Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 8, September 1985 / Issue 80, July 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 29, October 5th 1985 / Issue 286, September 8th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 10 (Season 1 #10), November 24th 1984 / Episode 91 (Season 3 #26), November 18th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1985
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Planet X
- Added an Autobot symbol to the chest
Swoop was an oddity amongst the Dinobots for 3 reasons - firstly he was a lot more intelligent than his fellow team members, which may have had something to do with reason number 2, which is that he was not technically a dinosaur. Thirdly, this was another figure which the powers that be in Hasbro decided was too good for us Brits, so he forever remained out of our reach. Hasbro seem keen to continue this pattern, although this time it is worldwide, as so far they have not seen fit to homage this popular character, as they did with Fall Of Cybertron Grimlock last year. This brings me onto yet another of seemingly thousands of third parties, who already made a splash with their gigantic and videogame-accurate Omega Supreme. Their name is Planet X and for their next trick they have decided to go for a slightly smaller but no less popular character to homage - Swoop. So can a figure designed to homage Fall Of Cybertron be incorporated into a mainline Neo-G1 collection? Sort of.
Appearance (Robot Mode) 7/10
The first thing to say about this figure is that he is pretty small - which may or may not be to your tastes. This works very well in alternate mode, as it allows Grimlock to be much larger that a comparatively smaller animal. This does lead to a rather small robot, however, and his impressive wingspan almost makes him look shorter. He is a deluxe-sized figure, resplendent with detail however. Whether you like all this detail or not is up to you. I would prefer something more simplistic but then this is a very accurate representation of the videogame character. Colour-wise, he has a rather muted palette which displays very well with Grimlock from the same line. His headsculpt also diverges a lot from the G1 figure, having no discernible face. It is a nice headsculpt however, and has a very narrow light-piping feature which seldom works, but when you find the right angle it is impressive. Overall this is a pretty decent looking figure with great proportions, but I do kind of wish he was a head taller, so as to not be completely dwarfed by Grimlock. Weapon-wise there are 2 non-firing rocket launchers, and also 2 swords which are no to my taste. It is nice to have them as a display option, however.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 8/10
This mode is really nice with the only negative being that the front claws just kind of sit on the wings, there is no underlying detail on the wing to create the impression of 'bones'. Other than this the beast head is great, having more successful light-piping than the robot head. The robot head forms the back of the beast head as with the original figure, but there is no way to lock these 2 halves in place, so if you move the neck then the 2 halves will detach. The wings are suitably impressive, and as with the robot mode, this beast is abundant with detail. Very impressive. The launchers are attached to the wing in this mode, and the swords can also be stowed although they look a little incongruous.
The complex look of this figure belies a fairly simple transformation of which the key is to untab the wings. I say this is the key because it is a step unrepresented in the instructions of the figure, which are terrible by the way. Anyway this step is required, to say the least. Elsewhere the legs are rotated and folded up into the chest, which is lowered once the wings have been un-tabbed. The beast head is lifted up from the vacant chest area and folded up. The arms are pretty much just slotted into either side of the chest, and the shoulder armour is moved downwards. After you figure all this out (no thanks to the instructions) this thing is a doddle. There are vent-type things on the back of the bird mode, which are incredibly sharp so I urge caution. You can pose them how you like, really.
This figure has a decent range of standard movement, which is complemented by wings which are very poseable. Let's get the normal stuff out of the way first. The head is ball-jointed and there is waist swivel, although the range of movement is somewhat limited. The shoulders and hips are both ball-jointed. There is also bicep and thigh swivel, jointed knees and elbows. There is no wrist articulation but there is some movement in the feet, aided by a flip-out 'stabiliser' on the back of each, which adds balance. The figure is somewhat back-heavy due to the enormous wings, so this addition is essential. The wings themselves have 3 joints which allow them to fold either way, plus a tilt on the back pack which allows a variety of poses. The feet and head in beast mode can also be moved around freely, allowing for flying or perching poses. Phew.
The plastic on this figure feels solid generally, although I would recommend caution because some parts are thin and very sharp to boot. I'm sure you could cut yourself if you were ham-fisted enough. Also it would have been nice for the robot head to lock properly into the beast head, but other than this I am suitably impressed.
Overall - 39/50
I guess the big question for this figure is "does it fit in with the rest of the 'Neo-G1' figures?" Well I guess this is up to you. Personally, I can live with it, particularly if Planet X end up making all of the remaining Dinobots. There are unique enough as a unit that you can allow divergence stylistically, so long as they are consistent with each other. On this, Planet X have more than achieved their goal, for this figure looks great with Grimlock, particularly in beast mode. 2 down, 3 to go, then my Season 1 lineup is complete!