"Generations" Fall of Cybertron Sideswipe Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: December 2012
Price Point: $14.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Path Blaster Cannon

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics are from the Official Transformers Web Site:
SIDESWIPE could have been a legend. Before the war, he was an up-and-comer, sought after in half the racing circuits on CYBERTRON. But his reckless nature and win-at-all-costs attitude washed him out of every league he joined. He’s in with the AUTOBOTS for a chance at redemption, and a chance to bring back the CYBERTRON he remembers.

Convert, arm and attack with all the TRANSFORMERS action you can handle! This SIDESWIPE figure is just the AUTOBOT to create all kinds of trouble for his DECEPTICON enemies (other figures sold separately). In Cybertronian racer mode, your SIDESWIPE figure has the speed he needs to outrace the enemy. Whether he’s in robot mode or jet fighter mode, his extending battle cannon will make his enemies think twice before taking him on!

Awesome SIDESWIPE figure converts from Cybertronian racer mode to robot mode and back! Extending battle cannon! Figure comes with accessory. Series 01 #011 SIDESWIPE Ages 5 and up.

Sideswipe2012's big "Transformers" multimedia event was not a movie, but rather a video game. Following up on the success of "War for Cybertron", High Moon Studios was due to release "Fall of Cybertron" in August of 2012 so a large portion of the "Generations" toy line became dedicated to characters and designs from the game itself. While he wasn't a playable character in the "Fall of Cybertron" campaign mode, Sideswipe's parts were available as part of the multi-player section of the game. He does feature prominently in one scene where you help Jazz and Cliffjumper investigate the disappearance of Grimlock and his team. This figure is meant to represent Sideswipe as he appeared in the game.

Sideswipe is an extensive retooling and redeco of the "Fall of Cybertron" Autobot Jazz figure. It is worth checking out that review, but this review will be fairly thorough since so much has changed with the figure.

Robot Mode:
Right off the bat, if you put Jazz next to Sideswipe you'll see many differences. Let's get right into them shall we?

The head sculpt is a new one, based on Sideswipe's G1 head design complete with a crest in the center, small horns on the top of the head and circles on the sides of the helmet portion.
The chest panel is completely different. It now features a curved design with two points at the end, based on the CG model used in the game.
The panel that forms the back has also been changed, featuring a mini-spoiler at the end with two points, mirroring the design of the chest piece.
Jazz's tiny blaster has now been replaced with a gigantic cannon based on the design of the "Path Blaster" from the "War for Cybertron" game. This design features a large cannon attached to a base with a cylinder on it. The cannon's barrel can be pushed in to compress the weapon, mimicking the transformation ability of weapons in the video game.

A lot of the older parts have been kept intact however. The arms, legs and waist section are all the same sculpt as Jazz. Taken as a whole however, Sideswipe looks very much like a distinct character and not "Jazz in other colors".

Sideswipe is mostly cast in red plastic, with some dark grey and gunmetal parts for color balance. The red makes up parts including the chest, back, arms and legs. The dark grey is found on parts like his head and feet. The gunmetal is a bit less obvious, but you'll see it on the piece the head is connected to as well as his shoulders. The Path Blaster is cast in grey plastic. These base colors are classic Sideswipe colors and they look great together.

The designers made very effective use of paint deco to help this figure shine. Silver, white and red are the colors used, and like his plastic colors these are classic Sideswipe. Silver is used to paint the face (but the eyes have been left unpainted which gives them a creepy looking quality) and it's also found on the chest where it paints an angled pattern similar to what the character has in the game. A silver Autobot symbol is also painted onto the center of the chest. Some silver is also used on his forearms and lower legs, again reflecting details based on the CG model from the game. White is used extensively on the thighs, which is reminscent of his G1 appearance even if it's not totally "game accurate". It also helps to distinguish his design from Jazz's even though they share the same leg sculpts. Finally, both red and silver are used to paint details on his weapon, which helps solidify the visual association between the figure and the weapon itself.

Sideswipe's joints aren't super tight, but they're not loose either. He is able to pose without a problem and much to my surprise, he can hold up the Path Blaster without his arm flopping all over the place. It is a relatively large weapon compared to what most figures are coming with nowadays so I'm glad to see my initial fears were not realized. Sideswipe has four connection points for 5mm peg weapons, all in the arms. He can either hold weapons in his fists or he can attach them to the sides of his forearms. The Path Blaster itself has a barrel that can extend or push in to create a shorter weapon. It features a peg at the back and another at the side, allowing different ways of holding the weapon.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the blaster if attached.
  2. Straighten out the robot arms.
  3. Rotate the forearms around.
  4. Pull the chest piece down, then swing the upper body (arms and all) up so it's flat.
  5. Swing the robot arms back on the panels that attach them to the main body via a hinge.
  6. Connect the forearms to the panels, a small tab on the forearms goes on top of these panels.
  7. Swing the arm sections back, connecting them to the main body of the vehicle using the tabs on the sides.
  8. Swing each robot fist in to form the rear of the vehicle.
  9. The weapon can be attached to the hole on the top of the vehicle or the ones on the sides.

Since many of the panels replaced in robot mode wind up becoming a majority of the "shell" in vehicle mode, the result is a very different looking vehicle from Jazz. Instead of a curved front end and spoiler, Sideswipe sports two points in the front on either side with a smaller one in the center. The rear section has a spoiler with two points curving back. In between are stripe and window designs distinct to Sideswipe. Overall, this looks almost like a completely new vehicle. The only obvious and unchanged parts are the wheels, which use the same design as Jazz. The vehicle mode looks awesome and it matches up very nicely with the CG model from the game. In particular I appreciate the use of the "racing stripes" starting at the back of the figure and going all the way to the front. They're not just painted there but also sculpted in as well.

The same colors used in robot mode are found here, but white dominates this time out, making up a majority of the racing stripes on the back going to the front. The very back and front of the vehicle both feature silver decos. The front decos were seen in robot mode, but the back ones are distinct to the vehicle form. Grey paint has been used for the mechanical details on the sides as well as the pattern of raised details on the spoiler section. The wheels have been painted with red outlines, just like Jazz's design while the windows on the sides have been painted black. Overall, these are all distinct Sideswipe colors that pay proper homage to the original Generation One version of the character while matching up nicely with the game's vehicle mode CG model.

The Path Blaster can attach to the top or sides of the vehicle, however it also features one more connection point. At the back of the blaster is a curved hook design with a notch. This can attach to an opening at the back of the vehicle under the spoiler, allowing the weapon to attach to the vehicle without obscuring most of its design. It also allows the weapon to sit at an angle on the vehicle rather than pointing straight ahead. I'm not sure if this was entirely by design as the fit is very tight (though the plastic shows no sign of stress after doing it a few times). I just wanted to provide a heads up on this feature as an alternative placement of the weapon.

Final Thoughts:
Sideswipe is a fantastic figure. While I liked Jazz, I wasn't jumping up and down to recommend him. Sideswipe on the other hand is a must have for your "Fall of Cybertron" collection. His design, colors and weapon all make it worth it. Highly recommended!

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