Here I have the lovely Swindle. This is an interesting mix, you see theoretically he is the Combaticon Swindle from Fall of Cybertron in G2 colours. That’s a lot of classification right there. Let’s start at the beginning.
The Combaticons are like a Decepticon S.A.S/special forces type of team that could combine into one large robot. Recently they made a comeback in the snazzy Fall of Cybertron game from Highmoon Studios. To appeal to the nerds, Highmoon offered the chance to download a new skin for Bruticus (the combined mode, NOT the individual Combaticons) that was based on their bright colours from the overly bright Generation 2 series. That is also why the Decepticon logo above is funky looking.
Hasbro released 3 sets of toys. A San Diego Comic-con version in the standard game colours (almost, but not quite original colours), the normal shelf release (horrible, possibly related to ‘Bruticus Maximus’ from the Universe lines) and an Amazon.com exclusive colour ‘collector’s’ set which also showed up in my local Toys R Us. I ordered mine from Amazon because I didn’t know TRU was getting them (they were classed as Amazon exclusive you see) and I managed to get 2 sets for $20 more than 1 set in TRU Australia. That includes postage costs. See? Aussie toys are ridiculously expensive.
Personality wise Swindle is my favourite Combaticon. Always looking to make a deal with no scruples whatsoever. On FOC, he looks familiar enough and rather cool at the same time. The toy has made a very good effort of representing the game model.
Originally he was a jeep type 4wd with a gun mounted on it. This looks close enough. you can obviously tell it is a ‘offroad’ type vehicle, without being another tank. It rolls well, is quick to transform and sturdy enough. Sadly and this seems indicative of these Combaticons, the plastic feels very cheap and thin. Swindle is very light.
What paint is there is cleanly applied, but there isn’t much variety. The cool thing about these Combaticons is the limbs are still able to become either an arm or a leg. A very nice gimmick that goes back to the Scramble City days of G1 and the other groups involved (Aerialbots, Terrorcons, Stunticons, etc.). Swindle is commonly portrayed as a leg though and you can see he has been designed with that in mind, as he has large ‘heels’ by the rear wheels and stocky robot legs. He can also work as an arm, either left or right and has hands (L & R) in his legs too. He connects via an up-scaled power core combiner type of connector which has some nice ratchet joints and is very solid. Swindle looks good as either an arm or a leg, so you are spoilt for choice there.
From the front he looks pretty soldily made, howeevr it is all a facade. From the back you can see that he is very hollow and his shoulders don’t fit snugly up to the make the upper region look solid. Overall I quite like this as a toy, but one thing that really bugs me is long waist he has. I would have liked to see the bonnet of the vehicle tuck a bit lower into his belt, as it makes him look a waist-skinny and freaky. I also really like his gun, which forms part of Bruticus’ gun as well. It has some surprisingly nice sculpting on it
Articulation is pretty good but his large lower legs, despite being hollow can only go to a 90 degree ankle. No matter as the large feet allow for excellent balance. Probably also aided by the fact that he barely weighs anything anyway…
The head sculpt is just excellent. It’s exactly what you want it to be. Very Swindle, very game accurate.
All up I like this Swindle. He is close enough to the game version to keep me happy and a very sturdy toy. If I wanted to criticise the figure (which I will now) I would mention the hollow back looks a bit shoddy and perhaps his chest is too large. The main thing that bugs me though is the scale, which I can see as an issue for this whole group. Since all five Combaticons are deluxe class, they end up with some looking smaller than the others. Sadly Swindle (who should really be one of the smaller members, if not THE smallest member) ends up towering over his companions like some heavy bodyguard. He is even taller than Brawl, the violent tank guy. But really that is a moot point. Transformers have rarely worked well in regard to scale, for either robot mode OR vehicle mode. I just can’t work out why I haven’t accepted that yet.
It’s a good enough figure, not brilliant but well done and his main gimmick I guess is to join the others and form Bruticus, which he does well. I wouldn’t recommend him by himself, but if you get the team he is (obviously) worth it.