“Life is filled with simple joys”. Something very true for all the Armada toys, but especially so for Armada Powerlinx Red Alert. A glorious, unsophisticated dollop of plastic riddled with play features and the silliest sound effect ever committed to voice chip. If you can’t find some simple pleasure in the majesty that is Red Alert, then you are dead inside.
I plumped for the Powerlinx version of Red Alert as I found the white and blue of his original toy were rather cheap and bland looking. Plus, gold wheel trims. Ugh. The orange and white ‘rescue’ version seems much more tasteful. The vehicle mode itself is a pleasingly blocky thing, based on Nissan’s Patrol 4x4 (imaginative name, that). I am particularly fond of the gunmetal grey wheel hubs, which have a nice metallic sheen to them. Red Alert’s stoic face being prominently visible through the windscreen is unfortunate, but also comical at the same time. Some small daubs of paint pick out the headlights...and taillights! The latter being something frequently overlooked on the majority of Transformers toys as Hasbro clearly don’t feel anyone pays much attention to the rear. You can make your own bum joke here. The vehicle mode rolls around nicely and clamping Mini-Con partner Longarm (dull name) to the roof triggers the greatest sound effect known to man. It’s a siren, but not, as you may expect an musical tone, but a bloke going “RED ALERT WOO WOO WOO”. Awesome.
Longarm himself is a neat little crane with rotating jib. He’s a neat little toy with Micromaster levels of complexity, easily switched to robot mode. I’m quite sniffy about Mini-Cons and Legends toys in general, and that would be down to the diminishing returns of both those lines. These early, first batch of tiny titans have surprised me by how good they generally are. Just a shame Hasbro turned out some right old rubbish later on, as the recent UK Sweetie Pack Mini-Cons will attest. Longarm’s key contribution to Red Alert is to trigger various weapons features – a pop out blaster and disc launcher lend Red Alert a cluttered attack mode.
In robot mode (quickly achieved by just looking at Red Alert), Red Alert is a stoic, almost Robocop like figure. Most of the vehicle dangles off his back and his layout is a little cluttered with vehicle parts but he has a surprising range of movement and is decently proportioned. His waist is a shade too narrow, but overall he looks very good, despite his head just bobbling about on the bonnet. An improvement over the original toy is some mix of colours in robot mode, with grey and red joining the whites and orange. A medic by function, Red Alert has a nice interchangeable left hand that switches for two different surgical devices. His left leg also houses a flip out diagnostic platform, which would be good, but does rather get in the way, but i can see how a crouched Red Alert would use this in the field to attend any fallen comrades. The various weapons made available by Longarm can also be accessed in robot mode, lending some firepower if needed.
Red Alert is a big plastic brick. He’s enormous fun and has a cracking vehicle mode which is great fun to bounce along the carpet. By the standards of Amrada – being toys designed to be properly played with- he’s an excellent example and one of the best figures out of the line.
Red Alert 01.JPGRed Alert 02.JPGRed Alert 06.JPGRed Alert 03.JPG