Friday, March 26, 2010

Transformers R.P.M.s: Sideswipe

Name: Sideswipe
Line: Transformers R.P.M.s
Year: 2010

Price: $2.99

There have been a lot of Decepticon masters of the blade over the years, but every one of them has fallen before Sideswipe. In the history of Cybertron, there is no finder swordsman. Sideswipe is single-minded in his pursuit of perfection with a sword.

Vehicle Data:
Max Speed: 8  Horsepower: 8  Ramming Power: 8  Armor: 6

Today we'll take a few moments and look at a toy that combines two of my favorite toys from my childhood, Transformers and HotWheels.


With the box office success of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallan movie Hasbro decided to milk the movie for all it was worth and introduce a new toy line. With the introduction of the R.P.M. line I feel as if Hasbro was trying to appeal to a wider audience (die-cast car market) than the standard action figure market. For the most part I think the line has been a success. R.P.M. is an acronym that stands for Robot Powered Machines. The vehicles are in scale with most die-cast vehicles like HotWheels and Matchbox, however the toys lack the die-cast metal. The gimmick is the Transformers robot is molded to the underside of the vehicle and you can stand the vehicle up to "transform" it per se. The packaging for these have been handled very well. The colors are a little on the dark side, but still look beautiful. The vehicle itself is packaged in a standard blister bubble and you can see the robot through the bottom of the blister.


On the back side of the packaging you'll see a picture of the robot as well as some additional info on the character. In typical Transformers fashion you get a character bio. Something new is the vehicle data which basically replaces the old tech spec rankings from the action figures. I get the max speed, horsepower and even armor ratings...but ramming? That just seems a little out of place. The R.P.M. toys are also broken down into subclasses which Sideswipe here being part of the Speed Series. Other toys in this subclass are Bumblebee and Jolt from the Revenge of the Fallen movie.


Sideswipe is a beautiful metallic silver Chevy Corvette. I have only bought a few of these so far - mostly upon their initial release and I didn't intend on buying many more if any. I couldn't resist picking up Sideswipe though due to his alternate mode. After my father passed in 1997 I started picking up the occasional Corvette HotWheel to honor his I was pleased to see that Sideswipe was eventually included in the R.P.M. line. One of the first things I noticed upon opening Sideswipe and the others I own is they are very light. I didn't expect any die-cast metal, but these vehicles seem so light they have a cheap feel to them. A friend told me he stepped on one accidentally and it basically shattered. I find it hard to believe since toys these days have to pass rigorous child safety tests. Weight aside Sideswipe is a fun little car. He rolls very well on hard smooth surfaces and I can only imagine if you were to use him on a HotWheels track that he would rather quick. I guess the light weight of the vehicle would help this and may not be such a bad thing after all. Hasbro has made one play set for these toys to date, but I don't have the room for such a thing nor do I have the expendable income. The only paint applications on Sideswipe are on the front and back. The front grill is painted black while the rear lights are painted red. The windows a very dark almost smokey translucent plastic. There doesn't appear to be a dashboard, steering wheel or seats molded inside the car. I can't complain too much about the paint apps since Sideswipe resembles his action figure brother and CGI movie model fairly well, but perhaps some detail on the front headlights would have been nice. The wheels are a nice shiny chrome 5 spoke design. Only other thing to mention about the vehicle is the rear exhaust pipes. All of the R.P.M.s have some sort of pipes or pegs that allow the card to stand up to reveal the robot mode. I like how Hasbro incorporated the exhaust pipes in the design to allow this feature instead of just adding some blaring obvious pegs. Overall it is a great vehicle and would blend in fairly well to any die-cast car collection.

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Front and Rear views...notice the exhaust pipes/pegs on the rear.


Here we have a look at Sideswipe's robot mode. This is where the majority of the details lie. Hasbro did a good job sculpting the robot and cramming it onto such a small and narrow area. The nice thing about these robot modes so to speak are they are 3 dimensional and not simply a flat image. There is a good deal of detail to the robot. In fashion with the bio you can see Sideswipe is armed with his large blades. For some reason these blades have been painted red which seems out of place. Above Sideswipe's head you'll see a small red circle sporting the Autobot symbol and his name printed just below the feet.

In closing I can see how this line has been a winner for Hasbro. If I was a kid I was totally love these and would have probably begged my mom to buy me all of them. I believe the price has recently been dropped a dollar from the initial $3.99 price to $2.99. When compared to a HotWheel or Matchbox which are typically $1.00 each it doesn't seem like a good deal. However they must have sold well since Hasbro is bringing them back in the spring of 2010 (under a new name). Sideswipe makes the 5th R.P.M. I've bought and I may pick up a few others since the price is a little more reasonable now. If you are a fan of this scale vehicle or just a Transformers fan then you at least ought to pick up your favorite character and give the line a chance. Even though the vehicles lack the weight of die-cast metal they are still fun little toys that deserve to be part of the Transformers family.

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