"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Slamdance Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Amazon, Autobot, Deluxe, Generation One, Generations, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: July 2019
Price Point: $49.99 (In a multi-pack with Sideswipe and Trenchfoot)
Retailer: Amazon Exclusive
Accessories: "JF-10 A2A Proton Missile Launcher", "W-10 Smokecloak Blaster"

Slamdance

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • Final Strike figure series collection: discover the 2-part final Strike series where 2 strike teams on opposite sides of the war for Cyber Tron clash in a single mission. Explore both sides through 2 exciting packs: this wfc-s26 3-pack and the wfc-s27 deception phantomstrike Squadron (sold separately, subject to availability).
  • Figure special edition pack: Autobot alphastrike counterforce pack includes slamdance, a G2 deco'd covert Clone Sideswipe, and a battle Masters figure. Part 1 of the final Strike figure series.
  • Complete the mission battle scene: line up this package with wfc-s27 deception phantomstrike Squadron (sold separately, subject to availability) to complete mission battle scene!
  • Customizable weapon load out: Includes 4 weapon accessories that can attach to figures in custom configurations and a fire blasts accessory to simulate battle effects!
  • Amazon exclusive: celebrate the War for Cyber Tron trilogy with this special edition wfc-s26 Autobot alphastrike counterforce 3-pack.

Skyward and the Deception phantomstrike Squadron have been attacking key Autobot positions, launching quick strike surprise attacks. The Autobus alphastrike counterforce: slamdance, a Clone of Sideswipe built for covert operations, and trenchfoot -- must analyze deception attack patterns, anticipate the next target, and counterstrike. This Autobot alphastrike counterforce pack includes 3 figures: deluxe slamdance, a G2 deco'd deluxe covert Clone Sideswipe, and a battle Masters figure, trenchfoot.

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In 1988, a pair of "cassette" Transformers were released: Grand Slam and Raindance. This pair was unique among the Autobot cassettes (outside of Japan) in that the two figures could combine into a single robot. These characters return to the Transformers toy line via the "Autobot Alphastrike Counterforce" boxed set. Included in this set are "Clone" Sideswipe, Battlemaster Trenchfoot and the pair of Grand Slam and Raindance. In a particularly creative choice, Grand Slam and Raindance are redecos of the Skytread figure so once again Grand Slam is a tank and Raindance is an aerial vehicle that combine into one robot: Slamdance!

Packaging:
Once upon a time boxed set of redecos were the provenance of special events such as Botcon. However, Hasbro has really ramped things up with the packaging for these exclusive sets. Instead of a window box, this box has artwork that wraps around to one side. The art features all three (or four depending on how you look at it) characters in the box in the middle of a battle scene on Cybertron. The beauty of this artwork is that it is intended to connect to the artwork on the boxed set that includes Skywarp! You can actually see the combined art here. The rest of the packaging includes traditional packaging elements such as the vertical "Transformers" logo and the "Siege" logo towards the bottom.

The back of the packaging uses many of the same design elements as the rest of the Siege toyline including a blue background with a honeycomb pattern and metallic looking borders. The name of the boxed set is the "Autobot Alphastrike Counterforce" set, but early solicitations referred to it as the "Firestormers" set, a reference to a team of Autobots in the first issue of the Generation 2 comic book. Each character is listed separately. Sideswipe (named "Covert Clone" here) is said to have a 16 step transformation. Trenchfoot has 5 steps and Slamdance has 6 and 11 for Grand Slam and Raindance respectively. The corner has a cosell of the Decepticon Phantomstrike Squadron. Overall this packaging is beautiful and I appreciate the obvious care that went into it.

Accessories:
Slamdance includes the same two accessories as Skytread. However both are fully painted silver. While they are the same basic sculpts, the names of the weapons have changed to the "JF-10 A2A Proton Missile Launcher" and the "W-10 Smokecloak Blaster". The "Proton Missile Launcher" is a reference to the missile launchers that were included with Generation One Raindance. The "Smokecloak" is a reference to the "Smoke Discharger" weapon included with G1 Grand Slam. I really appreciate the callback to the weapons. Someone definitely did their research!

Robot Mode:
Before I dive into this portion of Slamdance's review, I need to start with a warning. When this figure was first released, many copies of this figure showed a significant breakage issue with the left ankle. Some fans found the foot broken right out of the package. Others wound up breaking that angle just from transforming it. If you are going to open this set, I recommend checking it as soon as you receive it so you know whether or not you require an exchange or refund with Amazon (or whichever vendor you purchased it form). If you receive yours intact, be very gentle with the ankle. If it is super tight, loosening the joint's screw from the inside of each foot should help with this issue.

Alright, so let's say you have a nice, safe and intact Slamdance. I have to say that the use of the Skytread sculpt for this character is brilliant. The original Slamdance was made up of a tank and jet who combined into one robot. This set is a tank and jet that combines into a robot. Now, each of the character loses their other transformation (both could transform into cassettes in G1) but really, that is not a huge loss here (especially with the continued and conspicuous absence of a Blaster in the Siege line). Of course, neither vehicle mode is a "perfect" interpretation of the vehicles form G1, but they totally work from a thematic standpoint.

Much like the Botcon exclusives of the past, this figure has a whole new head sculpt! The head is based on G1 Slamdance's head. It features a central crest on top, visor eyes and distinctive panels on the sides of the head. The sculpt is fantastic and a very pleasant surprise.

The top part of the figure is mostly blue and silver plastic. These were the key colors of G1 Raindance and they look great here. There are a bunch of red and silver details providing details on the arms and torso. The cockpit is painted black with a large Autobot symbol on top. The head is painted red with silver on the crest and yellow eyes to match G1 Slamdance's head. Meanwhile, the lower part of the body is mostly red plastic with silver painted on the middle and on the treads. See, G1 Slamdance had red on top and blue on the bottom but the way the colors work out in this figure the colors are reversed. Again, while he is not a perfect update of G1 Slamdance, he still manages to work as a cool homage to the original character.

There are eighteen points of articulation in this form including four in each arm and five in each leg. He has a 5mm port on the back for either weapon storage or to attach weapons that can go over his shoulders. On top of that, each arm has two 5mm ports on the sides and he can hold a weapon in each fist. Need to give Slamdance more weapons? Good news! He also has a 5mm port on the side of each lower leg and on the bottom of his feet. That's a lot of potential "Siege" style play value packed into one figure.

The other aspect of "Siege" figures are the "Blast Effects" included with Battle Master figures. On this figure you'll find attachment points for this next to each shoulder and on the right forearm.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Holding the top and bottom halves of the robot, pull to separate them.
  4. On the top half, swing the jet cockpit up over the robot head.
  5. Swing the mid-connection piece back.
  6. Swing each fist in.
  7. Swing each arm in under the jet.
  8. Be sure to rotate the forearms around so they can tab into the underside of the jet.
  9. Push the forearms down.
  10. Weapons can be attached to the wings or the section under the cockpit.
  11. On the legs, swing open each front panel on the lower legs.
  12. Point the feet down.
  13. Push the feet together.
  14. Swing the hip section forward.
  15. Close the panels from the legs.
  16. Attach the tank barrel to the 5mm port in the middle.

Vehicle Modes:
Like G1 Slamdance there are two vehicle modes. The first is Grand Slam, the tank. There are no obvious mold changes to this tank. However, I will say that I do not have the issues clipping the panels on the top of this tank the way I did with Skytread's tank form. That said, the central cannon still does not attach perfectly in the middle. Instead, the clearance is off, so it still tilts down slightly. It's not the worst thing in the world, but it is a shame this was not fixed with this release. This form is mostly red plastic with a bit of blue peeking through in the middle. Thanks to his tank turret and treads they are painted silver. It is a simple color scheme, but it matches up nicely with G1 Grand Slam.

The second vehicle is Raindance, the jet. There are no mold changes to this form (aside from the now hidden Slamdance head of course). Raindance mostly shows off blue plastic in this form but he has a ton of deco on him! Red is used for the edges of his wings and stabilizer fins. Silver is used for various details including the air intakes and the edges of the cockpit. I love the deco on this vehicle. It looks spectacular.

There are five 5mm ports on the bottom of the figure. Two under the wings, two towards the center and one under the cockpit. Want to attach even more weaponry? There is one additional port on the top of the jet.

Aside from the central 5mm port, Grand Slam has four 5mm ports on this vehicle. Two flank the cannon while the other two are on the sides.

Final Thoughts:
Despite the issues with Grand Slam's cannon pointing downward slightly I really love this figure. The clever use of Skytread for Slamdance really feels like something that we would have seen at Botcon if the convention were still running. I love the deco on the figure and kudos to the designers for sculpting a new head. Overall I really love this set. Every figure looks great and the packaging is beautiful. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Fun thematic callback to G1 Slamdance.
  • Great deco.
  • Good play value.

Cons:

  • The tank cannon issue really should have been fixed for this release.
  • The breakage of Slamdance's ankle is a sign of bad quality control. Fortunately not all the Slamdance figures have this issue.