Cliffbee.com: Alternators Swerve Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Swerve
Series: Alternators
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Chevrolet Corvette

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Swerve for this review



CORVETTE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 18.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   A very realistic red 2004 Chevy Corvette with transparent windows, black rubberised tyres, silver mag wheels and a black interior. He's a repaint of the blue Tracks, minus the flames on the hood. As is common recently, this is another red repainted car called Swerve, although there isn't really anything linking this car to the maroon truck form G1. The roof is painted red over transparent plastic, and I'm happy to report it matches the red plastic closely.

   The side windows are wound down, as is normal in Binaltech/Alternators - giving you a better view inside the cabin without needing to open the doors. Inside is a steering wheel (left side), stickshift, handbrake central console, rear vision mirror and air conditioning vents on the top of the dashboard. There are rear vision mirrors on the doors, also, which are chromed, The doors have moulded handles on the outside and handles and various control buttons on the black interior lining.

   There's a fuel tank cap just behind the left door and various Corvette markings on the toy - most notably the word in black lettering on the front license plate and a very cool moulded lettering above the rear license plate - which is silver and sports an Autobot logo along with his name. The taillights are transparent red plastic and there are orange indicators on the sides at the back. The front headlights are pop-up, so he merely has moulded panels, but the parking lights are silver while the attached indicators are orange - these colours are painted on inside of clear plastic. There are moulded black wipers on the windshield. The front grills are painted black, as well as the air intakes on the sides, and the two sets of twin exhausts on the back are chrome. An added feature here - not found on Tracks - is a silver "Z06" badge on either front fender.

   The level of detail is what you'd expect of a BT/Alt. There are chromed brake discs behind his mag wheels which don't spin when the wheels do. There are even little red and silver callipers on these discs!

   While the robot arms were visible through the back window on Tracks, the windows are darker and the arms black here, so they're not visible on Swerve. The back of the brass robot head is visible underneath - this one doesn't bother me, since it could be explained as a fuel tank or something similar. The robot mode overhead cannons are visible between the seats and the doors if you have the doors open, which doesn't particularly bother me, although it does count as kibble since they're not red and are clearly not car features.

   The play value is consistent with other BT/Alt toys - the doors open, the front wheels turn and there's a rack-and-pinion mechanism under the hood. That hood opens, with the hinges at the front (as Corvettes' do), which opens to reveal a rotary engine and some red moulded machinery over the wheelbays. All four wheels spin, of course.

   Swerve actually voids the problems Tracks has in car mode - although they were minor. The visible arms are a non-issue here and the use of plastic means the edges of the doors don't suffer from paint chipping. The yellow BT Tracks showed up seams far too much, the red (and blue) hides them a lot better. The finer details and paint job here are what we'd hope for in a BT mould toy, and the colours are better than on many Alternator repaints.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   I'm not going to bother trying to explain everything involved in what is a very complex transformation. The overall effect is the same as on G1 Tracks, but the actual transformation isn't - in fact it's inspired by Mach Alert/RiD Prowl's. The front becomes the legs as on the original Tracks, but the rest is more like Mach Alert. Track's wings are formed from the halves of the rear section, and the tyres are on his shoulders as on the original. Like Energon Downshift, he has a false roof on his chest, complete with Autobot symbol. This chest is formed in the same way as that of Mach Alert. The doors form an armour skirt, also like Mach Alert. As is customary, the gun is the engine transformed.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 20cm Width: 16.5cm

   A red, black and brass coloured robot with a resculpted brass head and brass coloured missiles launchers over his shoulders. The wings, chest and armour skirt are red, while the boots, groin, feet and forearms are black. The thighs, hands and elbows are brass. The face is silver with red eyes and the facial sculpt is clearly based on that of G1 Swerve, which is nice - and this certainly beats the other "paint it red, call it Swerve" efforts in recent years. The boots are complete with front tyres while the rear tyres sit on his shoulderpads. While the colours aren't those of G1 Swerve, the facial retooling is enough justify the name use here.

   Most of the physical features are still obviously Tracks, which is to be expected. The wings, wheel positions, boots, feet, chest, overhead cannons and hood on the back of his shins are all features carried over. The doors hanging off his hips are kibble, however I think they look pretty good there. There are twin blasters which slide out of the forearms, on the back of his hands.

   As you'd expect, Swerve has great poseability. His head is on a restricted ball joint, the cannons are on joint swivels and so become independently targetable. The missiles don't fire, but I _like_ that - the launchers on the original Tracks had no range but the missiles fell out easily anyway. The wings actually attach to his torso, via both hinges and swivels, and there are hinges where the arm proper attaches to the wing. The elbows are ball joints, the index fingers are jointed individually, the other fingers hinged as one and the thumbs fixed to ensure he grips his gun nice and firmly.

   The waist doesn't twist - which is actually regression from the original Tracks - but the hips are ball jointed with swivels below the sockets. The outsides of the groinplate lift to allow for greater leg poseability, and the doors are on ball joints as well as the already mentioned hinges, meaning they'll happily get out of the way of his legs. The knees are double hinges rather than on ball joints, but the swivels below the hips give them lateral movement anyway. The feet rotate on restricted ball joints, and have adjustable heelspurs. The hood shells sort of hang off the back of his boots and work wonders as giant heelspurs if you want them to - I've got Tracks leaning back on an angle of about 70, using the hood halves to stabilise him.

   This is a great robot mode, even if the colours aren't quite as focussed as I'd like - nor that close to those of Swerve. A rotating waist would have been nice, but the lifting panels on his groin make this a minor issue. Good poseability, cool weaponry, and a cleverly designed head resculpt all make this a good robot mode. The brass plastic doesn't offer the same contrast against black as the Tracks colour schemes had, so I don't think this robot mode is quite up to the same standard, but it's pretty close..

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of BT/Alt Tracks as mentioned. No actual variants that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good repaint of a great BT/Alt model, Swerve has an excellent vehicle mode without any flaws and a solid robot mode. The colours of the robot mode aren't quite up to the standard of Tracks, but the resculpted robot head is done well, and justifies the use of the name. The mould is a strong one, with good poseability and feature placement in robot mode and some play value in a kibble-free vehicle mode. I'd recommend Tracks over this one, but Swerve is certainly a worthwhile toy - 9/10

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