Review: Transformers MP-12G G2 Sideswipe

MP-12 Lambor (Sideswipe for those of the Hasbro side of the world) was a game-changer for the Masterpiece line. His release marked the first (or second, if you count MP-11) of the MP releases to adhere to the new cartoon-accurate scale standard set by MP-10 Convoy (Optimus Prime), and his overall fantastic-ness sold skeptics on the new and improved Transformers Masterpiece line. As was to be expected, Sideswipe was soon followed by Red Alert, and then a slightly surprising Tokyo Toy Show/TakaraTomy Mall exclusive Tigertrack… and then the one that nobody saw coming. Ladies and gentlemen, join me in my trip back to the world of 90’s comics as we take a look at MP-12G Masterpiece G2 Sideswipe.

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Vehicle Mode

Sideswipe’s vehicle mode seems fairly standard as far as Lamborghinis go, with the exception of the red-tinted windshields, which I’m pretty sure is not stock on the Countach. The glossy black paint covering the car is gorgeous and clean, and I’ve heard few reports of the widespread paint issues that plagued the original MP-12 release. I may be a bit biased as the Lamborghini Countach is my absolute dream car, but the MP-12 mold is the sexiest vehicle mode of any Transformer ever. It looked dead sexy in red, it looked dead sexy in a fire chief deco, and it looks dead sexy in black. For me, the vehicle mode alone sells this toy. You can mount his (many) weapons via a spring-loaded peghole on the roof of the car that blends in perfectly when not in use, but… why would you do that? Especially since his weapons are, well, we’ll get to that. There is nothing else to be said about this vehicle mode other than it is perfect.

Also, included with this toy is a sizable sticker sheet full of decals you can apply to the figure to make it resemble the original G2 Sideswipe toy. The stickers look rather nice and are good if you really want that neon green G2 fix, but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the beauty of this car… and I kind of suck at sticker placement. I settled for the G2 Autobot logo, and that’s good enough for me.

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Transformation

Pre-MP-10 Masterpiece figures (with the exception of Grimlock) were characterized by very complicated, very complex transformations, the most notorious of which being MP-05 Megatron and MP-09 Rodimus Prime, two molds that suffered greatly for their fiddly conversions. While MP-10’s transformation was no simple flip’n’fold, it was fairly straightforward, intuitive, and effective, and set a comfortable standard for the following figures in the line. Sideswipe’s conversion is fairly simple, though the legs can get a bit fiddly if you do things out of order. It takes a few goes to get familiar with the conversion steps, but once you do, transforming to and fro altmodes is a joy.

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Robot Mode

Theeeeeere it is. Fully armed-up in his robot mode, MP-12G utterly screams 90’s, from his black color scheme (really just the Sideswipe colors, but with the red and black swapped) to his over-the-top weapons to his spiky wheel shoulderpads to the glorious teeth-gritting grimace that looks like it came straight out of the G2 comic. All he’s missing are bandoliers full of bullets, grenades, and a lot of pouches. The head really is the highlight of the toy, and also a big point of contention for those who feel it’s too cartoony for a Masterpiece toy, but this crazy face is what totally sells the toy. Without it, it would’ve just been a black Sideswipe with some goofy weapons.

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Speaking of those goofy weapons, you get two big engine block guns that match up well to their comic appearance and look, well, very silly. In addition to them, you also get a big silver sword that Sideswipe can violently slice up some fools with. The guns have pegs in their handles much like SS’s regular gun (not included with this release). The sword just rests in his hand, but his fingers fold tight enough to give him a solid grip on it. In addition, you get the two spiked wheel shoulderpads, which really top off the silliness.

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Masterpiece toys aren’t particularly known for their articulation, even in this new line, but the MP-12 mold still boasts an impressive range, with a basic rotation in the neck, biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs, universal joints in the shoulders and hips, single joint elbows and knees, and a moderate yet functional ankle tilt. The new head is a bit bigger than the normal Sideswipe head, and thus he loses the ability to look up properly, which… isn’t really a necessity, admittedly.

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Overall

This is the fourth release of the MP-12 mold. By the time this guy came out early 2014, fans most likely had at least two of this toy already in the form of Sideswipe and Red Alert. Is it really worth getting MP-12G if you’ve already got two, maybe three versions of the Countach mold? If your answer is no, G2 Sideswipe will punch you in the face until your answer is yes. This figure is too crazy awesome to turn down. Unless the concept of G2 overall just makes you sick and angry, this toy is worth putting on your shelf. However, I must admit that if you’re only going to get one of the MP-12 mold, I might have to recommend the regular version of Sideswipe over the G2 version. But this mold is so good, you can’t get away with just owning it once.

Where to Buy

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