Revenge of the Fallen Sideways Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: May 2009
Price Point: $11.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Back on CYBERTRON, SIDEWAYS was a simple courier who avoided combat at all costs. He tried to always remain in the shadow of larger DECEPTICONS, where the AUTOBOTS might not notice him. On Earth, he’s keeping much the same practice. He teamed up with DEMOLISHOR early on, and hopes that if the AUTOBOTS find them, the big CONSTRUCTICON can keep him safe.

Team up with this DECEPTICON soldier and get ready to take on AUTOBOT forces! Unleash a spinning “saw blade” courtesy of MECH ALIVE gearing in robot mode. Then, with a few twists and turns, convert the robot figure to a super sleek sports car in vehicle mode – and get ready to roll over the competition!

Detailed robot-to-vehicle figure features MECH ALIVE gearing for a spinning “saw blade” in robot mode! Ages 5 and up.

SidewaysThe name Sideways has recently been often associated with Decepticons and evil, so it's no surprise the name was chosen for a new Decepticon in the movie universe. A lot of fans have said that Sideways reminds them a lot of Barricade from the first movie, and to be frank the comparisons are apt. Both characters have V shaped, complex head sculpts. Both utilize the "car front as my chest" design and both have legs that angle backwards in the middle (the supposed "chicken walker" look) and they both have sharp, rotating blade weapons. Both also become sleek, powerful looking vehicles which helps cement the connection. The way I look at it is that Sideways is of a similar design to Barricade but not exactly the same, much like how G1 Smokescreen was very similar to G1 Prowl.

Vehicle Mode:
The first "Transformers" movie was filled to the brim with licensed vehicles by companies such as GM and Peterbilt, so when I first saw images of Sideways I expected that he was a licensed vehicle as well. So imagine my surprise when I looked at his packaging and saw no licensing information tied to it whatsoever. A bit of research led me to find that Sideways is indeed based on a real life vehicle, but like many figures from the main Transformers lines over the years he has been modified just enough to prevent any licensing deal to be set up. In this case, Sideways is based on the Audio R8. If you look at photos of the figure in vehicle mode its resemblance to the R8 is quite striking. It has many of the features of the Audi R8 including:

  • The general oval shape of the vehicle is a lot like the R8, including its curved front end with a severe angle going back towards the wheel wells.
  • The grille in the front has the distinct, rectangular shape of the R8 with its curved corners.
  • The side of the vehicle leads to a beveled section in the front area of the rear wheel well, a distinctive feature of the R8.
  • The rear window shows tech details resembling an engine etched into the translucent plastic. This resembles the transparent engine bay on the back of the R8.

While Sideways has many similarities to the Audi R8, there are also some significant differences as well:

  • The shape of the headlights is different, with the rounded part in the front as opposd to the side.
  • The grille itself has vertical lines on the sides and then a grid in the center, whereas the real life Audi has mostly horizontal lines with a small grid on top.
  • The sideview mirrors on the Audi stick out to the sides on small posts whereas here they are attached right to the frame of the car.
  • The back end of the vehicle has a completely different design than the Audi. For instance, the Audi has exhaust pipes on the sides, while these are in the middle and the trunk door is inset on the Audi while here it overlays the rear section.

Differences or no, this is one sleek looking vehicle. I love the aforementioned "engine" detail in the back and there are some additional details on the top of the hood. Also, while the back end differs from the real life Audi, it looks pretty darn cool with its angled rear lights leading to a curved, beveled section that borders two horizontal, oval shaped exhaust pipes. If this were a real life car I know I wouldn't mind driving it around!

Sideways is primarily cast in black and translucent pink plastic. There are bits of clear plastic used for the front end as well. The black color makes up most of the body of the vehicle while the pink is used for the windowsand rear lights. The plastic parts are mostly painted with a coating of metallic silver paint. On the sides of the car is an "L" shaped design painted in black. This mirrors a similar design found on some Audi R8 models. On the back of the vehicle is a Decepticon symbol painted in black. Silver paint (lighter than the one on the main body) can be found on the side of each wheel. Like the Audi, this color scheme is rather understated. The pink is a bit on the bright side, but to me it looks like the vehicle is radiating with Energon energy and for a Transformer, that's quite appropriate.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Lift the top portion of the car up.
  2. Flip the car over and swing out each robot leg.
  3. Push in the grille in the front of the car and both front wheels will swing in to the center while a piece of the robot torso flips out.
  4. Swing out the doors and robot arm pieces to the sides.
  5. Swing the front of the car down and connect the clip on the robot waist to the red piece that flipped out in step three.
  6. Swing the panel with the robot head forward.
  7. Swing the back panel (the top of the car) against the back tightly and swing up each of the side windows. Then swing the rear of the vehicle into the trunk cover piece and tuck it against the back.
  8. Straighten out the robot arms and swing the door panels around in the back. You can rest them against his arm or have them up in plain sight.
  9. On each foot piece, swing the wheels around to the other side along with the panels next to them. You could (if you chose) use these panels as heel pieces to help him balance, but he doesn't really need them.
  10. Swing each black piece from the heels down to form armor over the front of the lower legs.
  11. Separate the headlight sections of the hood from the middle to give the chest a segmented appearance.

Robot Mode:
It's funny how you can not like something at first and then it just grows on you. The first time I transformed Sideways, I honestly looked at his robot mode and went "No sir, I don't like it." But after transforming him a few times and getting him posed in pictures for this review, I have done a 180 on that feeling.

I think what put me off initially were Sideways' tiny feet and the fact that his weapon isn't all that big. However, after looking at the overall design, I think the designers were going for a very bird-like look to the character overall. His legs have the "chicken walker" look, with the knees bending backwards. His head design is very angular and sharp with the center looking like a beak with mandibles underneath (okay, so he's a mutated bird). The image is solidified by the side windows on his back which swing up or back like wings. The car doors on his upper arms also look like wings as well (albeit small ones). His chest design is also rather angular, with a nice visual trick where two tubes on either side of his head seem to "connect" to the headlight sections of the chest when swung out. This also replicates the movie "look" where parts all over the vehicle break up and become armor on the robot mode.

Sideways' smaller details really impressed me as well. His arms are choc full of tiny details including pistons, gears and tubes. His waist has a complex sculpt that looks like it could be the internal systems of a car rearranged. The legs are thin, but full of detail. The upper legs are seemingly covered in armor plating while the lower legs have complex detailing including triangles sticking out to the sides and gear like details.

Sideways shows off mostly black plastic in this mode. His head, the platform his head rests on, the arms and most of the legs are black. His waist and the middle of the legs are red plastic. Silver is found on the lower leg and the hip joints. As long time readers of this site know, I love the red/silver/black color combination, so this color scheme is aces in my book. A bit more silver paint is used on the robot head and the left fist and his eyes are translucent pink. In the right light, the effect the translucent pink windows have on his back is really nice. Like the vehicle mode, it looks like he has energy coursing through his body, but this time light going through the translucent pink plastic enhances that effect.

Sideways has sixteen points of articulation. This includes three on each arm and four on each leg. He also has waist articulation, which is anice plus since the nature of his transformation almost led me to think he would lack this feature. The saw blade on his right hand spins, and you can activate his "mech alive" feature by moving his arms up and down at the elbow. This causes the discs on the sides of his elbow joints to spin as well as moving a small drum inside the upper arms. It's a really nice effect that uses simple gears to reproduce the types of small mechanical movements seen on the Transformers in the feature film.

Final Thoughts:
I wasn't a fan at first, but playing with this figure enough showed me what a neat bit of engineering and design it truly is. I love the Audi inspired vehicle mode and remain surprised at how much of the real life car's features were kept intact. Highly recommended!