Alternate Mode: Tank
Height: 2cm Length: 6.5cm Width: 3.5cm
An army green tank with some mint green stripes on the sides, which extend onto the sides of the turret along with an orange stripe on the front. There's a stamped Decepticon logo on the roof of the turret. I don't really see the point of the coloured stripes, since a completely green tank wouldn't be anything unusual, although I don't have a problem with the designer adding a splash of colour. I don't understand why the _undersides_ of the treads are painted black when the sides are not, however. I can live with green treads, mind you. The colours work in the end, despite the slightly odd choices.
Something of a theme in this set is play value in the vehicle mode. Broadside has small green wheels under the treads, and while he tends to slide on smooth surfaces, on cloth he rolls fairly nicely. The turret can rotate through 360° and the cannon lifts up, although you can only really go up to around 70° before you expose the robot face. The sculpt is fairly good, selling the tank well enough. There are hatches and panels and the like.
A good tank mode, better than some we've seen on larger Transformers. The paint job is a tad random but doesn't really bring this tank mode down at all. This is easily Broadside's better mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Swing the treads out to the sides, fold down the front "bumper" section down to form his groin, then fold down the rest of the front to form the chest. Split the rear, swing the treads down and out to form legs, which drags the arms into position. Flip up the cannon to reveal his head, flip out his fists.
Height: 7cm Width: 6cm
The army green is again very dominant, with the orange stripe on his chest and the green ones on his legs. The eyes are also mint green, while that black is now on the inside on his legs. Why bother with the black paint? This robot mode is quite wide, with wide legs and a wide gap between them. The arms point out to the sides as well. The colours again work, although I'm not as happy with the width.
The feet are wide, not deep, which makes this toy hard to stand. On a flat surface it'll take some patience, on a carpet or similar surface, forget it. I have Broadside standing on the TV table as I type this, but if I bump that table he'll likely topple. There's very little useful poseability which I guess doesn't matter since he's not going to be stable in action poses anyway. The hips do have a full range of movement, mind you, which does help when standing him. The shoulders allow for some wiggle, but the arms stick out because they have to clear his wide hips anyway. The head is essentially his turret, so it can rotate through 360°, although you probably wouldn't want to move it more than around 40°. The right hand has a tiny hole in the fist while the left is actually a tiny moulded Gatling gun, which is really cool - and kinda fitting.
While the shape is a little awkward, more than anything else Broadside really, really, really needs heelspurs. I like the Gatling gun hand, the stocky look actually works in context of what he transforms into and the colour scheme is good. But the stability really holds back what should have been a good robot mode.
Despite the poorly designed feet, I like Broadside. The tank is nice, the robot has some great aspects and the colours work, even if the paint applications are a little muddled. With heelspurs he'd be a great Minicon, but the feet are frustrating - 6/10
Alternate Mode: Excavator
Height: 3cm Length: 7.5cm Width: 3cm
A black excavator with black buckets on either end, which attach via yellow arms. Sledge has blue windows on his cabin, while there's a stamped Decepticon logo on his roof. There are some really nice red painted highlights, including a wash on the teeth of the shovel at the front and red on the legs behind his rear wheels. It's a great colour scheme with a nice paint job.
The play value is great, probably the best in this set. Sledge's wheels roll on smooth and rough surfaces, the digger arm on the back has three hinges including one on the digger itself, and can swing about 10° to either side. The shovel arm at the front is hinged at both ends - actually the shovel attaches through a ball joint which has been cleverly engineered to work as a hinge here, without sideways movement. The legs on either side are moulded rather than being separate pieces, so they don't lift him up for the digger arm. The powerlinx port is underneath.
A great excavator mode - one of the nicest Minicon vehicle modes in a long time, actually. The colours, play value and details are all great, and the focus on play value is evident here.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Swing the sides down, towards the front, forming his legs. Fold the waist back, rotate the groin to the left, rotate the boots 180°. Flip up the cabin to reveal his head, fold down the front to form the right shoulder.
Height: 7cm Width: 8cm
Sledge is again black with yellow arms - the arms are the digging arms of the vehicle mode. The waist is also yellow while the boots and helmet are red while his face is black. One interesting element of the paint job here is that the boots are black plastic painted red, but there's a black paint over the red on his knees, fading to red below the knees. The knees are glossier than the black thighs as a result.
The robot mode suffers for the excellent vehicle mode. The right arm is the shovel which was on the front of the excavator while the left arm is the digger arm from the back. The cabin sits quite visibly on his left shoulder. Visually this is a bit messy, although the jointing in the arms does salvage things a bit. The right shoulder is ball jointed, and now you can really use the ball joint on the shovel, allowing it to turn around to face forwards if you want. The digger arm doesn't really gain any motion here, although without the supporting legs on either side, the side to side movement on his shoulder has expanded from 10° to 45° each way. As messy as the arms are, the retained motion is something I appreciate. The waist is a restricted ball joint, his hips swing and the knees rotate sideways. Oddly, the boots simply pop off if you pull, although they pop on just as easily.
While in many ways this robot mode is working around the vehicle mode, it does a good job of working with what it has. The colours still work and the ungainly arms have some play value. It's not a great robot mode, but it's good enough considering how much of Sledge is devoted to the vehicle mode.
A fantastic excavator mode with great play value and colours are offset by a rather limited and slightly ugly robot mode. The robot mode isn't a disaster, but it really makes some sacrifices to allow the vehicle mode to do its thing. Considering how good the vehicle mode is, I can deal with the compromises the robot mode makes - 7.5/10
Alternate Mode: Mining Truck
MINING TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm
A green dump truck with a black underside and black plastic tyres. For some reason, Wideload has violet paint on the sides of the tray with some musk pink painted lines. The grille and front bumper are painted silver while the window on the front of the left-side cabin is painted light blue. There's a Decepticon logo on the lip of the tray. It's unusual for a set of Minicons to have two toys based on one colour (usually they're all different or share a theme), but Wideload's green is much brighter than that of Broadside. The green, black and silver are nice, but the violet and pink are ugly, and random.
Wideload actually has six wheels - there are a second set of rear wheels inside the main pair. For some strange reason, these tyres are green - but they're hidden really, so I don't care. He'll roll on rougher surfaces but slide on smooth ones. The tray tips, lifting back about 85°. The powerlinx port is actually on the right side of the lip, opposite his allegiance symbol. While the colours and faction are different, it's worth noting that Wideload's vehicle mode is quite similar to that his G1 counterpart, which is not as common amongst Minicons as I'd like.
A simple but effective truck mode. It's quite unusual to have a Transformer like this with a tray that actually tips, so I really appreciate that aspect on a Minicon. The sides are straight out ugly, but the green and black look fine.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Split the tray, fold down to the sides to form arms. Rotate the waist and pull the front down to form legs, stand him up and face forward.
Height: 5.5cm Width: 5cm
A black robot with green boots, a green head and black tyres on his chest. The face is detailed but unpainted - the eyes are depressed enough that the shadow brings them out well. The arms are that awful violet and pink, with the lip of the tray forming something vaguely looking like hands. I guess it makes sense using the joints at the back of his tray as shoulders, but I wish those awful paint colours weren't visible here. The end result is a very disparate and ugly colour scheme.
The design choice of the side of his rear wheels on his chest is interesting, and Sledge's face look good for one without paint. The front of the truck is visible on his boots, which is a nice touch.
The poseability is pretty good - the ball joints on his shoulders, which work as a hinge when the arms are joined together, are unleashed now. The hands sit on hinges and can lift up to the sides, which is a little weird, but the joints appear to be here for this mode. The waist turns, the hips are ball joints and his knees are hinged.
For the most part, Wideload has a good robot mode. In fact, it should be a good robot mode, but it's ugly thanks to the bewildering paint colours on his arms. They clash with the green and I really don't see why he even needs paint on his arms. The hands are a little weak, but the head is very well sculpted and the jointing is great.
A good little Minicon, which, but for some better colour mixing, would be a great Minicon. The truck mode is good, and the tray lifting back is something many larger Transformer mining trucks fail to manage. The robot mode's poseability is also good, and the layout of the robot mode is cool. Shame about the colours - 7/10
None that I'm aware of.
This set is all about ambitious play value in the vehicle modes, and the engineering in the vehicles works in all three cases. Sledge is fantastic in excavator mode, his teammates are also good. The robot modes all have problems, but Sledge acquits himself well, Wideload is well engineered and Broadside looks powerful. Broadside needs some stability and Wideload needs some taste in his colours, but despite those flaws, this is a good set - 7/10