Sideswipe (Transformers)

Sideswipe (Transformers) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the original toyline Sideswipe was a Lamborghini Countach. Originally Hasbro & Takara couldn’t get that license for Tracks’ actual vehicle mode so they opted for something close, the Dodge Viper, model SRT-10 according to the instructions for his Japanese counterpart, Lambor (which kind of messes up his name in Japan). Then they were able to get a license and just shoved Sideswipe into this car, which would later be retooled for his brother Sunstreaker and the Decepticon Dead End. Also for some reason the name is written as two words, “Side Swipe”. I’m guessing that’s a license issue too. Sideswipe is one of the first group of Autobots so it makes sense that he would get a toy, although how one from the second group got one first I couldn’t tell you. Oddly this is the second Alternators figure released, and you’d think that considering how long they had to take in order to get such intricate figures out there they would start with the more popular characters first. Instead Alternators went backwards.

I also did something different with the photos. Instead of the photo box I opted to use those Block City toys to build a sort of warehouse inspired backdrop. I was inspired by some toy review videos who use “chain base” backgrounds but I can’t afford that and I can build things of my own. This is sort of a prototype design, not the final version, so advice is welcome. I think I need a more stable base so I don’t get the huge cracks when putting it together, so that one I noticed. I also want a second set of windows in the next design. With that, let’s get on with the review.

He’s hiding in Jay Leno’s garage.

Side Swipe’s vehicle mode is easily the best part of the figure. He appears to be a convertible (kind of fitting for a Transformer), with the top down. He has seating for two, and has more paint on the dashboard to show off the dials and stick shift. There is little indication that he transforms. He also has official Viper detailing where it would be on the actual SRT-10. There’s some nicely molded seats and the head and taillights are done with translucent plastic as they would be on an actual car. This time the Autobot symbol is out in the open, on the closed cover at the back of the car. Even the rear view mirrors on the sides are somewhat adjustable and have a reflective surface (although they’re too small to to be considered functional).

The engine is a bit loose in there sometimes but you can make it stay if you don’t jostle the toy too much.

Unfortunately the trunk doesn’t open this time. However he has opening doors and hood, revealing the engine. The car rolls okay provided the back arms are transformed correctly.

It took me days to realize this was in here.

There is another axle hidden underneath the feet of the robot. It splits in half for transformation and folds away in robot mode but I forgot the things were there and you have to connect them (via magnets again) manually. All this does is allow the front tires to turn together. The steering wheel again doesn’t work. It’s not necessary but still a neat feature.

Transformation is a bit annoying. The big problem is trying to convince every part to get where they’re supposed to be since the various car parts fight each other and get in each other’s way. It’s an easy transformation once you get the hang of it but not a fun one.

I’m still working with the lighting. He looks like he’s in front of the firing squad.

I probably should have taken a picture from the back. Unlike Smokescreen from a couple of weeks ago Side Swipe has terrible back kibble. The back end, trunk, and doors just hang off, and when you look at the legs you see too much of the sides of the car. You can see the front fenders hanging off of his feet though. From the front though he looks pretty good. The chest is formed from the windshield and the cab of the car and you really can’t tell.

Or maybe he’s IN the firing squad.

When it comes to posing this is easily the worst of the three Alternators I own. The big problem is the how the car parts get in the way of the arms and legs. You have to mistransform him so the front tires are on the front of the car rather than the sides to get anything resembling knees and they’re still often blocked. Heck, the waist joint is part of the transformation and you still can’t use it for posing because the windshield is in the way. That’s a huge downgrade from the first toy. He HAS the articulation–head, elbows, wrist, hands that open with the trigger finger for his gun moving independently of the other fingers (the thumb doesn’t move), limited hip movement, ankles–and they’re good joints. It’s just they are heavily restricted.

The gun is formed from his engine with a simple but effective transformation. The engine gun is chrome with some red paint and the Viper logo on the sides. Like I said, simple but effective.

Decision: Goes

The vehicle mode is pretty cool and he’s not the hardest one to transform from my trio (we’ll meet him in a couple of weeks), but the robot mode just doesn’t interest me and if I’m going to have a version of Sideswipe I’d rather he have his proper vehicle mode. I have to cut this collection down and while it wouldn’t surprise me if another going over had me considering keeping him this project is all about reducing my clutter. When it comes to Transformers it means keeping the ones I really want and nice as Alternators Side Swipe is it’s not enough to keep him.

Transformers Alternators Sideswipe is currently available on the Toy Clutter For Sale page.