Armada Toy Reviews: Red Alert

in 2002, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot, Generation One

Armada

General Information:
Price Point: Maxcon
Retailer: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart etc.)
Release Date: July 2002
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3 (Advanced)
Accessories: Longarm Mini-Con figure, Attachments for left arm x 2, Claw missile, Cannon, Disc

Sounds in mp3 format

Red Alert is another Generation One name brought back from obscurity into Transformers Armada. This time, Red Alert is a medic, a type of character that has not been part of a Transformers toy line in a long time. Generation One had many medics including Ratchet and First Aid, two Autobot ambulances. It is a nice change of pace to have a character that is more about reconstruction than destruction.

Longarm Toy Review

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, Longarm is a rescue crane. Longarm is primarily black and beige. It is very easy to look at the toy and think it is a construction crane. However, a careful look at the front section of the vehicle shows that there are sirens on the top of the vehicle. Unfortunately, they are molded in black and not painted, making the detail hard to see. The crane itself is in two parts, unfolding into a rather long crane for such a small toy. The base of the crane can rotate around. The windows are silver, and sculpted details include doors to the control rooms. The vehicle is nice, but could have used more painted detail.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Fold the crane in half.
  2. Flip forward the front of the vehicle.
  3. Flip out the sides to form the arms.

Robot Mode:
Whereas Longarm's vehicle mode needs more color, the robot mode seems to have just the right amount. The main body of the robot is blue with orange details on the chest and face. The upper legs are beige. The sculpting is interesting, with a visor covering most of the face and a small mouth plate underneath.
The Mini-Con symbol is molded on the center of the chest. Longarm is quite poseable. The arms can move up and down, as can the legs. They also can move at the knees, giving this little guy six points of articulation.

Longarm is a neat little toy. He is definitely fun and well sculpted. He just needs a bit more paint detailing.

Red Alert Toy Review

Vehicle Mode:
Red Alert's vehicle mode is an emergency SUV. An SUV is a fairly current choice for a Transformer alternate mode and follows in the footsteps of X-Brawn from Robots in Disguise. The primary colors are (appropriately) red and white. Translucent red plastic is used for the windshield and the top
section making up the siren. The side windows are painted red and the headlights are yellow. A cross is printed on either side of the vehicle. The wheels are black with gold hubcaps.

The styling of the SUV is a mix of sleek curves and angled edges. The front is very rectangular, especially the grille which looks like it was built to be able to take quite an impact. Towards the rear, the vehicle begins to curve. The contrast of the two design styles is very nicely done.

The sculpt of the vehicle is very nicely done. The front section is quite detailed, with a grid pattern in the headlights. An Autobot symbol is molded right into the hood and is colored red. On each door there is a red line painted, but it is actually a raised detail. Small details really add up to
making this toy look good. On either side of the vehicle is the section with the cross painted on it, at each corner is a small circle indicating a bolt of some sort. Rear lights are raised and curve from the side of the vehicle to the back (as they do in some current SUV models).

Red Alert has four Powerlinx points in this form:

  • Two (which do not activate any features) are on the doors. These simply allow Mini-Cons to attach.
  • On the right side of the hood you can attach a Mini-Con to open up the front grille and reveal a disc launcher. Pull back on the Powerlinx point and the disc fires, activating a sound effect at the same time.
  • Towards the rear of the vehicle on the translucent red section is a point that activates one of
    two things: 1) Push forward and a sound effect saying "Red Alert!" followed by siren noises and lights is activated.
    2) Pull back and Red Alert's cannon swings forward along with a cannon noise.

What is interesting about each of Red Alert's Powerlinx features is that they are in line with the character's tech specs, which paint him as a pacifist. The disc fired from the front looks more like a life preserver than a destructive weapon. The cannon you can deploy in this form fires a claw missile which
can be seen as useful in rescue operations instead of desctructive ones. Such character and toy consistancy is impressive and appreciated.

Red Alert has one fun vehicle form that looks great!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach any Mini-Cons attached to the toy.
  2. Open the doors and flip them up so each window faces the sky.
  3. Unfold the robot arms from each door.
  4. Swing the rear half of the vehicle down along with the robot legs.
  5. Swing down the middle section of the vehicle and snap it into place against the back of the chest section.
  6. Move the robot head forward.
  7. Flip down the robot feet and heels, straighten them out to allow the robot to stand.
  8. Fold the car piece on the right leg open to find two different ends for Red Alert's left arm. Choose one and attach it to his left wrist.

Robot Mode:
Two new colors are introduced in this form, dark blue and grey. The robot head, arms and legs are mostly dark blue. The robot feet are grey. The robot eyes are translucent red plastic, which makes up part of the top of the head allowing for a nice light piping feature. The lower part of the robot face is silver. Although the color scheme looks nice overall, it would have been nice for some color accents or spray ops (or dare I say it, a black wash) to be added to the arms and legs to allow the details on them to come out more.

The arms and legs have some really nice detailing on them. The legs look like there are armor plates on the upper leg and the knee joints. The arms have details like tubes and bolts. The left leg platform is nicely done with silver tubing and a translucent red targetting reticle full of line details.

Red Alert has fifteen points of articulation, making him one of the most poseable Armada figures in this wave. It is quite impressive that each arm has four points of articulation and each leg has three. What is nice is that the toy is very stable, partly due to the blue heel parts of the robot feet that keep the toy from leaning back too much.

All the same Powerlinx points from the vehicle mode can be used here. This includes the cannon on the left side of the vehicle mode. However, the cannon flips up and winds up over Red Alert's left shoulder. What is nice is that this cannon can be removed and then placed in his right fist. A fifth Powerlinx point is on Red Alert's left leg. Fold the car panel outwards and then rotate it so the section becomes a platform. Flip up the translucent red targeting reticle. A Mini-Con can either attach in vehicle mode or stand in robot mode on the platform. This makes for an interesting concept. Although Red Alert may not wish to fight, he can still be defended by a Mini-Con on this platform. A very nice touch.

Red Alert embodies a lot of what makes a Transformer cool. He has a nice design that is strong looking yet sleek. He has a fantastic level of poseability, with swivel joints making up for the lack of ball joints. His Powerlinx points are all fun and the option of using different hands gives more a "medic" feel to the toy and character.