Sideways, Rook, & Crosswise - Armada - Figures

In the spirit of Punch-Counterpunch and Doubledealer before him, Sideways continues the tradition of a robot caught between two factions. Which side will win in this internal struggle? I’m aquiver with anticipation.

Tech Specs
Autobot/Decepticon: Sideways
Quote: "Efficiency through self-sufficiency."

Sideways is a conscientious, ninja-like warrior who races to battle. Disguised as a sports bike he exceeds speeds of 250mph. Mysterious and silent, he reveals little about himself except a fierce drive to confront the enemy and quickly return to Cybertron. On Earth, he undergoes a personality change that gives him both a good and a bad side based on Mini-con influence. This split makes him highly unpredictable. It's hard to predict which half of his split personality will win in the end - the good side or the evil side!

Strength: 4.0 Intelligence: 6.0 Speed: 6.0 Endurance: 5.0
Rank: 6.0 Courage: 8.0 Fireblast: 6.0 Skill: 8.0

While I think it’s fascinating to ponder how Sideways will be handled on the Armada cartoon, I seriously doubt it will be done well. The good guys always win and despite an intriguing premise, I feel it will fall flat on the air. I hope I’m wrong.

Vehicle Mode
Primarily purple with yellow, black, and light purple highlights, Sideways vehicle mode is, as it was in RiD, a motorcycle. This is an all new mold, however. He is 5 ½” long. 1 ½” wide and 3” high. There are tabs along the middle that can be used to seat Crosswise and Rook at the same time. There are also two static Minicon hard points on either side of the rear of the bike. The light blue of the headlights gives the front of the cycle a face, reminiscent of Thrust from Beast Machines.

Swing the seat back and separate the rear of the motorcycle. Push the gray sections of the seat into the legs and straighten the seats out to form the feet. Swing the windshield and handlebar section around to form the chest. Bring the undercarriage of the cycle around on either side and rotate the forearms around. Rotate the wheels so that they are parallel to the ground and bring each one up. Pull up on the handlebars to reveal the robot head.

Robot Mode
Standing at 5 ½” to the top of his cylindrical head, Sideways is now ready to battle the Autobots and Decepticons. He features hip and elbow rotation and can flip his wrists up 90 degrees. His shoulders also function similar to a ball-socket joint. His handlebars can be positioned in either mode and, to be honest, they look rather goofy hanging off either side of his head like they do. Attaching a Minicon to the hard points on either arm and pressing them forward launches the missiles. These are in the same vain as the Cyberjets. So, you can leave these loaded without worry of them damaging springs.

The mostly black Minicon of the set is the Rook. He stands 2 ½” high and features shoulder rotation and ball-socket-swivel joints on his hips and knees making him very fun to pose.

The mostly light purple and gray Minicon is Crosswise. Measuring at 2 ¼” tall, Crosswise has rotating shoulders, ball-socket hips and ball-socket-swivel knees. Neither Minicon has any painted features on their faces since due to their transforms.

Minicon Combined Mode
Rotate Crosswise’s arms back and turn his lower legs so they face backwards. Do likewise with Rook’s arms and bring his legs up to form the arms. Push Rook’s head in to reveal the combined mode’s head. Plug Crosswise’s head into the cavity near Rook’s head and flip Crosswise’s chest panel up.

Standing at 3 ¼” high, the combined mode, for which there is no name given, is a very well articulated robot. He has Rook’s leg articulation for his arms and Crosswise’s legs articulation for the legs. Although, not a very pretty robot, it’s a nice concept considering the size of the toys.

Minicon & Sideways Combined Modes
Each Minicon becomes a head, ala Headmasters for Sideways. First, you have to push Sideways’ robot head down. Then, you have to decide what allegiance you want him to become.

Decepticon Sideways
Separate the combined Minicon robot. Push the combined robot’s head in and push the lower portion of the chest panel down to reveal the robot eyes. While the instructions indicate that the legs should form antennas, I find the head looks better with them tucked behind. Lastly, lower the arms straight down and attach to the three posts on Sideways. This action pushes the two panels inside his chest down to reveal a Decepticon insignia.

Autobot Sideways
From Crosswise’s robot mode, swing his arms straight up and move the lower chest panel down to reveal the Autobot eyes. As with Rook, I suggest keep the legs tucked behind the head for better aesthetics. When inserted, only one panel lowers. This time, an Autobot insignia is revealed.

While Sideways, Rook, and Crosswise each have their problems in terms of articulation or appearance, the novelty of a dual Headmaster-style Transformers toy is really cool. So, if you’re a fan of quirky toys, this one is meant for you.

DateSeptember 30th 2002  
Score 6 stars (6 out of 10)  

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