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Series: Revenge of the Fallen
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2009

Sideswipe was built to fight. He is sleek, fast, and accomplished in battle. Focusing on his enemies with absolute attention, his blades are a shining blur ashe leaps through the air, twisting to avoid enemy fire. Converting to his vehicle mode to drive at blazing speed, he uses every trick in the book to get close to his opponent, and put his powerful swords to work.

My Review:

Robot Mode: At first glance Sideswipe looks to be just another hood-as-chest car Transformer. But only at first glance. A second glance reveals that his chest is actually comprised of the rear of the car he transforms into. The brake lights are his nipples, so to speak. Which is a configuration I can't really remember seeing before, so Sideswipe gets points for originality already. Unfortunately, for me at least, most of Sideswipe's remaining car parts (hood, roof, windshield, etc.) fold together into a big backpack. He's almost a shell-former and while I'm not generally opposed to that concept, I would have liked for the various shell parts to not hang off his back in one big package.

The only other actual car parts that are not part of the backpack are the car doors, which become Sideswipe's swords. They are fixed to the wheels on his forearms and can deploy forward in a sort of scissor-movement. Very nicely done. No matter how it looks, by the way, the doors/swords are quite stable. The wheel they're attached to is separate, so spinning it does not affect the swords. Very nice.

The deailing work on Sideswipe is pretty awesome. He's got individually sculpted fingers and both his arms and legs are covered with sculpted details. I especially like the two struts that connect his thighs to his crotch. They don't hamper his posability any and just look pretty cool. In terms of looks there is no room for complaint here. The same goes for posability, where Sideswipe does an excellent job as well.

This figure does have one drawback, though: The feet. Sideswipe doesn't have feet as such, he has wheels. Which isn't a bad thing in itself, but other Transformers (i.e. Landmine) have had the whole wheels-as-feet thing, too, and still manage a solid stance. Sideswipe, though, has a bit of trouble remaining upright. He has to balance on the wheels and his 'toes', which are part of the car's front spoiler. It works, but only if you position the toes just right, which isn't the easiest thing in the world as they're on pretty tight joints. So some points deduction for that.

All in all I don't much mind the big backpack, but I'd have wished for better feet, for then this excellent robot would have gotten a straight A for the robot mode. As things stand (get the pun?) the feet drag him down some.

Alternate Mode: Sideswipe transforms into a sleek silver sports car. The exact model escapes me at the moment and I'm too lazy to look it up. I'm sure lots of TF fans can tell me which exact model this is. The first one to do so gets an honorable mention here. Moving on.

There isn't really that much I can write about the vehicle mode. It looks good and wholesome, offering no visible clues that there is a robot hidden inside. Sideswipe's joints behind the blue-tinted windshield somewhat look like inflated airbags a bit, just something that popped into my head. The car has a quadruple exhaust in the back a nice look overall, but there isn't really anything else you can do here. No gimmicks in vehicle mode, which I'm fine with btw. So bottom line: A good, solid, flawless vehicle mode.

Remarks: Sideswipe is among the Autobots who we know for sure will appear in the ROTF movie which is set to open two weeks from now, so as such he's probably more interesting to a lot of people than a no-show figure might be. He doesn't hold much of a resemblance to the original G1 Sideswipe, but few Movie-verse figures do, so that's not a point against him in my book. Not having seen the ROTF movie yet, I can't really say much about the role he'll play there. He was among the Autobots who joined Optimus Prime at the very end of the Alliance Prequel Comic series, so expect to see him in ROTF right from the start.

As far as the figure goes, Sideswipe is a pretty excellent figure and would probably have gotten a straight A from me if it weren't for his balance issues. Like I said above, other Transformers have done the wheels-as-feet thing before and pulled it off better than he does. So I need to deduct some points for that. So because I really like Sideswipe apart from the feet thing, I give him a well-deserved...

Rating: A-

PS: Thanks to Limewire I now know that Sideswipe's alternate mode is a Corvette Concept-Prototype Stingray Contintal. Many thanks to Limey.

Review by Sam:

Robot Mode: I can’t think of any other figure I own that is this posable, this dynamic, and as downright cool as this one. Forget everything I’ve written about other Deluxe figures so far. Sideswipe sets a new standard in terms of design, posability, look, and coolness. But one thing after another.

Look-wise this figure is a near-perfect translation of the on-screen character. I haven’t found any differences worth mentioning yet. Only the feet were changed a bit for stability reasons. On-screen Sideswipe didn’t have any toes or heels on which to balance himself. But apart from that, pretty much a 1:1 translation. The detailing is almost at Voyager-level and offers quite a few nice little features.

So what do we have here:

Sideswipe carries a pretty big rucksack, which consists of the entire front half, as well as the trunk lid, of the vehicle mode. His chest is formed from the rear of the car, which makes him look pretty bulky, but still agile. The rucksack looks pretty good to me and I don’t share the view that the designers simply didn’t know what to do with all those parts. The rucksack almost seems like a jet pack, definitely cool.

Sideswipe’s head is his bio text made plastic. Sleek and warrior-like. His broad chest and shoulders give Sideswipe a very masculine V-shape, which further underlines his warrior character.

The arms can take on any, and I do mean any, human pose. The hands can even join in front of the chest. Okay, the arms of other Transformers can do that, too, but in most cases they can’t twist the upper arms towards the body, so it’s only elbow movement. Here, though, it works. Also, Sideswipe has very nicely sculpted hands, which always looks good. The fist-with-a-hole time is pretty much over and Hasbro seems to have recognized that at last. Finally they’re the blades, which you can position backward or forward in preparation for battle. The two halves are connected via a cog mechanism, so they’re always positioned correctly in relation to each other.

The best parts of Sideswipe are his legs, though. The hip with the struts made from flexible plastic look absolutely fabulous and don’t impede the posability much, either.

Sideswipe is yet another ‘toe-walker’, a configuration we’ve seen quite a few times now in the Movie’verse. It means he has ‘double knees’ and legs positioned like those of a chicken. As a skater-bot, that fits him quite nicely. If you tug in the knees the hydraulic struts of the lower legs disappear into the thighs and activate the (rather unspectacular) Mech-Alive feature. The blue armor slides forward on the upper side of the knees. Okay, nice gimmick, but what else can I say about it? You don’t really need it (I like the sword-mechanism a lot better) but it gives further appeal to this figure, which can’t be a bad thing.

The feet are the main point of criticism on this figure. The middle parts are the front wheels of the car mode, giving Sideswipe his skater-option. This doesn’t make it really easy, though, to get him into a standing pose. It’s not impossible, but difficult. With a little practice, though, you can manage. You need to balance him using the toes and heels. These are on very tight joints, so stability isn’t much of an issue. Still, I’d have preferred a different solution here. Keeping in mind that this is an action figure, it needs to be capable of action. At least the designers added the possibility of balancing him to achieve that.

When posed, Sideswipe constantly seems to say “don’t just leave me standing here, I’m built for movement!” It’s almost a sacrilege to just stand him up and leave him like that. He wants to be moved, he needs action and the coolest poses imaginable. Fortunately he can pull most of them off. So no complaints here. To me, Sideswipe offers pretty much everything I expect from a 2009 Transformers figure.

I can’t give the robot mode a straight A, though. The thing with the feet isn’t a critical factor for the figure, but it does require a bit of fiddling and I just know it’ll start bugging me as time goes by.

Robot-Rating: A-

Alternate Mode: I can’t really write all that much here. The Movie figures don’t usually put much of an emphasis on gimmicks in vehicle mode. Personally I like that. Cars with big cannons on top or unfolding parts aren’t my thing. Sideswipe transforms into a silver Corvette Concept Prototype Stingray Continental, a car that doesn’t exist yet. And it looks really cool. Transparent windows, a very wholesome look, very sleek. Also, a lot of small details to discover.

I agree with Phil that the legs behind the windshields look kind of like airbags, or maybe the backs of seats. But it’s good that there’s something there. The tires have sculpted profiles and nice “FELGEN” with tiny, visible screws.

The side mirrors are very slim and could potentially break off, but thankfully they’re made from flexible plastic to prevent such an occurrence. Nice to see that they thought of that. It would have been unfortunate if a mistake during transformation would cause damage.

The only slight downside here is that the knees of the robot mode don’t fold in entirely into the car’s body, but rather scrape over the ground. Not good for the finish in the long run.

Vehicle-Rating: A-

Transformation: Generally it goes pretty well. I especially like the hooks keeping the halves of the hood together. But transforming the figure back into car mode is not all that easy. Especially the doors, which form the blades in robot mode, are hard to get back into the proper position and don’t particularly like to stay there. Too bad, because the figure is pretty cool otherwise, but the transformation does make me worry a bit. Won’t influence the final rating much, though, since the problems really only concern the doors.

Trans-Rating: B

Remarks: In the movie Sideswipe was portrayed as a hunter. He loved to track and hunt down Decepticons and appeared in the nick of time more than once. Sadly his screen time was rather short und most of his scenes were brawls and destruction. He still took me in, though.

Normally I don’t write a review until I’ve tried out the figure for at least a day, so that the initial euphoria can pass and I can write with a cool head. But I must admit I did it differently here. As I unpacked the figure and then transformed it I kept repeating something along the lines of “My God, what a cool action figure!” Sideswipe doesn’t take any getting used to. He takes you in upon first glance. Completely.

The figure is top notch and sets new standards for all Deluxe-class figures that will succeed him. His flaws are few and small. So all in all I can fully and honestly recommend Sideswipe to everyone. I’d even go so far as to say that movie fans not normally into action figures should get one to put on their shelves as a memory of an incredible cinematic experience. The style and posability are unparalleled in my opinion. Someone really put in a lot of effort here.

Final Rating: A-


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