GDO Generations Swerve
It kind of sucks that there were a few Transformers that never got screen time on the original show. In 1986, Hasbro made a few re-colors of their Mini-Vehicle sub-group of their Transformers available. Pipes, Outback, and Tailgate all came out in the third batch of the little robot figures, but the characters never got the same face time as their "original" counterparts, Huffer, Brawn, and Windcharger, got on the show.
The same thing happened to Swerve, the 4x4 truck patterned after Gears, who was one of the toys released in the first round of Mini-Vehicles. Poor bastard.
All the Mini-Vehicles from G1 were made from the old Takara Micro Change line (1983), specifically the Mini Car Robo sub-line, which were made to transform into super-deformed (exaggerated, rounded features) cars. Swerve was a little better than the original Gears toy, since he had a sculpted head instead of a weird looking dome and more rectangular feet. There's a them both from mdverde's photostream, HERE.
According to the original card, Swerve was a "metallurgist" who could tell you anything about a metal once he touched it. He was a total geek, who would get distracted by anything. Sort of like Dug from Pixar's Up: "Squirrel!"
The distractions would cause him to make erratic turns while driving and to forget about his mission parameters, hence the name. The original toy kind of looked the part: he had glasses and looked kind of awkward. Later version of the guy gave him a more sleek, sports car look, like the Alternator version, the Cybertron Scout figure, or the Revenge of the Fallen toys.Personally, I'm glad they went back to the truck with the Generations line.
Swerve wasn't one of the figures that seemed to be hot when it was announced that the Asia exclusive GDO Deluxe Class figures were coming out locally. Guys were asking people to group buy with them and everyone's looking for a Springer, or a Cliffjumper, or a Wheelie Sr., but I don't remember seeing anyone posting that they'd take someone's Swerve off their hands. Like I said, poor bastard.
The card does a good job of showcasing the figure in pick-up truck form next to his rifle and showing what the robot looks like (product shots in back). There don't seem to be any real issues in paint. I'm not sure there are any really aside from the tampographed Autobot insignia and the silver on his grill. There's also some silver on his chest, but there's no way to see that if he's mint on card, so no use worrying over it. Ditto for the white that's painted on his knees.
The rest of him is pretty much cast in color: black for the hood, white to break up the monotony, and the majority in red. None of the plastic feels cheap so you don't get that translucent look of Reveal the Shield Jazz. Everything is appropriately opaque and nicely deep as opposed to pale. It would have been easy for this to turn into a "Pinkinmus" Prime.
The pickup isn't based on anything real as near as I can tell. It's definitely an Earth vehicle as opposed to a Cybertronian car, but I don't think it's supposed to mirror any particular existing model from any of the car manufacturers of today. Of course, I could be wrong (and please, let me know if you know).
In truck mode, I've got to go with the original Reveal the Shield Sergeant Kup over Swerve. The mix of colors that this guy's got just doesn't sing to me like Wheelie's bright orange does. Kup's teal chassis and translucent windows and headlights make that toy look much better, despite looking a bit cheaper due to the brighter looking plastic.
Because both toys transformation sequence involves the truck bed becoming the robot's feet, the tailgate of the vehicle actually drops, which is a nice little Easter egg right there.There are also 3mm C-clip mounting points on top of his roof, so you can attach his laser rifle there.
You can also attach the weapon underneath the truck if you'd like. You'll need to slip the end of the barrel into the "shoe" at the bottom of the undercarriage, and then pin the stock to the bottom. It holds there very tightly and the clearance is sufficient to allow it to roll around easily.
Changing the thing into a robot takes a little practice.
It took me a while to learn to pull the roof and hood up and out of the way first, then the arms out. His head and chest need to be flipped over to face front, and his truck bead opens up into two huge clown feet. The roll bar (or whatever you call that area that used to be where pickups had a bar) needs to be pushed upwards and the sides folded in, before you can fold them down to make knees.
After some fiddling, he looks like this:
Articulation is fairly good, though I do have some issues.
The lower body's got some nice moves, with a decent range on the knees (not a full 45 degrees, but good), thigh swivels, ball-jointed hips, and some really great pivot points on the feet. The shoulders are good, though they are kind of limited by where the tires end up. The head is also somewhat limited because it is in a sort of recess formed by his chest assembly.
The biggest gripe I have though are his elbows, which just feel overly un-intuitive for me.
Above is a detail of his elbow joint. There's one that moves it along the vertical, and an entirely separate joint that moves it along the horizontal. In theory, you could probably get a good deal of motion out of the compound point, but in practice it can be as aggravating as that Gangnam Style song has become.
It just feels wrong when I'm trying to move it. Most of the time I end up trying to force it to go one way in order to change the figure's pose, but I just can't place it in position until I stop and look at the joint to figure out how it works. It annoys the hell out of me.
It would have been awesome if the joint actually allowed him to shoulder his rifle, but nope. Doesn't.
Still, it's decent articulation for something this size, and more often than not, I can get over the issue.
The rifle he comes with also has a c-clip below the ammunition box (or what looks to me the place you stick the laser juice). That clip can be mounted on several points on the robot's person, including some areas of his door (found on his arms in robot mode), the small of his back, and most prominently, the roof, which becomes his backpack while he's a robot.
His new paint job makes me like him more than I like the Sergeant Kup. The deep red and the white go will with the smaller amounts of black and silver. It's a lot more visually interesting than Kup's all teal, all the time.
I do wish they'd bothered to give him a new weapon though. I doesn't seem proper to give him the laser musket since he's not some rust bucket mouthing off about how he trooped through a flood of acid to get to the Data Center back on stardate 1312.4. I'm kind of tempted to take a saw and just save this puppy down to a overly long pistol: chop off the barrel, then the stock. Voila!
Ultimately, I'd want to give him two laser shotguns.
Overall, I really like this toy. The new head sculpt (which looks much less odd than the original Kup's), the new colors and he larger insignia turn it around for me. Though I'm not really a fan of the weapon, the ease of storage and the fact that he's even got one, really make it a good deal.
I'm not sorry I picked this one up, but I'm hesitant to give it a strong recommendation. He's just not fun enough to really make the Php 699.75 worth it for the average toy enthusiast.