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Sideways - Movie - Figure

All right. I recently picked up the deluxe class Sideways figure for the Revenge of the Fallen movie, and gathering from the big stack of Sidewayses (sp?) that crowded my local toy store, I figure that I’m one of the few to show much enthusiasm for this guy. I can’t blame people for their reluctance. After all, he is only the second silver sports car with the word ‘side’ in the title to be released in this first wave of movie figures. Can anyone say redundancy? But no matter. Is he worth the ten bucks (or whopping fifteen bucks, if you’re Canadian like me)? The short answer is yes.

His vehicle mode is an (unlicensed) Audi R8, and quite the looker beyond the Barbie-inspired pink tint on the windows. (Following in movie tradition, only Decepticons seem to have access to non-GM vehicle designs.)

The robot mode, I must say, is quite nice. He has a vaguely vampire-inspired look to him (the good type of vampire, I mean; think Nosferatu, not recent garbage like Edward Cullen). The paint job on his head is quite nicely done, and the light piping actually works well on his eyes (which is more than I can say for other recent movie deluxe figures). Portions of his side windows and panels become wing-like extensions that look quite deadly and, again, enhance the general blood-sucking tone. He’s remarkably thin and wasp-like in robot mode – no small feat considering the solid structure of his vehicle mode. He looks cool on my shelf and makes me feel evil every time I look at him.

As for the transformation sequence, it’s complicated, but a good kind of complicated. It’s really just a spin on the old fold-down back and grill-torso design from the old days of G1 Jazz, but it’s spicier here (and MUCH improved over the 2007 movie Jazz – shudder). Kids may get overly frustrated by the complexity of the transformation (as they may with almost all movie releases), but I had no problems here. Some purists may take issue with the fact that his robot look is achieved in part by a dummy wheel on his left hand that’s hidden under the chassis in car mode (and, admittedly, is much smaller than any of the real wheels), but no matter. He still looks like Dracula’s favorite Decepticon, and I’m happy.

One irritating point: there are some steps to the transformation scheme that the instructions don’t tell you about. For instance, the back corners of Sideways’ hood flip up to make a sort of spiky collar, and the rear piece that makes up his back can click nicely into the resulting vacant space. Apparently the people writing the instructions (and taking the freaking box art photos) didn’t know this. By clicking this rear part into its proper place, you end up greatly improving the overall look and balance of the figure.

So the gimmick with this movie line is the new MechAlive function. How alive is my Mech? Not much. The MechAlive feature on Sideways occurs in his (slightly bulky) arms. Moving the elbow joint rotates a piece on the outside of the joint, and simultaneously rotates a gray internal piece in the upper arm (which is almost impossible to see with the human eye). Is there a point to this? No. It doesn’t even work well. The gears on my toy’s left arm are already grinding, so as per usual, the gimmick disappoints.

The other big downside to this dude is his feet – if you can call those puny things feet. They’re impossibly tiny, and the ball joints in the ankles are quite loose. Thus, Sideways shares the curse with his namesake Sideswipe: he has great difficulty standing. That said, once you actually get him upright and resist the urge to breathe around him, he’s very poseable.

All in all, I have to recommend purchasing him. He shares much in common with the 2007 line’s excellent Barricade deluxe figure, and if you liked that one, you’ll drool over this. There are a few beefs (tiny, loose feet; poor instructions; crummy gimmick), but these are minor points.

And if you ever felt the urge to own a transforming vampire, this one’s for you!

ReviewerElectric Gecko  
DateJune 10th 2009  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  

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