Cliffbee.com: Convention Sideswipe Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Sideswipe
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Lamborghini Diablo



DIABLO MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 12cm Width: 7cm

   A red Diablo with black bumpers, grey engine cover and tinted transparent windows. This is a _very_ realistic car mode. The proportions are good, the wheels are silver, the tyres are rubber, he has front indicators painted on the front _and_ sides, transparent red taillights, two sets of twin exhausts at the back and rear vision mirrors. Heck, this toy has _seats_ moulded into the undersides of the robot feet inside the cabin!

   The red is only really broken by car-realistic paint applications as described above, and a painted Autobot symbol on the hood. There's not really any robot kibble from above, there's mechanical bits on the underside, the robot head is visible under the engine section. The only break in the realism is the small block on the roof which doesn't need to be there, which is the attachment point for RiD Prowl's siren. There's a section at the rear of the roof which is actually a red sticker over white plastic - the plastic here is unpaintable (thanks to Fit For Natalie for this info).

   His spoiler has tips that fold up to reveal attachment points for his weapons. If you point them forward they become flamethrowers or missile launcher (with yellow flamey missiles), if you attach them backwards he's got rockets - in keeping with his G1 tech specs. He also rolls quite well on his wheels, but you've got to make sure the chestplate is folded up properly for this to work.

   Overall, this is an excellent car mode. In fact it's difficult to flaw - I can only really hold the small notch on his roof against this car mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the sides, lift up the roof. Fold up the front section, exposing the legs. Unfold the legs, slide the section to which they attach in, fold the front section up and the roof down again. Fold the chest down and push in, position the mufflers upwards or out to form chestguns (whichever you prefer). Spilt the rear section, fold the sides out to form the shoulderpads. Position the arms, as well as the shield on the left arm. Rotate the shins 180, swing down the feet and rotate forward. You can put his guns on his right forearm or attach them to the tips of his spoiler (ie on the shield) on his right arm.

   I've heard people call this mould a "shellformer", but it's more than just unfolding panels. Aside from that, this isn't a mould with panels hanging off it everywhere.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12cm Width: 14cm

   Wider than he is tall, Sideswipe's robot mode is red, white and black with transparent smokey plastic. Red still dominates, but he has white thighs & forearms, black feet & upper arms and a smokey torso. His head is black with a silver face and blue eyes, he has smokey and silver shoulderpads with yellow circles (to match the missiles, I assume). It's pretty faithful to the original Sideswipe toy's colours and it's a very good colour scheme in it's own right - better than the original colour scheme of RiD Prowl, in fact. He has a red chromed Autobot symbol on his chest, along with engine like bits - it's a great centrepiece.

   Lanky and poseable, Sideswipe does have some car kibble, but it all serves to enhance the aesthetic. The doors are hanging off his hips, but give his legs plenty of clearance. The shield attached to his right forearm is the engine cover & spoiler, and the shoulderpads are the rear fenders. The shoulderpads look cool, the hip pads the sides form look decent, the shield is nice, too. It'd be nicer if you had the option of detaching it, but it's attached with a metal post through it's joint. Still, the joint gives it meaning since he can do stuff with it, rather than just have it as kibble.

   This toy is really poseable. His head turns, he has ball joints at his shoulders, and swivels below his shoulderpads on his upper arms. He has two joints on each elbow giving full poseability, as well as the joint on the shield's attachment point as mentioned. His hips and knees are ball joints and his ankles have _two_ ball joints each! So yeah, this guy's pretty much a contortionist. He's reasonably top-heavy, since the car bits are almost entirely above his waist, so while you have to balance him, he has a wide range of poses available, and the twin ball joints in each ankle mean you can find a way to make him stand up in the vast majority of poses.

   The wide array of poses, the missile launchers, shield and chest guns give Swiper a _lot_ of play value in this mode. Add to this a good colour scheme and a great moulding and this is a good robot mode, hampered really only by minor balance issues and the fact the shield can't detach.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, being a one off run (as convention exclusives tend to be). A repaint of Mach Alert/RiD Prowl, based on a G1 character.

OVERALL

   This is a great recolour of a great toy, and a fitting reincarnation of a classic character. The mould is great in both modes, the colour scheme is excellent, there's play value, good display value and a coolness about the fact this is a limited edition toy. The few faults in this toy are minor. The only way I could see people seriously not liking this toy is due to aesthetic (and then it's a personal thing). If you can deal with the price you'll pay, 10/10

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