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Transformers Masterpiece
Red Alert Review (MP-14)

I spend a ridiculous amount of money on Transformers considering how few make it to the website. I went back to check and, yeah, I haven’t reviewed a Transformer since October! October! Do you know how many I’ve bought since then? It’s terrible. So, if I had to make a 2014 resolution, (it’s late, I know), it might just be to get all these cool Transformers up on the website. In fact, let’s start tonight with… well, with a Transformer I’ve already basically reviewed twice. Doh!

While my first MP Transformer will always be the gorgeous 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime, followed by the not so awesome MP-09 Hot Rod, it is this mold that really started it all when it comes to my MP collection. When Takara debuted MP-12 Sideswipe, I was hooked. The thought of having the all those great ‘80s cars looking sharp in their alt modes and still turning into well articulated, mostly on-model roboots? Sign me up! And I’m not going to downplay it or hide it. I love ‘em. It’s almost stupid – I mean, do I really need a Black Optimus Prime (or a Black Soundwave for that matter, curse you Ratbat!), a yellow Sideswipe, or a green Starscream? No! But the originals are great toys and repaints… well, a good repaint makes me swoon. Even if it’s a neon green F-15. Oh yeah.

But, not all the repaints are “just” repaints. Take today’s subject, Red Alert, he was a modified repaint thirty years ago and so I don’t consider him a part of my unhealthy obsession with repaints so much as just a normal part of the line.* I don’t know that he was a key character in much of the media, other than being famously paranoid, but I considered him an essential, a character to be snagged even if my budget was more… budgety.

* – I know that Tigertrack, the yellow Sideswipe, is technically a unique character. And I can call my black Optimus Scourge (I do), etc. but there’s just something different about a 30yr old character than a cool retcon to include a Diaclone version, mmmkay?

Red Alert does have some cool Diaclone back story though. In that precursor line, Sideswipe’s mold was reused to make… a Police Car. When Takara was Transformerizing (that’s totally a word) everything, they took things in a different direction, opting for Red Alert to be a Fire Chief’s car instead. Now, putting aside the fact that a Fire Chief probably wouldn’t have a Lamborghini outside of Miami Vice, this is actually a cool thing – Red Alert is one of the first original Transformers. No borrowed deco from Diaclone here. It’s a small claim to fame, but it’s a neat one.

Now, I’ve already covered this mold twice with Sideswipe & Tigertrack, so I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty again. The sculpt is solid. The articulation is fantastic. The paint could use a little work (I mostly just worry about the paint around the windows. That’s paint on clear plastic pieces and seems a little more easy to damage on all three models). It’s all around well done and that’s a big part of the reason Takara keeps getting me to spend $60 a pop on repaints. Continue to Page 2…

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24 comments to Transformers Masterpiece
Red Alert Review (MP-14)

  • Brainlock

    Nice. the little tweaks make him stand out just as much as the red/white deco from the others, esp Sideswipe’s mostly red deco.

    I don’t remember if I had the original or not, but I know I picked up a couple versions over the years before the deluxe Classics version about a year ago. Even then, I picked up a couple extra to custom into other characters (SS, a Stunticon/Protectibot/Prowl) but never got around to it. :/

    Hope you get to Prowl, soon. He was one of my first and one I try to get every variant of, including the owl! LOL

  • Great review and pics, as ever!

    My budget was tight when these Lambo guys (and the Fairlady clones) came out, so I only got this guy. Very happy I did.

  • I never had any of the original sport cars except for Smokescreen, but they were always my favorite Transformers. As such though, I lean more towards the cartoon look. I love Lambos and I’ve always liked Red. That pic of him and Barbecue is a hoot to any 80’s kid turned seasoned fan.

    Your reviews are drawing me closer and closer to jumping aboard this line. Wheeljack and Bumblebee keep calling my name from afar… “Clutch…Cluuutttccchhh…! 🙂

    • I got into TF closer to the movie (first movie I saw in a theater, Dad took me) so I had very few of the 84-85 guys. While I’m dying to get more 86-87 updates, I’m really enjoying “finally” getting some of the originals.

      We’ve seen rumors that Prowl is getting imported, so it may get much cheaper to collect these soon.

      • ero

        Not by much, especially when you take into account the scalper’s premium.

        The trick, as a long-time collector helped me understand, is to get these guys from a reputable Japanese source early on. I ended up paying $58 shipped for Streak and around the same for Prowl. That is, I do believe, the same price we saw in the leaked TRU listing.

        • Jon at Preternia has been doing the same for me, cluing me in HLJ gets them in and saws $20 off my cost. It’s much appreciated, though I don’t know how he’s on the internet all the time!

  • You didn’t mention it in the review, so I’m not sure if you know the origin of the “light effects” for the horns. In the cartoon, when Red was having a particularly paranoid, tin foil hat kinda moment, he’d get a little burst of electricity around that area. So when those are attached, you should imagine him ranting about tiny hidden Decepticons in your cereal or something.

    I’m frequently tempted by the great new stuff in the Masterpiece line, but I’m so invested in CHUG at this point that I just can’t handle the idea of starting a new line. If they were just a hair smaller and would fit in better with the rest of my collection, though, I’m sure I would have caved already.

    • Paul

      I’m glad you clarified the lights on his head. I knew some of their purpose, but not to the detail you just left. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the heads up. That paragraph was wonky, so a quick edit and another mention of the paranoia. I wish I’d thought of Decepticons in the cereal. That’s hilarious!

      When I decided to go all in on MP, I made the commitment to only get MP. No more CHUG. It was tough, particularly when you run across one in a store. I’ve been a little bad on some 3P items, but I’m trying to stick with it.

      • ero

        It’s a really good time for CHUGs right now, too. MPs are actually allowing me to enjoy those toys more now that I have an outlet for the G1-accuracy bug. I can look at Trailcutter and enjoy him as an IDW toy without being pissed that he’s such a stretch for a G1 update. It’s kinda nice. Luckily, I avoid third party toys, so I think I come out ahead.

      • Aw, you can use the cereal line if you wanna. 🙂

        Hasbro is doing their level best to get me out of the CHUG line, apparently. I haven’t seen a new Generations figure at a store in ages. I need Skids!

  • Paul

    Glad you’re getting around to reviewing these. I have 2 of these recolors and G2 should (hopefully) be coming this month. I have all of the MP Datsuns as well, so I’m really hoping you get to those. I always get excited when toys that I own end up in your pics.

  • Andy

    YES! More Noisy TF reviews in 2014! Let’s hear about that FP Intimidator we saw on Twitter. Also, any chance you’re picking up MP stand-ins like X-Transbots Stax or Cubex Huff?

    • I don’t know of my TF reviews are that good. I think they might be my weakest (& maybe why they’re sporadic), but thanks!

      I want to to the Combiners, but I might only review their combined form if that makes sense?

      I’m in a holding pattern on the MP stand-ins. I want to, but I’m really looking at how much I spend lately and I don’t like it. Fan’s Tots has their hooks in though. I can see grabbing the Huffer/Pipes set on a week with a lot of leftover cash though.

  • J. Lee

    Oh how I wish I got one of those Primes but then that other came out. Man, I wanna get into these but like chips you can’t get just one.

    On the black Soundwave. That is a real upgrade as Blaster and Soundwave both died fighting each other. He was rebuilt into Soundblaster and Blaster into Twincast.

    • Collecting the line is the problem! Even just silly recolors that you don’t need…

      Soundblaster is a little better, yes, but in a collection with folks like Acidstorm and Tigertrack, I think that blends out a little.

      Speaking of… MP Blaster?? Where’s that!