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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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HotShot81's Review: Swerve & Flanker

Names: Swerve & Flanker
Allegiance: Autobot
Class Size: Legends class
Function: Bartender & General Warrior
Accessories: None
First Appearance: None

I know and you know that names are drawn sometimes from a hat, as are the team-ups. I went to to look up these two, and honestly the history of them together could fit on the head of the nail because of how small it is.

Swerve? Well, he tried to stop Trypticon in the G1 episode Five Faces of Darkness, Part 5 by first shooting, then getting stomped by Trypticon. Guess it didn't work out that well, since for the rest of the series he wasn't seen except for background shots. Dead Autobots got more air time over him.

I will fully admit that he’s gotten a lot of page time in the IDW Generation 1 continuity. Where he went from metallurgist with a desire to be a barkeep, to a full on member of the Autobots fighting for freedom, and trying to help out in every way he could. Mind you it seems that his desire to be a barkeep lead to him finding a lot of adventures while exploring the galaxy with Rodimus. At the end he did end up opening his own bar finally. In some ways the ending reminds me of Waspinator at the end of Beast Wars getting what he really wanted in the end, and you can't help but cheer on a guy who gets what he wants, and doesn't hurt a soul in the end.

[Editor’s note: Read more about Swerve’s exploits here in our site’s 30 Greatest Transformers Characters, where Swerve’s recent comic portrayal has elevated himself in the fandom consciousness enough to be voted as #30.]

As per Flanker, he's got nothing. Less than nothing. What miniscule reference I can dig up only says that he’s a Micromaster that changes faction from a 'Con to a 'Bot.

From the back of the box, it reads the following on these two. "Riding with Swerve is a terrifying experience. His attention span is so short that he finds even exit ramps boring, which often results in him drifting into oncoming traffic. So it's good he's partnered up with Flanker. The little jet is almost compulsive about scanning around him for Decepticon activity."

I guess they're the odd right couple, since one seems lost in thought all the time, while the other is always looking for Decepticons!

Flanker (Jet Mode)

Flanker is a jet, a simple single engine jet, and if I dare say so, he looks like a generic one. Nothing on him screams he's of any particular model. He's the kind of jet that if a human saw flying above, they wouldn't really notice it. Perfect for a robot in disguise!

He's got a solid paint job, two Autobot logos on his side. Nice white paint along the edge of the wings going towards the back. His under wings have a high level of detailing one doesn't normally expect of such a small figure. I feel it's a waste, because sometimes flat surfaces may more than hint on the inner workings of a Transformer.

Flanker (Robot Mode)

Transforming him is simple, just flip the wings back, and the nose in the same direction, and he's standing up!

His arms do move, and can do 360 degree turns, YEAH! Beyond that he has no real movement. BOO!

When it comes to partners of Legends-class figures, I never expect much in robot mode. I mean this little guy measures in at 1 and 3/4 of an inch tall. That is small. Thanks to his paint job and small scale detailing he looks great! Red chest plate, red face, the white gives him a helmet look. While he clearly has legs locked in the stand-up-straight position, it took work to define them, and I've got to give Hasbro marks there.

Flanker (Gun Mode)

Return the arms to his side, flip the ugly 5 MM peg out. Here comes the hard part, you need to get a grip under his chin, so you can flip his body forward to reveal the mini gun! You need to pull it forward, and push it up to lock it into place.

All Transformers as a rule have one mode or another they excel at, and this is Flanker's. All the detail work that went into him adds up, and he looks like the kind of weapon you could see an action hero grabbing before that final charge. He's a chain gun with three barrels, and looks like he's ready to mow down some Decepticons! Which leaves me with one question… how did he end up with Swerve as partner if he's so tough?

Swerve (Robot mode)

I have a G1 Swerve, so I have a real good look at how he used to be back then and now. You can definitely see the family resemblance between the two, but that is history, and this is now!

His legs have 180 degree range of movement. Nice ball joints in the hips, which are easy to reattach. Working our way up he has ball joints in both his shoulders and elbows. As part of my own break test I tried to see if they would pop off, and crazy thing, I couldn't pop off his elbows! They are that tight, despite being ball joints! For the record as I took mine out of the package, his right arm popped out. Be warned, his shoulder joints are a bit loose. I will also note that sadly he can't hold Flanker with his arms bent at 90 degrees.

Now the first thing that comes to mind when I look at him is that he looks cute. I know, you know it, Transformers aren't supposed to be cute, but that is what he looks like to me. I know why. As much as I love the detail work, showing curves, or gears, sometimes simpler is better. Think of it like seeing big anime eyes.

His legs are nice soft red, with white to highlight the feet, and inner legs. They could've chromed his legs but instead a nice silver coat is there. Working our way up, he's got some silver grills to dissipate heat I guess, and a nice white coat that doesn't stand out. Yes, he has a red Autobot logo in the middle of his chest. I love how it all blends together. His arms are the same red as his legs. His head… he actually looks like he's smiling underneath his blue visor. Heck, he broke a rule, and I love it! How many Transformers smile?

One of my past complaints about Transformers is sometimes they look nice upfront and they look horrible on the other side. Yes, the backs of his legs and arms are rough, but not the stand out, yuck kind of rough.

Transformation time. Press his legs together, pull his chest up a bit and fold the legs up. Pull his hood forward. Orientate his arms so his wheels are facing the direction of the hood, a gentle push and everything clicks into place.

Swerve (Truck mode)

Swerve is clearly a pickup truck – you can see the front cab, and the rear storage area which has his legs in there. The soft red is pretty uniform on him, and it looks good on him. Dare I say it… Hasbro should consider using this shade more often. There is just one problem with this paint job: the upper cab door section for some reason is a brighter red then the rest of the car. It shows where one was painted, and one was the original color of the plastic.

There is a time and place to do detailing on a Transformer, and Swerve's time was when he is transformed. Now Hasbro could've put in a front end and taken five. Instead they made a nice clearly defined bumper, grill, and headlights. You go along the sides and all the little details that go into making him look like a real truck come into play. However here is a rare kicker, he has a hole on the passenger's side to put in gas. Doesn't open, but definitely high marks on trying to make it look as good as possible. I will admit that his rear looks sloppy, but considering 3/4ths of him is good, you love him, yes?

As a closing note, there is a hole on the roof of Swerve which is great for plugging a partner/weapon of a legends class figure into.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformer Design 9/10:Sometimes I've butted heads with Hasbro, too hard, too easy, so forth. In this case they got the rating just right. They say he's easy, and I am agreeing. While no one would be challenged, kids and adults will love his simplicity to transform.

Durability 6/10:If this was a solo score Swerve would earn a 8-9 on 10 in a heartbeat. Swerve has ball joints, and solid regular joints. Even Flanker is well built, but Flanker has a critical flaw. His wings easily pop out, and given their size and how well they are connected, it causes me two concerns: the first being how quickly they will be lost, and the second being that they might be a choking hazard.

Fun 8/10:Let's see… I have a well build mini gun, which just screams death and destruction to the Decepticons. Then we have a friendly, smiling, bartender/warrior/metallurgist. They are the perfect odd couple, and a world of fun. The only thing missing is a hidden feature or two. I will note that sadly he's too big for some of Metroplex's guns.

Aesthetics 9/10:To earn a perfect 10 is hard. Swerve looks exceptional. Yes, he's cute, he looks like the kind of bot who would pour you a can of oil, and you'd salute him before you started to talk it out. If it wasn't for the paint job problem he'd be a perfect 10! Flanker looks good in his jet mode, decent in his robot mode, and bad ass in his chain gun mode!

Articulation 9/10:Sometimes you set a high bar, and no one can meet it, then someone like Swerve shows up, and blows past it. Thanks to the ball joins in his shoulders, elbows, and hips he can do a lot of moves. He does hold his positions, no slouching there young bot. If only Flanker was a bit better.

Value 10/10:I paid about $12 CND for these two. Swerve is worth $12 alone, together if they sold for $16-$20, it'd be fairer to Hasbro. Swerve is simple and fun, and Flanker is the best weapon for an Autobot who is unworthy of his awesomeness. As someone who is used to breaking even on MSRP, to see myself winning value wise is great. Now if only they had a hidden feature...

Overall 9/10:If it wasn't for Flanker's durability issue's, I'd be tempted to give them a perfect 10. Swerve is cute, fun, and built like a brick. Flanker looks great at a jet, and as a gun. I see them as a great pair of intro level Transformers. These are bots that collectors, kids, and moms want.

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