Series: War for Cybertron: Siege
Recently I’ve begun most of my reviews with a funny or informative (both when possible) intro text of some kind or other. In case of Siege Sideswipe, though, I can’t really think of anything. So instead I’ll relate the tale of my niece’s very expensive Christmas gift, an interactive doll, breaking down a mere two days later, which led to my brother-in-law and me making an emergency run to our local Toys R’Us. We managed to snatch the next-to-last of those same dolls and the day was saved. So with that feeling of triumph and having discovered a soon-to-expire discount voucher in my pocket, I ended up treating myself to Siege Sideswipe, despite having skipped him the first time around. Here’s why I should have kept things that way.
Let me start this portion here by saying that there is nothing inherently bad about this Sideswipe robot. He’s a decent Deluxe-class figure with no major problems and upholds many of the quality standards we have seen in the other figures of the Siege toy line. He is very nicely articulated, including tilting ankles, twisting wrists, the works. He comes with numerous 5mm ports to attach additional weaponry. At first glance he is yet another excellent Deluxe-class figure from a very good toy line.
At second glance, though, there are a few issues. No major ones, mind you, but quite a few. One, Sideswipe has that nipple on his chest, which is there so you can attach a blasting effect from one of the Battlemasters. The problem is, it’s too small, the blasting effects simply fall off. Second, the 5mm holes on his arms are slightly too large, so any weapons put in there are very, very wobbly. Third, he has the dreaded battle damage detailing. Much like Hound he only has it in two spots that look like metal, making for a very nice worn metal look. It makes sense on the shins and feet. But he also has it across his entire hip plate, which just seems… weird. Were the Decepticons deliberately aiming for his waistline during battle?
Sideswipe comes with two weapons, a black launcher for his shoulder and a red gun for his hand. Like all Siege weapons these can also combine, but by God, they are the most boring weapons in the Siege toy line yet, be it combined or separate. On top of all that is the fact that Sideswipe is simply yet another hood-as-chest car-Transformer the likes of which we’ve seen hundreds of. Which isn’t bad, mind you, but nothing to brag about, either. So bottom line for the robot mode: boring. Sideswipe would have needed SOMETHING here to offset his few minor issues, but he doesn’t.
Let’s face it, very few of the supposed “Cybertronian” vehicle modes in the Siege toy line actually look the part. Most of them look like Earth vehicles with a very, very slight twist to make them look somewhat futuristic and/or alien. And then there is Sideswipe, who doesn’t even make the effort to look like anything but an expensive Italian sports car. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a very nice-looking Italian sports car. Streamlined, great look, no visible robot parts, ports to attach weapons, it works just fine. But much like in robot mode, there is nothing to impress here. Just another Transformers robot that transforms into a nice-looking sports car. Not bad, but not in any way memorable, either.
Sideswipe has been a common name in Transformers ever since he was part of the original G1 Ark crew. He’s been present in pretty much every G1-based media and toy line and the name (and red sports car altmode) was used for one of the main characters in Robots in Disguise (2015), too. Thing is, for all that Sideswipe (the G1 version) has been around for so long, he’s never really been more than just another Autobot warrior. We’ll see if that changes anytime soon, but I’m not holding my breath.
The thing about Sideswipe (the Siege figure) is not that he is a bad toy, far from it. It’s more that there is really nothing about him that impresses, either. Sure, he is well-articulated. So are all the other Siege figures. He can wield lots of weapons. So can all the other Siege figures. Plus there are the other things like a clearly non-Cybertronian vehicle mode, the very boring weapons, the strangely applied battle damage, and his single nipple that can’t hold a blasting effect. None of it is big, but it adds up. At the end of the day Sideswipe feels like he is simply there to fill a quota, like Hasbro needed another Deluxe-class figure to fill out the first wave of Siege figures and picked Sideswipe’s name out of a hat with very little love or attention to detail going into the toy. Again, he’s not bad, but compared to almost everything else the Siege line has shown us so far, he is simply unremarkable. I’ll definitely skip the Red Alert repaint. Recommended to Sideswipe fans and Siege completists only.
Tags: - Autobot - Car - Hasbro - Sideswipe (G1) - War for Cybertron: Siege