Revenge of the Fallen Gravity Bots Sideswipe Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: July 2009
Price Point: $ (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Locking pin

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
SIDESWIPE races into action with his blades poised to pierce some DECEPTICONS! He’s an eager warrior who’s always looking for a fight. The bigger the bad guy, the better, he thinks, because there’s nothing like a challenge!

Tilt this super-cool SIDESWIPE figure back and watch as it automatically converts from robot mode to an awesome concept car in vehicle mode! Let your imagination soar with this must-have figure for your collection!

Gravity-Bots are a new sub-line of Transformers product. The name refers to the primary gimmick of the toy: it transforms by itself. For years, fans have often wondered what an "auto" transforming figure would be like, and while we've had the likes of Battlechargers and Jumpstarters in G1, those mechanisms were relatively simple, requiring only one or two parts moving to complete the transform. Gravity-Bots are more complex, and they utilize the force of gravity as part of their transformation, hence the name.

Gravity-Bots are definitely aimed at a small sub-sect of the collecting population. Their appearance is rather bulky and dare I say it, "cute". The auto-transformation feature may seem like a novelty to some, but others may miss the complex play of moving parts around themselves to create the figures' alternate form.

Robot Mode:
Sideswipe is easily one of the sleekest Autobots to come out in quite some time. When you take something as sleek as a Corvette based Transformer and make him super deformed, there's a risk you run of making him look more funny than cool. In the case of Sideswipe, the designers managed to skirt that edge but not go over it. True this figure is rather bulky (as Gravity-Bots tend to be) but the sleekness of the character's base CGI design still comes through. A lot of this is due to the design of the arms and chest. The arms are curved on top and seem to flow down to the ends where his hands are. His chest is partly made up of the top of the vehicle mode cabin, which has a nice curve that gives a smooth appearance to the robot mode.

The head sculpt is a bit simplified from the deluxe version of this character with thicker lines and less sharply defined edges. Still, it retains the rather unique "helmet" section shape with lines of detail curving back over the head as well as an interesting face with a mouth portion that is sunk into the face and slightly small in proportion to the eyes.

A lot of the robot mode detail worked its way into this figure. The chest panel has what can be best described as a shrunken down version of the chest design from the CGI model. Sideswipe's "real" model actually uses the back of the vehicle mode as the chest, complete with the rear lights in front. Here, this small panel has a lot of those details including the uniquely shaped rear lights instead. It also has some extra tech detail that may be meant to substitute for his non-existent waist in this form.

You have to look at the figure at a bit of an angle, but the robot arms have a lot of details from the CGI model including claw hands, layers of armor detail and most importantly, his arm mounted blade weapons. Another impressive array of details can be found on the lower part of the body. Though fused together as one part, a lot of his robot leg details make it through here such as hydraulics, tubes and the wheels that serve as his feet in the CGI model. This set of details impressed me the most, not so much due to their existence but more due to the level of detail employed in these parts.

Sideswipe is cast in metallic silver and black plastic. Metallic silver makes up most of the robot mode with black used for the wheels and smaller parts such as the insides of the arms. Paint details are done up in metallic silver, metallic blue and orange. The silver is used for a lot of the intricate details including parts of his face and the mechanical details on his legs. The metallic blue is used for parts like his robot eyes and the headlights on his shoulders. Orange is used on the rear light designs on his chest panel. A small Autobot symbol is tampographed onto the center of his chest. I'm glad the designers decided to go with metallic colors all around since the real life Corvette and other toy versions of this character all seem to use similar shades/types of silver. It adds to the brightness of the figure overall.

Gravity-Bots as a rule generally don't have articulation, but Sideswipe's head can actually turn slightly side to side. I wouldn't move it too much since it's really meant to be a function of his transformation.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Be sure the pin on the lower back side is not inserted.
  2. Lay the figure down on a flat surface, making sure the small wheel in the middle of the back presses against the surface.
  3. The robot arms will swing up as the robot head rotates around, forming the front and sides of the vehicle.
  4. At the same time, the cabin section will rotate around and the small panel on it will flip down.

Vehicle Mode:
As I mentioned in the robot mode review section, the Corvette is a super sleek car that gets "chunked up" a bit in this toy. Despite that, the vehicle mode preserves the same curved and angular lines you'd find on more movie accurate versions of this character. This includes the distinctive point in the front of the vehicle and the high wheel wells.

Sideswipe also has a lot of the smaller details that are integral parts of the Corvette including the vertical stripe headlights, the distinctive front grille and of course, the "Checkered Flag" icon sculpted into the front end of the figure. I was also pleased to see the distinctive row of exhaust pipes on the rear of the vehicle (which also serve as the button that activates the transformation to robot mode).

All the same colors from the robot mode carry over into the vehicle mode, with the metallic blue parts coming together a lot more here, especially in the cabin section. You also see a lot more silver in this form on the sides of the wheels. It's a simple color scheme for sure, but it's not like the Corvette (as presented in the movie) was choc full of colors so it looks great, especially thanks to the metallic flake in the plastic and paint.

Final Thoughts:
I generally have an aversion to sleek vehicles being given a super deformed type treatment, but in the case of Sideswipe the designers totally made it work. Highly recommended!