Sunday, 2 August 2015

Transformers RID 2015 Sideswipe Review

Transformers RID 2015 Sideswipe

I like the idea of the new RID TV show, much more than I like the actual show. It is not bad, and I love that they have produced a lighter, more fun show where most of the episodes are fairly self contained.
That is a very G1 approach, and I am glad they have gone that way for the kids.

But I am not big into the show, or the toyline. This is only my second figure from the line, with Takaras Nemesis Prime being the other, and neither has been great.

This review is only happening because I was so taken with the alt mode, as otherwise it was not planned.

So yeah, read on

Transformers RID 2015 Sideswipe

If I ever had to point to an alt mode that sold me on a toy - it would be this one. Sideswipes car mode may not echo a real life car but its angles and shapes are fantastic.

This car looks like it is designed to go fast, and it looks sleek, modern and powerful all in one lovely dollop of Red.

transformers robots in disguise warrior sideswipe car

Whilst it is not designed to resemble a particular car, there are very clearly elements borrowed from G1 Sideswipes Lamborghini Countach alt mode. The windows are a dead giveaway as they features that split window look.

Whilst the shape of the car is ostensibly different, it feels familiar and evokes that low, sharp look that the Countach made so famous.

There is not much weight to the figure, it is extremely light, but does not feel as small as a lot of modern deluxes. Then again, I have not compared it to any other deluxe so what do I know?

Transformers RID 2015 Sideswipe rear

The Red paint is also very G1 Sideswipe, but it creates a clash with the bulk of the toy that is molded in Red plastic. Why?
Because Hasbro have used different shades of Red - they don't match. The painted sections of the bonnet and side doors are a much lighter colour than the molded plastic which can be jarring but I cannot imagine kids caring.
Just us man children.

Japanese writing (I am assuming that is what it is) is painted on the side, and I honestly don't mind. It is neither like or dislike from me, but it is screen accurate so that is a thing.

There is an Autobot badge on the front, but is on a White sticker, surrounded by what appears to be a childs teething ring (it is actually some sort of scannable tomfoolery for the mobile game). It is a really bad look and not show accurate. On the back of the packaging, they actually show it without this circle and just the Autobot badge - it looks way better.

Normally I would just peel that sticker off and flick it in the direction of the bin, but Hasbro have molded a recessed circle onto the bonnet so it needs something to fill it.


Transformers Robots in disguise Sideswipe front

At this stage I love the car mode, but have a minor gripe with the sticker but so far it is all pretty positive.
But there is some more weird stuff going on that I need to mention. Okay, so the wheels, well the back wheels are pinned on, but the front wheels are those cheap clipped versions that Hasbro have been spraying all over the Combiner Wars line. No, I don't know why either.
Also, on the back of the car, where the backs of the feet clip together to form a sort of trunk,,there is a random hole that just seems daft. No need for it whatsoever and it looks silly.

The front wheels don't roll on mine, or at least very well, as they catch on the Black front bumper. It seems to sit slightly further back than it is designed to so scrapes the wheels.

Last thing, the clear windows. I am not a hater of clear windows, not sure why anyone would be, but on this toy it does not work. The problem is that you can see straight through them (as they are clear, ha) to surface below as not much of the bot sits underneath the windows.

Weird, weird and weirder.

Those grumbles are all pretty minor though, and the only reason I still own this toy and didn't just give it away is because of how much I love this car mode.

Which brings us too....

Transformers rid warrior Sideswipe

..the robot mode.

Transforming Sideswipe is not hard, but nor is it quite as simple as we have become accustomed to with the Combiner Wars figures.
Most of it is fairly straight forward, but I will give Hasbro props for the brilliant way in which the side panels of the car split in half and fold into the shoulders to give him his roguish collar.

That is pretty inspired stuff.

transformers robots in disguise warrior sideswipe

I have set the stage for this to all sound like I hate the robot mode, but I don't - it is just disappointing. I was not expecting magic, or the greatest deluxe of all time, but Sideswipe in RID is a pretty cool looking, dynamic character. This figure does not quite carry it off.

The upper torso looks great, and spot on to the character. There are couple of nice paint apps, and it is very impressive how they have managed to make a relatively clean looking 3D version of the animation model.

Sure the arms are covered by the windows, but so were TF Prime Wheeljacks, and that is still a heck of a toy.

Some interesting nods to the G1 character crop up here, with the wheel shoulders standing out strongly as echoing that design, and at a push you could claim the arm windows do too.

transformers robots in disguise warrior sideswipe head

Sideswipes head has his large quiff just lie on the cartoon but the face looks a bit gawpy when compared to the cartoon character. It is on a ball joint, so you can get a tiny bit of cocking head (chuckle) action going on.

But it is perfectly serviceable for a cheap deluxe figure.

Transformers RID 2015 Sideswipe sword

So what is the problem then? That honour is reserved for this ridiculous, annoying, farcical, clown feet. Not only are they huge, but they are not completely flat.

It kills any chance of sticking in him exciting action poses. I mean, you can get some out of him, maybe I am overreacting, but reminds of of Beast Hunters deluxe Smokescreens feet - that is not a good thing.

They just pull what is otherwise a decent figure down a little and if Hasbro had spent more time on the feet it could have been a really good deluxe.

His other big issue is that his shoulders don't lock well at all, and you will often find yourself moving them by mistake when trying to move any other part of the arm.

transformers robots in disguise warrior sideswipe articulation

He does come with one accessory and it is a plain Black sword. Whilst Hasbro may not have invested in paint apps for it, they did make it out of unusually hard plastic. Compared to the usual bendy, floppy blades we usually get - this is incredible.
It can store on his roof in car mode, but there is no where for it to go in bot mode other than his hands.

I feel a bit bad as I have largely moaned through this review, but I liked the car mode so much that it is a bit crushing that the duff feet have hampered my enjoyment of the robot mode so much.
Most people will not care about that like I do, but I want a Sideswipe figure to be able to live up to the dynamism of the TV show character.

However, I accept that this line is targeted at kids for all the reasons I stated about the TV show earlier on, and in that sense it does a great job.

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