When it comes to Transformers, there are times when fans want the figure released to be as accurate as possible to how they either appeared from Generation 1, the cartoon, or comics. Unfortunately, they don’t get what they always want. There will be something missing like a repaint not updating the head mold to match the other character it is representing, key accessories that have been associated with the character not included, or certain logos changed due to copyright. Luckily with the growth of third-party producers, the desires of the fans are being fulfilled.
One Transformer figure that is missing some of his characteristics from the cartoon and original figure release is Transformers Classics Sideswipe, as well as his repaint, Transformers Generations Red Alert. Though the designs of the figures were excellent in resembling their character, they were missing certain accessories and one does not have an accurate head. This is where third party maker Beezelboss comes in to help fix these little things.
Beezleboss created the Heroic Duo Custom Kit to give Classics Sideswipe and Generations Red Alert everything they were missing to make them more accurate to their original and cartoon selves. I don’t know what possessed me to purchase this set. Only one concern filled my head: how is the quality? I’ve been burned in the past before. As my first Beezleboss purchase, will they wow me with their work, or will I be disappointed by another expensive third party product? Read on to find out.
Like most third party Transformers products, the box itself features some amazing art depicting Red Alert and Sideswipe posing with the products purchased. The finish on the box isn't the glossy, smooth type you would see from most products, but done most likely to cut down on those pennies.
The back is simple featuring the logo of Beezleboss on a solid background. Getting into the box was a bit troublesome. It's very tight and you kind of have to claw your way around the edges to get it to slide out. At least the items are kept nice and secure.
Inside the package you will find the eight accessory pieces that make up the Heroic Duo Custom Kit. Most of the items come in twos since there is a set for Sideswipe and a set for Red Alert; a gun in silver and a gun in red, a rocket launcher in white for Sideswipe and a one in red and white with a different rocket for Red Alert, a pair of shoulder pieces for each, a pair of pile drivers for Sideswipe, and a new head for Red Alert.
For this review, I will be focusing on Red Alert because I don't own Sideswipe anymore. When I realized I was on my fourth iteration of the mold, I felt some had to go.
Each piece easily attaches to Red Alert except for the pile drivers for Sideswipe and the new head for Red Alert. Unfortunately there are no instructions to explain how you attach every piece and you have to look at the promotional photos or art to get an idea.
The original figure of Red Alert is nothing more than a repainted body of Sideswipe. This tradition continued even in the Generations release of Red Alert. It is the cartoon that introduced an original head design for Red Alert to have him stand out from his "brother". Hasbro has released repainted figures with new head molds, but Red Alert was not lucky enough to have such an honor. Beezleboss rectifies this by providing a brand new head for Red Alert that is accurate to the cartoon.
The head mold looks great and uses the same style of a translucent piece for eyes from the back of the head like you would see from Hasbro/TakaraTomy. The design is faithful to his cartoon counterpart and the detail is excellent. To attach it to the figure, you have to rip off the original head and push in the new head into the revealed joint.
However, there are two things that I have issue with for the head. One, which is common throughout the figure, is the red paint used. The color isn't accurate, but that's not my problem. I'm concerned about the quality of the paint used, as it feels a bit coarse and feels more like something from an actual custom made by a fan. It's like the mold was made and then painted afterward rather than coming from a mold of that color.
The other issue I have with the replacement head for Red Alert is that it is horrendously loose. It's nice to have a brand new head that is this wonderful looking, but it hurts to see it plagued by this issue. Due to this issue, the replacement head has a tendency of pushing forward so you can't have Red Alert looking straight. It doesn't drop down so much that it's that noticeable, but when you're trying to get him in that pose you want, you'll find yourself in a losing battle.
The included rocket launcher cannot attach to Red Alert unless you use the chrome painted shoulder pieces included. These pieces tightly snap into the holes of the frame of the toy and include a small bar that a hook from the rocket launcher attaches to. Snap it in and you're done.
Quality issues strike again though. The mold of the launcher that the rocket attaches to is splitting and the coarse red paint shows up again, which is more noticeable to the touch here. Another thing that's showing up again is loose joints! The hook of the rocket launcher is not tight at all. You'll find yourself fighting this piece once again to get that perfect angle you want. Even if you get that angle you want, over time the rocket launcher will eventually give and fall flat back into a horizontal position. How annoying ...
A solid object. Certainly Beezleboss can't botch this one, right? No, they didn't. It still has the red paint problem, but at least the gun is a nicely molded and feels like any other action figure gun. It's large, fits snug in his hand, and gives Red Alert more of a presence with this weapon.
Though not covered in this review, the pile drivers work in the same manner as the head for attaching, but is a little rough on your hands. The head was easy to pull off but the hands are very tight in their slots. It requires a bit of force to detach them and you'll have the shape of the figure molded into your fingers once you get them out. Then repeat in reverse and shove in the pile drivers. Once you pop them in, you're ready to go.
As I stated in the beginning, I don't know what possessed me to make such a purchase especially when I would only be getting the most out of half of it. It's not like I needed it but I guess just always looking at Generations Red Alert, I knew I was looking at a lie.
It's nice to have the new pieces that give him his unique appearance, but the US$35 price tag is not justified by the two common issues plaguing this product. At US$20, and if you have both Classics Sideswipe and Generations Red Alert, then maybe. But if you're a doofus like me who only wants part of what is included in Beezelboss' Heroic Duo Custom Kit, do yourself a favor and don't do it. Only do it if you see the product at a good value.
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