Siege Deluxe Hound and Sideswipe Quick Gallery and First Impressions
As War for Cybertron: Siege slowly circulates, we’re taking a moment to look at two of the Wave 1 Deluxe figures still to materialize in some stores and online retailers, Sideswipe and Hound.
Snagged from the unexpected HasbroToyShop sale, Hound and Sideswipe are my first impression of the War for Cybertron: Siege lineup, and it’s a positive one. I wasn’t as enthusiastic about much of the Prime Wars trilogy as many fans, but these figures not only simultaneously sell the likeness and update the styling of their 1984 counterparts, but seem very carefully worked out to function and feel right in hand as toys. The transformations are straightforward and fiddle-free with enough complexity to be interesting, and everything locks firmly into place in both modes for posing and play (with one exception that may be unique to my copy of Sideswipe.)
I should be clear that opinions expressed here about the figures are mine and not reflective of the staff here at Allspark as a whole.
Hound is a sturdy little combat vehicle with elements of his classic Jeep form as well as a more modern military vehicle. Like most of the vehicle designs in War for Cybertron: Siege, it’s more near-future sci-fi than “Cybertronic”, but it sells the look. Hound’s very restrained use of the new “worn” or “battle damaged” paint details shows up in his bumper area here and adds some depth and texture to the vehicle; it’ll appear again in his robot mode boots, where it similarly looks more like a result of ordinary function than battle damage.
Transformation is simple enough with a couple of steps that involve pulling a joint past its final position, moving something under it, and folding it back, but nothing that leads to colliding parts or mushing. Robot mode locks down tight and has very little kibble or mess, tidy even from behind.
The figure poses well including ankle tilts and wrist swivels, though it lacks an ankle pivot, meaning deep bends and walking poses are less feasible. The face sculpt isn’t anything exciting, but the helmet design manages to sell the likeness.
Siege’s line theme is transforming weapons, from the weapon modes of the two smaller size classes to the power armor of the Leaders, but the Deluxes get the least extravagant version of the concept in the form of modular weapons. Hound’s allows him either a 1984 cartoon-style pistol or toy-style rifle with a chunky ammo drum attachment.
On to Sideswipe.
If this is a Cybertronic vehicle mode, it was clearly manufactured in Space Italy. But it looks fast, aggressive, and tough, let down only by the black sections just behind the front fenders. It also wears the robot mode weapon well if you’re into that sort of thing.
Transformation is again tight and tidy, although the chest and midsection piece on mine doesn’t seem to lock into place in robot mode. It stays in place and doesn’t cause problems in posing, but seems worth noting. A design trick I really appreciate in the transformation here involves the rocker sections that surround the knee joint and make up a strip of the car paneling in the back – bending the knees to roll them underneath to make way for the joint also pops out Sideswipe’s feet halfway, allowing you to get a grip on them to fully deploy them.
Sideswipe is similarly articulated to Hound, lacking a forward and backward pivot at the ankle but otherwise posing very well. He does unfortunately lack Hound’s wrist swivels as a necessity of his transformation. Where Hound’s face sculpt is adequate, Sideswipe’s is, in my opinion, a perfect representation of the character. Weathered parts appear here in his shins and the upper strip of his pelvis. As with Hound, I think they add some texture and depth and the sense of contrasting materials, but I could imagine some might find the pelvis strip in particular a little distracting. Since the underlying plastic is black, it shouldn’t be difficult to remove the silver paint with a bit of alcohol and a cotton swab.
His weapon is based on his original shoulder cannon, and the barrel section has peg holes on either end as well as a 5 mm peg for hand holding or mounting and a flat 5 mm tab intended for his shoulder mount slot. I do wish the missile could be angled upward slightly on the shoulder mount, but it still looks just right up there. Less ideal is the option to hold the launcher and what very clearly appears to be a missile in separate hands. That’s not how missiles work, Sideswipe. (It still creates potential options, since the peg and socket system allows for combinations and swapping, and the missile can be convincingly mounted by itself on a body socket.)
Overall, these figures seem to successfully translate the characters into modern, playable toys that really just work well and feel right in hand. While I probably won’t be going all-in on Siege myself, I think this first taste is a promising one for a line that seems to represent the next stage of development from where the Prime Wars trilogy left off.
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