Cliffbee.com: Energon Swoop Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Swoop
Series: Energon
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Pterodactyl



PTERODACTYL MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 20cm Width: 10cm

   A lightish grey pterodactyl with a large black backpack and black legs with blue claws. The crest of his head is black with a small stamped Autobot logo and his eyes are red. There are silver thrusters on the rear of the backpack, which is a nice touch. There are some yellow paint applications which you could easily miss. The colour scheme is very nice, and while it doesn't completely match that of G1 Swoop, this is still a clear homage to the G1 Dinobot. And it's even an Energon homage without a mangled name!

   The backpack is bigger than that of G1 Swoop, but while the backpack was nothing more than somewhere to store the legs previously, the thrusters give this backpack a sense of purpose. The wings are long, slender affairs, and along with the beak are quite realistic in shape. The toy is covered in mech detail like seams and pistons and the like. There are even pistons moulded onto his neck.

   This mode has two real flaws, but neither bothers me that much. The first is the hollow neck, though which you can see the back of the robot head. The second is that it doesn't hold together as well as it should - the backpack can unclip and the legs wiggle around a little in ways they're not meant to. The legs are underneath the toy, so while G1 Swoop stands upright, this Swoop stands leaning forward in a take-off/landing position.

   There's not really much poseability here, but then I don't expect too much of a deluxe pterodactyl. The head can move up and down, the wingtips can swing in and the legs can swing back and forth. Some optional weaponry would have been nice - sadly neither Swoop or Grimlock (whom he was sold with) come with weapons.

   A more realistic pterodactyl than G1 provided but the homage still works. The colours are great and there are some really cool features like the thrusters and sculpting that make this a good beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   For the most part this is the same as that of the toy that inspired Swoop, with the only major change being the arms. Detach the backpack and flip the thrusters down to form his legs. Turn Swoop over, connect his groin halves and fold down his wingtips. Flip down his feet and lift out the side panels to form shoulderpads. Rotate the pterodactyl's thighs up to form shoulder struts, which will bring his arms into place. Extend the arms, rotate the forearms and fold the claws down to form digits. Fold down the beast head to form the central strip of his chest.

   The groin can be tricky to clip together properly, but once you get it the join is fairly stable.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 15cm

   Now a fairly even mix of grey, blue and black, Swoop's robot mode has no trace of the red that is so prominent on G1 Swoop - instead opting for a blue chest as portrayed in the G1 cartoon. The shoulderblades, central chest and wings are grey while the elbows. and lower torso are blue, along with the claws. The head, shoulders and forearms are black along with his legs. There's a yellow crest on his head and his feet are also yellow. The kneecaps and face are painted silver and he has bleu eyes. The Autobot logo is now on his chest, although it's relatively tiny. This is again a nice colour scheme, although the shift from red to blue makes the G1 homage somewhat weak, although it's still quite obvious.

   Swoop's atheistic makes him his own toy, despite the G1 references. The big boots, claw-hands and dangling wingtips are all new elements. The wingtips form a nice cape, which along with the claws almost create a gothic feel (I saw almost since the light grey keeps the gothic look very dilute). The face is quite detailed and really resembles that of G1 cartoon Swoop.

   The poseability here is quite good. The head can turn, although the dino-neck transformation joint around it makes this more or less useless. The shoulders rotate and his arms can lift to the side. The elbows can bend and rotate, while the claws can open and close. The hips are tight ball joints while the knees are ratcheting hinges that probably could have been ball jointed - although the beast mode backpack might have been even more likely to unhitch if this were the case. The feet don't really move Swoop's heelspurs help give him some meaningful leg movement.

   To be honest, you don't really notice the lack of a handgun on a toy that lacks hands. Well, you notice it, but the claws give him some sort of attack, so it's less of an issue than on his partner Grimlock. Of course, some sort of removable weapon would have been nice, be it a shoulder cannon or whatever.

   Swoop's robot mode is both a good homage and it's own toy - not an easy balance to strike. More than anything else this dichotomy impresses me. The colours, detailing and bodyshape all all well done, giving Swoop a good robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Swoop was sold in a box with Grimlock.

OVERALL

   Great colours, solid engineering, a well done G1 homage and some good detailing make this a good toy. Swoop devotes far less of himself to the pathetic Mega Dinobot than Grimlock, and is a much better toy because of it. Definitely worthwhile as a stand alone deluxe, and Dinobot fans will no doubt want to buy the pair - 7.5/10

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