Series: Revenge of the Fallen 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.
: I canít think of any other figure I own that is this posable, this dynamic, and as downright cool as this one. Forget everything Iíve 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 havenít found any differences worth mentioning yet. Only the feet were changed a bit for stability reasons. On-screen Sideswipe didnít 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 donít share the view that the designers simply didnít know what to do with all those parts. The rucksack almost seems like a jet pack, definitely cool.
Sideswipeís 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 canít twist the upper arms towards the body, so itís 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 theyíre the blades, which you can position backward or forward in preparation for battle. The two halves are connected via a cog mechanism, so theyíre 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 donít impede the posability much, either.
Sideswipe is yet another Ďtoe-walkerí, a configuration weíve seen quite a few times now in the Movieíverse. It means he has Ďdouble kneesí 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 donít really need it (I like the sword-mechanism a lot better) but it gives further appeal to this figure, which canít 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 doesnít make it really easy, though, to get him into a standing pose. Itís 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 isnít much of an issue. Still, Iíd 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 ďdonít just leave me standing here, Iím built for movement!Ē Itís 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 canít give the robot mode a straight A, though. The thing with the feet isnít a critical factor for the figure, but it does require a bit of fiddling and I just know itíll start bugging me as time goes by.
I canít really write all that much here. The Movie figures donít usually put much of an emphasis on gimmicks in vehicle mode. Personally I like that. Cars with big cannons on top or unfolding parts arenít my thing. Sideswipe transforms into a silver Corvette Concept Prototype Stingray Continental, a car that doesnít 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 itís good that thereís something there. The tires have sculpted profiles and nice ďFELGENĒ with tiny, visible screws.
The side mirrors are very slim and could potentially break off, but thankfully theyíre 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 donít fold in entirely into the carís body, but rather scrape over the ground. Not good for the finish in the long run.
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 donít particularly like to stay there. Too bad, because the figure is pretty cool otherwise, but the transformation does make me worry a bit. Wonít influence the final rating much, though, since the problems really only concern the doors.
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 donít write a review until Iíve 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 ďMy God, what a cool action figure!Ē Sideswipe doesnít 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. Iíd 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-