"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Sideswipe versus Decepticon Anvil Toy Review

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Mini-Con, Prime, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Sideswipe General Information:
Release Date: December 2015
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Leg Armor x 2, Claws x 2, Chest Armor, Helmet, Club, Star weapon

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
In the battle between Autobot and Decepticon, strength is sometimes the ultimate weapon – but sometimes being sneaky is! This Sideswipe figure is a powerhouse whether he’s in robot mode or sports car mode, and he comes with a massive sword for assaults on Decepticons. But his enemy Decepticon Anvil can attack from nowhere from stealth mode! Who will prevail in the end? There’s only one way to find out! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

"Robots in Disguise" continued in 2016 with the introduction of "Battle Packs". These each featured an Autobot paired up with a Decepticon Mini-con. The Autobots were generally about the size of a Commander Class figure (examples of a Commander Class figure include "Prime" Ironhide and "Dark of the Moon" Guzzle). The Mini-Cons in the first wave were of the "Cyclone" kind, intended to interact with figures like Overload. Added play value is integrated into the set by adding on armor pieces that could be combined into one large "super weapon".

The "Robots in Disguise" Battle Packs are blister carded. If you are facing the card the left side has the Commander Class figure while the right has the Mini-Con. In between are the armor pieces and weapons. The backing card has Sideswipe wearing his armor on it. The Transformers logo is on the right. On the bottom is an insert with the names of the characters. The back of the packaging shows both toys in both forms. There are no tech specs, just legal information in several languages and a promotion for the mobile app.

Decepticon Anvil Review

Decepticon Anvil is a Cyclone type Mini-Con. The Cyclones transform into a ball shape and usually have a rather squat robot mode.

Anvil is packaged in robot mode. He has a very distinct robot head with a "V" shape on the top of his head that evokes the Decepticon symbol. The body has angled designs on the torso with wide feet and arms. The sides of the weapon mode look like curved wings on the sides. The proportions look a bit "super deformed" with a wide head and relatively short arms and legs. It's kind of cute except for the semi-evil looking face.

Anvil is cast in black and blue plastic. The blue is a really beautiful metallic blue grey color. The face is painted silver with red eyes and the chest has a beautiful metallic black color on the middle. I really dig the colors on this figure.

Unfortunately there are no points of articulation on this figure. Technically you could count the legs since they swing forward as part of the transformation - but then the figure closes up so I'm not really counting it.

To transform Anvil you swing the legs up and the wings should auto-transform, swinging in.. You may need to adjust the feet a bit.

Anvil's weapon form is a ball with some raised designs on it. These are mostly triangular in shape and intended to be similar to spikes on a flail weapon. This mode mostly shows off the metallic blue color with the black legs showing on the bottom. The front has a scannable Decepticon symbol for use with the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app. He fits nicely in Overload's launching slot and has no problem launching.

Sideswipe Review

Robot Mode:
Sideswipe has been made into several figures including Legion, One Step and Warrior Classes. Most of those classes generally make design concessions to accomodate the transformation, scale and complexity of those figures. In this case however I think the designers hit a really happy medium between design and function.

Sideswipe has all the primary design elements of the animated design. His head sculpt has Sideswipe's distinctive "hair" design, his wheels wind up on both his shoulders and legs. The chest has design elements from the front of the vehicle mode and his waist area has hip armor that raises up over the sides a bit. He also has a very narrow mid-body area, just like the animation model.

There are some design elements that have been left out. This includes the blades on the sides of his forearms and the "wings" on the back. The two main design concessions are the sides of the vehicles on the arms and the lower legs being wide (due to them forming the rear of the vehicle). Overall I really like the design of the figure despite these concessions.

Sideswipe is cast in red and black plastic. Gold paint is used on the sides of the forearms. Silver is used on the face and the middle of the body. Blue is used for the eyes. The center of the chest has a large, scannable Autobot symbol on it. Gold paint is used for detailing on the sides of the lower legs (these are really the sides of the vehicle mode). I wish there were a couple more details on his chest and the front of his legs, but overall he looks cool.

There are eleven points of articulation on this figure. Six of these points are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. This includes his shoulders, elbows and hips. A lot of the play value comes from his accessories. They are all cast in translucent orange plastic, giving the character the appearance of having energy glowing off of his body. Here's a rundown:

  • Helmet: This piece connects to his chest armor. It swings up and down. The helmet has a vaguely bird-like look that sweeps back at angles and an angled mouthplate.
  • Chest Armor: This piece connects to the helmet via a hinge on top. The armor has a layered look to it that look like they may have taken influences from Japanese armor. This attaches to the chest via two small pegs.
  • Claws: Continuing the "bird" theme, his arm weapons are both claw weapons, but one has two claws versus the other which has three. They attach to the forearms via two small pegs. Interestingly enough the forearm "blades" that are missing from the main sculpt are found on these armor pieces.
  • Leg Armor: These pieces look like saw blades angling up on the sides. A piece extends out on top as knee armor. They attach to his legs via two pegs each.
  • Star: A star weapon that attaches to the wheels on his shoulders using the curved groove on the sides of each wheel. Since the wheels can spin it becomes a spinning star weapon which is really cool.
  • Club Weapon: Instead of a sword Sideswipe has a club this time out. The sides have 5mm pegs on them with a hole in the center to accommodate classic Mini-Cons. Underneath that section are two holes intended for use when creating the "super weapon".

All the armor pieces can be combined into one large "super weapon". Here are the steps to create it:

  1. Attach each of the claw weapons to the leg armor pieces.
  2. Attach each of the leg pieces to the grooves towards the top of the club weapon.
  3. Connect the star weapon to the section under the two pegs.
  4. Attach the chest armor/helmet piece to the two circles right above the handle.

The weapon can be held in either fist. It's a really interesting weapon in that it seems to have multiple ways of damaging the enemy. The most obvious is a cutting weapon. Between the "saw blades" and claws it looks like it could really tear some armor off a Decepticon. The star handle would definitely keep bad guys from trying to take the weapon away from Sideswipe and the chest armor acts as a cool hand guard. That said I prefer the components as armor, they really add a nice visual layer to the robot.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  • Detach all the armor from the figure if attached.
  • Straighten out the arms and legs.
  • Point the robot feet down, then connect the lower legs together.
  • Rotate the forearms so the windows face outward.
  • Swing the robot arms up at the shoulders and push them into the sides.
  • Swing the front of the vehicle mode forward over the robot head.
  • Swing the lower legs forward, connecting the feet to the cabin section of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Sideswipe's vehicle mode is the sleek, Lamborghini-esque design that is seen on the TV show. He has angled sides in the front that lead to a hood piece that angles downward. The sides angle up all the way to the spoiler in the back. The main design concession made for this mode is on the side windows. Since a piece of it is on the back of the robot while the other part is on the sides of the robot arms there is a gap in the middle of the side windows. Really this is not a huge deal at all. I think the vehicle looks sleek and cool, just like its animated counterpart.

This vehicle form is mostly red plastic with black wheels and a bit of black showing on top. The red is a beautiful metallic plastic and with all the red parts together like this you really get a good look at it. The windows and headlights are painted light blue, which looks great but sadly once again the sides of the wheels have been ignored. On the TV show the Autobots have glowing circles on the sides of the wheels and it would have bee nnice to see that replicated here. While there is no symbol on the hood, the rear wheel wells have gold Japanese characters on them.

There is a 5mm port on the top of the cabin section. Technically if you combine all the accessories you can attach the super weapon to this port. However, you need to have the star weapon just kind of sit on the weapon instead of being firmly attached.

Final Thoughts:
I really like this two pack. The "Commander Class" was always one of my favorites as it was a nice middle ground between the Scout and Deluxe classes. Having a Sideswipe figure that's easy to transform but looks good in both modes is a great step in the right direction. Adding in the Mini-Con gives some extra options ot use with Overload, which adds another layer of fun. If you already own Sideswipe several times this probably isn't for you but those who want a fun "versus pack" will enjoy it.