Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Dinobot Swoop Action Figure Hasbro, 2017
Day #1,855: December 13, 2017
Dinobot Swoop Diaclone Colors!
Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. E0595 No. E1123 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Sword, blaster, combiner hand, 1 of 12 random cards Action Feature:Transforms from Pteranodon to Robot to leg/hand Retail:$17.99 Availability: November 2017 Other: Packaging Shows G1 Toy Colors, Toy Looks Like G1 Cartoon/Diaclone
One of my favorite Neil Hamburger jokes comes to mind when discussing the packaging for Dinobot Swoop. The joke - and this is a reach - goes like this. "Why does Colonel Sanders keep his 11 herbs and spices a secret? Because he's ashamed of them." I laugh so hard when I hear this joke - but it also might explain the complete and total lack of calling out the limb modes or combiner capability on any of these new deluxe toys. You can find it on the instructions, but arguably one of the biggest selling points you can have on a toy like this is completely left out. Why? There are two (TWO) illustrations devoted to the Prime Armor gimmick. But we're teasing a lot of digressions here, so let's get started by saying Swoop is a good toy that, funds permitting, is worth your time and effort to procure.
The original toy had more accessories like rocket launchers, but the new one has a combiner fist. You win some, you lose some - you also get a new, cartoon-themed paint job with lots of grey because vac metal is arguably mercifully out of vogue right now. Hasbro's recent foil stickers are prone to peeling even if you don't touch the toy - chrome can flake off and decay easily, so as long as the swirly plastic doesn't decay in a fit of gold plastic syndrome this should be a pretty good toy.
The prehistoric creature mode is pretty great. I don't have the original G1 toy from the 1980s, so I can only judge this toy on its own merits and how closely it looks like something I would expect in a modern toy line. The wings have a few joints, the neck and beak move, even the little tiny feet move. I love how he can be posed "flying" or even standing, perched like a talking green sidekick puppet. I love that this gives him added alt mode functionality - Swoop can be more than just a prehistoric airplane. You can flap his wings, add some armor to his back, give him a sword beard... as one does. I assume. The eyes are painted, and the clever thing is that the clear plastic head has a painted gold interior to mimic the rough look of the original Dinobots toys. It captures the strange clear shell around a vac-metal gold core of the original toys, although I would wager just making it gold or yellow would have been just fine too.
On the figure's wings you'll find tiny pegs designed for the feet of Prime Masters and Titan Masters (sold separately,) a welcome (if goofy) addition. Do you need a place for a miniature Ptero or Crashbash to fly on his back? No. But at least you have the option.
As mentioned above, the colors skew close to that Diaclone toy with a blue belly and a red crest. The rocket launchers are sadly gone, but given the choice of a combiner port or rockets, I'd probably go with the combiner function. The toy doesn't seem any worse off for having it.
Transformation is easy, and I like the robot mode a lot. The wings don't fold back like the original toy, but other than that it's pretty close in appearance with skinny arms and fairly standard modern articulation. The clear sword is painted red, and looks nice - it fits in his fist easily. He stands well and the detailing's quite good. Swoop lacks the faux-sticker tampos of the other toys, but he still looks clean and cool. I'm glad they picked the blue chest paint job as the first release, but I wouldn't say no to a variant in toy colors later. The figure interacts with his accessories fairly well, but the chest armor gimmick is just a waste. It's just such an awful idea for the deluxe robot mode.
The combiner fist - which no longer works as a foot - connects to a robot's chest and wraps around it. In this case, the opposable thumbs bend in and peg in to Swoop's head. A clear plastic "blaster" is a placeholder gem, and you can put in a Prime Master (sold separately) to pretend to give Swoop special powers when he wears this fake pregnancy belly. It doesn't look good, and "let's pretend" isn't really a great gimmick for a toy line geared toward older fans or at least ages 8 and up. Elementary school is where imagination goes to die. I doubt they could have given us vestigial non-firing launchers instead, but it would have been a nicer accessory that would have resulted in fewer requests for a new Swoop in the future.
As limb modes go, I'm not unimpressed. To successfully mash robot parts into something that looks vaguely like a combiner limb, Hasbro did a nice job here with a decent range of motion. The double-thumbed hand is just weird, but this is what we suffered through during Power Core Combiners. Since the Power of the Primes combiner feet come with Voyager-class toys now, I'm showing him here with the Computron foot. It works great - you can swap in Swoop for any limb on a Combiner Wars toy, so if you have Voyagers needing a new hand or a new leg, these new guys might work as filler. You could also use it to build Volcanicus, but I don't know that you really want to do that. While a mangled flying reptile is a bizarre choice for an arm or a leg, it's no less ridiculous than a robot wearing a giant black double-thumbed fist as a vest. My point is this - the toy has ample modes for you to enjoy, and if you don't like one you have many others to try.
Since I'm on deadline I've only got two of these new Power of the Primes guys opened so far - Slug (Slag) and Swoop, in that order. Swoop is my favorite of the two, but I am ridiculously excited for Sludge next year. I assume a G1 toy Swoop or a remolded toy could come from this mold, perhaps Monstructor's Birdbrain with a few modifications. I have no reason to steer you away from this toy unless, somehow, Japan is going to get a much better one. I'm not saying they won't, but I have a tough time imagining they'll crank out a better toy, and certainly not one at a better price. Also completists be warned of the trading card included with each figure - there are 12 variants shipping right now.
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