Dark of the Moon Legion Class Sideswipe Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Legion Class, Revenge of the Fallen

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: May 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images and text below from the Official Transformers Web Site:
SIDESWIPE lives to test his skill against the DECEPTICONS. He has spent years perfecting his technique with the blades built into his arms. No one has ever beaten him in a fair fight, but he continues to search for the enemy that can give him a true challenge.

Spring into action with this vehicle-to-robot hero! Switch your mighty SIDESWIPE figure from Corvette Stingray concept vehicle mode to battle-ready robot mode. Then convert him back to vehicle mode so he can chase down his enemies. As the battle rages on, keep converting him back and forth, so he’s ready to face whatever his enemies throw at him! Ages 5 and up.

As part of the "Dark of the Moon toy line release, several price points have been rearranged and renamed. One of them was the line that fans have known for years as the "Legends" class. This line of smaller sized Transformers figures spread across many segments of the Transformers over the years including the movie line, Animated and Classics. Now the class has been renamed as the "Legion" class, with Ratchet being one of the early "Dark of the Moon" releases in this line. Instead of serving as a standalone class of figures, these toys are being placed in a new context, as part of the "Cyberverse", a line of Transformers focused on creating a small world/universe of play at a lower price point than deluxe and ultra sized figures. Included in this line will be "Commander" Class figures, slightly larger figures with weapons that interact with the smaller figures as well as transformable bases, echoing the Micromaster bases from Generation One.

One of the characters returning from "Revenge of the Fallen" is Sideswipe, the sleek Autobot who used blades as his primary weapons. This time out he isn't just a concept Corvette, but also a convertible version! This sculpt is a whole new figure, not a re-release of the figure used for the previous movie.

Robot Mode:
His name is not the only thing Sideswipe borrows from Generation One. He also uses a classic Autobot design with the front of the vehicle mode forming his chest, wheels winding up on his arms and the rear section of the vehicle forming parts of his legs. However, he takes the traditional design and spins it a bit. The door sections do not just form part of his arms, but are also blades he can slice Decepticons with. His waist comes to a very narrow point and his legs are relatively thin compared to the rest of his body. This leads to lower legs that are angled back and designed to look like giant springs. These springs then lead to feet that are made from his rear wheels and he rolls on them like skates. This presents a unique design challenge as his feet have to be able to stand without the figure flopping around. The designers at Tomy and Hasbro achieved this several times over in "Revenge of the Fallen" so it is no surprise they succeeded here. This time out, Sideswipe uses small tabs that can swing forward or back to help keep balance. I've found having them both swept back doesn't do the trick. Rather, you have to have one forward and one back so they brace each other. It's an impressive design and I was very pleased to see how stable the figure could be.

There are some cool details on this figure, all inspired by his CGI model. Among my favorites are the raised line patterns on his bakc panel, the blades sculpted into the insides of his door panels and the spring mechanisms on his lower legs. Swing the chest piece up and you'll see some more of his torso detail including his distinctive designs that come out the sides of the body and curve upwards.

Sideswipe is cast in silver and black plastic. The silver is a metallic flake plastic, giving it an extra bit of shine., The black makes up the wheels and parts of his waist area. Paint applications are applied in black, gunmetal and light blue. The black is used on details like his front grille and the Autobot symbol on his chest. The gumetal is used on part slike his inner thighs, springs and the section of mechanical detail in front of his head. The light blue is used to paint his eyes, a classic color used on Autobot eyes.

There are eight points of articulation on this figure. I am counting the ability for his ankles to move and the tabs that help keep him upright since they're critical to the figure. His arms and hips have ball joints, allowing him a wide range of movement. His right hand is curved in a claw position, allowing him to hold Commander Class weapons.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the black tabs on the feet up.
  2. Swing the back panel down.
  3. Swing the robot chest up.
  4. Turn the feet up at the ankles.
  5. Swing the robot arms forward and in.
  6. Connect the back of each foot to the back panel.

Vehicle Mode:
Sideswipe is still a concept Corvette in vehicle mode, but this is an upgraded version. The general form is the same, a super sleek vehicle riding low to the ground with lots of angular designs. However, new features include:

  • The vertical headlights are gone, instead replaced with`a triangular one across the front.
  • The center of the hood has a raised section in the middle that is quite prominent.
  • The spoiler is much more prominent than the previous one and angles out at the sides.
  • The front has two small vents on either side of the Autobot symbol.
  • Since he's a convertible, this version of Sideswipe has no cover over the cabin area. It's wide open with two seats inside.

Some of the features from the previous of the vehicle remain including a Chevrolet logo sculpted into the hood, the angled side view mirrors and the distinctive grid shaped grille in the front. Overall it's a really cool looking vehicle.

Like the robot mode, the silver plastic dominates here. Metallic silver paint with a blue tint is used to paint the windows that wrap around from the windshield to the sides. Black paint is used on the front grille and the small vents on either side of the Autobot symbol. The gunmetal color used in the robot mode appears here in the form of his seats. It's a simple, yet effective color scheme. I think it was a very smart idea to use a metal flake silver plastic, otherwise the figure could have easily wound up looking really plain.

Final Thoughts:
Sideswipe is a really well done figure. He manages to take a technically challenging design and make it work on a very small scale. His sculpted details look great and I love his upgraded vehicle form. The figures' joints are nice and tight as well. Sure you probably own at least one Sideswipe already, but this is a nice take on the character's new form in a compact size. Highly recommended!