Transformers Animated: Swindle by Hasbro

Transformers Thursdays have been slim pickings these days. I’m awaiting the release of Unite Warriors Bruticus and arrival of my Deluxe Groove, I’m still mulling over whether to pick up MP Shockwave, and maybe one day I’ll finally buy the Leader Class Skywarp that’s been languishing on the shelf at Target. But today it just so happens that I did pick up a Transformer last week, thanks to a hook up on Twitter. It’s been a long time coming, but I finally added TF: Animated Swindle to my collection, which just about completes my Deluxes for this series. I bought him loose, so no package shot. Instead, I’ll jump right in and have a look at his alt mode.

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The Consensus seems to be that modern Swindle should be a Humvee and that is indeed what the TF:A version is. While this series favors highly stylized vehicles, Swindle’s actually looks fairly normal. Swindle has a few sculpted panel lines, but that’s about it, and there is some rather unsightly mold flashing on his driver side quarter panel near the hood. There’s also very little in the way of paint apps. He gets by mostly with tan colored plastic. The front grill and windshield are both a rather striking translucent purple and the side windows are painted purple to match, albeit rather unconvincingly. A little black plastic trim, black wheels, some shockingly pink headlamps, and he’s good to go. Oh yeah, he also has that glorious Decepticon emblem stamped right on his hood.

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Swindle comes with his rather large blaster, which can peg right into his roof and give him the extra firepower that any respectable Decepticon demands. You can also plug it into the side, but I prefer it as a top cannon. The fit is disappointingly loose, but to make up for that it can fire a missile. Transforming Swindle is just satisfying enough for a Deluxe and holds a few fun surprises, like the way his hands come together to form the hood. There’s some clever plate shifting there and the resulting robot form is pretty damn sweet.

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Yes, one of the most remarkable things about this line is the way the toys were able to mimic those highly stylized animated designs and still work as functional Transformers. Swindle is a nice approximation of his animated counterpart. I should note that the back panels can be positioned in a few different ways and I like to mix it up. I think they look better sticking out to the sides, but that can get in the way of aiming his arm cannon, so it helps to be able to point them upward. There’s some fun stuff going on here, like his rather large, albeit somewhat impractical, claw hands and I really dig the appearance of even more of that translucent purple plastic. The way the tires make up the bottoms of his feet is pretty cool too. Also note, the detailing on the lower torso is the front of the vehicle mode faked out.  If I had one gripe about Swindle’s design is that his chest is just a little too close to the iconic look of Optimus Prime for my taste.

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But then I look at that face, and how can I not love him? Swindle features some giant eyes with some lovely purple light-piping and a smarmy grin that totally suits the character. One thing even the detractors of T:FA must admit, these robots had a lot of personality.

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The arm cannon is awkwardly large, but that’s not to say he can’t aim it. Once again, I wish it stayed on better. I might have to pop a little glob of blue tack into that hole to better seal the deal. Oh yeah, if the giant arm cannon isn’t getting the job done, Swindle has a little surprise hidden in his chest…

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Say hello to my leetle friend! Yes, he has a flip out gatling gun. A little lower and he’d really have something to brag about! I actually didn’t know about this gimmick going in and it was a pretty neat surprise. 

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One of these days I need to go back and revisit the TF: Animated line. I was a little worried about how well this figure would hold up after jonesing after it for so long and there being so much time between now and when I was collecting these figures back in 2008. Turns out, I dig this guy a lot and I even had some fun with Lugnut and Oil Slick when I pulled them out for a little group shot. Animated was one of those queer little detours in what passes for a Transformers continuity that I was fine with at the time, so long as I knew a more traditional line was lurking around the corner. These are clever designs and ultimately fun toys, but given my inability to get into the current Robots in Disguise line, I don’t know how receptive I would be if this line released now. I do know that I’m a little more motivated now to take stock of what I have and maybe pick up the last TF:A figures that I’m missing!

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