Sunday 13 October 2019

POTP Swoop, Quick N Nasty review


Actually, this doesn’t really fall into my Quick N Nasty category as I used my camera and not the phone, but meh, Whatevs.

Ladies and Gents, I’d like to use this post to have a look at Power Of the Primes Deluxe Swoop.    I’ve always had a thing for the Dinobots.  I just really think I love mechanical beast or monster modes.  Beast Wars didn’t really do it for me, but did I love the look of the Transmetals?  (yes I did).

The Power of the Primes line was an odd one in my mind.  It kind of felt like a bit-of-this-a-bit-of-that line.  Lots of combiner limbs, that made it too late into Combiner Wars, some weird change to the headmaster concept so they can keep up with Titans Returns and it added nothing new ( even the pretender shells were a continuation of the little droned from TR).  While I like the Combiner Wars connection process, I think they could have integrated the Primes into the line a bit better.  For example, deluxe figures all came with “Prime Armour” which is a combiner mode hand and you plug the Prime into that.  Whereas the Voyagers (usually combiner main body pieces/group leaders) had a section for connecting a prime or a Matrix of ~~~something~~~ directly into the figure.  I personally would have preferred that the Matrix/Prime just plugged straight into the chest of all characters, or something, instead of having to plug a rather large and not cool looking thing onto them….

Anyway, getting back on track, Swoop was one of the many Dinobots I wanted as a kid and never got.  I only got the Red Slag from G2 back in the olden days, so I was pleased to see a very G1 looking Swoop show up.  How is he overall?

Actually, he’s very nice.  I’m going to start with his Pteranodon mode first.  In a controversial move, he comes with a blue chest.  Different to the G1 Transformers toy, similar to his Diaclone origins and also similar to the cartoon.  You know, I’ve seen the cartoon many, many, many times and it never struck me as odd that Swoop has a blue chest in it!  There ya go!

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Looking at him, you can see that it’s actually very faithful with lots of lovely detail.  I really like the look of the ambient sculpting on the backpack and wings.  Every panel has some mechanical detail in there.  Things such as pipes leading along the jetpack, lines that hint at articulated section in the wings and vent type areas.  It all looks very nice and feels like a good, faithful update to his design.

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The chest has some nice hoses sculpted in and some very cool paint applications that look a bit like stickers.

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I really like the dino head on this guy.  It’s been designed with the golden glass covering idea in place, so the top of the beak is translucent plastic that has had gold painted inside and the effect replicates the G1 toy looks extremely well.  His lower beak has teeth and a laser-gun-tongue sculpted in too!

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The robot head fits in the dino head nicely to complete the look, another nice touch and there is a little silver painted panel which matches up nicely, as well as an indent for the fin sticking out the robot head.  There is a slight problem of the beak section drooping though and this can reveal the robot face.

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Another nice touch is that he even has quite a bit of articulation.  Quite something for a robot square with wings!  The wings can flap, the wing tips can spread and the head can look forwards for flying or straight ahead  when he is plonked on the ground.  The feet of the pteranodon also can be flipped back for aerodynamic when flying!  It’s a pretty cool extra.

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Sadly he is a little lacking on the weapon front.  If you look at the side, you can see some ports, but in Pteranodon mode, they are inaccessible and you can’t mount any weapons underneath his wings. Swoop also only comes with his “Prime Armour” and a sword.  The sword can be plugged in a hole under his bird-chin.  The prime armour goes on his back for some extremely un-aerodynamic jet booster type action.  The good news with the amour though is that you can plug a bunch of weapons onto it, or a Headmaster/Prime figure.  With a good choice of weapon, it can come across looking very nice.

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Pteranodon mode also has a couple of spots for putting Headmasters/Primes.  Two on each wing near the hinge joint and two on the back pack section.

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You may have guessed, but he also has plugs for flying stands and he is also a fairly good size, not quite as long as a jet transformer, but manages to have enough bulk to him to make hi look like a tough dino!

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Overall, I really like the beast mode to this guy.  The articulation he has, while not overwhelming is enough for you to be able to get a bunch of cool poses from him.  Not too shabby for a beast mode, especially since they have  a tendency to be blocks.

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Now lets get onto robot mode!

Transformation is pretty easy and essentially the same as the G1 toy.

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Robot mode doesn’t really bring any new detail to the fore, but it does look very nice.  Very slim and sleek, as you’d expect from a flying robot.  I do really like the way the dino feet and legs connect to the shin, providing detail and efficiently getting them out of the way.

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The weapon ports on the forearms are now accessible which is nice, but I have had trouble finding weapons which are a good fit. 

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The pipe details on his torso make a bit more sense as they now connect to the beast head on his chest.  The beast head also has sculpting on the bit that meets the robot face, a great and extra addition.  I also really like the black bars around the shoulders, they seem to evoke a parachute/pilot strapped in look to him. These make me think of Fall of Cybertron Starscream. 

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The head sculpt is really great.  Very smooth with a  nice 80s cartoon aesthetic to it.  I really like the little detail they added in the side vents.  So small, but looks crisp and great!  Where the robot face looks through the dino head also has some details sculpted in too.

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Swoop’s slim robot mode has the added bonus of unhindered articulation, so the robot can actually get into many many cool poses.  He has a lot of joints as well:
  • Swivel neck ((hindered by square head and transformation hinges).
  • Ball shoulders.
  • Swivel bicep.
  • Hinge elbows.
  • Hinge wrists.
  • swivel waist (although kind of useless due to the Pteranodon beak clipping into the groin)
  • Ball hips (slightly hindered by square connectors, which clash with his “pants” piece)
  • Swivel thigh.
  • hinge knee.
  • hinge ankles (forward/back).
  • Hinged wings.
  • Swivel wing tips.
  • Swivel at the base of the wing by the shoulder.

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To help that articulation create more fun, he also has a plug in his bottom for a flight stand.  Sadly the only weapon he comes with is his sword… I really do wish he had some kind of long range weapons.  I’m not too sue about everyone's swoops, but mine does have some loose joints.  Perhaps in the future the world will be full of floppy Swoops, as they currently are though, I'm not worried, but in 10  years time?  I might have to tighten them up myself.

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Swoop’s robot mode really is a lot of fun to mess with, especially if you combine the Pteranodon head with the robot mode, or get a bit inventive.  Once again, he is also a good size to interact with other toys.

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The prime armour can be mounted on his back, but you have to angle his wings up a bit to do so.  In robot mode it looks a bit better as it is less obtrusive and manages to convey a jet booster look fairly well.  Weapons can be mounted on it in this configuration as well.

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Being a left over of the Combiner Wars line, Swoop can combine with his fellow Dinobots (and others) to make a gestalt.  He has both a leg mode and and arm mode. 

The leg mode looks very wide and there is no way to secure Swoop’s robot hips, so it can heave a tendency to be a bit floppy.

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Personally I thin he looks a lot better in the arm mode.  He is sleek, god for an arm and has enough joints to be able to get the arm into enough tough looking poses.  Sadly though, his legs don’t plug in together very well and are prone to coming apart during play. 

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I don’t have Grimlock for this series and didn’t get the Dinobots for combining, so I am fine ignoring the gestalt configs.  The good news is though that even though he has both an arm mode, a leg mode and a joint connector hidden in him, it doesn’t affect the main figure’s beast and robot modes, so it is pretty un-obtrusive.  You can quite easily ignore the whole thing.

So overall POTP Swoop is a pretty good figure.  The Pteranodon mode has enough articulation where it is needed (and some bonus stuff with the head) that leaves that mode being quite fun to play with.  The robot mode is sleek and free of hindrance allowing lots of play options with that too.  The prime armour, is well, take it or leave it essentially.  I don’t mind it in either modes, but wouldn’t miss it of it wasn’t included and the limb modes are about the same.  He also has a good size with other deluxe transformers in both modes as well.

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Swoop is a solidly fun Transformer with  enough detail to homage his origins and enough articulation to make a modern version fun.  The one only real downer is his lack of weapons.

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