Cliffbee.com: Sideswipe Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Sideswipe
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Lamborghini Countache



CAR MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 11cm Width: 5cm

   A classic red Countache, Sideswipe has clear windows and a black front bumper. He's also got black air intakes on the doors and a black panel on his roof. A Ferrari-style logo graces his bonnet. He has headlight & taillight stickers and a big Autobot sticker on the bonnet.

   A very nice car mode. The wheels are chrome, the tyres rubber, all the windows clear - there's even a windscreen wiper moulded onto the windscreen. One thing that toys like Sideswipe have over a lot of the more recent Transformer cars is that he _really_ looks like a model of the car he's meant to represent. The back half of the car, save for the spoiler, is die-cast metal.

   There's quite a lot of detail in the moulding. Sure, he's straight red, but as well as the wiper, he has indented air intakes, moulded head & taillights, engine canopy and boot seams. Inside the cockpit there's room for one driver - a Diaclone driver, of course. You can actually mistransform him so that his head is visible in this cavity!

   Play value is limited to rolling on his wheels, which is about as much as you can expect from a car mode, short of a pull-back motor. It doesn't have axles, and hence doesn't roll straight (or very far) unassisted. But Swiper looks that good that overall this is still a fantastic car mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull back the engine block, separate it into two halves to form the legs. fold down the front around 90 and then pull out the doors to form the arms. You can them completely fold down the front to become his chest, and swing out the head from under this front section. Swivel up his roof to form the backpack, position the arms, give him his weapons and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 7.5cm

   The red is joined by white and black in this mode, with the addition of chrome silver, black & more red. He's got a black head with a silver face, the New Years and TCS reissue have blue eyes, while the previous versions have silver eyes. The chest is red, being the front of the car. His arms are silver & red, with tyres on his shoulders and black hands. The waist is white, the groin black. His thighs are white, shins black, the sides of the lower legs are red and the feet silver.

   He's got some blue present on stickers on his forearms and feet. For what it's worth, the stickers in robot mode are metallic foil on the reissues and paper on the original. The factory-applied headlight stickers are paper on both reissues and originals. Foil wears less, but if it curls, you're in trouble. So I guess I'd go with foil, but not by much.

   From what I can see, there aren't too many mould changes between the original and reissues. On his shoulders, behind the wheels, there are two small protrusions on the reissue, which serve to lock in the front section in car mode. These were actually added to the mould for G2 Sideswipe. The other mould changes I've discovered tie in there, too. The missiles are not compatible with each other's launchers - which I discovered when trying to put original missiles into reissue the launcher (rather than remove the new ones from the sprew). Most likely because they had to re-do the mould for the missiles which were not used on G2 Swiper. The front of the launcher on the reissue is entirely chrome silver, while only the outer edge on the original is silver - the inner part black.

   The missile launcher itself is black, the trigger red and the missile white, with the front part being chrome silver as I've already mentioned. It shoots maybe a foot, which is pretty good for a Diaclone launcher, actually. The gun is white. The toy's poseability is limited to only the shoulders which can swivel 360, and his hinged elbows. But you can add the missile launcher to it's play value. At any rate, the strength of Swiper in this mode is his display value, as in car mode. Overall, a very good and well proportioned robot mode, with great display value. And he's very show accurate.

VARIATIONS

   Originally released in 1984, reissued in 1991 as a Classic in some markets, reissued in 2001 in limited numbers by Takara, with sticker medium changes and mould changes borrowed from the G2 version. The reissue was revisited in 2002 with a "New Year's" version, which was also limited numbers and was, as far as I've heard, just a sticker and packaging change. Reissued _again_ in 2003 in Takara's The Collectors Series.

   Sunstreaker, his "twin", is also a Countache, but is a different mould, with a different transformation.

   Redone in Generation 2 in black.

OVERALL

   A great toy. Attention to detail, realistic car mode, good colour scheme and quality of manufacturing (metal, clear windows) all work in Swiper's favour. While a lot of this is no different to other Diaclone based Transformers, he has less dragging him down than a lot of the others. Sideswipe has always been one of my favourite Transformers, since he's got a lot of strong points and nothing really dragging him down. 9.5/10 losing half a point because there are a couple of more poseable toys from the same set. Definitely a toy I recommend

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