"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Power Surge Sideswipe & Windstrike Toy Review

in 2017, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Power Surge, Robots in Disguise (2015)

Robots in Disguise (2015)

Sideswipe General Information:
Release Date: July 2016
Price Point: $29.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Windstrike Mini-Con/Sword

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Join Bumblebee and his team and help them chase down Decepticons with this Transformers: Robots in Disguise Power Surge Sideswipe figure. Each Power Surge figure comes with a Mini-Con figure, that not only converts to a weapon, but also gives bots a power surge to use in battle. This 9-inch Power Surge Sideswipe figure comes with a Mini-Con Weaponizers Windstrike figure. The Windstrike figure attaches to the Power Surge Sideswipe figure.

  • Choose your side: Join the mighty Autobots or the destructive Decepticons
  • Most Transformers toys feature awesome weapons and cool converting features
  • Collect cool converting characters from the show Transformers: Robots in Disguise
  • Relive the original adventures with Transformers Generations figures
  • Power Surge Sideswipe and Mini-Con Weaponizers Windstrike figures
  • Mini-Con Weaponizers figure activates phrases and sounds
  • Works with other Mini-Con Weaponizers figures (each sold separately)
  • Scan the figures to unlock content in the Transformers: Robots in Disguise app
  • Includes Power Surge Sideswipe figure, Mini-Con Weaponizers Windstrike figure, demo battery, and instructions
  • Powered by 1x 1.5V AA Duracell battery included

In 2016 one of the themes of the "Robots in Disguise" series was having characters power up when Mini-Cons connected to them. The "Power Surge" line of figures is a bit of a callback to "Armada", but instead of the Mini-Cons activating action features, they activate sounds on these figures.

Packaging:
The "Power Surge" figures were packaged in vertical, rectangular, open window boxes. The box has a picture of the character's head with a finger showing how you can push it down to activate a sound. The right side (if you are facing it) has a vertical Transformers logo with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. The lower right hand side has a photo of the character and Mini-Con in vehicle mode. Next to that is character at showing Windstrike "powering up" the character. The side has the same illustration as the front but a much taller view so you can see most of the character. The back shows the toy and demonstrates its sound activating feature.

Windstrike Review

Windstrike was a Mini-Con introduced in season two of "Robots in Disguise". His sculpt is largely based on the animation model. Instead of the usual blocky/angled designs associated with Transformers characters, Windstrike has a much more human like design. What I mean by "human like" is that Windstrike looks like a human in a suit of armor. The head design is very round with a central crest and parts that come up to points on the sides. The shoulders have curved, layered armor sections and the torso and legs are all curved. If you told me this was a Nebulan or human in an Exo-Suit I'd totally believe you. None of this is criticism. I actually like the design quite a bit. The only drawback to the design involves the alt-mode. Windstrike transforms into a sword so the sword parts are sticking out in the back which does not look so great.

Windstrike is cast in light blue plastic. The sword blades on his back are painted yellow. A bit of yellow is on the legs as well. Small bits are painted black and the Mini-Con symbol on the chest is red. The face is painted silver. The deco is nice and I was surprised by some of the smaller paint details. That said, the colors look nothing like the cartoon model. In the cartoon Windstrike was mostly a purple and lavender color with some blue "light" details. However this figure is a totally different set of colors.

Unfortunately Windstrike has no articulation. He is basically a small, hollow statue. To "transform" her you swing the sword blade in. This moves the head out of sight and lines up both blades on the back. There is a 5mm peg at the end allowing larger Transformers to hold the weapon. The sword mode is not particularly convincing, which is one of the drawbacks of this figure set.

Sideswipe Review

Robot Mode:
The "Power Surge" features are a new size class so they do not really fit in with any other price point. Sideswipe stands at about 8.5 inches (roughly 21.5 centimeters) tall and about 4.5 inches (about 11.4 centimeters) from shoulder to shoulder. Sideswipe is a big, chunky figure and great for younger kids, who are the target audience of this price point.

Sideswipe has all the requisite details you would expect from a figure representing the character. This includes the head sculpt featuring pointed "hair" on top of the head. His chest has the thin "L" shaped headlights on it, pointed teeth-like pieces on his forearms and of course big wheels on his shoulders. He also has other details like a raised rectangle on the knees and some angled lines on the waist area. Overall he looks really great from a sculpting perspective.

This figure is cast in red and black plastic. Red makes up most of the figure with black used on parts like the arms, thighs and knee armor. Silver paint is used on the face and black is used to paint the feet and mid-body. The nicest deco however is done in metallic blue. Not only is it used for the eyes, but it is also used for a circuit-like pattern on the chest and lower legs. These lines are a reference to the character powering up when Windstrike is attached. The finishing touch is a scannable Autobot symbol on the left side of the chest. Scanning his activates the character in the official "Robots in Disguise" app where interestingly, he is referred to as a "Power Hero" instead of "Power Surge".

Sideswipe has ten points of articulation. Most of these are based in the arms. The legs can move up and down at the knees but they cannot kick forward completely. It comes up only part way however so I'm being generous by counting it. Windstrike can be attached to the 5mm port in either fist or attached to the port in his chest. Now, when not attached, Sideswipe has several phrases (said by what sounds like a stand-in actor, not Darren Criss):

  • "This calls for more firepower!" (followed by a power up sound)
  • "Mini-Con power up!"
  • "Two is better than one!"
  • "This battle's gonna be a blast!"
  • "Power up for battle!"
  • "Thanks for the power upgrade!"

Now, when you attach Windstrike, new sounds activate. When you first attach Windstrike, he will say "Sword strike activated!". Other phrases include:

  • "En garde!"
  • Sword strike sound effect.
  • When you remove the sword, a metallic clashing sound activates.

But wait, there's more! If you take the Buzzstrike figure from Power Surge Bumblebee, different sounds activate including:

  • "Timber!"
  • A metal slashing and strike sound.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach Windstrike if attached.
  2. Straighten out the arms.

The sound effects feature was the one that was heavily sold during Toy Fair 2016. Overall it probably is the most interesting aspect of this feature. You can see the video of the demonstration below:

Transformation to Vehicle mode:

  1. Detach Windstrike if attached.
  2. Straighten out the arms.
  3. Push the legs together.
  4. On the back, push the cabin cover section in so the small tabs attach to the back of the legs.
  5. Swing each arm down and push it in. There is a tab on each hip that slides into a corresponding slot on the forearms.
  6. Swing the front of the car up and over the head.

Vehicle Mode:
Sideswipe winds up being a very large, chunky vehicle in this mode. From front to back he is about 9.5 inches (about 24.1 centimeters). From one rear wheel well to the other the vehicle is about 4 inches (10.1 centimeters) wide. From a pure size perspective the vehicle is very striking. The sculpt has all the sleek, angled lines you have come to expect from Sideswipe's vehicle form. He even has some of the smaller details like the headlights and horizontal lines in the back.

This mode is mostly red plastic with black wheels. The windows and front end are painted black. The headlights are metallic blue and...that's it. Sadly these figures that are intended for younger audiences generally get short changed in the deco department and that applies here. Sideswipe features none of the Japanese characters on him that you would expect based on the animation model (or other figures). He also does not have any of the blue circles on the wheels found on the animation model. Unfortunately the deco just looks very plain.

Sideswipe has three 5mm ports in this form, allowing you to attach extra weapons and/or Mini-Cons. One is one top of the cabin section. The other two are in front of the front wheel wells.

Final Thoughts:
I like the idea behind this figure, and I think it is nicely sculpted. The electronic feature is fun too. However, without more deco and/or articulation, I do not think this figure is worth the original $29.99 USD price tag. I actually purchased it on sale at Target for $15 USD. I am sure part of the price tag is the sheer amount of plastic used on the figure. I would have preferred the electronic feature be kept but put into a smaller figure with more deco and articulation. Recommended for younger kids only if you can get it at steep discount.

Pros:

  • Good sculpt in both modes.
  • Nice deco in robot mode.
  • Fun electronic feature.

Cons:

  • Lack of articulation.
  • Vehicle mode deco is lacking.
  • Hollow parts on Windstrike.
  • Price tag is way too high.