Thursday, 16 January 2014

Generations Legends Swerve & Flanker

Generations Legends Swerve & Flanker

If you looked the name Swerve up in the dictionary then, until recently it would have one word beside it: Repaint. If you were going to do a red Autobot repaint of an Transformer you'd call it Swerve. It didn't matter which Transformer: Minibot Swerve is a repaint of Gears, Universe Swerve of Armada Blurr *, Alternator Swerve of Alternator Tracks, Movie Scout Swerve of Energon Clocker, ROTF Swerve of ROTF Sideswipe, ROTF Legends Swerve of ROTF Legends Sideswipe, GDO Generations Swerve of Generations Kup and Arms Micron Swerve of Arms Micron Breakdown. The only exception is the exclusive Swerve which could be obtained from Chevrolet dealers in 2008 & 2009 and even then there's a sense that they wanted a generic name for the toy. His fictional appearances are minimal: one G1 cartoon episode and no entry in the original Marvel Transformers Universe series.

And then IDW's More Than Meets The Eye happened, where the fast talking Swerve serves as the barman on The Lost Light (* oddly Blurr does the same job in Robots in Disguise. I point you at the above list: Universe Swerve is a repaint of Armada Blurr)

And suddenly everyone loved Swerve.

The Legends size in the Generations line has had a rough ride: Starting out as pairs of data discs they solidly warmed the shelves for ages. It then became two waves of Basic/Commander(ish) sized leading characters paired with a Minicon sized toy. With the Swerve wave it becomes smaller Transformers characters with a Minicon but the main character has had a bit of beefing up compared to the previous wave: Swerve is chunkier than Optimus Prime or any of the previous larger Legends characters.....

.... I struggle with the use of the Legends name here, and I don't think I'm the only one: Legends is the tinsy tiny now called Legion size of Transformers.

Swerve comes in robot mode. To transform to vehicle, fold his bonnet up off his back. Straighten the arms. Pull the waist forward, pulling the centre of the chest out on a slant by a hinge at neck level. Puch the arms up and in, locking the tabs on the inner wrists into the centre chest piece (I missed this out the first few times I transformed him and wondered why he was as floppy as anything!). Straighten the legs, and then bend the lower legs back at the knee so they cover the back of the upper legs as per the original Gears transformation.

Essentially this is Swerve's G1 pick up truck vehicle mode, but longer, removing the super deformed Choro Q element that Swerve inherited from Gears' original Micro Change version. Unfortunately he does inherit the "front of my lower legs are on my vheicle mode's flatbed" which has annoyed me for years. It's less pronounced than it was but I like an empty flatbed on my pickup and of all the Transformers only Generations Kup really does that properly. Swerve gains a 5mm peg hole on his cab roof and that's used for mounting his weapon on which is formed from his companion, Flanker.

The original Flanker is a Micromaster combiner jet which forms part of Sixwing. It's not 100% obvious but I suspect this new version is maybe meant to be Eagle Eye, another member of the Micromaster Air Patrol like Blazemaster who came with Bumblebee - early information labelled this toy as Sky-High who originally was a third member of this team. He's a dark blue robot with a white head & chest and red face & chest plate. The only articulation on his is his arms raise. In a change to the previous minicon sized robots he's lost the 3mm hands so can't hold anything, bot that there's anything in this pack to hold!

Flanker's vehicle mode is a small jet: fold the wings forward from behind his shoulders, lie him flat and fold the nose cone out from behind the feet. You can fold a red plast peg down from under the nose - the only body part he shares with Swerve's tooling - that lets you mount the plane mode on Swerve.

Flanker's third mode is a gun: from robot mode fold the chest & leg fronts forward and up revealing a gun barrel that locks into place covering the head then fold the red peg down so it can be mounted on the top of Swerve's car mode.

To transform Swerve back to car mode fold the flatbed back to form the lower legs and separate them. Pull the sides of the car out and back to form the arms. Push the centre of the undercarriage back to form the middle of the chest. Stand, and fold the bonnet down and back onto his back.

The robot mode is the mos gloriously perfect representation of a character I've seen in a Transformers toy for a long, long time. It's just spot on, even his happy smiling face just looks great. He puts the earlier figures in this line to shame really. He's got 5mm hands for his weapons, and the bulkier form I mentioned earlier makes these look more appropriate to the toy. He bends at the knees, has ball jointed hips, outer shoulders & elbows plus a raising inner shoulder joint that's part of the TF.

Just perfect.

All he needs is a tray of drinks and a My First Blaster weapon! (And I'm certain that some third party firm will oblige us with one of these.

Buy this toy. If we see anything better in 2014 I'll be very surprised.

So far Swerve and Cosmos have only been released in Hong Kong. There's no sign of them reaching, or being offered for order, in the western markets yet.


Gears is coming. He's been seen listed under two parts numbers in the Hasbro computer and with two different companion names:


As to whether he'll get released .....

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