Sideways

Money, violence, sex, computer graphics, scatalogical humor, racism, robots designed to be rednecks but given European accents, and maybe another sequel to the saga... what's not to love? TF m1, Revenge of the Fallen, Dark of the Moon and now Age of Extinction.

Sideways

Postby JediTricks » Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:19 pm

Alt mode:
Sideways is basically an Audi R8, the wide, low-slung budget rocket that sports a Lamborghini engine for under $120k. However, the changes due to not being licensed include moving the air inlets from the doors back to the fender, altering the carbon-fiber B-pillar, and hamper the look of the headlights and inlets below them, all of which the R8 gets its sportiest looks, leaving this car still looking like an Audi, but now a little too much like a less-exciting one. The nose of the car seems a little stretched to me, and slightly raised, but this is more about comparisons to the source material. The back window over the engine is also dropped from the round shape to a shelf, but this isn't a hit to its sporty looks. The paint is a dark gunmetal with black accents, unfortunately the toy relies heavily on paint and many of the samples I've seen at the stores have notably scratched paint on the roof and hood. The windows are translucent magenta (although I believe at least some are painted that color rather than naturally so), the headlamps clear. The vehicle mode is generally solid, it's lightweight but doesn't feel cheap, and there is no kibble to speak of, although there are a few seam lines showing - nothing drastic though. The underside has some kibble which just hits the ground, you can barely roll the car on all 4 wheels. It's a decent sportscar mode, although the changes keep it from being as cool as the real R8, and it's one of those cars that looks more exciting from ground level than above.

Transformation:
It starts with an automorph that's fun and effective, although not always consistent. Push in the grill and the lower torso springs down while the front wheels fold in. I really like that these springs are strong and confident, yet leaves the parts still confident in alt mode as well - I hate saggy wheels. From there it's taking apart panels and folding out parts. I find the official method frustrating and leading to possible breakage, the doors simply don't want to leg go of the rear fenders, while folding up the rear panels and then pulling out the legs to start makes a much easier transition. The official instructions are also dead wrong about how the backpack forms to the figure, it says to fold it all the way to the top, yet there are tabs and slots partway through which lines the rear end up with the chest and looks significantly better. The same instructions also neglect folding up the triangular panels at the back of the hood, even though these give the neck-collar some much-needed context . Getting it back to alt mode isn't too bad, but the rear end and arms don't feel like they have a specific area to go at first, it requires actually finding those spots where they do get locked down to finish the job.

Bot mode:
Sideways ends up only really using the hood, front wheels, and rear wheels and fenders for his robot mode. From the side, there are a few gaps, but he gets away with it pretty darn well and does have a core. The rest of the car is kibble, though if you put the backpack onto the slots, it feels a lot more "whole" and less like kibble. Although some similarities to Barricade in the larger sense exist, up close this figure is more its own man, though one could easily believe this was Barricade upgrading to a different alt mode. The figure adds a lot more red and black to the mix, the black looks fine if a little boring, the red is very boring and toyetic but hardly a dealbreaker and would probably look good with a black paint wash. Sideswipe is fairly tall, though the various wings add even more. He's also wide at the hips and shoulders, but doesn't look like a bruiser. His legs are thin and digitigrade, officially they use the rear wheels as the majority of the foot with a tiny front foot, and this works pretty darn well, there are tabs to keep the wheels from rolling, and the front feet stabilize balance. The rear fenders fly off the wheel-feet at an angle, since he's a "courier", this suggests winged boots a la the roman god Mercury. However, the small front feet can also be used as the only foot, and if you unpeg the rear fenders you get an extra mid-leg point of articulation that raises him up even taller and makes the legs more "normal", but then he's standing on tiny feet (which in the movie universe is hardly "out there"), it works but isn't as stable with them dainty feet. The head is basically another movie Decepticon, but has slightly more recognizable features, some gunmetal paint accents, and light-piped magenta eyes that really come through great. The head is on a collar, it's a bit of a cheat but with the backpack folded down and the rear corners of the hood folded up, it looks fine (the more you angle the chest down, the better it looks, and the more you look at it straight on, the worse). He's got 2 sets of wings, the windows and sills create Kickback-style wings that can be moved a little, and the doors are wings on the shoulders which have enough articulation to be moved around to a lot of different orientations. He's got a good amount of sculpted detail, I especially like how the front fenders pulled away from the torso as far as they'll go reveal more stuff and give the figure a narrower chest. The figure's arms are pretty thick, they house the Mech Alive gimmick and clearly were going to house a BETTER iteration of the gimmick before Hasbro got cheap and neutered it. As it exists now, moving the elbow turns a piston inside the bicep (which I do like) and slowly turns a greeble just above the elbow. However, the free-spinning faux-wheel and saw on the forearms reek of "turn the greeble to spin the saw", which would have been WAY cooler than having the saw and faux-wheel spin freely. The black arms could have used some color as well, especially the black saw blade, and why only 1 hand got a true thumb is beyond me.

Articulation:
Well articulated in the upper body with lots going on and very little kibble or hindrances, the head can barely look up and the doors and front fenders occasionally get in the way of some arm poses, but that's about it. The lower body has ok articulation, the hips do most of that, with only hinged knees doing anything else (the tiny front foot is ball-jointed, but using the wheel as the majority of the foot, it's not as usable). The leg articulation isn't a drawback for posing though, as it basically covers everything a human leg can do (the upper thigh swivel comes in handy); on mine the left hip ball joint is loose though. If you can find the balance points then the waist, knee, toe, and hip articulation can get this figure into some really extreme poses, I have mine leaning waaaay forward like he's running or skating, and yet it's quite stable.

Overall: B+
Likable, exciting, fun, and well detailed. Poseability is very good once you understand the balance points with the feet and digitigrade knees, and it certainly pulls off wheel-feet better than most. It manages its kibble pretty well, but it is largely a shellformer. Deco is good but could be better, especially the red plastic, and the gunmetal paint seems to be easy to scratch. The mech alive gimmick is sleepy and obviously had something more exciting in mind, so it feels like a lost opportunity, but isn't a major drawback.

I definitely will be buying dlx Dead End when he comes out and won't feel bad about owning this mold twice.
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See, that one's a camcorder, that one's a camera, that one's a phone, and they're doing "Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil", get it?
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Re: Sideways

Postby JediTricks » Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:24 pm

Here are my photos of the pose. It turned out to be a hard pose to photograph, to the naked eye with tons of frames of reference, it is clearly a deep forward lean, like 25 or 30 degrees, but in the photos it's not quite selling that.

(Make sure to click the image you get there for full-sized, they'll only display it a little bigger than those thumbnails until you do)
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Re: Sideways

Postby onslaught86 » Mon Jun 22, 2009 7:37 am

I really like Sideways too, he's the most well-rounded of the ROTF toys I've bought thus far. Sells the same sort of realistic design that made NewBee so popular, but amps up the detail and articulation to boot. Definitely an improvement over, saaay, the retrospective suck that is Movie1 Barricade. As you said, Dead End's a buy too, this is a mould I'll gladly own more of. Great design, shame he's likely a one-scene wonder in the movie.

Mine has the loose hip too. I fiddled with it a bit, seems the ball joint doesn't click in all the way, it's a touch mis-moulded. That annoys me, since a mis-moulded ball is more easily remedied than a mis-moulded socket.

I don't think the faux wheel (And it's a GOOD faux wheel, it's both moulded and painted separately, this is the first time EVER I haven't hated a fake wheel..although I'd still prefer it was a real wheel) was intended to spin like the saw. The left robot hand has separately moulded claws for no obvious reason, and a mysterious panel on the forearm, so I'm calling cancelled extendy claw gimmick here. The good news is that the removal of either gimmick doesn't hurt the figure, he's strong enough to stand on his own merits.
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Re: Sideways

Postby Dominic » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:06 am

Good catch on the Mercury feet JT.


This is the first time in a while JT and I have liked a toy. (I like it a bit more, but not buy much.)

I nearly skipped Sideways on release day, but I keep coming back to it.

Dom
{SPOILER - Mouse-over to read:}-just wishes the first few minutes of the movie was different. :(
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Re: Sideways

Postby JediTricks » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:41 am

I kinda like m1 Barricade, but it requires work to get him to suck less, like moving the head up above the hood, rotating the shoulder kibble wheels around 180 (everybody is laying these flat, but I say no). Still, not even remotely close to Sideways here.

At least he's in the movie.

On mine, the left hip is definitely all the way into the socket, you can see the ball on the other side of the joint against the walls.

There's no room on either forearm for an extending forearm gimmick internally, so I'm not sure what you mean there. The spinning wheel on the left might have been intended to spin free, I'll grant you only because there isn't as much width at the hand, but there's still an excess of bulk and a washer-screw that is designed there for no reason, the spinning wheel here could have been done a myriad of ways if that was the intention. I am very confident about the right hand saw though intending to be geared.

Dominic wrote:Good catch on the Mercury feet JT.
Thanks! I know, I never get that sort of thing usually.

This is the first time in a while JT and I have liked a toy. (I like it a bit more, but not buy much.)
You always say that stuff, but it's not that accurate, you just feel like I's a hater.

I nearly skipped Sideways on release day, but I keep coming back to it.
I did skip it, looked uninteresting at a lot of first views, I only picked it up based on O6's image of the backpack set down properly, and even that was a risky buy.

{SPOILER - Mouse-over to read:}-just wishes the first few minutes of the movie was different. :(
Yeah, I was really disappointed in the hand-out comic's story there.
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Re: Sideways

Postby Dominic » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:59 am

The hand-out comic is part of the adaptation, so I assume it is accurate to the movie.

And, you have to admit, it is rare for us to agree on toys, or movie, or politics or......

Dom
-still needs to review the last few purchases.
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Re: Sideways

Postby Onslaught Six » Mon Jun 22, 2009 4:26 pm

Sideways is painted out to be a courier and a coward, so his role in the movie doesn't surprise me. Disappoints me, but not surprises me. He clearly could have been Barricade in a new body, still hiding out from Autobots from the first movie, and I suspect he may have been intended to be in the early stages. And then Hasbro was all, "No, make him a new character, we can sell more toys that way," and so it was done.

Even fixing the first Movie Barricade's arm kibble and head can't make him an inherently better figure. Not when there's such problems as cruddy hands, no head articulation, and he's permanently imitating Pat Lee artwork.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.


People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Sideways

Postby onslaught86 » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:06 pm

There's no room on either forearm for an extending forearm gimmick internally, so I'm not sure what you mean there. The spinning wheel on the left might have been intended to spin free, I'll grant you only because there isn't as much width at the hand, but there's still an excess of bulk and a washer-screw that is designed there for no reason, the spinning wheel here could have been done a myriad of ways if that was the intention. I am very confident about the right hand saw though intending to be geared.


No no, I suspect the right hand's claws were to have slid out Wolverine style on a small spring-loaded mechanism. This based on those claws being separately moulded for no discernable reason, and the panel in the top of the right forearm that does nothing.
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Re: Sideways

Postby Onslaught Six » Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:10 pm

Wait, I'm confused--his saw hand, or his other one? If it's the saw hand, I disagree--there's clearly places where there was gearing to do 'something,' and to me, I think it's a spinny saw. That is, after all, his packaging callout. The fingers are likely seperate because of engineering issues or something.
BWprowl wrote:The internet having this many different words to describe nerdy folks is akin to the whole eskimos/ice situation, I would presume.


People spend so much time worrying about whether a figure is "mint" or not that they never stop to consider other flavours.
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Re: Sideways

Postby onslaught86 » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:26 pm

Onslaught Six wrote:Wait, I'm confused--his saw hand, or his other one? If it's the saw hand, I disagree--there's clearly places where there was gearing to do 'something,' and to me, I think it's a spinny saw. That is, after all, his packaging callout. The fingers are likely seperate because of engineering issues or something.


..Of course I don't mean the saw hand, it doesn't have the claws moulded separately, nor does it have a small separate panel on top. My right, not his right, which in retrospect is almost a little confusing.
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