It’s Week #4 of Transformers Thursday held hostage and that means I’m serving up yet another Bayformer. This time my random grab into the bin of robots from the live action movies pulled up a Revenge of the Fallen figure. It’s Swerve! Swerve was not actually in the film. He’s one of those Expanded Universe characters and he is in fact a repaint of RotF Sideswipe with a new head. For those of you Bayformer fans that fear all of these features are just going to be a lot of hate mixed with lukewarm acceptance, today should be a treat because I actually love this figure. Let’s start with the alt mode…
Swerve is a red Corvette Stingray and he is absolutely gorgeous. Sure, it helps a lot when your basing your toy off of a dead sexy car like this one, but Hasbro also did a fine job creating this alt mode. Swerve is a bit of a shellformer, but I don’t find the seaming on this car all that unsightly. There are not a lot of paint apps to speak of but this car doesn’t look like it’s missing anything. The exhaust and front grill are painted black and there’s a little touch of gold on the hood ornament. It works fine and looks great. The windows are tinted black so as not to let you all the ugly robot parts crunched up inside. The tires and wheels are fantastic sculpts and the headlights are clear plastic. The final touch is a neat little Autobot emblem printed on the rear license plate. Fabulous!
Swerve can be a bit of a bitch to get cracked open, but once I got him going, I was pretty good at transforming him, even after not having seen him for a couple of years. I will note that I like to mis-transform Swerve by making a back plate out of his hood, instead of him wearing it up on the back of his shoulders. It helps differentiate him from his brother, Sideswipe and I think it looks pretty good. As far as Bayformer aesthetics go, I’ll just come out and say that I think Swerve is a gorgeous design. He’s rather unique in that he wears the back of the car as his chest, rather than the front. There’s also just enough mix of car plates and complex inner robot parts that makes him feel like he’s straddling the design elements of regular Transformers and the movies. And the coloring here is superb. In addition to the red and black plastic, you get some sharp metallic silver paint operations and a little bit of gold too.
I’m on record as not being a big fan of the Bayformer heads, but I dig Swerve’s. He’s still as ugly as all hell, but I can’t help but appreciate the staggering amount of detail and beautiful paintwork that went into his tiny noggin. Look at those teeny tiny intakes on the sides of his mouth. That’s brilliant!
There are also some particularly cool things worth pointing out here. First off, I love the pistons in his hips. These are made of soft plastic and articulate with his legs. Second, the configuration of his feet allow for them to convert to wheels so he can roller skate into battle. Yes, it does make standing him up more than a bit troublesome, but I think the tradeoff is worth it. His exhaust pipes wind up angled upward behind his head and naturally I like to think of these as mortar launchers, because who wouldn’t want to be able to launch mortars from their back? And lastly, the pointed armor on his forearms swing down to form battle spikes. I absolutely adore the way this works. It’s a wonderful added weapon gimmick that adds a lot of personality to the figure.
So there you have it. I may have been a little guarded in my appreciation for figures like Bonecrusher and Longarm, but I’m coming out in full support of Swerve. He’s a beautiful figure that proves to me that the movie aesthetics can work quite well. He also represents some very clever engineering for a Deluxe and he manages to pull off looking great in both car and robot modes. I was going to toss in some pictures of Sideswipe too, but that would be cheating on the whole random nature of this little Bayformer exercise. Who will it be next week? We’ll just have to wait and see!