"Generations" Fall of Cybertron Swindle Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: October 2012
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster

*Images above with asterisks(*) and text in italics below from The Official Transformers web site:
To the other COMBATICONS, the war with the AUTOBOTS is an epic clash for the fate of the universe. To SWINDLE, it’s a business opportunity. While his teammates relish the frenzy of destruction they cause as DECEPTICON BRUTICUS, SWINDLE quietly calculates how much he can get for selling all the scrap metal that’ll be lying around afterward.

This sneaky DECEPTICON warrior is big trouble for the AUTOBOTS all by himself, but he’s also part of something a lot bigger – and scarier! Your SWINDLE figure comes with awesome firepower, and he can convert to Cybertronian assault transport mode and back whenever the battle calls for it. But when it’s time to bring overwhelming force against his AUTOBOT enemies, he can combine with other COMBATICONS (sold separately) to form a giant DECEPTICON BRUTICUS robot figure! His weapon combines with other COMBATICON weapons to form DECEPTICON BRUTICUS’s sonic cannon! Get one piece of an invincible DECEPTICON BRUTICUS warrior with this hardcore SWINDLE figure!

Robot-to-vehicle warrior! Converts to Cybertronian assault transport vehicle mode! SWINDLE figure combines with other COMBATICON figures (sold separately) to build a giant DECEPTICON BRUTICUS robot! Figure becomes an arm or leg! Collect all 5! Includes SWINDLE figure and accessory. Deluxe Class Series 1 005 SWINDLE. Ages 5 and up.

2012's big "Transformers" multimedia event was not a movie, but rather a video game. Following up on the success of "War for Cybertron", High Moon Studios was due to release "Fall of Cybertron" in August of 2012 so a large portion of the "Generations" toy line became dedicated to characters and designs from the game itself. One of the key characters in the game is Bruticus, the Combiner giant formed by the team known as "The Combaticons". One of their members, the always scheming Swindle was part of this release.

The existence of a new Bruticus figure caused quite a stir among fans. For years we've wanted a new Combiner figure, and lucky for the fandom at large we now have one. Even better? This guy was composed of five Deluxe Class figures, each one with its own unique transformation and identity. Before the initial retail release of this figure, the summer of 2012 saw the release of the entire set in a special box (with different colors)as a San Diegeo Comic-Con exclusive. This guy sold out within minutes of being available on Hasbrotoyshop and by the following week went for easily double the price on ebay. No doubt, this is one figure tons of Transformers fans wanted!

However, those fans who did not attend San Diego Comic-Con would also get a chance to purchase Swindle (and the other Combaticons) at mass retail several months later. In October 2012, the Combaticon team was released as one wave to mass retail. Each of these figures featured new decos that were intended to be brighter and more "eye catching" on toy store shelves. This review will focus on the changes made to Swindle for this release. Check out my previous Swindle review for a closer look at the figure's sculpt and mold.

Robot Mode:
I noted in my previous Swindle review that the mass release version was going to have brighter colors than the San Diego Comic Con version, but seeing Swindle in really drives home just how bright the figure really is! The primary color on the figure is now yellow instead of the tan color used on the SDCC version. Fortunately, there's plenty of black plastic between the head, arms, waist and thighs to help offset the brightness. Another good decision in this deco was to use relatively dark colors that would also balance out against the yellow. This includes purple, which you'll find on the chest, shoulders and knee armor. He also has several gunmetal grey details on his legs and on the engine details near his head. A bit of black paint is used on each forearm piece to paint the hands and his legs feature black along the pipe like detail.

Taken as a whole, the robot mode actually looks good, though I would have personally toned down the yellow a bit. However, one nagging detail bothers me and that's the lack of paint on his face. His visor eyes are painted metallic purple, which looks great, but the color gets almost lost since the entire head is cast in black. Had there been some of the gunmetal grey color on his nose/mouth area, the purple would have stood out much better. That particular detail makes Swindle look oddly unfinished, which is quite unfortunate. There's one other minor paint omission: the weapon. This time out it's completely black, without any paint detail. This isn't that big of a deal to me however as Transformers weapons are generally not painted. These omissions don't totally ruin the figure or anything, but their absence is quite noticable to anyone who has seen the SDCC version.

All of Swindle's joints are nice and tight. Functionally he's no different than the SDCC version as far as I can tell.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Rotate the exhaust pipes on each arm around.
  3. Push the robot head forward and down.
  4. Swing the chest panel up.
  5. Push in the robot arms.
  6. Push the feet down.
  7. Connect the two legs together.
  8. Rotate the lower body around at the waist.
  9. Swing the feet up and connect the feet to the tabs on the chest panel.
  10. Swing the arms up at an angle and connect the tabs on each forearm to the matching grooves on the robot thighs.
  11. Attach the weapon to the top of the vehicle.

vehicle Mode:
When you see Swindle's various parts compressed into the vehicle mode, the yellow really stands out. It's bright enough that he almost has a "Constructicon" feel to him rather than a Combaticon. Fortunately there's enough black plastic scattered around the figure between the sides and back to keep the yellow from being overwhelming.

The paint decos come close to matching the pattern of the San Diego Comic Con version, however some have been omitted while another has been added. There is purple paint on the front of the vehicle with a black Decepticon symbol over it (carried over from the robot mode chest). Gunmetal grey is found on the engine details in the front and other details towards the back. This color is also used for the sculpted details on the rear wheel wells, something that was not painted on the San Diego Comic Con version. However, left unpainted are the headlights, exhaust pipes and the small details on the sides of the wheels. Truth be told, I would have rather sacrificed the wheel well details for these other ones. Something looks "missing" in the front without the headlights painted and it makes him look more inaccurate to the "in game" model.

Swindle's weapon still attaches to the top of the figure without a problem and the wheels roll without a problem.f

Leg Mode:
Start with Swindle in vehicle form and swing up the purple connection point underneath the hood of the jeep. Then flip out the robot feet and connect it to the connection point on Onslaught (he can form either leg). The purple joint has a hinge with a ratchet joint that allows you to "bend" Bruticus' leg at the knees.

Arm Mode:
Start with Swindle in vehicle form and swing the purple connection point up so it's now pointing to the side. Swing the robot legs out. Behind each lower leg is a hand for Bruticus. Depending on which arm you are creating (left or right) you have the choice of swinging out a hand that matches that side. Connect the purple joint to the connection point on Onslaught's shoulder.

Both "limb" modes look fine and are quite functional. I still prefer Swindle as a leg since he looks way bulky on the upper body. If Onslaught had been a Voyager Class figure, this may not be the case, but as it stands I also like the stability Swindle offers the combined form of Bruticus as a leg.

Final Thoughts:
As a toy, I still find Swindle every bit as cool and fun as the SDCC version. The sculpt has not been compromised in any way and the functionality is all intact. However, I can't help but prefer the more "game accurate" SDCC version with its additional paint applications. Granted that was a much more expensive exclusive figure, so holding this mass release figure to that standard is a bit unfair. I'll say as a mass release with an expected amount of reduced deco, this figure works nicely and I do recommend it (but I prefer the SDCC version).

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