Red Alert isn’t all repaint though. He’s got a lot of new pieces, some subtle, to differentiate him from Sideswipe. Navigating this MP line is a bit tricky. Takara likes to lean towards show-accurate while Hasbro, when it does bother to bring them over, leans toy accurate (think of Soundwave’s visor color as an example). Anyway, when Takara made Sideswipe his robot mode was more toon than toy. Clearly, the toy was the basis for Sideswipe’s cartoon look, but changes were made.
Strangely though, those changes weren’t made to Red Alert, so Takara leaning toon accurate on him actually motivated them to make a few new pieces for the toy. They’re very minor, but I’m very grateful that Takara got it done. The new “helmet”, new shoulders with vestigial tires, and a new upper chestplate with some small details to match the old look. Oh, and a new slightly different face. Honestly, I think all those are changes Takara probably didn’t have to do, but the fact that they did is pretty awesome and it further differentiates the figures when placed next to one another (which is great, because there are plenty more Lambos in our future).
Red Alert includes many of the sames pieces available with Sideswipe & Tigertrack, notably the shoulder cannon and the rifle. The rifle, being all red, was a little too vintage/nostalgia for my tastes. It’s neat, but the choice to make it red wasn’t motivated by “It being awesome” and I think a little deco here would’ve helped a tiny bit. The one new piece is some add-on light effects for his “horns”. They would flash when Red Alert was freaking out and they make for a cool effect on the toy. I probably won’t have it used much, but if we get more cool things like this with the toy line, I could see trotting it back out.
Overall, Red Alert is just another great entry into Takara’s wonderful MP line. I don’t really like paying $60 for a Transformer this size, but I can’t deny how well made they are. Getting them altogether, particularly now that a half dozen cars have been released, makes for a great group shot and Red Alert’s red/white color scheme makes sure you’ll notice him (it doesn’t hurt he’s a Lamborghini either). The sculpt & articulation have been great on each release. I do wonder if I should go on Reprolabels and get some of those awful/wacky classic stickers. I love how the figs look, but I could really turn back the clock with some of those sweet stickers.
I have a small gallery above with some extra pics and, again, if you’re looking for specifics, check out my reviews of Sideswipe & Tigertrack for all the details on this great mold! And also keep an eye out for yet another repaint, a Black G2 version for Sideswipe. Can’t wait!
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