Swerve was a truck in G1. His pickup truck alt mode appears to be carrying some cargo already or maybe a camper like Trailbreaker, giving it a more SUV-ish look, but either way, he’s unmistakably a truck.
The odd thing is that this little truck dude would then go on to lend his name to a succession of homages; two straight repaints, one repaint with a new head, and one completely new sculpt that all had one thing in common: they were all red cars. Heck, even Swerve’s Alternators release was just Alternators Tracks’ Corvette done in red with a new head sculpt. Of those I only bought one, and not because he was Swerve, but because he was Sideswipe. In the Revenge of the Fallen line, a red repaint of my favourite movie Autobot, Sideswipe was released with a new headsculpt and with the name “Swerve”. One of my favourite things about all three movie lines was the inclusion of straight G1 homages. I have an entire shelf in my display dedicated to the G1 repaints of movie figures, like the Target exclusive movie Jazz repaint. Though it makes sense to give him a new name to along with the new head, a red and black Sideswipe to me was always a much better homage of G1 Sideswipe than he ever was as G1 Swerve.
However, within the last year Swerve has gotten an appearance in Prime (or rather Arms Micron) as a repaint of Breakdown (truck!) with a new headsculpt as well as a full on update in the same Generations line that brought us Wheelie’s most recent toy.
He’s again a repaint with a new headsculpt, this time of Generations Kup, but hey, G1 Swerve was a slight remold himself, so he’s probably ok with it. Especially given that this time, they got the alt mode perfect on this impeccably engineered piece.
Originally meant as a Hasbro Asia exclusive, he and Wheelie were the only two deluxes I really was unhappy about missing out on. Once they were released as exclusives on this side of the ocean, Toys R Us’ website fixed that problem rather quickly. Of course, this new, more mature look for Swerve is incongruous with his appearance in the currently running More Than Meets The Eye comic series, where he’s gotten some pretty good exposure, even garnering one of the promo images for the series.
It’s actually the wisecracking, sarcastic little ‘bot of the comics that has caused the few complaints I have seen about Generations Swerve: “Look at his face, he’s just too… serious looking.” Though I have enjoyed his hijinks in the comics, I much prefer this look on him now. As I have said with Warpath, Seaspray, and Powerglide before, I like when the little guys get respectably sized updates.