Saturday, 24 June 2017

Masterpiece Alert MP-14

Profile (Translated from the Trading Card)
MP-14 Cybertron Security Director / Alert
Function: Security Director
Motto: “Caution can never be overused.”
Alert is one of the most highly strung members of the Cybertron’s. His perception circuits react even to the slightest smoke, whisper of crackling electricity or faintest smell of fuel, allowing him to prevent trouble. His companions can be unsympathetic to his nervous behaviour but they respect the contribution of his duties.
STR:5; INT:7; SPD:3; END:5; RNK:7; CRG:7; FBL:7; SKL:8

Just as the original G1 version from 1985 Alert (or Red Alert) is a redeco and remould of Lambor (or Sideswipe). The original figure only had a different colour scheme and a light box added to the roof of the car mode, the Masterpiece version goes a bit further to differentiate the two.

Season 1 of the Transformers cartoon simplified and streamlined the toy designs, with Season 2 the character designs resembled the original toys. Lambor and Alert are examples of this and it is good to see Takara Tomy taking the time to incorporate these differences in the Masterpiece line rather than a straight repaint. Lambor appeared in Season 1 while Alert appeared in Season 2 and retained a lot of the toys detailing.

In vehicle mode, both Lambor and Alert are near identical; the only differences being the colour and Alerts light box - which incidentally can be removed. In robot mode MP-12 Lambor is similar to the cartoon model but with a broader chest and retains a lot of detailing from the vehicle mode; with Alert new shoulders have been sculpted with fake wheels, he has a new head sculpt and small circle designs have been included at the top of the chest piece - these were present on the G1 figure (which served to clip in the chest in vehicle mode) as well as on the cartoon character model.

There are 3 details that differentiate MP-14 Alert from the cartoon model, the first difference is the G1 toy and cartoon model have separate sections for the arms, the Masterpiece version the arm is in 1 piece like Lambors cartoon model. This is something Takara Tomy could have changed but at this point they were not aiming for complete cartoon accuracy (as they are going ahead with now at the time of writing).
The second difference is on the cartoon model the spoiler ends up on Alerts back, this difference is only seen in the cartoon.
The third detail is the colour; the original toy is a white Lamborghini with red detailing, the cartoon model changes the white to a light grey colour for some reason. Takara Tomy have since released "MP-14+ Alert Anime Color Edition" whose colour scheme is simplified and closely matches the cartoon model.

MP-12 Lambor was released at the end of October 2012 closely followed by MP-14 Alert which was released at the end of December 2012. Alert came with the same weapons as Lambor with the gun and shoulder mounted missile launcher and in addition Alert came with a translucent blue "sparks" which fit over the "horns" of his robot head simulating the sparking seen in the G1 episode "Auto Berserk" (aka “Capture the Negavator” in Japan).

Inferno carrying Alert as seen in "Auto Berserk"

Unlike Lambor who saw several re-releases,  after the initial release in Japan and Asia, Alert was only reissued in February 2015 in Japan. MP-14C Clampdown, released in 2015, was a straight repaint of Alert which did not come with the "sparks" accessory but came with Lambors pile drivers. MP-12T Tigertrack released in 2013 used a combination of Lambors helmet and Alerts face sculpt.

Alert is certainty one to pick up, any of the Lamborghini Masterpiece figures in my opinion are the best Autobot cars released so far, a straightforward transformation where you don't have to excerpt pressure to the point that you'll feel like you'll break the figure like so many of the others.

With the light bar removed

Vehicle Mode: Lamborghini Countach LP500S (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Alert’s vehicle mode is the Fire Chief (Fire Commanders Car) Specification of the Lamborghini Countach LP500S; a very effective form for leading his fellow Cybertrons or civilian rescue teams. The FD on his bonnet and the sides of his doors stand for “Fire Department”; between the letters is a shield emblem which means protection against fire. When a disaster occurs, Alert accompanies Inferno, his partner who transforms into a fire truck. As well as fighting fires in the disaster areas, they also perform rescue activities. They have conflicts of opinions with Alerts careful and logical approach against Inferno’s impatient short-temperedness. However, they deeply trust one another as they share the same goal. When travelling with fellow Cybertrons in a group, he makes best use of his sensors and checks for danger. His sensors can also pick up trivial dangers ahead. Particularly sensitive to approaching Destrons. Although his vehicle mode is a high speed Lamborghini Countach, he is vigilant and is rarely seen driving at top speed unless he is responding to an emergency.

Robot Mode: Alert (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Function: Security Director
Motto: “Caution can never be overused.”
Alert is the Cybertrons Security Director, responsible for overseeing the Cybertron base, down to the flow of information, communications, secret passages and the whereabouts of the Cybertron members within the base. He has highly attuned sensors which can detect imminent danger. He also has sensitive vision being able to locate a 2cm microchip from a distance of 360km; his audio sensors can also detect the sound of a pin drop 2,2km away. He is constantly refining his sensors to maintain all round vigilance. If he judges a mission is too high risk, even if it is Convoys decision, he will advise it should be cancelled. Alerts nervous behaviour can sometimes get in the way but this is the other side to his dedication to the mission; he thinks nothing other than to put the safety of his fellow Cybertrons first. This is something his companions are well aware of.

Weapon: Rocket Launcher (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
A large weapon equipped to Alert’s right shoulder. Normally the weapon would fire live ammunition and lasers but Alert prefers to load it with fire extinguishing agents and life saving equipment. As Alert considers rescue activities as his mission, he sees it more important to rescue his teammates and people rather than to attack his enemies.

Weapon: Particle Beam Rifle (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
Alert’s favourite weapon that emits a high energy particle beam. In episode 49 “Broadcast Blues” he encounters a forest fire with his partner Inferno; at such times of disaster he uses it as an emergency response tool, in this case he cut down the trees to prevent the spread of fire.

State: Circuit Trouble (Translated from the instruction pamphlet)
In episode 23, “Capture the Negavator”, he takes a direct hit from Frenzy’s missile which damages the brain circuits (logic circuits) in his head. As a result, Alert became highly paranoid and ended up being used by Starscream.

With the Sensor Ability (from MP-14+ Anime Color Edition)

View the full gallery here.

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