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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Ganon578's review: Red Alert

Name: Red Alert
Function: Security Director
Allegiance: Autobot
Group: Universe Classics Legends Series

"Caution can never be overused."

Paranoia is the character trait that makes Red Alert as good as he is at his job. Nothing escapes his notice - a whiff of smoke, a whisper of crackling electricity, a faint scent of fuel exhaust. Anything, no matter how small, that triggers his sensory circuitry directs his thoughts immediately to the expectation of trouble. Most of his comrades find his edgy, driven nature unwelcome presence among their ranks, but they all appreciate his dedication to his duty. "He may have a few wires crossed in his logic center," says Inferno, "but at least his optical sensors are looking straight ahead."


I recently picked up Legends Red Alert and Onslaught from the Classics/Universe line, and an odd thought occurred to me. This quirkiness comes from the fact that Legends Onslaught is a repaint of Cybertron Legends Red Alert. This Red Alert, however, is also a repaint, but of a different Legends Cybertron Transformer, and I must say that I was really surprised at the quality and features of this little TF. Review time!!!

Alternate Mode: Not being one for the alternate mode of Transformers (I’m a robot mode junkie) I actually like this mode for Red Alert. The colors and detail match that of the Generation 1 Red Alert, but I like the update to a more modern car type. This really fits the “old but new” look of the past and current Classics. The paint job is pretty good here, red and white (just like it should be) and the red is a good shade. Not bright towards the point of being orange and not dark to almost a maroon. Just right. I was also happy that the side windows and windshield are all painted a silver/blue shade too (feeling cheated by my Legends Movie Jazz), and black rolling wheels (with some good tread too) complete the color combo. There is some nice detail in this mode; a large Autobot symbol on the hood of the car and also the “badge” symbol, which are both taken directly from the G1 version of this character. I’m also a fan of the detail of the mold. There is some ribbing on the hood, and also an intake/turbo-charger on the top of the car, which really gives the car a sporty look, but the “emergency” paint job keeps it grounded. There is a small spoiler of sorts too, which is a nice little addition. I’m actually very impressed with this mode. On another note, the quality here is great, the plastic does not feel cheap or easily breakable at all.

Robot Mode: I was really surprised at the depth of the transformation from alternate to vehicle modes. The legs slide out first, which is alien to me for Legends since I own so few, but makes Red Alert taller than I expected. The arms (or doors) flip up, and then the shoulders separate and shift down (hood). After this cool little bit of shifting, I was surprised to find out that the top of the car (or the back of Red Alert) is actually spring loaded to lift and rotate to make the back a little taller, which also adds some horn-like protrusions that rotate out from the top of his back. It’s a nice feature to a surprisingly complex little TF, and gives Red Alert a little bulk in robot mode. The colors and paints are done really well here too, with some black highlights on the chest and lower torso, and the thighs are red, along with the shoulders. All of this detailing does a good job of breaking up the white of the base plastic. While in this mode, Red Alert seems quite balanced, though sometimes it can be tricky to get the legs right so he stands straight. This could have been helped with the addition of some flip-down feet, which I was disappointed that they were not included. However, this small balance issue is somewhat resolved in the fact that the spoiler also gives him more surface area to stand on. If there were anything else I dislike about this figure, it would have to be a lack of detail in his face (only red is present, aside from the top and sides of his head being white), a non-moveable neck, and also the reduced movement in his arms. Mostly they just shift up and down, but you can rotate them outward a bit with some jockeying of his back and shoulders. The mold of the arms is nice since he does sport some easily recognizable hands, and there are also three small guns on each arm just on the top of his knuckles, which I think is pretty cool little secret for a Legends class TF. The mold detail is also very good in the face/head area. On top of all this, I was also really pleased to see another Autobot symbol on his chest, which, in red paint really stands out from the white background. This is just a well-made figure.

Overall, Red Alert is by far my favorite out of the two new Legends class Universe TF’s. There’s a surprising amount of effort that went into this, the transformation is really cool for a little guy, the colors are great, the alternate mode is great, and the robot mode is cool looking. This is a great homage to a Generation 1 Transformer, and a worthwhile inexpensive addition to your collection.

Marks out of 10:

Transformation: 8. Not difficult at all, but it gets high marks for being very interesting for a Legends class figure.
Durability: 9. This is quality. Nothing seems cheap.
Fun: 7. He’s a great little ‘bot, but since he’s a Legends class, play is limited.
Price: 8. I really think he’s got a lot to offer for such a small price. I picked mine up retail at $5 US.
Overall: 8. A really nice addition to your Classics collection; just an overall great figure.
 
 
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