Robot Heroes Review: Sideways & Sideswipe

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It’s been said that no one can tell the difference between a really good idea and a really bad idea until it’s too late. But you’ve got to wonder about someone who signed off on packing together Sideways and Sideswipe in the same Robot Heroes pack. Sure, it’s a fun piece of wordplay but could the names be any closer?

The second Transformers film made an effort to give the new Transformers different shapes so they all don’t just look like large humanoid robots. Sideswipe takes a simple notion that wheels are usually faster than legs, and makes the most of his automotive form. Based off the Corvette Stingray concept car (and further proving that the Autobots have no idea what “in disguise” means), Sideswipe doesn’t look anything like his classic bright red cartoon counterpart.

Instead he’s now one of the most visually interesting Autobots. His feet are made of wheels allowing him to skate around, while each arm has a giant blade coming out of it. He definitely looks unlike anyone else. The boxy design looks good and the kibble on his back almost looks like wings. The design is amazing, except for the issue of balance.

Given that Sideswipe doesn’t have feet; he requires his left arm to be on the ground for balance. As a single pose, having him draw his blade across the ground looks really cool but a toy that can’t stand isn’t that fun. Sideswipe moves at the shoulders.

The paint is relatively simple. He’s mostly silver with black hands, face and tires. He’s got red and blue detailing along with an Autobot insignia on his right shoulder – which makes the most sense for a symbol compared to a lot of figures in the movie line.

Paired up with Sideswipe is the Decepticon who had the unfortunate honor of getting sliced in half – Sideways. Normally a robot that jumps between sides quicker than Spider-Man makes quips, Sideways didn’t do much in the second Transformers movie besides getting killed in Shanghai. In fact, I’m amazed Hasbro even made this figure because he barely showed up in the movie in robot mode!

Sideways follows the normal Robot Heroes motif, standing with a slight squat while looking menacing and brandishing claws. Supposedly Sideways is an Audi R8, but he just looks like a generic evil robot but that isn’t a bad thing because for the longest time I couldn’t figure out if he was a good guy or a bad guy.

Then I realized his Decepticon insignia is on his left foot. We’ve reached a new low in terms of absurd locations to put a faction symbol.

Besides some vague looking headlights on the chest, Sideways just looks like a black robot. Between the spiky visual design and clockwork gears on the shoulders, he looks great. In his right hand he’s holding something that kind of looks like a whip. Or maybe it’s a hula-hoop. Sideways moves at the shoulders and neck, but his absurdly high collar makes his head barely move.

The paint is good and has far more subtlety than I’d expect. He’s mostly black with some red and silver detailing along with very dark metallic blue. He looks evil.

Packing these together just feels so wrong and so right. Their fight kicked off the beginning of the second movie but pairing up essentially a black and a white figure with near identical names? Someone is messing with us, right? But they’re solid figures either way.

Written by jestergoblin

November 26th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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