe, the windshield wiper was left white.
I mentioned the molded in detail, but it does do well. Almost all the original grooves and molded details are still here, from the divisions between windows to all the thin grooves of the rear section. Even the wheels have molded hubs to match the original toy. It's quite impressive. Among all the detail, one oddity that stands out is the black on the door handles. While they were appropriate on Sideswipe, it wasn't a detail done on the original Red Alert. Not a complaint, but an oddity indeed.
Function wise, it's still your basic Autobot car. With no accessories and non-functional wheels, most playability is left to imagination. Still, for all the detail this figure uses, that's to be expected.
Transformation for Red Alert basically stays the same as the original toy, though the feet are now one piece and the head is attached to the hood to simply transformation. In robot mode Red Alert still comes in at 2 inches tall.
While the vehicle mode has a masterful level of detail, the robot mode seems to have taken the brunt of the blow from so much detail. While all the molded in detail of the original toy's robot mode are present, much of the original toy's detail came from stickers. Aside from the ones carried over from the vehicle mode, the robot mode features no other replacements for these stickers. This was a problem on Sideswipe, as well, though Red Alert has the numerous details that carry over from his vehicle mode which make all the difference. Despite losing the sticker detail, he doesn't look as dulled down as Sideswipe does.
Articulation wise, he's limited with just basic up and down shoulders, losing the elbow articulation of his full sized version. One thing I thought would have been interesting was the color of the head. Since they previously released Sideswipe, I was hoping the second release would be as different as possible such as Smallest Starscream and Thrust, and they had an oppertunity since we know Red Alert from the series as having a red head rather than the black on the toy. It would have distinguished Red Alert from Sideswipe more than simply painting the chin silver, though it wouldn't be accurate to the toy then, would it?
Normally in these reviews I come to a point where I talk about the inevitable flaw in the Smallest TFs, each sacrificing some of the original toy in order to reach the small size they have. In Red Alert's case, however, it isn't one that needed to be made and really puzzles me. His legs are much longer, proportionally, than his full size counterpart. His midsection is completely gone, his pelvis now high enough to be partially covered by the hood that forms the chest, sitting so high that if you're looking down at the toy at all the piece vanishes. The whole leg piece seemed to be an afterthought to the detail put into the vehicle mode as there is no reason for them to be so long that they hurt the accuracy of the original toy.
I know I've picked on the robot mode in this review, but Red Alert still makes a neat addition to the Smallest TFs and a nice replacement for Sideswipe if you can't find him. Keep the flaws in mind, though they are easier to forget about than I might lead you to think.