Non-affiliated, Non-lengthy, Non-articles about Transformers

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Robots In Disguise 2015 (Part 9) - Warrior Class Wave 3

It's been far too long to wait for Robots In Disguise warrior class Sideswipe to hit stores, he's a major character in the show that youngsters and grown up fans alike will have taken to as much - if not more - than any other Autobot in the show. The late release of this warrior Sideswipe, alongside Jazz, shows in his engineering. The other RID warriors so far have been so simple they've almost not felt like the deluxes we've come to know, but Sideswipe is certainly a step above the blocky simple warrior class we've gotten so far. I'm just not entirely convinced that's a good thing.

I should immediately clarify that I really like these two toys, and it's the first time in a very long while that I have received more than one Transformer in a purchase and liked both very much. My daughter and I love the RID cartoon and enjoy playing with the toys in-between torturous bouts of Elsa & Anna, so "Big Sideswipe" has been anticipated almost as much as "Little Fixit". As soon as TFW and UK Sightings indicated that Sideswipe and Jazz had been spotted at UK retail, I took a detour from my journey home and found them at Sainsbury's in Enfield, North London. Result. 

Jazz has come in for a lot of criticism pre-release online for looking so plain and upholding RID's warrior class tradition of leaving vehicle parts visible everywhere in robot mode, more than is considered classy and acceptable. In hand, he has a higher quality feel than previous warrior class figures and the transformation is good fun, very classic Jazz. There's no waist articulation but he can kneel, wield that crazy lance-like weapon well and I found Jazz highly enjoyable to play with and transform. 

A friend recently observed quite accurately that RID Sideswipe is almost more Generations in design and execution than RID. Sure, he still has the massively blocky legs, but the rest of him is more delicate, peg and tab-driven and slightly flimsy like some of the Generations figures I've seen. The transformation is also a step up in complexity from the likes of Bumblebee, Strongarm and Drift. My 3 year old daughter can execute Bumblebee, Drift and Strongarm vehicle to robot transformations now with ease and without mistakes, but I would not believe she could transform Sideswipe. Frustratingly, the shoulders do not clip into the faux chest well at all, so they end up kind of hanging there. That's my only complaint, I think Sideswipe looks and feels fantastic, almost everything I wanted in this figure within the context of this RID 2015 toy line. The fact that he isn;t as overall blocky and almost offensively simplistic means he doesn't quite sit in the same category as previous Autobot warrior class RID toys, and that reduces his charm a tad, as well as my desire to pick him up and transform him as much as the simpler guys who have grown on everyone I know buying these toys. It should also be mentioned that getting him to roll in vehicle mode is almost impossible due to the underkibble. That's a word, now.

Collecting RID reminds me much of when Animated first aired and the toys were coming out. The wait between waves in the UK was difficult to stomach as that key show character line up edged ever closer to completion. With the release of legion class Fixit and now Sideswipe, it's all about the group shots for me and the play value with my daughter. Amazingly though, she has not connected with "Big Sideswipe" at all, even though he's very show accurate, she just didn't bond with it immediately like with the others. Overall, I have to say great job to Hasbro for RID Sideswipe and Jazz, I had my reservations pre-release like most, but was happy with both despite their limitations and QC issues. Now if I can just resist the TAV versions of these guys, I'll be even happier. Although when RID Drift cost me nearly £15 at UK retail and TAV Drift just set me back a mere £18 shipped, it'll be difficult.

All the best

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