Entertainment Earth

FREE LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTSTM Intro Pack with any purchase!

Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC

Entertainment Earth

Transformers Masterpiece
MP-12 Sideswipe Review

The robot mode sculpt is fantastic and if there’s been compromise for the sake of the engineering I don’t much see it. I think some angles might exaggerate the width of the hood/chest, but that’s about it. I’m much more keyed in on the terrific head sculpt and the overall good proportions. Again, it appears very little compromise was made and the figure is better for it.

Also, the articulation worked into him makes him one of the better six-inch “scale” Transformers to come out in a long-time. Though some of the articulation is achieved through some complex hinges & swivels, Sideswipe essentially features ball-joints at the neck, shoulders, hips, & ankles, hinges at the elbows & knees, and swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs. He may not be able to do some of the more extreme poses, but I’ve found plenty of fun poses for him with the great range the joints give him. In a sense, if you just wanted to collect highly-posable 6” robot figures, this is your man… er, robot.

I think the only real issue to take up with Sideswipe might just be his size. In his alt mode, he’s scaled to interact with the MP-10 trailer and does so well even if there’s no real way for a Countach to ever manage so steep a ramp. In robot form, he does seem a little small compared to the larger MPs that have come before, but he’s surprisingly not. The size relation not only matches some of the style sheets “occasionally” used by the animators, but the relative heights to the original toys also appears to be similarly. Ultimately though, scale is more in the eye of the beholder when it comes to Transformers. If it looks like to you or not will depend more on you than whatever source material you choose to back yourself up (because there is no doubt conflicting source material elsewhere). For me, I do think the cars look a little small next to the jets in bot mode, but cars also also smaller than jets, so I’m good.

Sideswipe included the two aforementioned accessories and two others. The shoulder cannon itself feels more like a part of the figure and can be attached on either shoulder in bot mode or in the roof in alt mode. The classic rifle has also been given an update and is designed to fit into a groove on the palm of either hand. He looks sharp with the accessory, but I’ve often found myself leaving it in the box and just letting him hang out with his menacing shoulder cannon.

Speaking of accessories left in the box, Sideswipe also includes two “pile-driver” hands. These hail from the cartoon and can be attached by spinning the hands back into the forearms and attaching them to the reverse side. I don’t have much use for these, but they are a cool feature and help enhance the value of the figure.

I also have to laugh at myself a bit because there are two other accessories that were packaged exclusive with Sideswipe if you purchased him from Amazon Japan, vac-metal jackhammer hands. I ended up buying a set from BBTS, but I can’t for the life of me figure out where I stored them. A smart man would say the original packaging, but no luck. Tigertrack does include a set, so be sure to check them out in that upcoming review.

Overall, last year, when Masterpiece looked like it was gearing up to actually realize its potential, I was admittedly a little hesitant. The toys looked awesome. Heck, they are awesome. But they can be expensive. Over the last year, I would say I’ve made an adjustment to the cost. In the same way, I don’t much care about paying $20 for a well-articulated, six-inch figure, I’ve also accepted that I’ll be paying $70-80 for the Masterpiece cars if they’re not going to get a domestic release from Hasbro(and so far, they’re not).

In a sense, this is the Transformers line I’ve been waiting for and as long as I’ve got the cash, I’m going for it. Yes, the high price does have its drawbacks. QC must be spot on (and we all know it can’t be for every single one) and there really can’t be much I don’t like about the final product. Thankfully, that’s the case with Sideswipe. I got a great looking figure that has been a blast to own. It made ordering Red Alert a no-brainer and even pushed me into buying Tigertrack (who I absolutely don’t need, but the Countach looks sweet in yellow). The MP line is pricey, but it’s just one more example that it’s a great time to be a toy collector.

For all our Transformers Reviews, check out our Review Index.

Pages: 1 2

59 comments to Transformers Masterpiece
MP-12 Sideswipe Review

  • Ebon

    What a great toy! Seriously worth the money.

  • Ebon

    Also it’s very probable sideswipe was to be yellow originally but a screw-up made him red instead. Cause the diaclone version was yellow. TFSource has a cool two part article about Tigertrack that is very interesting.

  • Great review, pics, and comics, as always!

    I’m actually starting to cherry-pick this line, owing to the cost of each figure. I’ve got no connection to Sideswipe or Tigertrack, so I skipped them, sweet-looking as they are, but I nabbed a Red Alert. (Apart from the sweet Countach mode, there’s something endearing about a paranoid androi . . . er, robot).

    Only real complaint I have about these guys are the size. Smaller than a freaking Alternator / BinalTech, and not much bigger than a deluxe. Yeesh. If they were the same size as the Alternators / BinalTechs, I might’ve bought the whole line, but my brain is rebelling about paying that much for a WHOLE RANGE of such small figures. I’m skipping the whole Fairlady range and getting Wheeljack (love mad scientists), and Bumblebee (love VW beetles and rubbing Volkswagen’s face in their wrongitude).

    1980s represent!

    • Any concerns I had about the scale itself were erased by the animation scale chart Takara produced and then seeing the relative heights of these and the G1 toys at CollectionDX. I wouldn’t want to give any of that up just to get him “bigger”.

      Now, relative size to price is different, of course, but I buy my wife much smaller things that are much more expensive! 😀

    • Faust

      Psst… you saw the last pic right? With the aliens?

      • Yes, actually I did. And I also know that the bigger Alternators / BinalTechs still managed to cost less than the current smaller Masterpieces.

        • To be fair, there’s no way an Alternator would still cost $20-25 in 2013 though. 6″ figures have jumped from what… $9 to $20 in that timeframe, so I can only imagine what Hasbro would ask for the cars now. To be sure, the Alternators probably wouldn’t clock in at $60 if Hasbro matched Takara’s price (well, maybe at TRU!), but having had both, you couldn’t pay me to switch back.

          • Out of curiosity, I went and transformed my sole, remaining Alternator from his gorgeous alt mode into his fugly bot mode and surprisingly he’s maybe a half-inch taller than Sideswipe? That’s not much at all. I know it’s in the eye of the beholder, but I’ll gladly give up a half-inch of height to get the bot mode on-model, and pay a few extra to do it.

          • I was going by the $60 I spent on BBTS back in the day. Plus, we got die-cast metal. Even factoring in inflation, I feel like I’m being ripped off, which is why I’m not bothering with the whole line.

            • Jon

              Binaltech were totally great at the time, but those gorilla arms were just ugh. I’m glad the MP line is sticking to more humanoid proportions going forward. And going from $60 to $80 after like five years for a better articulated and designed figure seems like a decent price to pay.

              As long as you don’t get sucked into the recolor trap!

            • I can’t believe you paid that much for Alternators! Eek!

              • No, BinalTech ran me that much, not the Alternators. Mostly. Except for the SDCC Rodimus / GT40.

                Plus, don’t forget, I live in the southwest of England, a vast and trackless wasteland as far as toy shopping is concerned. Last great store find I had was in Late 2008. I have to pretty much order everything from overseas.

              • StrangePlanet

                He’s not talking about Alternators. He’s talking about Binaltech.
                The original, Japanese versions of the US Alternator toys were Binaltechs, and they cost around $60. But they were much higher quality and mostly die-cast metal with awesome crazy paintjobs.
                At the time $60 was a lot, but they were incredible and just so much nicer than the cheaper US Alternators.
                But also at the time I got the MP-01 Japanese mostly die-cast Convoy (Optimus Prime) for only $100. Flash forward about 10 years and the MP-13 Soundwave is much smaller, no light-up feature, no die-cast and it costs $160. God only knows what the Binaltech would cost in todays market, but I’d guess $90.
                I still adore my Binaltech BT-01 Smokescreen, and when I finally broke down and got me a MP-12 Sideswipe, I was happy that it’s really not too much smaller than the Binaltech at all, as you noted above. I’m super happy I finally got the MP-12 Sideswipe because he’s a great little toy, and I know people have problems with the value of the thing and in the MP cars in general, but I have no regrets whatsoever.

  • Do cars still get posters? That’s a great question. I don’t think posters get posters anymore! LOL! I had posters of cars, women, rock bands, and comic characters as a teen, but we’re talking way back in the 80’s here.

    I never had Sideswipe as a kid, but like you, I loved the Lamborghini Countach! It was the 80’s (as mentioned) and Miami Vice was the hottest show on TV. Cool looking European sport cars were everywhere and that only made toys such as Sideswipe all the more awesome.

    I tried getting into the Masterpiece line when my resources were ampler a few years back but never got beyond the last release of that earlier, larger scaled Prime (with the Japanese language voice chip base) and the orange-plugged Megatron which reportedly rusts while still unboxed. Maybe now that Mattel has axed all of their remaining DC lines, I can allocate those funds for some Hasbro Masterpiece U.S. releases and every once in a while, one of these excellent Takara originals.

    • Beibers & cats still get posters. I’m kinda sad if kids today can’t get posters of strange things for their walls… Heck, they should still just make Countach posters! Or at least the Veyron…

      Anyway, part of the fun of Tigertrack was supposed to be having the yellow Countach while Sideswipe chills out in bot mode, but I feel more drawn to TT sometimes. I’ll save that for next time.

      I was more strapped when MP started the first time, but missing out appears to have been a boon (as long as we get a new Megs). I love how huge MP1 is, but the new Prime is better. The Seekers are better (though I didn’t get Starscream and now his market price is insane). And getting deeper into the roster is amazing. What I’m dying for is to see if they thought ahead and can get Ultra Magnus right. (And to see if MP will get to some of the 2005 characters).

      • Bigbot

        What’s taking Hasbro so long in re-releasing Star Scream with the new mold?

        • I don’t know, but I need them to do that. When I was playing catchup on MP late last year, MP11 was the one I took least priority on and then subsequent reveals have caused his aftermarket price to SKYROCKET, finally beyond what I’d pay for him. Sunstorm, Acidstorm, & Thundercracker look great together, but I’d jump at the chance if either Hasbro or Takara would (re)release MP11 Starscream. I’d prefer an updated Skywarp too, really.

  • Jon

    He sure is perty.

    Your MP Transformer collection is jealousy inducing. Nemesis Prime, MP Prime, Devastater, Red Alert, all those things I said to myself “it’s just too much for me to spend right now.” Then they are gone!

    I didn’t realize he had different alt hands than Tigertrack. Now I can have Sideswipe’s recessitation paddles and Tigertrack’s T-1000 hands to choose between, thats a nice little touch!

    • We don’t talk about how much I spend at my house.

      My loving & beautiful wife (who’s birthday is today!) saw a picture of my 3P Combiner shelf and said, “those are cool. Who’s are those?” She doesn’t go in the toy room much. Probably best not to know. 😀

      I wish I could figure out where those Amazon exclusive jackhammers are, but yeah, we’ll see them with TT. The Sideswipe pile drivers are still cool though.

  • I should have a thing, a morning after addendum, when I reread the review and realize I left something out. Not too big a deal, but I want to give a shout out to real rubber tires. I love those…

  • John Rubik

    Eh, Masterpiece. I picked up Takara: Megatron & Hasbro: MP01 Prime (Original), Seekers, Grimlock & Hotrod and I may yet pick up Hasbro Soundwave… beyond that, I’m probably done. I won’t pay $80 for such small figures no matter how nice the engineering.

    I’ve always liked how these figures look on my shelf with the Alternators & Binaltechs & Alternity Bumblebee & Cliffjumper.

    • I picked up & later sold a lot of the Alternators (it was the style I ultimately tired of), I kept Tracks for obvious reasons and the only regret is selling Hound (looking forward to an MP though). They are great for mixing in like you say though.

      As for price, I think it’s been clear over the years I don’t think I a lot about it (rarely does it even get mentioned in reviews). I am paying $80, but I discount $20 for the import cost (the same way I don’t typically count shipping), and the toy feels worth $60 even without some metal and rubber tires.

      But I do run across stuff that’s not worth it sometimes to be sure and, yeah, like you I just buy what I want and move on.

  • ero

    I drift in and out of a yearning desire to have these MPs. Just when I make piece with my Classics collection, I am reminded of, through reviews such as these, how these things are and just how much they are the toys we dreamed of as kids.

    It helps that the combination of import pricing and difficulty in tracking down the more affordable US versions makes it a little easier to take. Also, once you start down this road, where exactly does it end?

    But the lure of Prowl is making it very hard.

    • I don’t know where it ends. I ask myself that a lot because Takara is making some great toys of characters I might not have cared for if I didn’t feel like universe building with this line. Prowl & Sideswipe? Yes. Red Alert & Smokescreen? Probably. Silverstreak, Tigertrack, G2 Sideswipe… the rabbit hole is getting deep there. So far, I’ve kept buying, but I already know I don’t need and won’t buy them all, but I have no idea where the cutoff will be. I need to try and stick to characters I know & love, but that would’ve precluded Tigertrack and he’s pretty awesome even though he’s just a repaint…

      • ero

        Right. I was thinking, well, maybe I’ll just do the Ark crew and Soundwave. But, that leaves out some sweet, sweet Season 2 guys, should they be made. And man, to have an MP Galvatron and Kup would be fantastic, especially since neither hsa had a toy that looked like their media appearances. Add in, as you mentioned, the obligatory Ultra Magnus. Suddenly, I’m building a post-movie MP line.

        That could get … expensive.

        • It really could. As much fun as I’m having with the 1984 cars – this is like a smorgasboard of awesome toys I was too late to the party to have as a kid – I’d die to get a proper Hot Rod (I can deal with MP Grimlock being mixed in, but that MP Rodimus just doesn’t work as Hot Rod, plus it’s not that great a toy, plus he lost a finger), Springer, Kup, Arcee, Galvatron, Scourge… I could go to town on that “era”.

  • ero

    The other thing is that I really LIKE the CHUG Seekers and really DISLIKE the MP Seekers. That screws up everything, of course, unless is just completely willing to disregard scale. I’m not such a scale enthusiast that I can’t enjoy a Generations Trailcutter next to, say, Special Ops Jazz. But CHUG Seekers standing next to MP Sideswipe is probably pushing it.

    • I’m kinda the opposite. The CHUG Seekers, I bought most of ’em, but I just never quite fell in love with ’em. I think some got reviewed here, hmm… they’re gone now though.

      The MP Seekers are finally what got me pushed over into MPs (Well, along with TRU Optimus), but Sunstorm & Thundercracker are my two faves. I couldn’t resist ’em. Do you not like either version, MP3 & MP11? I’m not fond of the 3’s either, I don’t have a Skywarp.

      • ero

        I’ve only ever seen in person the new mold. It may be accurate, but I really don’t like how the head sits so high on it. The CHUGs are nice and chunky and just feel more G1 toon to me. But maybe they’ll get to an MP Ramjet that will change my mind. 😀

        • I think we’re on different wavelengths, the chunkiness was my main objection! 😀

          The heads on the MPs (and some of the big 3ps) do seem a little high/detached because the pegs aren’t any bigger despite the upsizing. I just take it as having good range though.

          And again, the call for more jets. I need to get the MP-11 mold up on the site. Probably Sunstorm first.

  • Paul

    Sweet! I love my MP Sideswipe. It’s everything I wanted in a Transformer growing up. Looks great in both modes and is actually articulated in bot mode. He looks like he jumped straight out of the cartoon (he’s 1 million times better than the Fall Of Cybertron Sideswipe that was released). Due to my love for 3rd party TF’s, my Masterpiece collection is almost nonexistent. The two that I HAD to pick up were Sideswipe here and the Toys R Us MP Soundwave.

    • The articulation in bot mode is fantastic! It’s essentially have the perfect 6″ figure of Sideswipe, and “oh! It transforms too!”

      I’ve been surfing 3P & MP Transformers this year, but yeah I can’t do it forever. Luckily, I only like so many of the combiners…

  • Impaler

    Psst, you forgot to flip down the ‘steps’ from MP-10’s elbows for vehicle mode, as well as not pushing the stacks down…. *picks nits* 😛

    • I think I pulled the stacks up for the picture. LOL And, in regards to the elbows, I mistranform something in every review just to see if someone will notice. 😉

      I’m kidding, but I don’t know of a TF review I’ve done that I didn’t mistransform something. I get in a hurry.

  • Brainlock

    looks cool. the pile-drivers are a nice touch.
    (were Frenzy/Rumble not handy for a throwdown?)

    I didn’t have many of the classic G1 cars myself (Prowl, Ratchet, Skids, couple others), but as long as you’re happy buying the expensive MP versions, I’ll just keep my retail “Classics”.
    (bought 3 Red Alerts with the intent to custom Prowl and …um…I forget who the other was supposed to be? a Stunticon?)

    • Brainlock

      alsmost fergot: https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/285053_10150286006646509_5572794_n.jpg
      “6 August 2011 via Mobile

      Got to park behind this at Apes. After, I saw driver, “nice car.” he starts complaining yesterday’s storm ruined his wax(?) or something. Whatever. — in Union.”

      parking behind one is the closest I’ll ever get to one in real life.
      passed him not too long ago on way into Warshington while with my sister.

    • Didn’t Classics make Prowl? And I had that Red Alert too – his arm kept popping off and his knees were loose. LOL

      And, no, I just didn’t grab the tapes. I should’ve – I could’ve recreated Sideswipe’s showdown with Ravage!

      • I have classics Prowl and Red Alert. They absolutely do exist. I remember Red Alert distinctly because the extra attachment piece that formed the nifty back kibble for Sideswipe and Sunstreaker wouldn’t attach to Red, since his car mode sirens blocked where it would need to sit, even though the attachment ports were still part of the mold. Prowl/Bluestreak I remember because the head sat ridiculously high on the shoulders.

        Classics/Generations/Universe never passed the opportunity for a repaint/remold that made sense, and even plenty that didn’t. Tracks and Wheeljack sharing a mold was seriously lame.

        I think the newer MPs look great, I just can’t justify the costs right now. As was said above, the Binaltech/Alternator figures wouldn’t be only $20 by now (though TFs haven’t risen in cost as much as many other toy lines. Deluxe figures have increased by only 50% in cost at the same time that many other figure lines have doubled or tripled), but $60-70 for a figure smaller than a Binaltech doesn’t sit right with me. I personally loved the Binaltech figures, though I’ll readily admit they weren’t all winners. Sideswipe and Windcharger were clunkers, but Smokescreen/Bluestreak and Jazz remain some of my favorite TFs.

        • I thought they made Prowl, thanks!

          It’s true that Deluxe TFs haven’t raised in price as much other lines, but haven’t they offset the price increase by getting smaller themselves? All the FOC deluxes are tiny for sure.

      • Brainlock

        Apparently I missed the Generations/Classics Prowl?
        TF is pretty spotty up here, missing some waves while being inundated with others.

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Awesome review of a rad ‘bot.

    Brings back memories of going pretty much all-in on the Takara Reissue stuff. Man that was a blast…

    Think vicarious review style is good enough for me these days. 🙂

  • […] from my favorite licenses. So, if you need to know the specs of Tigertrack the toy, head back to Sideswipe’s review because you’ll find most of what you need to know […]

  • StrangePlanet

    This one passed me by originally.
    I adore my MP-01 Convoy and MP-03 Starscream, but I hadn’t heard much from Masterpiece that I was interested in.
    MP-10 – Oh sure, there was another Optimus Prime, smaller than MP-01, with no die-cast, no light-up Matrix in the chest. Why would I get that? Pass.
    MP-11 – Then there was another Starscream that seemed a lot like the one I already had. Pass.
    MP-12 – Then this guy, in a way the first original new guy since the line’s reboot.
    Whatever. No connection to Sideswipe the character, even if the Countach is sweet.
    MP-13 But then Soundwave. Soundwave! Holy cow. Now I’m interested. Now I want to see what Masterpiece has been up to.
    So I go back and pick up MP-12 Sideswipe, and all the good things people say about it are true. It’s really a hell of a great toy and I’m super happy I got it for a decent price. Now I can’t stop playing with it.Now I am all in for one of any new mold in the Masterpiece line, and if they’re as good as this one, this is gonna be one hell of a line.