Cliffbee.com: ROTF Sideways Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Sideways
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Sports Car



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 14cm Width: 6cm

   A graphite coloured two door sports car, Sideways has rose colours transparent windows and tailights , colourless headlights and black stripes along the sides. His grille is black as are the tyres while his wheels are painted silver. Rounding out a simple but effective colour scheme is a black Decepticon logo on the back end, akin to a maker's badge. This colour scheme looks realistic enough, even if rose windows are fairly unlikely.

   Sideways is not quite a real sports car, but he takes design cues from the Audi R8 (thanks to Ashstar & alldarker for this info). Sideways is sleek and low to the ground with a good level of detailing including a sculpted grille, vents on the hood, a sculpted engineblock-like pattern inside the rear window, side mirrors and fairly rudimentary exhausts on the rear bumper.

   There's little play value here, which is fairly standard for the more realistic Movie vehicle modes. His wheels roll and that's it. On the plus side, Sideways isn't a mess of seams - there's a very visible hinge on his roof which is totally graphite coloured - but most of the seams line up to natural seams like the hood and door seams. There are no gimmicks here, but at this level of realism, I'm happy about that.

   A good vehicle mode despite a lack of play value, Sideways is realistic with a subtle and sensible colour scheme and clever placement of transformation seams. He holds together well and while there's no badging as in the original line, Sideways works well. This is his better mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Press the grille in which will case a red panel to fold down underneath the front, then the front wheels flip underneath. Unclip and lift up the rear, fold out the legs. Pull the doors out to the sides, unfolding the arms hidden within them. Fold down the hood and clip into the groin, forming his chest. Fold down the head, pull out the headlights and pivot them onto either side of his neck. Lift up the side windows then fold the rear and roof to form a backpack. Straighten his arms, fold down the shinpads, flip up his feet. Rotate the rear fenders into his ankles and swing up.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20.5cm Width: 9cm

   A graphite, black and red robot, Sideways's chest is graphite while his arms legs and head are black. His waist, groin and knees are red. His face is black with some silver highlights and dark red eyes - Sideways looks suitably evil with his alien-like features and the red eyes. The red is much brighter than the black and graphite colours, providing some contrast here. The colour scheme works well enough without being especially distinctive. There are no Decepticon logos visible here.

   Sideways has at once excellent detailing and some awkward aspects of his bodyshape. The arms are very detailed from the claws on each hand - the left ones are painted silver - to a false wheel on the outside of his left hand and a sawblade on the right. The legs are also fairly well detailed although the shinpads are fairly simple. His facial sculpt is quite complex, along with the red lower torso area. The issues here all relate to the bodyshape - there's a significant backpack, which is the folded up rear and roof, which is visible behind his head. While it doesn't look awful it's clearly kibble and I would have preferred it to sit lower, behind his back. The side windows stick up like grasshopper wings, and while this is a nice idea it's hampered a little by the fact they attach to the backpack rather than the chest. Sideways has reptilian hips - the legs attach to the sides of the body rather than underneath, which looks really odd, and this isn't help by the fact that his legs are quite skinny. It's not all bad news mind you - the doors hanging off his shoulders, the wings and the car front on his chest are all nice features.

   While there are issue with the bodyshape, the poseability and play value here are respectable. The false wheel and sawblade both spin freely. The shoulders and hips are ball jointed while the elbows are hinged with rotators below his shoulders. There are gears on the outside of his elbows that turn as you fold his elbows, while graphite coloured camshafts visible within his upper arms also turn. The waist and hands are fixed and while his head turns, the backpack makes gets in the way of getting your fingers in to move it. The hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged with rotators below the hips to assist them. His ankles are ball jointed but the feet are tiny and lack any sort of heelspurs - I've taken to turning the rear fenders downwards to act as heelspurs - they do the trick nicely.

   A decent robot mode is some ways and a bad one in others. The colours work and the built in sawblade weapon is nice however the hips are strange and the backpack seems like needless kibble. The visible car elements, detailed sculpt and moving parts on his arms are all nice features. This is a robot mode some will like and others will hate. I'm somewhere in between - the hips really bug me but otherwise Sideways' robot mode has enough going for it for me to appreciate it.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good car mode and a mixed bag of a robot mode make Sideways a decent deluxe, but not a good one. The colours work well - especially in car mode - and the action features of the robot mode are nice, but there are issues in robot mode which feel like they should have been worked out during development. While the robot mode has merits such as an excellent sculpt and cool weapon, not everyone is going to appreciate the robot mode. Much depends on how you feel about the backpack and lizard hips, but Sideways has a great vehicle mode - 6.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.