Cybertron Toy Reviews: Cybertron Defense Red Alert

in 2006, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force

Cybertron

General Information:
Release Year: January 2006
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart)
Price: $24.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Planet Key, Rocket, Arm gun, Hammer head, Claw

Cybertron Defense Red Alert Packaging art
Images:

*Image from the official Transformers web site.

Sounds:

Tech Specs:
Red Alert is, first and foremost, a healer. As Autobot medic, he has never hesitated to rush onto a battlefield under heavy fire to assist an injured comrade. Indeed, there are many Autobots (and even one or two Decepticons) who owe their lives to him. It is because of his skills as a healer that Optimus Prime handpicks him to be part of the team - along with Hot Shot and Scattorshot - to return to Cybertron and cleanse his home owrld of the Terorcons infestation. Though he is uncomfortable with the new armor and heavy weapons with which he has been upgraded, he recognizes their necessity, and will not hesitate to engage in battle if his hand is forced.

Strength: 8 Intelligence: 9 Speed: 6 Endurance: 8.5 Rank: 7 Courage: 10 Firepower: 7 Skill: 10

In his newly reformatted form, Red Alert has even more diagnostic and medical abilities than ever before. Every finger, every panel, every diode and wire has the ability to reconfigure, re-transform and re-deploy at the merest thought from Red Alert to aid one of his fallen comrades on the battlefield. This was put to the test during one of the massive swarms of Scrapmetal on Cybertron when Hot Shot - always the reckless youth - ran headfirst into the swarm. Overrun with the beasts, they bit off Hot Shot's arm. Racing to his aid, Red Alert grabbed the arm and used his massive shoulder-mounted Ion cannon to knock back the swelling insecticons. He then expertly replaced and repaired Hot Shot's arm - even fixing a bad rotator cuff in the process.

Vehicle Mode:
Red Alert's upgraded form is an armored personnel carrier that beats any of his previous forms in toughness. While his tech spec function is still that of a medic, his vehicle mode definitely indicates he's a medic who is more than able to take care of himself on the battlefield. He seems to be inspired by the BTR-60 Armored Personnel Carrier (or carriers of that type) due in part to having eight wheels (instead of just six wheels or treads). Being such a large scale figure, there is a ton of detail sculpted into Red Alert. The front end has the angled front end often associated with APC's with armored windows with slits for its crew to look out of. Similar slits are found on the sides as well along with raised details that resemble bolts, ladders, armored storage compartments and armor plating. On the left side towards the front is a dual barreled cannon and each of his wheels are rather large, giving the vehicle some impressive height.

On either side of the vehicle is one Mini-Con Powerlinx point that you can also hook up Energon weapons to. I'm a big fan of the use of Mini-Con Powerlinx points on any Transformers figure, especially now that not every figure in the Transformers line has them. On the back of the vehicle is a mount for the rocket (more on that later) that is articulated so it can point upward.

Red Alert is mostly colored white in this form. The wheels are cast in dark grey and dark blue plastic is used for parts such as the base for the rocket and the mid-section of the vehicle's front end. These colors both jive with those from his previous incarnations in both "Armada" and "Cybertron". He also uses red, another of his signature colors - although it is used very sparingly. Red is used for small details such as the Autobot symbol on the top of the vehicle's front end and lights towards the back. There are some really nicely done grey spray ops near the wheels that look like it has kicked up a lot of dirt onto that area and that he's taken some battle damage.

Hasbro's Aaron Archer mentioned two Botcons ago that it was very amusing for him to have helped design a figure for a character that is a medic, but carries one of the largest rockets ever created in the Transformers line. The rocket is roughly the same length as the vehicle itself. It has a ton of details on it including vents, bolts, armor plates and angled lines. The rocket is sculpted in silver plastic with dark grey details painted over it. While attached to Red Alert, you can insert his Cyber Planet Key into the rear of the section the rocket is mounted on. This pushes a small lever on the rocket itself, "activating" it. The rocket's front half opens up revealing a translucent red mechanism underneath that has a ton of sculpted tech detail just like the outer shell. What you also find inside is a large blue missile. A button in the center launches the projectile that looks like it means serious business.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Swing the rocket base back and slide it to the right.
  2. Swing open the top panels of the vehicle's front section.
  3. Swing the panels with the two rear wheels on either side forward.
  4. Swing the front end of the vehicle down.
  5. Split the front section of the vehicle and set aside the blue weapon from the middle.
  6. Swing the panels back into place on the front end of the vehicle.
  7. Flip up the front of the vehicle to form the feet and swing back the blue heel pieces.
  8. Swing the robot arm pieces back, then swing the robot arms down from the shoulders.
  9. Swing down the blue panel in the center to reveal the robot head.
  10. Attach the blue weapon to one of his arms.

Robot Mode:
Red Alert started out as a large sized figure that was somewhat bulky, and despite being reduced in size early on in the "Cybertron" series, he makes a definite strong comeback as an Ultra sized figure this time around. His robot mode is a bulky one, but the bulk conveys a sense of power rather than awkwardness (something not all Transformers pull off). The beauty of this sculpt is the way it takes design cues from the deluxe version, but still manages to create a completely new and original figure.

The head sculpt is perhaps the most recognizable part of Red Alert. With his visor eyes set over a mouth (usually with a grim expression) this head sculpt takes those cues, but then angles the visor eyes, extends the crest and angles makes the angles leading from the mouth section to the sides of the head more severe. The result is a head that is immediately recognizable, but much sleeker looking than the somewhat oval shaped head he previously had. One detail that amused me was inside his crest where you'll find a targeting reticle that also oddly looks like a cross, a traditional medical symbol. On either side of his chin piece are raised, rectangular sections with small circles sculpted at the end which one could interpret as anything from lights to help him locate something (or someone) to extra weapons.

The chest design is also heavily influenced from the deluxe figure. He has two lines on either side of his chest that angle upward. These seem to be inspired by similar details that you can see on the upper part of the chest (painted blue and gold) in this picture. Underneath the chest piece are four inset sections with vertical lines sculpted into them. This seems like a visual extension of the sections with cross hatches on the deluxe Red Alert's lower chest.

Another design feature carried over from previous versions of the character is the weapon you mount on his arm. This piece allows you to insert the Cyber Key to swing out a barrel. This looks like a cannon by itself, but you can attach either his claw (inside the right leg) or hammer head (inside the left leg). It is cool to see that even though Red Alert now has two hands, he still has his "tools" that he used earlier in the series.

Part of what helps Red Alert look strong is the sheer bulk of the figure. His torso section is already wide and the sides raise along the sides a bit, which would effectively knock out any hope he has of looking to his left or right - but he's hardly the only Transformer guilty of that. On top of his already wide torso are huge shoulders, each with a barrel like design on them with blocky elbows and arms. There are plenty of smaller details on the arms and shoulders including raised sections and small bolt like details.

As wide as the upper body is, it slims down in the middle before widening again out at the legs. The upper legs pretty much align with the torso section, but it's the legs that widen out to align with the shoulders. The legs have a lot of detail on them both on the inside and outside. The inside has everything from circles to angled lines to riangles. The outside has circles, indented sections, "bolt" details and more.

Red Alert retains his trademark white, blue and red colors in this form. The white is the most prevelant color, making up most of the torso, waist and lower legs. Blue makes up the head, chest, upper legs and arms. Gold is found on the head and the barrel like details on his shoulders and on the feet. Metallic silver helps the chest piece stand out and orange is found on the upper body on both the torso and shoulders. A bright red is found on small details such as lights on either side of his torso and two details that look like missile pods on his waist. The eyes are cast in translucent red, allowing for some nice light piping. Personally I would have liked to see a little more paint on the arms and legs, mainly to bring out more of the sculpted detail.

Despite having a huge honking missile on his shoulder Red Alert manages to stand firm thanks to his wide feet. Still, I kept thinking he would just tip over or something, but he is a very stable figure. Red Alert has seventeen points of articulation including four points of articulation in each arm (including the wrist). Both legs have a Mini-Con Powerlinx point on them, allowing you to hook up Mini-Cons or Energon weapons to those slots. His fists have the standard hole size allowing him to hold Energon weapons as well.

Final Thoughts:
Cybertron Defense Red Alert is one of the coolest Ultra sized figures to come out of the Cybertron line. Having a medic become one of the largest, well armed and powerful looking Autobots is a great play on the character. Highly recommended!