New Masterpiece Transformers always feel great when they come in! The end of 2013 brought us three new Nissans in Prowl, Streak, and Smokescreen. This year is going to start with two black colored variants: G2 Sideswipe and Soundblaster. Both of these variants also come with some pretty sweet incentives to buy the molds again. Soundblaster will be packed with the first Masterpiece Ratbat cassette, and G2 Smokescreen has a new head, a handful of weapons, and some great decals.
The first thing you notice about this figure is the face. It’s hard to miss because it is extremely expressive for a Masterpiece figure. For the most part characters in the MP line have fairly neutral faces. Sideswipe throws this entire premise out the window, and it excites me to think of the possibilities for future robots. I mentioned in my MECH iDEAS Demolition Crue review that I loved the battle damaged face Geminus comes with. I’d love to see this trend make its way over to the Masterpiece collection. To take it a step further removable and swappable heads would be even better!
So if you can stop staring at the face of Masterpiece G2 Sideswipe you will discover he comes packed with all kinds of cool accessories. Besides the instructions, decals, and profile card he has spiked tires, a grenade launcher, machine gun, and broad sword. Unfortunately you can’t plug the spiked tires into the wheel wells while he is in vehicle mode. They plug into the shoulder slots the other Lambor models hold their guns in. Both the grenade launcher and machine gun look great and have a nice bulk to them which adds to the G2/comic inspired aesthetic. The only problem with them is that his fingers don’t completely clamp around their handles even when they are pegged into his palm.
Sideswipe is a licensed Lamborghini LP500S. The G2 version basically inverts the color scheme of the original MP Sideswipe by turning the red parts black and vice versa. Also instead of the dark black tinted windshield the G2 version is translucent red. I LOVE the Lamborghini model and it looks great in black. I actually missed out on the first two Lambor releases of Sideswipe and Red Alert. Shortly after these two Soundwave was released and he single-handedly brought me back into the Masterpiece scene. My first Lambor mold was Tigertrack, and while I like him he’s pretty boring in comparison to what G2 Sideswipe brings to the table.
Sideswipe comes with a great selection of decals that you can opt to either make him comic or toy accurate. Personally I hate decals and am terrible at applying them so I will not be putting them on mine. I have nothing against the application of them, but I just find I never get them straight and they peel over time so I don’t bother. Having these options could be a blessing or curse depending on the type of collector you are. If you are obsessive compulsive you may end up buying multiples just to fill that comic and vintage itch.
Now since I missed the original Sideswipe I do have a preorder in for the new run of both him and Red Alert coming later this year. I’m half tempted to cancel; at the least my G1 Sideswipe because this version scratches every Sideswipe itch I could ever have. Getting red Sideswipe at this point would just be completionism on my part. Sure I am definitely keeping my Soundblaster preorder, but he has Ratbat with him! And not only that black repaints rule, not the other way around. I’d totally get that black MP-10 if I could find a decent price on him.
Sideswipe gives me a good feeling about the future of the Transformers Masterpiece line. It makes me think that they can have some fun with the character selection, and get some kick-ass different robots into the line. G2 Sideswipe oozes with personality and he’s a fun robot to have hanging out with a fairly serious group of MP characters. Of course now that the G2 door has been opened I have to throw out there that Grimlock looks great in blue! This is the year of Dinobots, we could get the Toys “R” Us MP Grimlock reissue and then Takara could release a blue version with some quirky accessories. A man can dream I suppose …
If you are looking to get this or any version of MP Sideswipe you will pay between $60 – $80 from shops located in the US. If you want to take the importing route you will likely save a good chunk of money and for future releases get them sooner. I wouldn’t wait on Toys “R” Us to get these in. Not that they eventually won’t, but you may die of old age by the time they get around to it. Importing is easy, just go check out shops like HLJ or AmiAmi if they have any stock left.