Blackjack's Review: ROTF Legends Sideways
The Decepticon Sideways appeared only in the opening Shanghai battle in the Revenge of the Fallen movie, and even then his function is only to showcase Arcee, the Twins and Sideswipe in action. Mostly Sideswipe. Sideways’ whole personality basically amounted to ‘that Decepticon who got bisected by Sideswipe in Shanghai’, and indeed that was a memorably awesome scene! It’s the type of fluid, complex action scenes which made watching Revenge of the Fallen a fun thing to do. Unfortunately, being a minor character, Sideways didn’t get much in lieu of good toys.
I mean, his name is basically slapped on just to keep the trademark, I reckon. Sideways’ name was first used in the tail-end of Robots in Disguise as a random repaint of a G2 motorcycle toy, and then used as a relatively major side-changing antagonist (also a motorcycle) in the Armada franchise, and then again in its purported sequel, Cybertron, where a side-changing Sideways (this one a faceless jet) who may or may not be the Armada Sideways appeared.
Sideways got a Deluxe class toy released alongside of his killer Sideswipe in one of the first ROTF waves, which surprised me and put me off – two entirely silver cars in the same wave? Hell, Sideways was supposed to be coloured black through his entire center! This, I think, was why I picked up neither of them, settling for their more colourful repaints Swerve and Dead End instead. And while I ended up buying a DOTM Sideswipe, I remained without a Sideways, and being a huge movieverse fan, it didn’t feel right not to have all the characters in at least one version. It’s like part of my OCD thing.
So I bought the legends class toy. I didn’t have high hopes for the movie legends, on account on being generally terrible – which can’t be faulted, the hyper-complex movie designs are difficult as it is to compress into deluxe or voyager class toys, let alone legends class affairs! But buy this toy I did.
Sideways transforms into an Audi R8, although unlike most of the movie line’s vehicles, the Audi R8 is unlicensed. It’s quite odd, because Audi was the one who approached the studios in the first place to sneak in one of their cars into Revenge of the Fallen (bet they weren’t too pleased when the all-new Chevrolet Stingray completely destroyed their car). But although Sideways is unlicensed, he still bears quite a likeness to the R8 design, although it’s got certain details changed to dodge the trademark, although remarkedly less than the likes of the Universe toys.
Sideways is entirely gray. The movie’s prop vehicle has a thick, black stripe running across the length of the vehicle’s center, and there is space molded where the black paint should go, but they did not do that. Did they think no one would notice? Or do they just don’t care, because Sideways is basically a nobody? Either way, Sideways looks very bland – his windows are pink, his headlights are silver, his front grill is black, and, for some odd reason, a significant portion of the car’s rear where the rear windows should be are replaced by mechanical details which are painted silver… which probably ate up the paint allocation for this toy. What these details are for is unclear, because they end up in the back and out of sight in robot mode, so this bunch of mechanical detailing only serves to make the vehicular mode even less show-accurate. Audi trademark dodging?
A Decepticon insignia sits in the center of the hood, and a bit of black tampograph (upside down compared to that of the real Audi) mark either side. He rolls pretty well, and doesn’t have any obvious robot mode parts showing.
Sideways’ robot mode is very, very blocky. His show model basically took the classic ‘hood as chest’ transformation used by many car Transformers (G1 Prowl, Jazz, Movie Bumblebee, Barricade…) and made out a spin-off which ended up in a robot mode that was suspiciously similar to Barricade which fooled loads of news-fishers back in the day. But while it seemed to be a simple robot mode – certainly good legends-sized toys with that transformation had surfaced – Sideways was not one of those good toys.
His robot mode is a huge, blocky mess. His arms form a huge chunk of the car mode, and are not so much arms as huge blocks of car hanging off his side, with the hands molded in. Yeah, the wheels ended up near the hands, or rather, vice versa. The arms are connected to the chest with ball joints, although they can’t articulate much – they are too heavy and cumbersome to do anything than hang awkwardly on his side. From the waist down all he got are joints that help him unfold, so unless you want the knees to bend the other way, he doesn’t have any useful leg articulation. And his legs are skinny too, like the deluxe class toy, making him pretty top-heavy. His headsculpt is a very simplistic, generic version of Sideways’ model head, not that you’d remember what it looked like without checking it up in the internet.
Again, he is almost entirely gray, with the obvious wheels and lower legs cast entirely in black. It’s a lousy robot mode, and the alternate mode looks bland.
Marks out of ten for the following:
2/10 It’s a relatively simple design, and yet they got it all wrong, making him turn from a toy car into a stationary gimpy-legged gorilla thing.
7/10 He’s reasonably durable, although the pin joints holding his knees together seem pretty weak. He’s survived rough treatment, certainly.
2/10 Sideways’ vehicle mode is very, very bland, but that’s nothing compared to the extremely messy robot mode. I ended up painting my eyesoringly bland Sideways to match the show deco, but while the vehicle mode was improved the robot mode is too bad to be saved by a paintjob.
1/10 Arm ball joints, and nothing else. All other joints are part of his transformation.
1/10 To be fair, I did have fun painting him, but that’s the only thing that’s fun about this toy. It’s a very, very bad toy.
1/10 He’s got a brickish, extremely bad robot mode with unnatural proportions and zero articulation, and he turns into an unattractively bland car with random silver details. I’ve always regretted buying this toy. Movie-line legends toys have been notoriously bad, but Sideways is undoubtedly one of the worst Movie-era legends toys I own.