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…