Friday, 28 November 2014

But wait! There’s more!

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Transformers, Transformers Animated, Everybody Loves Raymond.  Strange combination, but Animated Swindle was voiced by Fred Willard, who has many roles, one of which was as Raymond Barone’s Father-in-law.  An odd choice I first thought when watching TFA, but as a comedian it suited Swindle very nicely.  Well, Swindle isn’t a comedian as such, but he is a very smooth fellow and shouldn’t be trusted.

There’s a lot to like about Swindle’s design and the figure came out looking very nice and rather close to his on-screen self.  Let’s take a look!

Swindle is based heavily on his G1 Combaticon counterpart!  He transforms into an army style 4WD, and is a shady trader.  I’ve always liked that about Swindle.  I also thought that of all the combiner teams, the Combaticons were the best personality wise, and I saw them as an elite special attack force.  Animated Swindle is bereft of his Combaticon pals, but that’s fine as he was (in my mind) a bit of a loner in the first place.

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He has a nice design with good colour contrast.  Once again though, my camera was having a bit of a hissy fit in taking on the purple colour, so it has come out looking a bit more blue than it should.    Animated Swindle has been blessed with a BFG, the likes of which Megatron would be proud methinks.  It’s so frigging huge!  Sadly it also overbalances him on the side it is mounted on, making life a bit of a pain although with good leg placement you can cover that up.

Let’s start at the top.  One thing I really like about Animated was that they managed to do lightpiping eyes on many of the figures, as well as emulating pupils.  Swindle’s eyes light up gorgeously and the pupils are really noticeable due to the huge purple plastic piece that makes up most of his head.  I dig that his head is still square, reminiscent of the peg-head from G1 and how his eyes are big, also like peg-head.  Nice.  He’s also been blessed with a delicious smirk!  You can’t trust that face!

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Another really nice touch, which I didn’t realise until reading up on Swindle on a wiki, is that he sports a bolo tie.  Apparently the guy who started TV shopping ads and such like was known for wearing a bolo tie.  Clever little touch there.

On top of some nice sculpting there are a few other snazzy features.  He has some field generator things on his back that can be flipped out and about, they are used in the cartoon as well which is a nice bonus and of course his massive cannon.  He also has a mini-gun that can flip out of his stomach.

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As you can see, he is annoyingly made up up of a lot of translucent plastic in his limbs.  I can kind of understand why his fingers are, but the thighs and upper arms are a bit of a mystery.  Is it cheaper than plain purple plastic?  not sure, but I guess it looks nicer, I just admit that I am a bit concerned about him in the future.  Another annoying thing is that the peg for his gun appears to be a fraction too small for it’s placement, so it can easily flop around and go whacky angles when mounted on his arm.

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On the plus side his shield generators can be folded down out of the way.  Very nice.  He also has some unneeded, but welcome hip covers.  Hmmm, sexy!

One thing that is a bit whacky looking are his big fore-arms, I’m not entirely sure the articulated thumb and fingers make up for this…  He also has the vehicle mode wheels fold underneath this feet, almost forming the heel, but they don’t prop him up at all, in fact they are slightly indented making him rather hard to stand at times.  I do really dig the tech details in his chest pieces. 
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Although my camera successfully messed up the purple, the pictures above are the most accurate colour representation (discounting the one with him lying on the ground).  Plus, the difference of green on his fore-arms isn’t that pronounced in real life.  Admittedly though, all these slight flaws don’t ruin the general coolness of the character.  There’s a lot to like, how his feet look like they have army boots on,

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Transformation is pretty well done and about the only fiddly thing I find is plugging the bonnet and hands together well.  You see his fingers become the grill of the vehicle.


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The robot manages to compact quite nicely into the vehicle giving it a very solid feel.  The cannon can be mounted on top and once again, while the green looks very different on the bonnet, in real life it isn’t that prominent.
Paint is a bit sparse, with just the purple on the side windows, I don’t think it needs much paint as it is an army vehicle and I think it’s unlikely he’ll need a rear window.  The front ones are the chest plate of the Swindle’s robot mode and are therefore plastic.  The wheels roll quite nicely although I am a bit concerned about the the clearance from the ground, there isn’t a whole lot there.

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He can be armed quite well in vehicle mode as well.  The cannon can be mounted on the roof, on the side and you can also arm up his force field thing if you have a bit of the car un-transformed.  Add to that, you can still flip out his mini-gun from the front of the car.  However, it does take the wheels off the ground.
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One little addition I really dig is the loaded cannon.  There is a colour change thing that happens when you load the missile in the cannon
Unloaded                                                    Loaded
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NOICE!

There is a lot to like about Swindle.  He looks good when placed with the other Decepticons, all the stuff he did in the cartoon has been included in his toy, as well as a bit more.  You can even emulate his inter-dimensional door thing a little bit.  It isn’t perfect, with his big forearms and crazy looking hands, oh and not forgetting his ‘heels.’  It is however not too shabby and one of my favourite Decepticons, probably because the toy exudes character so well!  I think I like that the most about the Animated line of Transformers.

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And because I like this shot, here he is again, having a brew with Oilslick.


TFA Swindle

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