Hasbro was first to release a Warrior class (deluxe) version of the character and it really annoyed me that the red tones of the plastic didn't match. I figured that Takara would eventually correct this with their release so I waited.
In typical Takara fashion even the packaging is an upgrade over what Hasbro offers. Sideswipe comes packaged in a blister card, but the bubble can be easily removed without damaging the backing card. The back features his tech spec and lets you know about the mobile app and how you can scan the Autobot symbol on the toy.
The designers did a pretty good job at capturing Sideswipe's show counterpart, however the toy has a lot of kibble. From the windows that hang off the undersides of his arms to the car's hood and windshield on his back. The kibble isn't that bad however; I'm more annoyed by his un-usually large clown feet. I also don't care for the two pieces that sit on each side of his head. They don't lock into place and I found it hard to get them to me symmetrical. His headsculpt is pretty spot on and even includes that smug smirk he wore at times in the animated show. Sideswipe comes packaged with black sword.
In vehicle mode this is where this toy really shines. I absolutely love the overall, sleek look of this red sports car. It also helps that the different red panels match better than the Hasbro version. The hood and the rear of the car has what appears to be some Japanese characters (is it Kanji?), but at least to me it doesn't detract from the overall look. Sometimes it's just the subtle differences that help complete the look such as the thin blue paint app to the tires.
I still find that the Decepticons have the more interesting character designs, although I really like Sideswipe's alt mode. I chose to compare him here against Thunderhoof since the two characters had a pretty cool one on one confrontation in the animated series.
Is Sideswipe worth importing? It's hard to say. I'm not a huge fan of the mold, though the changes Takara made do make the toy look much better. I ended up importing pretty much the entire Adventures line as I preferred to have a more show accurate display on my shelves, but I'll let you make that final call.