If you haven’t read the More Than Meets the Eye comic from IDW you are missing out on one of the best comics of all time. That’s not hyperbole, that’s really how I feel. It’s got something for everyone and as far as I’m concerned, the book has managed to create some of the most memorable characterizations of any Transformers fiction to date. One of those characters is Swerve and everybody loves Swerve! Well, everybody except the crew of The Lost Light. They kind of hate him. But either way, the MTME iteration of the character finally got his own official action figure from Hasbro and that figure has quite suitably landed in the Legends Class assortment.
There’s the packaging and I’m still digging the G1-style deco and the bitchin character art that Hasbro is using on these cards. Ok, I’ll admit I would have liked to see Swerve holding a drink, but I’m guessing that such a thing wouldn’t have been deemed acceptable on a toy package. Remember, kids, learn to love booze early and it’ll make life so much more bearable. Either way, at least they included his awesome shit-eating grin. Swerve is packaged in his robot mode beside his Targetmaster, Flanker, who is in his jet mode. Let’s start with Swerve and his alt mode.
Swerve is a pick-up truck, which works for me. The truck mode isn’t overly encumbered with sculpted detail, but it does have some nice attention spent on the front grill and headlights. Yeah, there is major seaming working against it on the sides of the truck, but that’s something that often plagues Deluxes too, so I’m not going to make a big deal about it when talking about a Legends Class toy. The coloring is bright and appealing, with a satisfying red plastic that is sparsely deco’ed out with some white and silver paint apps and black painted windows.
The Legends Class figures, or any Transformers for that matter, aren’t exactly slaves to scale, and that goes extra for Swerve. So far we’ve seen a tank, a jet, a truck, and a sportscar, and none of them have really been in scale with each other and yet they still seem to belong in the same line. Well, Swerve’s is the first alt mode here that clearly feels like it was designed to interact with a different line. When you put him next to his fellow Autobot Legends Class alt modes, he just looks too big and chunky to belong. Is that a bad thing? Well, I’ll come back to that in a bit.
Transforming Swerve is pretty damn easy. It’s so easy that it harkens back to the old G1 Minibot days. You unfold his legs from the back, pull out his arms and tuck the hood behind his back. The result is a pretty spectacular little version of the Lost Light’s resident barkeep.
Yup, that’s Swerve alright! From the detailing on his chest to the way his wheels land on his shoulders, Hasbro did a wonderful job on this guy, despite the simple conversion process. His robot mode also brings a lot more color to the table by showing off his white torso and his silver upper legs. Plus, with ball joints in the shoulders, elbows, and hips, and hinges in the knees, you can get some decent poseability out of this little scrapper. I do wish his head would turn, but as it is it can only look up or down.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Swerve without that smarmy expression and Hasbro nailed that pretty well too. This isn’t the sharpest head sculpt I’ve seen in the Legends Class, but it certainly gets the job done. I will, however, note that Swerve unfortunately has some sloppy paintwork. The silver on the grills on either side of his head aren’t fully painted in and there’s a big dallup of silver in the top right corner of his right chest gril. There’s also a bit of the red plastic bleeding through his white face paint. It’s not the end of the world, but if I find another on the pegs with better paint, I’ll definitely pick it up.
So, back to that whole scale thing. Despite being a Legends Class figure, Swerve feels like he was intended to interact with the regular Generations line. Stand him next to Legends Optimus and he stands bulkier and even a smidge taller than the Autobot leader. On the other hand, put him beside Classics Rodimus and he feels right at home. My guess is that Hasbro wanted to get the figure out for the Classics/Generations line and the Legends price point was the only way they could do it and I certainly applaud the decision.
Swerve’s Targetmaster, Flanker is a little blue jet. He’s a simple little guy, but his paint unfortunately reflects some of the paint issues with Swerve. The white striping on his wings is rather spotty and the blue plastic is bleeding through in afew spots. His jet mode is Ok, but the lack of detail in the nose makes me want to consider him more of a drone than a proper jet. I do, however, dig his robot mode a lot.
Where Flanker really shines is his gun mode. He converts into what looks like a three-barreled minigun of some kind and it’s totally bad ass. It also doesn’t look as terribly oversized as some of the other Targetmaster guns in this line. Sure, I would have preferred Hasbro find a way to give him his “My First Blaster” gun, but it’s at least comforting to know that the third party companies have that accessory covered.
The price point, packaging, and Targetmaster may put Swerve in the Legends Class assortment, he’s still going to be going straight onto my Classics/Generations shelf. I think it’s awesome that Hasbro was able to recognize that this was a character fans would want and I have to say this is one of the first Hasbro releases where I can honestly say that I’m happier to have their version than the third-party Swerves that are out there. Maketoys “Trash Talk” comes closest to getting the job done, but it’s a little too white for me, and with the big gulf in price differences, I don’t even consider Hasbro’s official figure a compromise. Now if only Hasbro would get us some more crewmembers from The Lost Light, I’ll be a happy camper.