You got to applaud Michael Bay. Hack director or not, he knows his shit when it comes to making money. Instead of upfront payment as a director, the man now demands a slice of net profits. That means whatever money one of his movies brings in after the studio expenses, he gets a percentage. For "Pearl Harbor" it was 50%. Who knows how much how much it was for the Transformers movie or for the sequel.
He gets the same kind of deal for the toyline. According to Forbes, The Bayman gets an estimated 8% royalty on Transformer toy profits. Imagine the kind of moolah that brings in? Every time you go to the toy store and pick up a new movie toy, a few pesos are going into this doink's pocket.
It's almost enough to make me want to return my Sideswipe.
Apparently, this new bot is the cream of the crop from Wave 2 of the new Revenge of the Fallen Toyline. It's not hard to understand why. The toy is the epitome of slick, with a great vehicle and robot form, a gimick that doesn't completely suck, and a paint job that rivals the ones on Premium Jazz from the first movie.
Overall, Sideswipe definitely deserves the praise he's been getting on the forums, and the attention he's been getting from scalpers. You'd be lucky to find this guy in toy stores nowadays. As soon as he's re-stocked, their picked up by either voracious collectors, or opportunistic specialty stores to re-sell. I've been actively searching for one since missing out on it during the toy lauch a few weeks ago and have seen him for more than 200% of retail at several shops. Luckily, I was able to find one in Kidstation in Greenbelt.
Naturally, I did the Meposian Dance of Joy and ran to the cash register, cash in hand.
I don't know how accurate to the original his back story is, but the toy itself isn't too close to the G1 Sideswipe. For one thing, he was a red Lambourghini. This guy's a silver concept Corvette. Pretty looking thing really, almost nice enough to replace the Shelby GT as my favorite car. While I wish they had stuck with the nice candy apple red of the original, this silver finish is really beautiful for a mass market toy.
There are problems with the silver paint though. From looking at Sideways and the old Premium Jazzes, there's a high chance of an error somewhere. Dust, scratches, globs of paint on the surface, or at the edges. I can see it's going to be hard to keep this guy in pristine condition.
There is also the fact that unlike the old Premium line, He doesn't get much paint on the internal parts. Alot of his robot parts are just cast plastic. Not really bad, and totally understandable considering costs, but It would have been nice to see a few more paint apps on his arms and legs.
The transformation to robot is unique. It's nowhere near as hard as the Leader Class Prime, but it's very satisfying for an old fan like me. It's not something rehashed from past bots for one thing. You basically start by pulling out his arms from the rear, opening the hood and flipping down his legs, locking the chest in place. You can do it in a minute or two.
There is another quality issue on mine where the hood halves don't lay flush together. You can see it in one of the pictures above. I think there may be some extra plastic in one of the tabs underneath that is preventing it, but I'm loath to mess with it.
He's got the chicken legs that are becoming so popular in the Bayverse. The biggest problem he has really is the feet, and it's one I can't understand. They're made from the corners of his hood, and aside from being backwards, they are not flat. This makes him a real bitch to stand up, forget any kick tests. If you have any stands from other toy lines like Gundam or Revoltech, I suggest you use them.
His gimick is his "swords" which while generally looking the part, don't really sell themselves as blades. They are way to thick and look more like exactly what they are, pieces of his doors. Still, it's a nice little tick that you can add on, and I can forgive them that since it is made for kids.
The door pieces are geared, so when you turn one, the other turns with it. You can leave them up, like in the photo above, or you leave them in the middle, you get Edward Scissorhands.
He's also got this "Mech Alive" malarky that is on all the new toys. It's a ridiculous marketing ploy that touts it self as pieces of armor that move to the ideal angle that will deflect incoming laser attacks. piffle. On Sidswipe, you'll find it on his knees. If you move his leg, a blue piece on the front moves out. Nothing that adds anything to the toy, but nothing that subtracts from it either.
With all the ball joints on this sucker, you'll get him in some great poses, but with his feet, you'll need the aforementioned stand for him to keep any of them. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of him standing on his wheels like rollerblades, but there should have been an extra piece that would allow for some stability.
That being said, he's a great toy and shoud be added to any shopping list of fans.