Transformers Timelines Botcon 2011 Sideswipe Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Animated, Autobot, Botcon, Deluxe, Timelines

Timelines

General Information:
Release Date: June 2011
Price Point: $89 (Packaged with Toxitron)
Retailer: Botcon 2011 Exclusive (Limited to 1500 pieces)
Accessories: Missile launcher bow, Missiles x 2

Images:

BreakdownBotcon 2011 celebrated a Transformers series that many feel was too short lived. While still controversial, "Transformers Animated" remains a favorite among a significant portion of fandom, making it the perfect subject for Botcon 2011's boxed set. While the primary boxed set of exclusives focuses on the Stunticon gang, the souvenir packs mostly featured Autobots. One of these characters is Sideswipe, whose traditionally sleek form offered Fun Publications the opportunity to reuse the Rodimus sculpt that was also used to make Breakdown in the boxed set. It's quite an appropriate choice as in the distant past of Generation One, Sideswipe and Breakdown both had the same vehicle form.

This review will focus on the changes made to this sculpt for this release. Check out detailed review of Animated Rodimus in the "Transformers Animated" toy review section as well as Breakdown's toy review.

Vehicle Mode:
When choosing a color scheme for any redeco, the challenge is to create something that is shockingly distinctive from its predecessor. It's not enough to move a few shades over one color or another, you really have to do something different. In the case of Sideswipe, using his Generation One color scheme wouldn't have worked since his primary color was red, and so was G1 Hot Rod's. However, the character's rich history did afford us with an alternative: Sideswipe's Generation 2 color scheme.

For those readers unfamiliar, Generation 2 was an attempt to relaunch the Transformers toy line after it had fizzed out in the late 80's and early 90's. Generation 2's success can be debated, but during its run it did reintroduce a lot of characters from Generation One in new colors and forms. One of the first Generation 2 figures released was Sideswipe in a color scheme that inverted his traditional red and black colors, making black the primary color and red the secondary color. In addition the designers added white and neon green (as was the style of the line at the time) for some brightness.

It was in this color scheme that Fun Publications was able to find something very different from the other releases of this figure but also paid homage to the history of Transformers Botcon style. To that end, Sideswipe is cast in several of the colors mentioned above. Black, red and neon green plastic make up most of the vehicle mode. His windows and windshield are cast in clear plastic, allowing you to see the robot head inside peeking out. The spoiler is cast in neon green, which is very appropriate as the spoiler on G2 Sideswipe had green stickers on it. Just these base colors alone work together beautifully as a homage to G2 Sideswipe as well as being a very distinctive redeco of this sculpt. Of course, there's more to any redeco than just plastic colors!

Paint applications for Sideswipe are done in white, black, neon green, red and orange. As you would expect, the silver color is used on the sides of the wheels. The black color is used to paint over the parts of the windshield/window section that need to visually align with the black plastic on the vehicle. The white paint is used on the rear lights at the back of the vehicle. The front end takes details from the G2 Sideswipe figure and combines them with a series of paint applications to pay perfect homage to the source figure. The front has neon green headlights with red in between. This is analagous to the green headlights and red grille on G2 Sideswipe. In the middle, right in front of the engine piece is an orange shield like design that is a carry over from the G2 (and G1) versions of Sideswipe.

On the sides of the vehicle are symbols with a vertical line and a C shaped section next to it and a dot in the middle. No, these aren't meant to represent the Autobot Matrix. Instead, these represent the letter "S" in Cybertronix, the written language of the Transformers (a concept first named in "Beast Wars"). The letters are green and white in color, which also pay homage to the "SS" logos that were found on the doors of G2 Sideswipe. Overall, the colors on this guy are absolutely brilliant. I have a very nostalgic fondness for Generation 2, so for me this vehicle mode is a treat to see.

Like the robot itself, Sideswipe's bow weapon features black and neon green plastic. The missiles are cast in white, offering a relaly nice ontrast between the dark and light colors. The bow can attach to the top of the vehicle relatively well (though I still would have liked the tabs to be a bit longer, but that's not Fun Publication's fault). In a sense, this placement of the weapon is a bit of a homage too as G2 Sideswipe included a weapon that attached to the top of his vehicle mode!

There were no mold or sculpting changes that I can see made to this mode. That was saved for the robot mode!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Pull the sides of the vehicle from the middle to the back out to the sides.
  2. Swing out the robot hands.
  3. Holding the car upside down, you'll see the robot feet attached to the underside of the hood. Detach the feet and swing them down.
  4. Rotate the waist section around.
  5. On each leg, swing the exhaust piece up.
  6. Move the lower half of the lower leg out to the sides a bit to straighten out the legs.
  7. On the hood, flip the engine piece around to reveal the Autobot symbol.
  8. Swing the robot arms up to lock them into place.
  9. Raise the middle of the windshield piece.
  10. Swing the front wheels into the underside of the hood piece.
  11. Push the window piece back in place.
  12. Swing the piece with the spoiler up, rotate the spoiler around then fold down the piece the spoiler is attached to.

Robot Mode:
As I mentioned in the vehicle mode review, the traditional Sideswipe colors of red and black were swapped in terms of their prominance for G2 Sideswipe, and thus the same applies here. Most of Sideswipe's body is cast in black including his torso, upper arms, lower legs and feet. Smaller sections are cast in red such as his head, hands and the exhaust pipe details on the sides of his thighs. Another carry over color from G2 Sideswipe is white plastic, which appears here on his forearms, hip area and thighs. This isn't an exact match to G2 Sideswipe but it doesn't matter, it looks great. The white contrasts beautifully against both the red and black plastic. The spoiler is now on his back, adding a splash of neon green that reminds us of the G2 roots of this deco.

Most of the newly revealed paint details are on the head area and on the feet. The head has silver on the face with black filling in small details like his mouth. His eyes are painted light blue, matching the traditional Autobot eye color. The collar at the base of his neck is painted white, giving some color continuity with the white plastic and the white paint on his shoulders. Red paint is found at the base of his feet, which differs quite a bit from G2 Sideswipe but looks great all the same.

Sideswipe's head is a new tool, not a redeco of Rodimus'. The head sculpt is a mash up of Decepticon Breakdown and Sideswipe. The most prominant section of the head is the "helmet" area that surrounds the face, and it is this area that most resembles Sideswipe from the discs on either side of the head to the part that sticks out a bit over his face on top. These are both details carried over from G1/G2 Sideswipe's head design and it looks fantastic.

All of Sideswipe's joints are tight, but for some reason the right arm on mine pops out rather easily at the ball joint. It snaps right back in, but I had to do that twice during the course of transforming the figure. Once transformed however, the arm moves just fine. Go figure.

Final Thoughts:
As I mentioned above, I'm a fan of the G2 era of Transformers, and I'm a fan of this sculpt. Indeed, were it not for the "arm popping off" thing, I'd give this a highly recommended rating. However, I'd still say if you're an Animated fan and you're hardcore enough to hunt this down at secondary market prices, it's well worth the effort. Recommended!