Cliffbee.com: Swerve Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Swerve
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Metallurgist
Alternate Mode: Pick up truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5cm Width: 3.5cm

   A maroon truck with black windows, plastic black tyres, a chrome silver grill and a white rear cabin. The black windows are actually a piece of black plastic inside the maroon one that forms the front of the truck. The front windscreen wraps around to the sides, and he has a sunroof. There's also a section sticking up just in front of the windscreen on the hood. In front of this is an "M" moulded into the hood, which represents the Microman series from which this mould originates. If your Swerve still has a rubsign, it'll be covering the sunroof, and facing sideways.

   His front bumper is white, above this he has maroon headlights. There are rather obvious seams in the headlights, where the arms spilt from the torso. These seams are less obvious on the sides of the truck, but still visible. The white rear cabin is one of those optional extra types you could buy for open tray models of pick ups in the 1970s and early 80s. This rear cabin is more angular than that on Gears, of which he is a remould. In fact this rear section is the only part that's remoulded in truck mode. At the back of the tray are gaps which allow his legs to fold out in robot mode, inside of which are exposed (chrome silver) thighs.

   There's not really much play value. His wheels roll, although not on axles. They are ridged, so while he wont roll well he's perfect for kiddies rolling him up a soily mound or something. The real value in this mode is just that it's so damn _cute_. The proportions and detail aren't great, but he still manages to look cool. His colours work, but they don't work out quite as cute as those on Gears.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the rear section over to form the legs (they split as the fold out). Pull the sides out to form the arms. Stand him up, position the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 4.5cm

   Whereas before he was mainly maroon, Swerve's robot mode is dominated by white. The arms are maroon, as well as the sides of his lower legs, but otherwise it's mainly on his back. His head is painted red, over white plastic, and has a very good detail for a Minicar. His thighs are chromed silver, his groin has an Autobot symbol sticker, which is actually a trapezoid shaped silver sticker with an Autobot symbol rather than an Autobot symbol shaped sticker. He also has a black and silver sticker running across his chest. Along with the red head, the stickers break up the otherwise white torso quite well. The red head works better with the maroon than you might expect, too.

   As mentioned, he has a pretty good level of facial detail, which was a theme in the 1986 Minicars, which were for the most part superficial remoulds of the original 1984 moulds. In Swerve's case the main differences are more angular white parts, and a better level of detail. Since he's mainly white in robot mode, the majority of the robot mode is remoulded. The arms and thighs are the only parts that share Gears' mould, in fact. Sure, the transformation is identical and the truck mode very similar, but Swerve's robot mode does have a very different look about it. The greater detail means he loses the "cute" look completely, and also means he's clearly not the same character as his predecessor.

   Like his truck mode, there's not much play value. His arms swing at the shoulders and that's it. The lack of poseability is a drawback, but considering the size and age of this mould, I can live with it. His biggest flaw in this mode is the heavy reliance on chrome on his thighs - he looks bad if it wears and exposes the black plastic underneath, and you can't easily undo chrome wear.

VARIATIONS

   The 2008 Encore reissue has painted blue eyes and a silver face.

OVERALL

   Since he's always going to live in the shadow of Gears, I suppose I should measure him relative to Gears. The extra detail in Swerve is a plus, and the colours work well. Probably the best thing is that despite being a retool, Swerve is different enough that he's clearly a separate character. Of course, he had very little in the way of media appearances, whereas Gears was quite prolific - and this is probably the thing that works against him the most - the fact he's a somewhat obscure recolour. He's not a bad toy in his own right, mind you, and if you like the Minicars, Swerve's worth getting - 6/10

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