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

Back on Cybertron, Sideways was a simple courier who avoided combat at all costs. He tried to always remain in the shadow of larger Decepticons, where the Autobots might not notice him. On Earth, he's keeping much the same practice. He teamed up with Demolishor early on, and hopes that if the Autobots find them, the big Constructicon can keep him safe.

Robot Mode: Sideways unites two rather common Transformers trends in his robot mode. Number one being that he's a hood-as-chest car Transformer, the other being that most of his alternate mode (pretty much everything but the hood) folds up into a huge rucksack. If that wasn't enough, he adheres to yet another trend, that being the one where ROTF Transformers need to have strange legs. Sideways' legs are very thin and end in tiny little toes with wheels serving as heels. He's not as unstable as other ROTF toys I could mention, but he doesn't have the most solid stance ever, either.

Sideways' arms are a pretty strange lot as well. He has a wheel on his left arm, but it's a fake and not part of his alternate mode. There is a tiny buzzsaw on his right arm, which comprises his only visible weapon. Apparently Sideways was the victim of early budget cuts, as his buzzsaw was originally intended to spin via a lever, but the lever is now just sculpted into his forearm.

I like Sideways' head, the sculpt looks nice and evil, but the positioning is a bit strange, as it's on a panel that pretty much just lies there on top of his car hood, not fixed in place. Overall Sideways is a rather loose collection of parts, especially his rucksack. So all in all I can't really say a lot of positive things about this robot mode. Not the worst in the ROTF line-up, but far from the best, either.

Alternate Mode: Sideways transforms into a vehicle that looks very much like an Audi R8, but lacks the appropriate signs as it's not a licensed vehicle. It was an Audi R8 that was used in the movie to represent Sideways, though, so we can safely assume this is meant to be an Audi, too. This here is actually Sideways' better mode, as the car looks very nice, everything fits together nicely, and there are no robot bits visible anywhere. The car is nicely detailed, especially the tires, and it has a nice, big Decepticon logo on the trunk. For some reason I really like that. The car also has transparent windows, but all you see is parts behind them. None of them are recognisable as robot bits, though, so no points deduction here. All in all I like Sideways car mode a lot better than his robot mode, and not just because he's the first Transformer to turn into a German car (or approximation thereof) in a good long while.

Remarks: Sideways might just have the most unspectacular appearance in the Revenge of the Fallen movie, at least among the named characters, which is especially disappointing considering the hype he caused initially. He featured prominently in the first trailers and speculation abounded, many people thinking him the new version of Barricade. Turned out, though, that he wasn't Barricade and the trailers showed pretty much everything there was to see of him in the movie.

Well, everything except his death scene. He kept driving straight ahead while first being shot at (ineffectively) by Arcee and then being shot and sliced in two (very effectively) by Sideswipe, all without ever fighting back. That, and he was only in robot mode for about three seconds during the crash-through-the-building scene, so basically we saw nothing but shadows and debris. Rumor goes that there was supposed to be a longer scene with him fighting Sideswipe, but apparently that was cut in favor of more scenes of dogs humping dogs and Sam's mom tackling people while under the PCP-like influence of a pot brownie.

As a toy Sideways is a mixed blessing. A great-looking car mode, paired with a robot mode that shows some nice details, but disappoints overall. Since I'm the kind of guy who puts greater emphasis on the robot mode, this makes him rather unspectacular to me. I bought him as part of the first wave of ROTF toys available here in Germany, but it took me months to work up the enthusiasm to actually review him. There are still a lot of him on the shelves here in Germany as I write this review and there's a reason for that. So unless you're really into Audi cars, you might want to save your money for better toys. One final side note, though: Apparently there were two versions of Sideways available initially, this one here and another with darker silver parts. Can't remember seeing the latter one here in Germany, though.

Rating: D+


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