Altered States Magazine - June 2002


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    Armada Wave 1
    Red Alert

    By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor

    ASM Quick Facts

    Faction: Autobot
    Transformation: Rescue Vehicle
    Mini-Con: Longarm (crane)
    Powerlinx: 2 gimmicked, 3 solid
    Size: Mega
    Difficulty: 3 (Advanced)
    Packaging: Box
    Contents: Red Alert, Longarm, missile, disc, instructions, mini-comic/catalog

    Mini-Con

    Longarm is, appropriately enough, a crane. With a foldable lifting arm, an articulated hook and a rotating turret, Longarm is pretty much everything that you could hope for in a miniature transforming crane. To transform him to robot mode, just fold up the lifting arm and flip the cab to form the feet. In robot mode, Longarm is articulated at the shoulders, hips and (very loosely) knees. His faction symbol appears in the center of his chest.

    Vehicle Mode

    In vehicle mode, Red Alert is an SUV-style rescue vehicle. He is predominantly white, grey, red and transparent red, with blue, gold, mustard-gold and black details. His Autobot symbol appears in the center of his hood. Compared to past Mega-sized Transformers, Red Alert is quite large and sturdy, with a very high grade of plastic and free-rolling wheels. The vehicle mode is solidly locked together and feels like it could hold up well to Tonka truck-style play.

    Vehicle Mode Features

    • Attack Mode: Attaching a Mini-Con to the Powerlinx plug on the right side of Red Alertís hood causes the front grille of the vehicle to split in two and swing open, exposing a disc launcher. Pulling back on the attached Mini-Con fires the disc, sculpted with an Autobot symbol and with one side painted orange, accompanied by three quick "blast" sound effects and a flashing light on top of the vehicle.

    • Transport Mode: This simply entails attaching Blackout to the non-gimmicked Powerlinx plug on Red Alertís door.

    • When you attach a Mini-Con to the Powerlinx plug at the back of the vehicle roof and pull back, the left-hand third of the roof flips forward as a large missile launcher. This is accompanied by a second blast sound effect and a flash of light.

    • Attaching the Mini-Con to the same plug and pushing it toward the front of the vehicle causes a (fairly generic, and almost certainly not from the animated series) voice to say "Red Alert!", accompanied by a brief siren sound and flashing light.

    • Pressing the trigger on the missile launcher fires the missile, an unusual double-headed weapon with an articulated clamp.

    Transformation to Robot Mode

    Flip down the rear side panels of the vehicle, then swing open the front doors. Swing up the roof and lock it down to the robot back. Separate the legs, rotating the rear panels to the sides. Rotate the lower legs 180 degrees and flip out the feet and heel supports. Turn the doors so that they face up and unfold the robot arms from beneath. Flip up the head, compress the neck, fold the windshield into place and youíre done!

    Robot Mode

    Huge compared to traditional Mega-sized Transformers, Red Alert adds a significant amount of blue to the vehicle colors. With his splayed legs, wide shoulders and stern expression, he looks rather superheroic. Although his feet are sculpted for a wide stance, his legs can be straightened -- doing so, however, causes the panels on their sides to run into the large electronics backpack. His left arm has no hand, ending in a stump with a hole at the wrist.

    Articulation

    Despite a very large backpack made from his vehicle modeís roof, Red Alert is pretty well articulated. He boasts universal joints at the neck, shoulders, hips and knees, double-jointed elbows, bicep swivels and hinged ankles.

    Robot Mode Features

    • Attack Mode: As in vehicle mode, attaching a Mini-Con to the Powerlinx plug on Red Alertís chest exposes his disc launcher, and pulling back on the Mini-Con fires the disc.

    • Storage Mode: Also as in vehicle mode, a Mini-Con can be attached to the non-functional Powerlinx pegs on Red Alertís doors/shoulder-tops.

    • Unlocking the missile launcher now makes it flip forward over his left shoulder. It can also be removed and placed in his right hand.

    • The "Red Alert!" voice clip, light and siren are activated as in vehicle mode.

    • The vehicle panels on Red Alertís lower legs can be rotated and flipped up -- with some bumping of plastic against plastic, as the tires donít quite clear the backpack -- as platforms for Mini-Cons. Clipped into in the right-hand panel is a pair of transparent red devices that can be plugged into Red Alertís left arm as tools or weapons (unfortunately, the fit is extremely snug, leaving telltale stress marks in the plastic around the hole). The left-hand panel features a non-gimmicked Powerlinx plug and a flip-up screen.

    Impressions

    Red Alert is a remarkably tough and sturdy toy. Although his legs donít have a lot of room for movement, thanks to the electronics pack, he boasts quite a lot of posability for an early Armada toy. His action features are very well executed, and the lights and sounds are a great bonus (although it would have been nice if the emergency lightbar alone flashed, rather than the center of the large transparent red section on the vehicleís roof). Worth noting is that the instructions do not demonstrate or even indicate the voice feature at all.

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      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication