Wednesday 24 June 2015

TAV09 Swoop

I picked this guy up as I have been eyeing him off for a while and I rather liked the Animated version.  He reminds me very much of Raziel from Soul Reaver, which is part of the reason I like him as well I guess.

Although he lost his flail, he's still pretty cool.  I think they made a good choice with his colours as well.  It's a shame that he doesn't get much characterisation, or maybe it isn't, as it's allowed me to go a bit crazy on how I view him.  His thin frame makes him less of a fighter and more like a mage, a magic user, or a statesman.  The wings on his back also strike me as very cape like and give him quite a regal air.

TAVSwoop (1)Swwopbox 

I have to admit I think I actually prefer these colours to the original G1 inspired colours of Animated Swoop.  I guess that also allows me more freedom to impose my own personality and characteristic on him as well.
TAVSwoop (2)TAVSwoop (3)TAVSwoop (4)

The face is angular and thin, with a nicely frowning mouth.  In fact the mouth is so grumpy looking that it just adds to his mage/statesman look. He also has what looks like a large collar.  How very Dracula! I tells ya, this guy is the Gandalf of Transformers!  What I also rather like is that his head, despite having a frozen grumpy face is remarkably emotive.  His long neck and lack of hindrance at the bottom of his skull  allows for a LOT of possible angles.  He can easily look bemused, exasperated, contemplative, disappointed and so much more!

TAVSwoop (9)TAVSwoop (5)TAVSwoop (10)TAVSwoop (6)TAVSwoop (7)TAVSwoop (8)

The paint work is a bit better as well, sure he's dropped the standard Swoop colours and gone with a sexy red, black silver look, but I'm fine with that.  Hrm, actually, it's a very Windblade looks isn't it now?...  

WindSwoop (2)
Looking good together.

I really like the paint details  they've put on the wings for him now  and overall I have to admit that I much prefer this paint job over the Animated version.  However that isn't all that fair as the Animated one was needed to tickle the nostalgia senses with colours and character as well as be a good look for the cartoon's animated model too, whereas TAV seem to have been able to have free reign.

TAVSwoop (11)TAVSwoop (12)TAVSwoop (13)TAVSwoop (14)

Articulation is pretty good, as you can see form the body shape his joints are pretty free to go where they need to go.  I do wish that you could get a bit more bend out of his knee though and I can see why you can't as he has been blessed with reverse knees for the Pteranodon mode. If you feel inclined, you can spin the knee around to get a deeper bend, but it exposes some ugly holes in the leg. To access a waist swivel which is used for transforming, raise the beast mode head up slightly.  
TAVSwoop (16)TAVSwoop (17)TAVSwoop (18)TAVSwoop (19)

At first I found the arms and shoulders very odd in their design, he needs some wrist swivels at the very least.  His elbows are ball jointed, as are the biceps.  The odd part here is that the upper arm connects to the shoulder via a ball joint on the underside of the shoulder.  The shoulder however manages to fit a vertical swivel where it connects to the chest.  It's a really strange set up and can bit slightly annoying.  However good arm poses can be attained if you spend some time messing about with the joints a bit.  Still, I really would have loved some wrist joints since he has lost his flail, but he still has claws.

TAVSwoop (20) TAVSwoop (15)TAVSwoop (23)TAVSwoop (24)TAVSwoop (25)TAVSwoop (21)

Beast mode is a mixed bag.  I can see that this beast mode would be tricky to pull off considering the sleek robot mode and it's definitely not the worst I have come across.  At least it isn't a shell former. 

TAVSwoop (32)
TAVSwoop (31)TAVSwoop (30)

They did do some very inventive arm/wing combination which I like and you can even make them flap, although I find the arms unplug from the wings sometimes.  It would be nice if the robot mode head fitted into the beast head a little bit better. 
TAVSwoop (22)Good eyes, bad neckGood neck, bad eyes
You can see that the intent is to have the robot eyes peeking out of the beast eyes, but unless you position the head just right, they don't match.  When you match up the eyes, the back of the neck is off, but if the back of the neck is right, the eyes don’t fit. 
The most obvious out of place thing are the legs.  They are super duper long for the beast mode.  You can whip them around to have him do a "swoop and pick up" pose and also have him walking around on them, but during a flying pose, there is nowhere for them to hide, except behind him.
TAVSwoop (34)TAVSwoop (36)TAVSwoop (35)TAVSwoop (44)
Rather nicely, you can actually have his wings flap down and they will stay connected to the arms.  It’s even possible to get a bit of forwards/backwards motion from them too, but anything more than a tiny bit forwards/backwards and the arms begin to detach.  They can't flap upwards at all.
TAVSwoop (39)TAVSwoop (38)TAVSwoop (42)TAVSwoop (40)
Despite the fact that I don’t like the beast mode enough to not bother transforming him into it, I don’t really see it as that much of a negative for this toy.  Double standards coming out here hey?    Usually I bag the crap out of a Transformer if one of the modes is naff.  Swoop here happens to just have a robot mode and look that really does it for me.  I can see  that this figure is entirely likely to be a love or hate kind of toy.  It’s not perfect, but for some reason, I really like it and am happy to over look it’s flaws.

I think that last point can be demonstrated by the following photos.  These are the ones I took for a laugh as I was playing with Swoop for this blog post.  I like these photos as they show how dynamic the robot mode is and are what (to me at least) gives him his personality.  They also didn't fit in with any other category for the previous bits that I mentioned earlier in the post.

TAVSwoop (27)TAVSwoop (29)TAVSwoop (45)TAVSwoop (48)TAVSwoop (46)TAVSwoop (50)

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