I don’t think there’s any toy better than Transformers when it comes to pure design. They’re something that I consider to be impossible, a fusion between two styles of play that requires the engineering of a madman to pull off. Or wood blocks, if you caught that episode of The Toys That Made Us but you get what I’m saying.
To me, a Transformer is a work of art. Every shape, every ball-joint and accessory is perfectly calculated so that its core gimmick can function. Today’s review is a prime example of that, as a classic G1 character recently got a facelift in the Siege: War for Cybertron series of figures. Red Alert is his name, and being overly-cautious is his game.
His current incarnation is a remould of the recent Sideswipe figure, but done in a manner that highlights two important factors in his construction: A beefy robot mode that boasts plenty of homages to the past and a vehicle mode that is pure 1980s excess in its design. If you’re a fan of the original cartoons, then his head sculpt alone is worth a buy, as it happens to harken back to his original G1 appearance, even retaining the show accurate maroon colour scheme.
There’s also some delightful paint on his shins, giving Red Alert a battle-weary appearance full of scuff marks and various scrapes earned during the Cybetronian civil war. I do wish that the burgundy colour scheme on his hood and sides extended to his legs, but you can’t have everything. One design aspect that has to be mentioned here, is that sublime ankle pivot. While Red Alert doesn’t stray too far from the series-standard posing that all deluxe figures have, being able to tilt his feet outwards allows for him to achieve some wicked-cool poses.
In terms of transformation, Red Alert isn’t exactly a challenge. Flip the hood up, fold the arms in and tuck the legs away. In around 14 steps you can go from Autobot to automobile, with Red Alert taking the shape of a cool Lamborghini Countach-inspired vehicle mode. In an homage to his animated counterpart, the letters “F” and “D” are written in Cybertronian font so that’s a neat bit of nostalgia.
For accessories, you get the basics. Red Alert’s lightbar can be detached and combined with his blaster to form what Hasbro calls the “RT-10 Particle Beam Circuit Welder”, which is basically a big-ass axe. Alternatively, Red Alert can be combined with Battle Master figures to form some cool new additions to his presence via the usage of various hardpoints.
Overall? A pretty cool figure. Nostalgia may be a key selling point with the Siege series, but there’s a nice blend of modernisation in these designs that blend the best of both worlds together. And in Red Alert’s case, that fusion is a satisfyingly chunky Autobot with a killer vehicle mode that is a joy to switch between.
Last Updated: November 12, 2019