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          TOY REVIEW

Name: Lambor (a.k.a. Sideswipe)
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Warrior
Vehicular Mode: Lamborghini Countach

VEHICULAR MODE

At 11cm in length, Lambor is a reasonably accurate scale replica of a Lamborghini Countach. An incredible amount of detail has been sculpted into this toy including windscreen wiper, headlights, indicators and various grills, vents etc. Like many of the early Transformers, some of the detailling on this toy was dependent upon stickers. In vehicle mode, stickers provide black accents along the sides and roof of the car, additional headlights on the bonnet (with the words "rally racing" written beneath each headlight) as well as the Autobot and Lamborghini insignias. Stickers on the rear of the car provide additional black and metallic red accents with rear lights and licence plate decos. The rear licence plate reads "Car Machine." The car is coloured red, with a black front fender. The black tyres are made of rubber and have also been treaded. Each hubcap has five rings and is coated with silver chrome paint. The Lambor toy is derived from Takara's Diaclone Car Robot line, and thus there is a vestigal driver's compartment inside (although the Diaclone pilot is not provided with the toy). The driver's compartment isn't terribly detailled and is rather plain. The major drawback of this mode is that the robot parts are clearly visible from underneath the toy -- although this isn't a huge problem, since cars are seldomly seen from the underside.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

Pull the rear section back and separate robot legs. Flip feet down. Pull out robot arms. Lift up forearms. Swing down bonnet and flip up robot head. Attach weapons.

ROBOT MODE

Standing at 11.5cm, Lambor carries over the colours and components of the vehicle mode. The more exposed robot parts now add various black, white and silver accents to the toy. The head, hands, waist and shins are black. The face, forearms and feet are silver. The stomach, thighs and parts of the shoulder are white. Various stickers around the toy add additional blue, red, black and silver accents throughout the toy.

Because this toy was intended for more mature collectors (the package recommends it for persons aged 15 and up), Lambor's missile launcher has been strengthened and can shoot over two metres! Lambor features four (five if you include the head) points of articulation in this mode, and is essentially a brick of a robot.

VARIANTS

Sideswipe was originally released in 1984. In 1991, Sideswipe was re-released as a Classic Hero and is essentially the same toy, except with a gold packaging stylised with typical 1991 Transformers fonts and package designs.

The table below highlights the differences between the original Sideswipes and Generation One Lambor:

Original SIDESWIPE Generation One LAMBOR
Red dots on various stickers are smaller. Red dots on same stickers are larger.
Front shin stickers read "LP 500S" Front shin stickers read "EP 45K"
Screw on back of head fills up entire hole. Screw on back of head appears to be 1mm smaller.
Springs in missile launcher have been weakened --
only shoots about 40cm.
Springs in launcher not weakened. Can shoot missile
over 2 metres.
Tip of missile launcher has a silver-chrome outline and 
black inner lining.
Tip of missile launcher is completely silver-chrome 
and has two small crescent shaped grooves on either
side of the hole.
Copyright stamp has "TAKARA" written in the old 
font.
Copyright stamp has "TAKARA" written in the new
font and also has "CHINA 1980-1982" printed on 
the last line.
License plate sticker reads "COUNTACH" License plate sticker reads "CAR MACHINE"
Headlight stickers read "rallye racing" as well as a 
series of white dots on a black background.
Headlight stickers read "rally racing" with a black and 
white checkered pattern.
Hood features a Lamborghini insignia sticker. The same sticker has the Lamborghini insignia replaced
with a big star and two small circles underneath.

OVERALL

A nicely sculpted vehicle mode and a decent looking robot mode, however, the almost lack of articulation doesn't make Lambor a terribly exciting toy to play with by contemporary Transformer standards.

Generation One Lambor was not released for retail sale. It was released as a set with Alert (Red Alert) for 6500 JPY as a World Character Convention 12 exclusive set on May 23, 2001. Many fans have criticised Takara for intentionally making this toy such an unreasonably rare item.

Also, the fact that Lambor and Alert's packaging are practically identical is also a disappointment. Both toys come in a 216mm(W) x 185mm(H) x 60mm (W) box. These boxes feature an early G1 stylised Transformer package design, including fonts -- which unlike other Generation One packages, are in English instead of Japanese. However, although the packaging is G1-esque, it is not a replica of the original packaging (again, unlike retail released Generation One figures). First of all, there is NO individual package art. Rather, the tech specs card is visible through the transparent window. Secondly, the words "Collector's Edition" is printed on the top right corner and bottom left corner of the box. The top and back of the box feature the blurb, "It is a world transformed, where things are not what they seem. It is the world of the Transformers... a world of Heroic Cybertrons and Evil Destrons!" -- which is just one step short of being the original G1 blurb, if not for the fact that they've replaced the words "Autobots" and "Decepticons" with Cybertrons and Destrons, which doesn't really make much sense considering that it's been printed in English (not to mention that they've used the English Transformer fonts -- it's as if they've attempted to imitate the Western packaging, but have intentionally fallen short). Consequently, the packaging really does fail in giving a true G1 feel, whereas the retail released Generation One packages were near perfect replicas of the original packages.

On the back of the box, the tech specs has been replaced by a white bar with a series of legal blurbs (which is standard for Generation One packages). A simple sticker which features the toy's serial code also has the word "Lambor" or "Alert" written in Japanese. These stickers are the ONLY way to tell the difference between Lambor and Alert's boxes once the trays have been removed. Another irritating thing is that Alert and Lambor had their sticker sheets switched -- in other words, Lambor was packaged with Alert's stickers and vice versa. Not only that, but they both come with the same generic instruction sheet which features illustrations of Alert being transformed, an illustrated guide for Alert's stickers and a black and white photographic guide for Lambor's stickers. Such obvious cutbacks are rather disappointing considering the rarity and cost of these toys.


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