SWERVE (TRASH-TALK) (2014)
We’re days away from Christmas and 2014 is drawing to a close which means I’ll soon be posting my third annual “best action figures of the year” list. This year it will be my top 14 of 2014. I’ve been scanning my collection the past few weeks picking out this year’s stand outs. It’s never an easy task to choose the best of the best. I post my top 10 favorite movie and album lists on facebook each year as well and they’re much easier to compile than this one. I see a lot of movies and I listen to a lot of records. I go into them with expectations but I never quite know what I’m gonna get until I actually see and hear them. They either impress or disappoint me based on my expectations. Action figures are much more straight forward. I see them in stores or online and if I like what I see I buy them; there’s not a whole lot of room for surprises. I only buy toys that I like (usually*) so there’s a much slimmer chance I’ll be disappointed with the final product than there is with a movie or album. I probably bought 100 figures this year and narrowing it down to the top 14 is tough.
I’ve picked out a few front-runners and a whole bunch of potential candidates thus far. When I do post the list next week I want to provide links to full reviews for each of the figures so readers can find what makes them so special. Therefore, I’ve been hammering out reviews for some of those candidates the past couple weeks in case they make the list.
I held off on reviewing this figure when I got it a few months back even though I was really excited about it because I figured you might be sick of hearing about this guy by now. But this figure is a strong contender for my year-end list so I have to get my review posted now so bear with me while I talk about him one more time.
I’ve written plenty about Swerve in past reviews but here’s a quick recap (click on any of my past reviews for more info): One of my favorite Transformer toys when I was a kid was a small red and blue truck released in 1984 named Gears. In 1986 Hasbro repainted Gears red and white, gave him a new face and named the new character Swerve. I never owned the original Swerve. In recent years IDW has made Swerve a prominent character in their comic books and he has quickly become one of my favorite Transformers. After becoming a fan of the character I wanted a figure of him but at the time my options were limited. I could either track down the old ’86 one or buy the crappy new one which was a repaint of Kup and looked nothing like the Swerve from the comics. I went with the new one but my disappointment was palpable (*one of those instances where I bought a toy I didn’t like).
A third party company, iGear, released unofficial versions of Gears and Swerve last year named Cogz and Veer. Their Cogz/Gears was fantastic and ranked #2 on my 20123 list. The Veer/Swerve was essentially a repaint of Cogz but with a different face sculpt; just like the original 1986 was. Veer looked a lot more like Swerve from the comics than the crappy Kup version did and that earned him the #7 spot on my 2013 list. In hindsight I don’t think Veer deserved to be on the list. I still love the Cogz figure, it looks exactly how Gears should look, but Veer is actually a little bland.
Hasbro released their own official updates of Swerve and Gears earlier this year which were decent updates but still lacking in some areas. The Hasbro Serve was brighter than Veer and it had more personality in the face sculpt but overall the figure just felt kind of cheap and basic.
Around the same time Hasbro was putting out their versions, another third-party company, MakeToys, released its own versions of Gears and Swerve named Cogwheel and Trash-Talk. Of the two of them I opted to review Cogwheel/Gears first since I had reviewed the Hasbro Swerve not long before. The MakeToys Gears was pretty cool, brighter and more posable than iGear’s Cogz, but I still think Cogz is the best version of the character to date.
However, when it comes to Swerve MakeToys has undisputedly taken the crown. Trash-Talk is an amazing figure that perfectly encapsulates the Swerve I love with from the IDW books. His proportions are right, the colors are bright, the articulation is great, and the face sculpt is phenomenal. Just look at this guy’s smile. Have you ever seen a toy so happy? I also really like how his visor is sculpted in a separate piece of blue plastic that makes it look like real glass.
Trash-Talk comes with 3 very cool accessories. First off he has his standard laser cannon which fits snugly into his hands. Secondly he has a serving tray with a removable drink pitcher and 2 shot glasses full of energon. In the comics Swerve runs a bar aboard Hot Rod’s ship, the Lost Light, where all the bots get together to unwind and share their stories. The third accessory also comes directly from the comics; it’s Swerves’s battle damaged head from when he accidentally blew his own face off with his cannon. This skeletal face and drinks are by no means essential accessories but they look really cool and they’re a neat little nod to the comic fans.
I don’t anticipate buying anymore Swerve toys after this because I can’t imagine Trash-Talk being topped. This should be the last you hear of him from me for a while.
This is an awesome action figure of a lovable character. Do yourself a favor; buy this toy and buy the comics that made it so desirable in the first place. 10 out of 10.