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Series: Studio Series 86
Year: 2021
Allegiance: Decepticon
Class: Voyager

Prelude: Long before Transformers Prime showcased the Vehicons as disposable Decepticons, even before Beast Machines had endless hordes of vehicle drones for the Maximals to scrap, there were the Sweeps. If a firefight happened in season 3 of the original Transformers cartoon, odds are that at least one Sweep went to join the Allspark (probably at the hands of Galvatron, too). But never fear, there were always more of them. So here is Studio Series 86 Sweep (not Scourge, just Sweep, though they do share a tiny bit of resemblance), ready to lay down his spark for the glory of Galvatron. Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Like most of the Studio Series 86 figures, the Sweep, too, adheres very, very closely to its appearance in the 1986 Transformers movie, with one notable exception: we have yet to see a mainline toy version of either Scourge or his Sweeps that manages to faithfully recreate the wings the Sweeps sported in animation. They always look far more… dare I say it? … sweeping in animation than they do on any given toy. Still, this figure here comes closer than just about any other official figure yet, so kudos for effort, and I doubt it can really be done that much better while still fitting into a mainline price model.

Wings aside, this Voyager-Class figure here is clearly a Sweep (or Scourge, as there are really no visual differences in animation between the two) as we saw it (him? Them?) in the movie and later on in season 3 of the cartoon. A few short words on the differences between Sweep and Studio Series 86 Scourge: there are barely any. Scourge is a slightly darker shade of blue and where Sweep has his right hand slightly open, it’s the left hand for Scourge. That’s pretty much it. So you can easily use Sweep as Scourge or vice versa.

Sweep adheres to the current high standard in articulation, featuring ankle tilt, turning wrists, twisting hip, the works. The head is on a balljoint, though its high collar somewhat restricts its movement a bit. Speaking of the head, I love the face sculpt with the beard. Just looks great. Never mind that it makes absolutely no sense for a robot to have a beard, it looks cool. The wings, too, are articulated and can be moved out of the way of whatever arm pose you want. So in terms of looks and poseability: no complaints.

Sweep comes with a blue blaster as his only weapon, a close match to the gun he carried in the movie. He also comes with a purple blast effect to put on the blaster or, alternatively, on that spiky turbine thing on his head (which can turn 180 degrees). Don’t think Scourge or any Sweep ever fired anything from there, but it looks funny.

So bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. Again, the wings could be more animation-accurate still, but overall I am very happy with this robot mode.

Alternate Mode: The vehicle that Scourge and the Sweeps transform into has been given many names over the years. It’s been called a skiff, a hovercraft, a spacecraft, a clothing iron, and many other things. So, whatever you want to call it, it’s basically the robot’s wings folded up into a somewhat aerodynamic shape that can presumably fly through space. The transformation is a bit more involved than simply wrapping the wings around the figure, but not much.

Not that much I can write about the spacecraft itself. It looks like it did in the movie and cartoon, you can attach the blast effect to the spiky turbine thingy here, too, and it’s even possible to slightly modify the craft so that Scourge/Sweep’s head is visible (as it sometimes was in the cartoon), though you need to halfway transform him back into robot mode to do it. So bottom line: exactly the alternate mode you’d expect. Nothing more, nothing less.

Remarks: The question which Decepticon was reformatted into which servant of Unicron during the 1986 Transformers movie has been a favorite topic of discussion for Transformers fans for well over 35 years. There is strong evidence that Scourge, the leader of the Sweeps, was once Thundercracker, but there will probably never be a final, official word on that. Either way, the Sweeps, the redshirts of the Decepticons in season 3, were probably created from the Insecticons, whose talent for multiplication would explain their constantly replenished numbers in the third season.

Now the real-world history of this figure is somewhat amusing, as (unsurprisingly) Scourge came out first, while the (mostly identical) Sweep repaint was released later. Given certain problems with a freight ship called Ever Given in the Suez Canal, though, many European customers were deprived of Scourge and actually ended up getting the Sweep long before Scourge ever appeared in local stores. Same here, as I eventually cancelled my long-open preorder for Scourge and just went with the Sweep. Honestly, the differences are barely worth mentioning.

Bottom line, this is Scourge (or a random Sweep) as we’ve seen him in the 1986 movie, apart from the wings. I doubt any mainline toy will ever be able to recreate the wings as they were shown in animation on a retail budget, so this is probably as close as we’ll ever get this side of 3rd Party Masterpiece-scale figures. There have been quite a few Scourge / Sweep toys before, but this one here might well be the most accurate and best yet.

Rating: B+

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