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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Detective Barricade's review: Swoop

Name: Swoop
Function: Dinobot Bombardier
Sub-Group: Animated Deluxe class

“Bombs away!”

Like the other Dinobots, Swoop prefers to be left alone on Dinobot Island, where he can soar and dive without worrying about the Decepticons taking pot shots at his wings. When he does have to return to the mainland to battle the Decepticons, however, he enjoys the way people scatter when they see his shadow. That, and smashing trees with his ball and chain doesn’t compare to the satisfying crunch it makes when it bashes into Decepticon armor.

Galactic Powers and Abilities:
- Sonic scream shorts out audio sensors.
- Ball and chain emits heat capable of melting other robots.
- Wings collect solar energy to power weapons.

When Transformers Animated started, I had no idea that they had planned on bringing in the Dinobots (Well, most of them). Then the episode “Blast From the Past”aired. I eagerly awaited the three Animated Dinobots since then. Does Swoop disappoint? Let’s find out!

Alternate mode:

Swoop’s primary mode is a robotic Pterodactyl. Like the other two Dinobots, he was originally a robot built for a dinosaur-based theme park until Bulkhead accidentally broke them, Megatron “helped” rebuild them, and the Key brought them to life. The toy itself looks pretty intimidating with its sharp claws, talons and beak. Swoop also manages to look more convincingly like a Pterodactyl than his G1 namesake ever did. There’s also some “Cybertronian” detail on the back of the wings. His colors play a very nice homage to the G1 character, those being grey, blue, red, and gold, as well as a silver Autobot symbol just above the beak. He’s also the only Dinobot in Animated that can carry his weapon. That’s certainly a welcome feature! Another cool and very unique design is that the robot eyes are used for the Pterodactyl eyes through “eye holes”.

Transforming Swoop is very much like most of his past toys have done, with some twists. Unpeg the wings from the back, straighten the legs, twist the waist around, flip the beak down, split the sides of the body and raise them into position. Peg the wings onto the back, and that’s pretty much it! One important thing: when bringing the robot head up, pull on the neck, not the head itself. While the ball joint there is fairly tight, it won’t take much to pull the head right off. And getting it back on, I’ve heard, is next to impossible.

Robot mode:

As is per usual of the Transformers Animated figures, Swoop’s robot mode is almost totally accurate to the show. Where his two buddies were both thick and bulky, Swoop is very lean and slender. That’s really well suiting of him! The only new color in robot mode is the blueish silver on his face. He’s got a very decent range of motion, with 18 points of articulation, and sort of a waist joint. The waist is clearly meant only for transformation since the tip of the beak sits in a groove made just for it, but there’s still some wiggle room. I think that was a clever design to allow this.

Now for Swoop’s ball and chain/ flail/mace. It’s got a huge handle, however he can only hold it in one hand. The handle also has two grooves on it on either side which his hand fits over, allowing him to hold it surprisingly well. The ball itself has a translucent orange “flame” piece sandwiched inside, but it doesn’t do anything. It’s what remains of an abandoned gimmick, whereby the flames would pop out of the end a little. I don’t know why it was abandoned, as a child would be more likely to try and swallow Animated SnarlSlag’s club, mistaking it for a Cheeto. And like Oil Slick, the chain seems a little short. Both the flames and the chain can be modified very easily if you want to. I may do that someday, but I personally don’t think it makes all that much of a difference.

Marks out of ten for the Following:

Transformation: 4 Easy enough, but a few parts won’t want to peg together right away.
Durability: 7 Fairly tight, but if that head pops off, it could be all over for this toy. Be careful.
Fun: 9 He’s really quite fun even just standing there looking awesome!
Price 10 About that much in USD ($7.77 in Wal-Mart). A real steal!
Overall: 9 Despite a few shortcomings, you really shouldn’t leave this on the shelf. Possibly the best Swoop since G1!
 
 
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