Saturday, 29 March 2014

Super Car! Super duper robot!

As a young ‘un, I have ALWAYS had a crush on the sleek sharp lines of the Lamborghini Contach.  For me it was the ultimate car.  Sadly, like many other people in the world, I am unlikely to ever own one.  But as it turns out, through the good people at Takaratomy and if I remember correctly designed by Shogo Hasui I now have a very nice sample in my collection.

So what if it isn’t a REAL Lamborghini.

I never had a G1 Sideswipe, which was a shame, but I did have the time to play with a friend’s one.  It was glorious.  I DID however have a matchbox model that substituted for Sideswipe in my Transformer battles of yore.  

Many years later, TakaraTomy (TT) grabbed the rights to produce a Masterpiece version of Sideswipe and I knew I had to have it!

But I missed the pre-order space at my usual suspects…

I managed to get myself a Sideswipe from amazon Japan which allowed me to get the extra bonus ‘pile drivers.’  Yay, I think.  They look like chromed chisels and he actually comes with pile drivers of a different type anyway.

The box is nice and small, and as you can see, the amazon pile drivers are professionally stuck to the box.

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SS is kept in a clamshell of plastic for protection and the instructions sheet has a little bit of blurb about SS and the stats of a Contach.  he also comes with a cute little bio card.  The extra pile-drivers also have usage instructions.

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Now, let’s have a look see at the vehicle mode.

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Hmm, Very nice indeed.   Nice and roadhugging, the transformation panels aren’t THAT obvious and it’s a good size.  There are a few paint application issues with Sideswipe which is a bit of a bummer.  the first you will notice in the last two photos above.  Just under the left wing mirror, the red paint isn’t as thick as it should be and the plastic colour has seeped through a little.

On the two below, the name Contach is a little wiped off and the Lamborghini logo on the bonnet is clean, but the bonnet has a couple of little smudges on it.  Thankfully my toy is very solid and the robot mode looks good.
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I like the vehicle mode despite the minor paint mishaps, but I can see why some people would be annoyed.  After all, this is supposed to be a ‘masterpiece.’  The underside of the car is very neat and hides robot parts nicely and due to the weapon being roof mountable, there is a nice spring loaded piece that fills in the hole where the gun will plug into.
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Interestingly, the photo with my hand in it is closest to the red of the vehicle.  As briefly mentioned earlier, the weapons can be mounted on the roof of the car.  After a quick bit of combination.  I quite like the looks of this, it really reminds me of “Roadblasters” the game.  I do love a Transformer that has weapons for vehicle mode!

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Transformation is pretty easy, with some points of minor confusion in the legs, but nothing too hard.  I do love the way the later Masterpiece figures have managed to look damn good in vehicle mode and robot mode, as well as keep transformation interesting but not too complex.  The end result is a bit of this:

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A very nice combination of cartoon and toy.  Nice proportions and quite a bit of articulation too.  The ankles are slightly hindered by the way the car spoiler folds in front of them, but it doesn’t affect him that much in the long wrong.

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Details are a bit on the sparse side, but to be honest you don’t want too much as most of his skin is made up of car parts.  The legs are hollow, but manage to cover it up fairly well.  There isn’t any die caste in this baby but he doesn’t need it.  His missile launcher and Flare gun both look cartoony, but with the essence of the original toy in there as well.  It’s very nice.

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The face sculpt is nice, but looks  little off.  To me it just, seems a bit, pudgy, with squinty eyes.  I suspect it has to do with his transformation as the top of his head folds back to fit away for vehicle mode.  A positive of this is that you can inspect his brain if you happen to be a member of RAAT.

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I’ve always liked the look of Sideswipe, aside from his Lamborghini-ness.  Nice and chesty and you can look at the robot and immediately understand what he transforms in to.  That’s pretty much the thing I love about Transformers over other robots.

As well as the guns and shoulder launcher, he also come with a couple of piledrivers, a reference to his G1 bio that states he has them.  Personally I think that Sunstreaker and Sideswipe had their bios mixed up.  But anyway…  The amazon exclusive piledrivers are different to the standard ones and look more like chisels than anything else.  Incidentally, the bio also references his jetpack, like the G1 toy there is no hint of a jetpack on him.

The standard ones are black and the super shiny chromey ones are the amazon exclusive ones.

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Really though in the end, I think the piledrivers don’t really add anything to the figure.  I can’t remember the episode in which they featured, so to me the addition is nothing great.  Luckily all he needs are his standard weapons and his sexy Lamborghini body.  The vehicle mode even with it’s slight paint flaws is a thing of beauty and the robot mode is well articulated and a good height to stand next to Convoy (Optimus) of an MP10 nature, as well as being able to fit inside the aforementioned Optimus’ trailer.  Handy.

In the end, Masterpiece Sideswipe is a very nice figure.  The way all the car pieces fold up and wheels tuck away is very nice.  He makes for a great vehicle and a sexy and tough looking Transformer.  In fact this figure is so nice, I bought his recolour twice.   One for Red Alert and again for G2 Sideswipe.  That’s got to be a pretty good recommendation surely?

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