G.I. Joe: ARAHC - Sideswipe

I don’t know whether it’s the fact that I’ve been restricted to buying non-O-ring Joes for the past couple months or what, but Wave 5 has pretty much knocked my socks off. Every figure seems to come packed full of character, sculpting and terrific color schemes, and I really see a lot of these updates kind of overshadowing their original incarnations.

As I’ve been known to do with these new releases, I’m going to start at the bottom and work my way up until I get to my favorite new figure of the bunch.

Next up in line, we have that Stretcher wannabe, Sideswipe. The second Joe of Wave 5 to get the race-change treatment, Sideswipe is another addition to the Medic squad, previously held by Lifeline alone (in my universe, anyway).

1990 is widely regarded as the year of the accessory, where in some cases, it almost seemed like Hasbro focused more on the weapons that came with the figure than the figure itself. While this might be considered true of some of those years misses like Captain Grid Iron, for the most part, 1990 was a very solid Joe year. It gave us great molds like Ambush, Rampart, and Bullhorn. Stretcher was another one of those great molds that never got the recognition he deserved (even by me!). Hopefully Sideswipe will change that.

Now, I won’t pretend to understand how a medic got the name "Sideswipe", but I do think for a medic, and for an all around figure, Sideswipe is quite a great one. Stretcher’s classic mold is used to perfection (almost identical in color as well), but Sideswipe pulls it off just as well.

His muscular build is a terrific trait for a medic to have, and in my little world, Sideswipe is going to be STRONG. We’re talking arm wrestling with Roadblock type strength. I can just see a group of Cobras swarming him thinking "heh, he’s just a medic!" and suddenly getting taken out by his sheer strength. Between him and Lifeline’s Aikido talents, I think the Joe medical squad is in good hands!

Sideswipe’s colors also translate well from Stretcher’s mold to the current one. It seems all shades were lightened just a bit, and it all carries over terrificly. The brighter colors makes him mesh with Lifeline quite a bit better and really give him a medic look.

Of course, there are also the accessories. As I have already spoken of, 1990 was really an accessory-rich year, and gladly, Hasbro carried over all of Stretcher’s fantastic gear. The little rocket sled is absolutely cool, and I cannot wait to put it to use in a diostory. I think the sled works even better with the new mold, because he can hold the handle a lot better without fear of thumb breakage.

The radio that snaps onto the chest is a very nice touch, too, and the backpack and flare gun round out the figure exceptionally just as they did in 1990. All in all, a great package and a great overall figure!

Just adding to this figure is his pretty neat filecard as well. It gives Sideswipe a little more edge, making him seem like a soldier first and a medic second. This point is further reinforced by the holster in his chest and the pistol there. The Joe team needs a medic unafraid to pop some caps and also able to save lives, and Sideswipe fills that hole well.