Why yes, my Xbox is still out of commission! Thanks for asking! As a result, I still haven’t made it through Fall of Cybertron. I have a replacement drive for it and I keep telling myself I’m going to fix it and I never do. But then, I also told myself I wasn’t going to buy the trade editions of the Combaticons, because I didn’t like the colors, and today we can see how that turned out. It seems like I enjoy lying to myself… a lot. Yesterday, I found three of the five Combaticons hanging on the pegs, and here’s how that went: “Well, I’ve got to buy Swindle. Swindle is the man,” says I. “But, hey, Blast Off looks really cool too!” And then I just said “Screw it!” and tossed Onslaught into the cart as well. But I’ll get to the others in good time. Today is about Swindle, and yes, Swindle is indeed the man.
Oh, God, what glorious packaging! When I saw this on the peg, I never had a chance. I’ve already pontificated on my love for the new Generations cards, so I’ll try to keep it quick here. The old G1-style grid pattern is awesome. And check out Swindle’s character art. I love the smarmy look on his face and the way he’s pointing to his weapon. I can’t tell whether he’s going to shoot me with it or try to sell it to me. Swindle was always one of my favorites from the old Sunbow cartoon and I think this artwork does him justice. Well played, Hasbro. Swindle is carded in his robot form, which seems to be par for the course with the Fall of Cybertron figures.
The only real differences in the packaging here over the other Fall of Cybertron figures I’ve looked at is the fact that Swindle is a combiner and the package goes out of its way to tell you that. First off, there’s a big sticker on the bubble that says “BUILD GIANT ROBOT!” That’s the kind of glorious Japanenglish that I expect to see on Hong Kong bootlegs, not on a genuine Hasbro release. The top corner of the card also proclaims that Swindle is “Part 4 out of 5” for Decepticon Bruticus. The back of the card has an excellent little bio of Swindle and a diagram showing where he falls into the Bruticus build.
Let’s start with Swindle’s alt mode, which is a Cybertronian transport. It’s nothing terribly special, but aesthetically, it fits in pretty well with the other Cybertron vehicles we’ve seen in the Generations series. I like the fact that it has no windows (because Cybertron alt forms shouldn’t!) and the way the gun plugs into the top. There’s a lot less panel line detail to the sculpt than we last saw in Jazz or Shockwave. I’m guessing Hasbro had to cut back on the sculpting a bit since Swindle is sort of a triple changer. Then again, he forms Bruticus’ leg by standing upright in vehicle mode, so there isn’t really any added engineering for that function. Overall, I’m ok with the coloring. For me, Swindle had to be yellow, which is why I can’t commit to the exclusive G2 version of Bruticus. The purple is a traditional Decepticon color too, so I can’t complain about that and he’s rounded out with a little black and grey. I just wish the yellow wasn’t so bright, because it clashes with the purple to give off a blinding neon vibe. Still, I can deal with it.
Transforming Swindle is as easy as it gets. The fact that he’s designated as a Level 2 Intermediate makes me wonder what Hasbro would consider a Level 1. Still, I don’t need my Transformers over engineered just for the sake of it. Swindle’s transformation has a clean and simple G1 feel to it and the figure works well with everything pegging in to make a solid vehicle and a solid robot.
In robot mode, Swindle looks damn good… from the front. From the back he looks rather hollow and unfinished, reminding me a lot of the Energon Rodimus figure. Nevertheless, he has nice, clean proportions and a lot of good detail on his legs and arms, and the way his shoulder armor can pivot front and back is nice. I really like his head sculpt, although a grey paint app on the face would have been welcome to really bring the figure together. I should also point out that Swindle is a nice sized Deluxe. I’ve taken great umbrage with the shrinking size of the Deluxe Class figures as of late, but Swindle is on par with the War for Cybertron versions of Megatron and Soundwave, and considerably bigger than poor little Shockwave.
Like I said, once I saw Swindle on the peg, I never had a chance. I love the character and that Generations packaging practically hypnotizes me into forking over my money. But while I’m happy with how he turned out, $15 is still way too much for this figure, Hasbro, and I didn’t truly realize how absurd it is until I picked up three Deluxes at once for $45. Holy shit… $45!!! But price notwithstanding, Swindle is a cool addition to the Generations line of Cybertron figures, and while I’m not exactly jonesing to build Bruticus, that’s ok because he works great as a stand-alone figure.