Side Swipe - Alternators - Figure

This is my first try at doing a review, so please bear with me. I have both Alternator Sideswipe and Smokescreen, but I have yet to take Smokescreen out of the box. Therefore, I can’t really compare them.

Vehicle Mode

Sideswipe is modeled after the current version of the Dodge Viper. I have to say that his details are of “model like” quality. The interior is complete with a shift knob, emergency brake, and several silver colored gauges, just like in the real car. The exterior of the car features “Dodge” and “Viper” logos located exactly where you would find them on the real thing. Similar to Smokescreen, the hood on Sideswipe will open to reveal the engine, a.k.a. his gun. The car even has larger tires on the rear wheels- a very authentic touch that I didn’t expect. I pulled out a “Motor Trend” article to compare Sideswipe to the real thing, and my conclusion is that he’s just about perfect!


I wasn’t sure how hard it would be to transform Sideswipe since I haven’t taken my chances with Smokescreen yet. The Hasbro ratings certainly don’t tell you much about complexity. It seems that any TF larger than the basic size gets labeled a four. Sideswipe does not have a complicated transformation. If you study the car design for a few minutes you will get a general idea of where everything should go. The instructions worked well at the beginning. However, I had a bit of trouble folding the arms into position. I finally studied the picture on the box and moved them into place. My technique didn’t match Hasbro’s description, but also seemed easier and avoided straining the toy. Maybe its the complexity of modern toys or maybe I’m losing it; it just seems that the instructions for G1 to be are easier to understand.

Robot mode

I was a little worried about Sideswipe’s robot mode. In the pics that I had seen his windshield made him look a bit “pot-bellied.” I actually thought that maybe it would have been better for him to have a removable windshield that could’ve double as a shield. To me a transparent shield would be cool in battle. Anyway, he looks really good in person. His body is actually well proportioned, with arms, legs, head, and chest all the right size. He has a lot of articulation- head, shoulders, elbows, fingers, feet, etc. His legs move independently, unlike several figures that only have hip swivels. The only drawback here is that his knee joints are high and don’t have much movement. If you think about the long-hood/short-trunk design of the car though, you can completely understand the problem there.


I think that Sideswipe is awesome. It is really neat how the Binaltech/Alternators line is trying to recapture the heads of G1 characters and put them on newer vehicle models. I know that some people are sad that there is currently no comic or cartoon line to promote the series. I personally don’t want to see a TV show based on Alternators out of fear that they may change the behaviors of some of my favorite characters. Sideswipe is in his best form with this toy, and I am sure he and the other Alternators will sell well.

Definitely ***** stars.

P.S.- I would like to see a fully articulated version of G1 Megatron. I realize that he could not transform into a gun for legal reasons, but isn’t that why 20th Anniversary Prime has the Megatron gun? Also an Alternators Starscream would be nice (my wishlist).

ReviewerChris Greaver  
DateJanuary 27th 2004  
Score 10 stars (10 out of 10)  

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