Transformers Armada: Sideswipe with Nightbeat by Hasbro

We’ve looked at a couple of the Armada figures on my A-List, but just to show that they aren’t all sunshine and biscuits, I thought it was time to throw a turd into the punchbowl. Our next entry is not only a real crappy blight on the Armada series, but he still ranks up there as among what would be my worst Transformers of all time. Prepare to behold the stink of Sideswipe and look away in horror.


The sad thing about Sideswipe is that his vehicle mode ain’t bad. He’s a blue luxury sedan and he actually has clear windows, which is often a plus in my book. I like the simplicity of this form and I love the bold Autobot emblem that’s molded right into the plastic. Despite the fact that Sideswipe’s motorcycle Minicon is also pure crap, it’s kind of cool the way he hides away in Sideswipe’s trunk and springs out with the push of a button. What’s not so cool about Sideswipe’s car mode is the way the other shitty gimmick designed for his robot mode keeps popping the front of the car out whenever you handle it. Nonetheless, starting from this mode there’s nothing all that terrible to see, so how bad could his robot mode possibly be, eh?



Yeah. Wow. What the hell were they thinking? Here’s a figure that should have been packaged in robot form just so there was no mistake what people were buying. Oh, I realize that the back of the card showed what it looked like, but in my foolish dedication to buying every Armada toy released I can remember seeing it and saying, “it can’t be that bad. Must just be mistransformed.” Ha. There’s virtually nothing redeeming at all about Sideswipe’s robot mode. From his awkwardly hanging Popeye arms to his useless legs and the huge pieces of car shell that hang off of him. And that shit-eating, “thanks for buying me” look on his face really pisses me off. He looks like crap and he’s got the worthless articulation to back that up.


His Minicon gimmick involves his forearms springing forward, presumeably to punch, but the springs don’t hold together well at all, and they only get worse as time goes on. Fortunately, he doesn’t sustain a lot of playwear because I hate him so much, so the springs haven’t completely blown out yet.


Nightbeat is just as downright shitty, even for a Minicon. But I’m going to cut him a lot more slack. It’s tough enough to design decent motorcycle Transformers, but to do them in Minicon scale, well that was just a recipe with disaster baked right in. I actually like his head a lot, with the one big eye and the little handlebar horns, but let’s face it, his torso and arms are just the motorcycle turned sideways. What the hell is he supposed to do with two giant wheels for hands?


In the end, Sideswipe is one of those figures that made me ashamed to be an Armada completist. He’s an ill-conceived mess, and to this day I can’t imagine how the design was ever given the green light for production. What’s really sad is that I later bought this same mold when he was repainted as Oilslick, just because I have an irrational love of all Decepticon cars and Hasbro at least bothered to resculpt a Decepticon insignia for his hood. Oilslick is every bit as bad a figure, but at least he’s another Decepticon car for my shelf. Sideswipe, doesn’t even have that going for him. He just plain sucks.

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