Sabrina's Transformers Armada Reviews

Maxcon (Mega) assortment, Wave 1: Red Alert with Longarm, Starscream with Swindle.
Price: Approx $20 each

Overall impressions: These larger toys are a bit more interesting than their smaller bretheren, adding electronic gimmicks and improved articulation. They are still very different from the like of BW and RiD though. I'm a bit happier with this group though, especially Starscream.

Red Alert with Longarm:

Longarm (Minicon, black rescue crane)

Features: other than activating Red Alert's features (like any other Minicon), nothing special. He can attach to the back of Red Alert for the look of a tow truck, though.

Pros: Nice design, if a little simple and Micromaster-like. Looks decent in both forms.

Cons: A little more paint to pick out the details in his vehicle mode would be nice.

Red Alert (Autobot, BIG white rescue SUV)

Features: In either vehicle or robot mode, plugging a minicon into his hood will open up his front end, revealing a disk launcher which fires with an electronic sound. Plugging into the peg on his back and pulling pack pops up a launcher which can fire a claw-shaped missile. This launcher can be removed and put in Red Alert's hand too. Pushing forward on the peg causes him to say "Red Alert" in a very Robocop-like voice (to fit his look) and a siren noise. The panels on his legs can open up into platforms for Minicons to stand on. One holds interchangeable tools for Red alert's left arm.

Pros: Has a lot of gimmicks that work well. More posable than nearly all other current Armada toys combined. Vehicle mode is very solid.

Cons: Seems badly proportioned, like a skinny figure 'wearing' the car form. Panels on legs often get in the way of the car roof hanging off the back, hampering posability.

Score: (large figure scores twice) Red Alert 7, Longarm 8, Overall 7.3

Starscream with Swindle:

Swindle (Minicon, red and black race car)

Features: Clips under Starscream's cockpit for storage and launching.

Pros: Interesting if simple transformation, looks decent.

Cons: No useful articulation. Arms and legs only move out to the sides.

Starscream (Decepticon, silver-gray and red jet fighter)

Features: Pressing the canopy activates a laser-blast sound, or a launching sound if Swindle is clipped underneath for launch. Pulling back on the Minicon peg at the rear makes flight noises, or firing noises when a Minicon is attached, which also brings two missile launchers to face forward. The left wing can detach and unfold into a sword.

Pros: Looks very good, and is a definite update on the original Starscream, especially obvious in robot mode. Articulation is good too, though not stunning. Gimmicks work well, and transformation is good. My favorite Decepticon of the first wave.

Cons: Jet mode does little to hide the robot parts. Arms, legs, and the top of the robot head show, screaming 'I'm a robot!' Missile launchers and jet rear stick far out behind the robot's head, making him backheavy. Some sounds are annoyingly easy to trigger. I wish he didn't have the wing-sword, as it spoils the looks of that one wing for something that doesn't look much like a blade. Weapons fit too tightly in his hands, risking breakage.

Score: Starscream 9, Swindle 6, Overall 8

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