Cliffbee.com: Fearswoop Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Fearswoop
Series: "European" G1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Attack Specialist
Alternate Mode: YF-22 Fighter Jet



JET MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 16.5cm Width: 11cm

   A yellow fighter with a transparent yellow canopy, black and purple stickers on his wings, tailfins and tailwings and a large black weapon assembly on the back. Fearswoop's stickers are unusually realistic on their detail (although not colour) for a late G1 toy, even if the yellow plane and black backpack aren't. There's some green on the toy, while the backpack has pink stickers and a transparent yellow plate on top. Rounding out a rather diverse colour scheme are twin grey cannons on the sides of the weapons assembly. Fearswoop's colours are by no means realistic or unified, but the colour scheme somehow manages to come off okay.

   Fearswoop's jet mode is a YF-22 (not an FA-18 as I had picked, thanks to Fit For Natalie for this info), with angled twin tailfins and trailing tailwings, but the weapon assembly - which is almost as big as the toy itself - isn't a standard part of any fighter. You can detach the backpack but this reveals a gap where it attaches, rather than the engines of a jet. I actually like the backpack, but this gaping hole is a liability (especially if the weapon assembly is lost). Fearswoop has three fold down wheels, the front one is baby blue for some reason while the rear pair are his yellow feet. I'm happy to report that the wheels will easily support this rather back(pack) heavy toy.

   Like his Trakkon teammate Calcar (and the Autobot equivalent Lightformers), Fearswoop's weapon assembly contains a gimmick. If you look through the back of the pod and turn a wheel (underneath in this case), you'll see twin streams of laser fire. While it's not the best gimmick out there, it's something different and it does work well. Turning the wheel will also cause the grey cannons to rapidly alternate (one back, one forth and then swap), and this part of the gimmick _is_ cool. Fearswoop has no other play value in jet mode, but two action features on a toy this small is good.

   Fearswoop's cacophony of colour looks better than it's entitled to - although I don't know that yellow was a good choice for a jet. The plane mode is about as realistic as you're going to get when he's yellow with a giant attachment. The weapons assembly is the star here, not just because his two gimmicks are focused here but also because without it, the jet mode isn't worthwhile - the gap where the engines would be make sure of that. A fun jet in questionably colours if complete, a bit of a loss if the weapons assembly is AWOL.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the weapons assembly and set aside. Fold away the front wheel, slide the undercarriage forward, flip out the legs. Fold the back of the jet down to form his backpack, revealing his head, and you're done. There's a single baby blue leg underneath the weapons assembly which allows it to stand in front of Fearswoop, who can grasp twin handles and look through the laser sight.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11cm Width: 11cm (the weapons assembly is 12cm tall)

   Even more of a mix now, Fearswoop has a yellow torso (the front half of the jet), yellow feet with grey legs, green upper arms and black forearms and head. The face sports a bronze mouthplate and an transparent yellow eyes with a good lightpipe (normal for this era, although usually the eyes are a single strip). For some reason they gave Fearswoop crimson kneecaps, which look horribly out of place (the calves are also crimson, but this isn't as noticeable). The weapons assembly is still black with green and the grey cannons, with the added baby blue stand. The colours are again a wide spread, with the robot mode's colours less successful, mainly because of the crimson knees. The wings form a cape behind the arms and the tailwings sit behind the knees, adding some more yellow (and helping make him look slightly more unified).

   The bodyshape is actually pretty good here - the arms are especially well shaped. The had and legs are also pretty good, although there's a bar between the ankles I could have done without. The torso is the standard cockpit-chest and nose-groin affair, but it works. As with a lot of robot modes with a plane-front torso, there are gaps on his shoulders, and this is the only major flaw with the bodyshape.

   The weapons assembly isn't crucial anymore, but still comes in handy. The stand is sturdy enough to support it's weight (well, with Fearswoop hanging onto it), and it lines up well for him. The stand needs to be down - this thing is way too heavy for Fearswoop to hold in his outstretched arms. Both gimmicks work again, although with Fearswoop's head in the way you don't get such a great view of the laser fire.

   This is easily his better mode, even if they colours are more of a mess. The robot shape is surprisingly good considering how simple the transformation is, while the gunpod on a stand makes for a pretty cool weapon. Most importantly, you still have a complete robot without the weapons assembly.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although he was sold in both G1 (box) and G2 (card) packaging. Fearswoop was not sold in North America.

OVERALL

   Better colours and no gap at the back of the jet would make Fearswoop a good toy. The colours work better than they deserve to, but he's still somewhat gaudy. The weapons assembly is nice with decent action features, but the gap it attaches to to is a huge liability, like the vent shaft on the Death Star. Despite his flaws, Fearswoop is still a decent toy, and while I wouldn't recommend hunting one down, if you come across him he's fun - 5.5/10

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