After a long weekend in Dallas, Texas for BotCon 2012, the G1 Journey continues with a much needed update. Today, I’ll be looking at the Security Director of the Autobot ranks: Red Alert!
Red Alert Bio:
Paranoia makes him good at his job… nothing escapes his notice, no matter how small. When his sensors are activated, thinks trouble is coming. Edgy… unpopular with comrades, but appreciated. Can trigger alarms in other Autobots. Excellent sensory perception. Fast in vehicular mode. Carries 25-mile range rocket launcher and particle beam rifle. Prone to rash judgements which can lead to injury to himself and comrades.
My Red Alert figure is a Hasbro reissue from the Toys’R’us line released in the earlier 2000’s. He’s identical to the original released in 1985 and I even have his original G1 weapon. So I guess it’s the best of both worlds for this figure! I’ll start this post with my thoughts about Red Alert’s alt mode: a slick Lamborghini:
Red Alert’s alt mode is a bone white Lamborghini with red detailing for the Fire Chief. Clearly, I am in the wrong area of work because I’m not getting a Lambo for work! The alt mode has that iconic G1 feel to it with die-cast and realistic rubber tires. I love how the red stickers really bring out the detail of the vehicle. Photographing Red Alert’s alt mode was a pleasure because there’s so much going on: the fire department emblem on the car doors, the front end with Autobot logo, and even the sirens themselves. While fiddling with Red Alert, I also became aware of how well engineered this figure and all other G1 figures are. For example, he rolls on all 4 wheels smoothly and evenly EVERY time he is transformed. Modern figures just don’t do that as well as the G1 figures. Red Alert’s alt mode is a win in my opinion and it’s the best feature of the figure.
Transforming Red Alert was simple, really simple. It’s really a 1-2-3 transformation and can be completed in a matter of seconds. The back half of the car is pulled out for his legs, feet slide out slightly. Rotating the hood down will bring up his head. Last step is too slide out his arms slightly and position his forearms accordingly. Easy enough, right? Like most G1’s though, you’ll find the simplicity to be kind of fun for quick transformations.
Red Alert’s robot mode has much more area for sticker placement (and thus, sticker wear) and as I expressed in earlier posts that’s what turns me off about G1 figures the most. However, I still enjoy the robot mode of Red Alert. He has chromed forearms and feet which really seems to separate the red, white, and black colors that dominate his robot form; I enjoy having chrome on my figures and this works well for Red Alert. I don’t understand the lack of missile firing weapons. On all my figures so far, Ratchet, Bluestreak, and now Red Alert, none of their weapons fire the missiles. I have heard the weapons’ spring system was removed for Hasbro reissues, but not the original G1 weapons. Red Alert’s weapon placement on his shoulder it too cool not to actually fire! I’ll have to look into taking the weapons apart and see if the spring has failed. If any readers have insight, please point me in the right direction. Regardless, Red Alert’s robot mode is a simple, yet fun figure. I can see myself as a kid taking this figure for a day out on the town for it’s “ease of use” for lack of better term, but he doesn’t stack up to the playability of Bluestreak or Ratchet.
As with my recent posts, I enjoy comparing these G1 figures and seeing how they stack up to their updated counterparts. Using the Generations Red Alert mold, my comparison yields both pros and cons for each figure and I have a difficult time in choosing a clear cut winner. To keep things consistent, I’ll start with the alt mode. The new Generations mold captures the original aesthetics extremely well and homages many things. It still has the red detailing strengthening the white color scheme, but it misses on what made the original figure so great: this is a fire chiefs car! The Generations mold reads “fire rescue.” In my opinion, I think it would have been so much cooler seeing the fire chief logo on this new mold. Although the Generations Red Alert captures the original Lambo aesthetic well and has a lot better detailing in the rear with its painted taillights and license plate, the G1 figure wins in the alt mode comparison.
The robots modes are a similar story, but I do not favor one figure over the other. The Generations Red Alert has a ton of added detail that the original Red Alert doesn’t have. The blend of reds and whites seems to work better for the updated toy, especially in the leg area. With that being said though, the Generations mold doesn’t have that iconic shoulder mounted missile launcher or the chromed parts I love. What both figures have working for them is the head sculpts. The Generations figure does a fantastic job at staying true to the G1 head. I don’t believe there is a clear cut winner in regards to each respected robot mode. They both have their pros and cons and in the end I’m neutral on both.
Overall rating 7/10:
G1 Red Alert is best defined by me as simple. His Lamborghini alt mode is the best attribute while his robot mode is decent. He’s a figure that is easily transformed which leads me to think I’d be happy taking him on short road trips just so I’m briefly occupied. Comparing him to his updated counterpart, I still have no clear cut winner, but I’m starting to see just how much figures have changed from 1985 to 2012. As I mentioned above, the G1 vehicles are able to roll on all 4 wheels smoothly and evenly; I feel bad for kids now that can’t have that same feeling when they transform a modern toy. None the less, Red Alert is a solid yet simple toy and another great addition to the G1 collection.