Cliffbee.com: ROTF Sideswipe Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Sideswipe
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Corvette StingRay Sports Car



SPORTS CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 6cm

   A silver Corvette with dark transparent blue windows, Sideswipe's silver is very shiny - the base plastic is blue with silver paint all over. The wheels are also silver while his tyres are black and the exhausts are a (duller) silver plastic. The taillights are painted red and the headlights are colourless plastic, but this is a fairly simple colour scheme. Sideswipe is very sleek and stylish, and the silver is bold enough that he doesn't feel underdone. There are no Autobot logos here.

   Sideswipe's sculpt is actually fairly complex, if understated. There's a Corvette badge on his hood, a grille, side indicators and side mirrors which are actually composed of a soft plastic that matches the silver paint nicely. There are quite a few seams on the sides, but they don't break things up too much. My only real complaint here is the reliance of silver paint - mine came with a small chip on one rear fender. As with many movie vehicle modes, there's not really any play value here - Sideswipe rolls on his tyres (although not well), and that's about it.

   While he's a modern car, Sideswipe is a coupe - with the split rear window of the second generation Corvette (mid 1960s). The windshield wraps around the sides. So while he's not G1 Sideswipe, he's not really Tracks or Freeway either.

   An excellent vehicle mode which is smooth, slick, well sculpted and well painted. I love the fact that the soft plastic on his side mirrors matches the silver pain so well. The possibility of chipped paint is my only complaint here, and while the paint chipping is a potential downfall, Sideswipe's Corvette mode is still strong.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Tricky to describe because there's a fair bit of twisting around, but it's not too difficult. The front fenders are the feet and the tyres his heelspurs while the legs are stowed under the hood, which ends up on his back. The arms are stowed within the doors - the doors themselves end up as claw-weapons on his wrists, along with the rear wheel. The head is hidden under the roof, which ends up on his back along with the hood. Hi chest is partly underside and partly the split rear fenders. The standard Hasbro picture has the torso quite wrong, incidentally.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 11cm

   A grey robot with silver fenders on either pectoral muscle, a silver head with a grey face and transparent blue eyes, Sideswipe has black hands and ankles, some dark grey on his thighs and transparent blue kneecaps. There's dark brown between the fenders on his chest, and a silver Autobot logo on the left side of this. It's a simple, understated colour scheme which works quite well. It's nothing like the original G1 character, but looks good all the same. The lightpipe in his eyes doesn't really work because of some car elements behind his head, but otherwise, this is a good colour scheme.

   Sideswipe wears much of the car on his back, but it can be folded up or used as wings so that kibble isn't really an issue. The taillights work well as pectoral muscles and the weapons on his hands are car elements anyway. I described them as claws but they're sort of slashing blades rather than claws as such - either way they make for a nice decoration. The lower torso and legs are intricately sculpted and Sideswipe has a nifty "mech alive" feature - there are two dark grey struts at the top of each thigh - when you move his legs the upper pair slide into the groin like pistons and the lower pair slide along a groove on the thigh. While they don't actually serve as support or aid in movement, the visual effect is that they've part of his hip joint's workings.

   There's quite a bit of play value without anything terribly gimmicky here. I've already covered the mech alive struts. The claws are actually two long blades per side - something like Wolverine - which open together thanks to internal gearing. As you lift the front one up, the back one moves away from you. The rear wheels sit at the base, resembling fulcrums. The poseability is good although he can be tricky to stand. The head is on a restricted ball joint while the waist is fixed. The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows have two hinges. His hands are fixed and are in a relaxed pose rather than fists, since he lacks a handheld weapon - and I have to say the weaponry here is very well integrated, since it's formed from the car doors. His hips are ball joints while the knees and ankles are hinged. There's another set of struts at the back of the knee joint which push into the thighs like pistons when you bend the knees. The front wheels are actually underneath his feet, which is what makes standing Sideswipe up a little tricky. I'd strongly recommend using the silver heelplates as heelspurs - folding them out and pivoting the feet up slightly. While he'll still need care when standing, it gives you a much wider range of poses, and doesn't really impact on the look of Sideswipe's feet.

   While the name use is fairly arbitrary, the weapons are a clever idea, the colours work, the sculpt and bodyshape are good with the kibble handled quite well and the mech alive features are unobtrusive, cleverly designed and noticeably add something to this robot mode. His only real shortcoming is the awkward feet - and it is s significant flaw, since standing Sideswipe does take a little effort. On balance (excuse the pun!) it's still a good robot mode, since there are a ranges of poses available with a little work.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   An excellent vehicle mode with simple yet specific design elements and a good robot mode with great mech alive aspects and weaponry are enough to make Sideswipe work. The reliance on silver paint in vehicle mode is a potential pitfall, and the poorly designed feet _are_ a shortcoming, but there's more than enough in his positives to offset his problems. He has good play value in robot mode - he can stand, and looks great displayed in both modes, so I'd recommend Sideswipe if you like the movie toy aesthetic - 8/10

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