Series: Robots in Disguise
Alternate Mode: Motorbike
Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Sideways for this review
Height: 7cm Length: 12cm Width: 2.5cm
A slim cadmium yellow and black motorbike, Sideways has black tyres and silver painted wheels complete with three spokes each and brake discs. He is a repaint of G2's Road Rocket, with a very different colour map. Sideways features a colourless transparent windshield and headlight while his exhaust pipe and drive mechanism detail on the left side are silver while he sports black handlebars (remoulded, there are no brake levers). Rounding out the colour scheme is a red stamped Autobot logo on the front fender. It's a decent colour scheme which reminds me of a yellow jacket wasp, and it certainly catches the eye. I'm also glad that this repaint avoids the garish bright yellows so common amongst Hasbro's repaints - the cadmium yellow looks really good.
This is a pretty detailed bike for its size. The drive mechanism, engine detail, brake levers and brake discs are all impressive. The tyres have tread and the discs don't spin when the wheels turn which is impressive. There's a wire sticking out just behind the front wheel and a colourless buzzsaw next to the rear wheel - both on the left side - and these are the only aspects that are unrealistic. Both directly relate to the Laser Rod gimmick, though, and neither are obtrusive.
To activate the laser gimmick, you press silver button on the handlebar. It's not hard to activate but it's subtle despite being silver against a black saddle. It'll cause an LED to light up the buzzsaw, and the shape of the buzzsaw allows for sufficient refraction to make the whole thing light up red. Adding to the impressive Laser Rod gimmick are the spinning wheels and the kickstand which allows Sideways to stand easily. The front wheel cannot turn from side to side but this is a bike that would lean heavily into corners anyway. I'm quite happy with the play value here - the laser gimmick is quite effective and Sideways is pretty good compared to most Transformers bikes up till RiD.
This is a very well executed bike mode with very little getting in the way of the bike itself. The aposematic colours are striking and provide something different compared to Road Rocket. The realism and attention to detail is somewhat atypical of a G2 mould, while the laser gimmick is effective and unobtrusive.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Detach the LED section and allow it to hang by the wire. Pull down on the front wheel to loosen the front, then twist the wheel base through 90° (front wheel to the right, rear to the left). Flip up the torso, fold down the right arm and lift up the left forearm (which conceals the head), and bring the left arm to the side. Rotate his waist, extend and split the legs and flip up the feet. Attach the laser block either onto the outside of the right forearm or into the hole in either hand (the outside attachment is fare mor elegant). Fold down the waistplate and you're done.
Height: 10.5cm Width: 11cm
Again an aposematic combination of yellow and black, Sideways looks fairly evil now, since he's mainly black with yellow on his chest and forearms. His groin is silver along with the wheels sitting on the outside of his arms. The head is black with colourless eyes and an effective lightpipe. This is a good colour scheme and the layout is clever. The asymmetry of the robot mode isn't part of the colour scheme. I do wish there was an Autobot logo visible here - he really does feel like he should be a Decepticon, and needs the logo to dispel this.
There's a heavy bike theme here, thanks to a clever transformation we don't have too much bike getting in the way. The wheels are both out of the way on the shoulders, with both brake discs on the back (which is nice since they were on opposing sides of the bike). The saddle is now his shins and the snug backpack is the handlebar-windshield section of the bike. I have two main gripes about the bodyshape, however. My first complaint is the hollow left forearm, and while this is understandable since the head stows in there, it wouldn't have been too much to turn the block around with the hole at the back. It looks especially bad since they've now painted the forearm yellow but left the hole an unpainted black. His other shortcoming is _really_ short thighs, although this doesn't really bug me much, and is overshadowed by the gaping hole in his arm.
Sideways is quite poseable, as Laser Rods tend to be. Having said that much of his articulation is wasted for various reasons. The left shoulder, elbows, knees and hips are ball jointed while the head, waist and right shoulder turn. The arms are limited by the wire on the right and kickstand on the left while his small feet and top-heavy nature (with the wheels on either side) limit leg posing. Sideways does have heelspurs, but they don't move, so they're of some help but don't solve everything. Natural, relaxed poses work well but dynamic poses are pretty limited, sadly. Tiby's Sideways has loose knees which doesn't help matters.
The button on his handlebar is now on his back and still functional. The Laser Rod gimmick is equally effective here and the buzzsaw mounted on his forearm makes a great melee weapon. He doesn't really need a handheld weapon, and while Road Rocket's buzzsaw could plug into his hands, the layer of yellow pant on this toy takes the option away for Sideways - it was never a great option, mind you. The buzzsaw itself can detach if you want it to, although there's no real point to this. Sadly it pops out easily here (unlike the hard-to-remove buzzsaw on Road Rocket).
The colours and layout are quite good here and the weapon and LED gimmick work very well. The poseability has a lot of limitations and the buzzsaw is a little loose, but my main complaint here is the lazy and stupid decision to give him a gaping black hole on his left forearm. It's not a bad robot mode, but this is not the good repaint it should be.
None that I'm aware of. As mentioned he is a repaint of Road Rocket. The mould was again reused in Robotmasters for Road Rocket. Sold in a two pack with Axer.
With a great bike mode that's quite realistic and an appealing cadmium yellow based colour scheme, Sideways should be a really good repaint. The bike mode lives up to this promise but the poorly painted forearm and some loose elements really hurt the robot mode. It's not the best robot mode mouldwise, but it's still solid and this robot mode deserves to work better than it does. Worth getting if you don't have the mould, and he does come bundled with Axer, a very good toy - 6.5/10