Dark of the Moon Scan Series Sideswipe Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Deluxe, Revenge of the Fallen, Scan Series, Toys R Us Exclusive

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: June 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: Toys R Us Exclusive
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from ToysRUs.com:
There are two things SIDESWIPE likes more than anything else in the galaxy: pummeling DECEPTICONS® and fast cars. He chose to scan a vehicle that would allow him to enjoy both. He now arrives to the fight in a stylish, cutting-edge sports car ready to junk any DECEPTICON® that dares put a scratch in his paint!

Smash into battle with your SIDESWIPE figure! Put your robot hero figure into CORVETTE® STINGRAY™ concept vehicle mode when he needs to move fast and stay ahead of the pack. Convert him back to robot mode when it's time to stand and fight! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever comes next in the battle against DECEPTICON forces!

SideswipeWhenever a new Transformers film is released, you can bet that there's going to be a virtual army of store exclusives in the form of redecos using sculpts from previous years. "Dark of the Moon" is no different. This time out, a series of Toys R Us exclusive figures have been released on the Deluxe scale with a common theme: "Scanning". Another term for this theme is "Trans Scanning", referring to the process where Transformers scan a form and then change their bodies to turn it into their alternate mode. This was featured in the first Transformers movie when the Autobots arrived on Earth in their "Protoform" bodies only to scan Earth vehicles and then take on their forms. These Toys R Us exclusives had stickers on the bubbles with the Toys R Us logo and an additional sub-line indicated: Mission Earth.

One of the first figures in the "Scan Series" of toys is Sideswipe. Since he's a convertible in "Dark of the Moon", we can guess that this represents Sideswipe when he first came to Earth and took on the form of a concept Corvette sports car. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a more detailed look at the toy, check out my original review of t his sculpt.

Vehicle Mode:
The vehicle mode is really where the "Scan" paint job shines on this figure, making it the best mode to package the figure in. It's a really interesting concept in creating an "action" in the deco, something that I don't recall being tried before quite like this. The majority of the car's panels are cast in clear plastic, with the wheels all cast in black. However, that just serves as a canvas for the paint design, which creates the dramatic "Scan" effect.

While clear plastic is used for the car's outer shell, the front looks like it was cast in silver, like its predecessor. However, that's just silver paint applied so well that it looks like silver plastic. Then, right around the middle of the vehicle on both the sides and the top of the vehicle the silver begins to fade into the clear plastic. Where the silver begins to fade, light blue lines that resemble those on circuitry appear, all stretching towards the back of the vehicle and over the rear wheel wells. Right on top of these blue lines is a faded white line that runs from one side of the vehicle over to the other. This is the "scanning line. The way the line is painted, it angles back slightly, giving a feel of motion, as if it were part way through the scanning process and you're watching it happen right before your eyes. It's a very dramatic effect and it looks spectacular.

Silver paint is also found on the sides of the wheels and red paint is used for the rear lights. This deco is really a fantastic concept and it is executed very well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Separate the door pieces from the main body of the car.
  2. Push down on the rear wheels to slide the robot arms out from under the body of the car.
  3. Swing out the robot hands on each arm.
  4. Push down on each front portion of the headlights to separate the robot feet from the main body.
  5. Swing the right side hood panel down a bit, then out to split the hood into two halves.
  6. Swing the rear, center panel of the car (with the rear, translucent blue windows) up.
  7. Swing the robot waist section down and then up against the piece where the robot arms are hinged on. Pushing the tab into place will push the robot head up.
  8. Swing the hood panels down to form wing-like structures on the back.
  9. Fold the panel with the exhaust pipes down and point the exhaust pipes forward.
  10. On each foot, swing the round inner panels down, and then rotate the panels out of the way so you can swing the wheels down to connect to the inner panels.
  11. Swing the front panels on the feet to the sides.
  12. Swing the panels with the sideview mirrors back, then swing up the door panel on its hinges so it's vertical against his back overlapping the panel with the sideview mirrors.
  13. The blade/panels on each arm can be swung forward to form his sword weapons.

Robot Mode:
Sideswipe's original release had a fairly uniform looking robot mode, with silver being the dominant color. Now, silver is still the primary plastic color in this form, but there are variations on the color. Thrown into the mix are clear plastic parts both from the vehicle mode and unique to the robot mode. On top of that is blue and light blue plastic. It's really quite a lot to look at, and while it may sound a bit overwhelming, the way the colors are distributed work out wonderfully.

First, the silver colors. A neutral silver color that most resembles his original toy can be found on his head, forearms and thighs. More gunmetal looking parts are fond on the top of the chest and his lower legs. Meanwhile the center of his body is painted a light grey color. His shoulders and blade weapons are cast in clear plastic and since the back of the vehicle mode becomes part of his chest, you get more clear plastic there as well. A bit of translucent light blue plastic can be found on the back of his head, as if it was going to be used for light piping, but his eyes are painted blue so perhaps the effect was not strong enough on its own. Finally, black plastic is used on his fists and feet. The use of the blue plastic parts is really well done. They are only found here and there on joints such as the elbow joints and the panels connected to the wheels on his feet. The impression I get is that the blue parts represent energy like the "circuit" designs from the vehicle mode, as if this robot mode was still forming and we're getting to see a snapshot of that transformation.

All of Sideswipe's joints are tight, in fact I'd say his blade weapons are tighter on this version than my original, which speaks well to the condition of the tooling.

Final Thoughts:
This sculpt has already been released twice before in the US alone, so some may have reservations about buying it yet again, however I really dig this concept and as a store exclusive redeco, I think it's worth it. Highly recommended!