"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Ninja Blade Sideswipe Toy Review
Release Date: July 2015
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
The 1-Step Changers are 2-in-1 speed-changers, and your Ninja Blade Sideswipe figure is one of them! He’s the same Autobot warrior as always, but he converts in just 1 step from robot mode to armored sports car mode and back – and he’s got blades in each hand in robot mode. Can his Decepticon enemies stand against his speedy blades? Not with you in charge! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The middle of 2015 brought about a wave of One Step Changers that incorporated redecos of previous sculpts into the line. This included a redeco of One Step Changer Sideswipe as "Ninja Blade Sideswipe". This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release so check out One Step Changer Sideswipe">my original One Step Changer Sideswipe review for additional context on the figure itself.
Like the "Age of Extinction" One Step Changers, these are packaged in bubbles on small cards. Artwork is on the left side and the Transformers logo is on the right. The artwork is different than the artwork used on the Legion Class Sideswipe figure. The back does not feature any tech specs information, instead using the space for the instructions and multi-language legal information. It's a shame but Hasbro seems to be refocusing any efforts at more traditional packaging into the "Generations" segment, which I get since I'm guessing they're assuming most of the kids getting these will wind up just throwing out the packaging.
There were no sculpting changes made to this figure, which may come as a surprise to some folks. If you look on the sides and hood of the vehicle, you'll see several Japanese words etched into the them. Now, the first version of this sculpt did have these details, but they were unpainted so they just blended in with the rest of the red plastic on the figure. This time out however these details have been painted red.
Since most of the vehicle is grey, the letters are much more obvious now. On top of this he has four darker red wheels, so there is plenty of color jumping off the primary silver color. I'm very heppy the designers went this route as it's a shame to have cool, sculpted detail that isn't called out.
The vehicle rolls on all four wheels without a problem. There are no connection points for accessories.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Sideswipe uses the same "One Step" mechanism as Prowl and Rollbar. You hold on to one side of the vehicle's rear section and flick it like a butterfly knife and the robot "swings" out. You have to do some adjustment of the arms, but when it works it's a really neat effect. On my copy of this figure the ratchet joints are a bit tight, so you have to push the legs together manually a bit to complete the transformation. Your mileage may vary.
Like the vehicle mode, there is no retooling in this form, it's a straight up redeco. Most of the body winds up being grey in this mode, with some smaller parts like his shoulder joints cast in red plastic. His face is painted white with blue eyes. Blue is also used for the faux headlights on his chest. Red paint is used on the center of his chest as well as the arms and hip/waist area. While the grey may seem like a drab color for the character, the red offers a nice, bright contrast.
The left side of the chest has a scannable Autobot symbol which allows you to unlock the character in the mobile game temporarily. A final touch on the deco is copper colored paint used on the blades on his arms. Overall I really dig the color scheme on this figure. It reminds me a bit of Brake Neck (aka Wildrider).
All the joints on this figure are nice and tight. Indeed, they're tighter than the joints on my original One Step Changer Sideswipe! His fists also accommodate 5mm peg weapons for extra play value.
If you missed out on the first version of this sculpt, this is a good substitute. It's a fun little toy with a cool deco.