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Transformers – Masterpiece Red Alert


Nothing gets me more excited than a new Transformers Masterpiece figure. This is true even when it’s a character that wasn’t one of my most anticipated — like Red Alert here. When these new Masterpiece figures were first announced, Sideswipe was a natural to kick it off to get people all excited and interested in the line. As a follow-up to Sideswipe, Red Alert probably didn’t pop up in many wish lists, but he was a natural choice as well because the original G1 figure shared a mold with Sideswipe. I’m all for getting as many of the original Autobots released in the Masterpiece line as possible, so I put in a preorder for Red Alert at Big Bad Toy Store without thinking twice. Upon opening him up and transforming him, I was pleased to discover he’s not just a straight-up repaint of Sideswipe, and that there’s enough here that makes him unique and able to stand on his own merits.

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His packaging is, of course, very similar to Sideswipe’s. I’m a big fan of Masterpiece packaging, and I’m continually impressed with the design and layout. They’re always really sharp and they do a great job of selling the figure.


Red Alert is a very handsome figure and I really can’t imagine a better representation of the character. If you have Sideswipe, then you know exactly what to expect in terms of articulation and poseability. He’s a solid figure and just as worthy of the “Masterpiece” designation as Sideswipe is. And I like that his head is red. The original figure’s head was black, but his head was red on the cartoon, so I appreciate Takara’s desire to make these figures true to not only the original toys, but to the cartoons as well. What we get is basically the best of both worlds.

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For weapons, he comes with a shoulder-mounted cannon, which has been repainted in red and silver, and a red rifle. Both weapons are repaints of Sideswipe’s weapons, but, fortunately, the new colors are enough to make them seem unique and new, especially when it comes to the shoulder cannon. Truth be told, I’ve thought Sideswipe’s cannon was a bit boring since I first saw it back in ’84. The silver and red of Red Alert’s cannon, however, looks so much better and it brings out the details in the sculpt nicely. It just looks cool.

I suddenly feel like hanging out with Starscream…


Also included is an accessory that is 100% unique to Red Alert — plastic blue “sparks” that are meant to emulate some circuit damage he suffered in an episode of the G1 cartoon. The sparks are actually a single piece that fits on his head kinda like earmuffs with the strap in the back. I can’t get enough of the little nods like this to the original cartoon. I’m leaving the sparks on permanently. I love ’em.


They’re not quite mirror images of each other, but it is darn close. Aside from the character-specific paint jobs, their shoulders are different and the upper portion of their heads are different (the horns, basically. Their faces are the same). Red Alert has wheels on his shoulders that are “cheats” — they have nothing to do with his transformation and are there only for show. They’re not even the same size as his actual wheels. As silly as they are, I appreciate the effort put in to make him as faithful to the cartoon as possible.


The Masterpiece figure is a better representation of the character than the Classics figure, but the Classics figure is no slouch either, especially if it’s all spruced up with the Renderform upgrade set and the Reprolabels stickers. What ultimately makes the Masterpiece the better figure for my collection are the larger size and its closer approximation to the original figure and the cartoon design. But it’s really apples and oranges here because I think both figures are solid, but the Masterpiece just catches my eye more effectively.


Red Alert’s alt mode has always been something of a curiosity. It’s a rescue vehicle, maybe the car the town fire marshal drives, and it’s a Lamborghini? Where does such a thing exist? Beverly Hills? What fire department would spend that kind of money on a car? It’s just so odd and it always has been. But whatever — suspension of disbelief and all that. What’s important here is that it’s a very faithful representation of a Lamborghini rendered in plastic. It looks cool, silly though it may be.

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His weapons can be mounted to his siren in case traffic is heavy and he needs to get to the fire extra fast. Or in case he has to waste Decepticons. Either one.


With these new Masterpiece figures and what the third party companies have been cranking out, I am getting closer and closer to my dream Autobot display/collection. The scale is perfect and the ‘bots themselves are all the best representations of their respective characters we’ve seen so far. This collection makes me so insanely happy and I can’t wait to add to it further. Red Alert is a solid addition to the Masterpiece collection, so I definitely recommend picking him up because who knows if we’ll see a domestic Hasbro release. Be warned — he is pricey because he is a Takara import. Most online shops currently have him in stock, but BBTS seems to have one of the better prices around at $83.99.

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4 thoughts on “Transformers – Masterpiece Red Alert

  1. Wow. That final display pic is so damn cool. Are those bumblebee, ratchet and Ironhide figures official or third party?

  2. If was in my budget would be interested. They are cool will admit that. Just too much for my wallet.

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