Transformers Daily News Source for Transformers 5, Titans Return, Robots in Disguise, Combiner Wars, Generations, Third Party, G1, Beast Wars, Reviews, Comics, Games & More Than Meets the Eye!
TFormers Transformers News and Reviews
facebook twitter Pinterest Tumblr Google+ youtube podcast rss
Articulation Breakdown Week, Day 2: Swivels
RAC - Wednesday, March 29, 2017

We continue our look at the basic workings of action figures today with swivels! A basic bore at the neck, shoulder, and hip but a welcome helper at the bicep, waist, and thigh, swivels are everywhere on a Transformer. How do they work and what can go wrong? Keep reading to find out!

You've probably noticed that your arms do more than just flex at the middle along a single axis. Arms can be swung at a 180-degree arc, more or less. Granted, to fully exploit that range you're bringing a ton of different muscles as far up as your shoulder into play, but in toyland there's a simpler solution.

A swivel is a two-part mechanism, a peg and a socket, allowing one part to turn. It's one of the simplest joints you can possibly make. In comparison, 90% of the toy world's hinges require at least three parts: the upper part, the lower part, and an axis for them to work around. Some hinges include plastic "bumps" that socket into one or the other half of the hinge, but as with most inexpensive solutions it often doesn't work as well as the more expensive equivalent.

Not only does ExVee's photo show a whole mess of swivels in action, it's great to show where they are in the arms and legs: Pyra Magna's thighs change color at the swivel, and so do Hot Spot's biceps.

A swivel in the shoulder or hip is the most basic articulation possible. Among the simplest styles of action figure, popularized by Kenner's vintage Star Wars line and still haunting us today, had swivels at the neck, shoulder, and hip, and that was it. Not really very accurate or satisfying in replicating human motion - though eventually designers did figure out that with a more dynamic sculpt you could get less cadaveriffic results than Kenner used to get.

But when used mid-limb or mid-torso to supplement other joints, swivels make better-than-human range possible. Nothing on the human body is designed to turn a full circle, but you can turn a toy's waist or feet backwards and a dozen other things that sound incredibly painful if you think about doing them to yourself.

On Transformers, most wheels are technically swivels as well, being a loose-fitting, smooth-moving peg inside a socket to simulate an axled wheel. Such is the case with Beast Hunters Voyager Optimus Prime, just to pick a nearly random example.

Sounds too simple to mess up, right? Don't be silly: even the best of humans can mess up anything. The biggest fear is that the peg breaks off. That can be a serious problem in those swivels where long, thin pegs are inserted into a limb, as with wrists and ankles. (And when the peg gets stuck up in there? ARGH.) When the design is relying on tension to maintain a position, excess tension is the enemy as it can shear a peg off incredibly easily. Soft plastic pegs can also tear or rip off gradually if they meet too much resistance in the wrong places.

Many pegs for biceps and thigh joints are shallow pegs with a flared head or lip; these are usually referred to as "mushroom pegs." Turning smoothly can be a problem with mushroom peg swivels depending on how they're molded. With the close parts fit often required of the modern Transformer, it doesn't take much of a seam or very much flash (excess plastic that is ideally trimmed at the factory, but not always) to make a swivel difficult to manage, or even to push the peg out of its housing. Fortunately this is generally a non-fatal problem that can be fixed with some simple filing or sanding.

As with hinges, individual swivels are limited to a single axis of rotation, though at least they can turn in a full circle. But there is a more versatile option. Next up is the final part of the articulation triumvirate: the ball joint.

TFormers Member Comments

NO COMMENTS YET - Start the Coversation by Posting Yours Now!

     (Membership Required)

More Generations News
Multiple members of the 2005 forums are reporting ToysRUs sightings of Power of the Primes Prime Master Wave 1 figures! This assortment includes Skullgrin(Liege Maximo), Cloudburst(Micronus), and Metalhawk(Vector Prime), and ship in a case of 12 with 4 each, so hopefully they should be plentiful when you find them. Keep reading for the statement!
You may recall we recently brought you the retail stock images for Moonracer. Tonight we have the remaining figures from the same Deluxe Wave 2 assortment, consisting of Blackwing, Rippersnapper, and the Dinobots Snarl and Sludge. Each features the typical three robot, alt mode, and package shots, but they give us our best looks so far at these yet-upcoming releases. Click through to see them all below!
It's time to bring you some new gallery content, because the camera has been kind this night. Spending some time with Power of The Primes right now, we're kicking off with a detailed look at Prime Master Micronus, with Cloudburst Decoy Suit. Or Pretender Cloudburst with a Micronus backpack, or however you want to rationalize what Prime Masters are. Either way, our Titan Master successors are here, and you can find the full gallery for the first of them just below, with over 65 images. Click through and check it out!
With the USA sightings rolling out on the Transformers Power of the Primes Voyager Star scream figures - Check the Wave Tracker to find yours. It only seems fitting to have a look at what fans are liking about the latest and maybe greatest Generation 1 style edition of this classic character. Not to forget, there will very likely be more of this mold coming our way in the seeker characters.
UPDATED with a NY Sighting from Twitter user @cogmanhotrod! Multiple members of the 2005 Forums are reporting that the Power of the Primes Wave 1 Voyagers are now arriving in Minnesota ToysRUs stores! The Voyagers were generally lagging behind the other assortments in US markets, making this the first chance for fans to assemble 2/3rds of a Volcanicus and of whatever Starscream's combiner name is. Hopefully we'll know soon, but in the meantime, click through for a link to the messages!

Generations Power of The Primes Deluxe Class Figure
Generations Power of The Primes Deluxe Class Figure
Lost Light Issue 11
Generations IDW Comic Book
Dinobot Slug
Generations Power of The Primes Deluxe Class Figure

Power of The Primes Deluxe Wave 2 High Res Retail Stock Photos

Free Comic Book Day 2018 - Look! It's Unicron!

Ultra-Pro Licensed Official Transformers-Themed Gaming Card Supplies Seen At GenCon 2017


Entertainment News International (ENI) is the popular culture network for fans all around the world. Get the scoop on all the popular comics, games, movies, toys, and more every day!
Action Figures
Star Wars
© 2017 Entertainment News International - All images, trademarks, logos, video, brands and images used on this website are registered trademarks of their respective companies and or owners. All Rights Reserved. Data has been shared for news reporting purposes only. All content sourced by fans, online websites, and or other fan community sources. Entertainment News International is not responsible for reporting errors, inaccuracies, omissions, and or other liablities related to news shared here. We do our best to keep tabs on infringements. If some of your content was shared by accident. To have it removed right away, please [ Contact Us ].