First off, I have to confess that I used to utterly detest the G2 releases. The colors, the packaging, and by that time I was already in high school and had much more pressing matters to deal with, like trying to hook up with chicks. At that point I wasn’t recollecting the toys from my youth, but I was still always keeping tabs. So when I saw these guys on shelves at K-mart (no, not Walmart – that didn’t exist yet), I kind of just wanted to throw up in my mouth. Apologies to anyone for insulting their childhood or tarnishing a Holy Grail for others. G2 was like an insult to my sanctified nostalgic regard for G1, a cheapened, shoddy remake of a classic, unparalleled in quality or quintessence of its namesake. It signified a depreciation in the franchise and the standards of excellence that Japanese manufacturing were known for, as outsourcing everything to China had become the norm (and still is).
It wasn’t until I got the “Transformers: Generations – Welcome to the World of the Transformers” photo book that a few of these guys started to catch my G1-biased eye. I eventually grew to also like some of the G2 figures, since they, too, were Transformers in their own right and the last we would see of the G1 moulds (before reissues). In particular, this guy and camo Starscream (that I finally scored) stood out the most, followed by turquoise-blue Grimlock.
As I grew older and kept adding to my collection, I learned to zoom out and appreciate more than just the original G1 color schemes and realism of the first series of toys to everyday objects that marked the original selling point of the Diaclone and Microchange lines from the early 80’s. Once the toys hit the shelves in 1984 (the best year ever), the Transformers brand had become predominant worldwide, and with it its storytelling and characters took over the evolution of the franchise. And the 80’s design trends, like with most eras, lingered and permeated throughout design in the 90’s. It was as if the 80’s had a bad hangover and all that remained was its flashy, dayglow puke which was then slapped on top of iconic, formerly pristine designs. But like with fashion and all design, it’s a recursive process, and the trends get recycled. So looking at fashion and design today, especially in streetwear and sneakers, the G2 line actually is pretty ahead of its time in terms of aesthetics.
As far as homage to his Marvel character goes, I’d be interested to see some 3rd party fanufacturers™ (made that up right now, lol) create some weapon add-ons to give Swipe his full renegade arsenal, as TakaraTomy did with the Masterpiece release. I’m not a huge fan of the Marvel comic book depiction as I’ll admit I’m kind of an anime-snob, although I give respect to Simon Furman for creating the lore behind the franchise.
I’ve decided to keep this guy sealed on card as I already have my G1 originals to play with and don’t want to ruin the artwork on the and its hermetically sealed early 90’s air. I don’t have a huge sealed collection so I’m happy to have a few unopened museum pieces. Most of my sealed stuff are reissues and exclusives, so anything pre-2001 when the reissues started coming out is a nice specimen of TF history and a real blast from the past.