Editor's note: Today we're reviewing Hasbro's SDCC Bruticus box set, so we'd normally review all the figures together. However, since they'll soon be available single-carded, it made sense to give the pieces the full reviews they deserve. To save time, we're posting them all at once, so follow the links for the whole story.
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.
No matter what, Swindle is always a no-good, rotten, low-down, dirty cheat. Always. He was a cheat in G1, he was a cheat in Binaltech, he was a cheat in Animated, he was a cheat in the movieverse, and he's a cheat in Fall of Cybertron. Eventually someone's going to catch on, and stop trusting the guy. Probably not any time soon, though.
Despite usually being a little guy, Swindle is one of the tallest robots in this new batch of Combaticons. He's 5⅝" tall standing straight up, which is very unexpected! Like the original Swindle, this one is tan and purple, though the colors are very muted. The figure looks pretty cool from the front, but his back is
almost entirely bare. Ever seen a comedy sketch where someone appears to be fully dressed from the front, but then they turn around and you see their black socks and their heart-print boxers? It's like that, but with armor instead of clothes. If you look at Swindle from behind, you get the feeling you're looking at his naked protoform.
Swindle's head is not based on the original toy - that was pretty much a cube with two eyes and mouth, but this is much more complex. It appears to be based on the Alternators Swindle head, which itself was originally intended to be Trailbreaker (who couldn't be made because Hasbro couldn't get the trademark to his name).
The articulation is pretty standard. He has a swivel neck, balljointed shoulders and elbows, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs and hinged knees. He's armed with a silver blaster that has two 5mm pegs on the sides - those will be important later, when we start talking about Bruticus.
Apparently you should be careful
when converting Swindle: people have been reporting all sorts of trouble with him, though none of them are ones we've noticed. Apparently there's some problem with his shoulders, and when they swing down the plastic can crack? No idea, we're only reporting this secondhand; because after changing him back and forth a bunch of times, so far there's nothing at all wrong with him.
Swindle's altmode isn't a jeep, but it is a small armored transport of some kind. The upper shell of the car is curved and angled, and has several pipes sticking out - air intakes for the engine, and long exhausts for the fumes. There are two "mine sweeper" forks that stick out the front end, though if you get that close to a mine, it's probably still not going to turn out too great for you. The vehicle is 4¾" long, 2⅜" wide and just over 2" tall. The pistol can be mounted on the roof of the car, which makes it a little taller still.
While Swindle's nominal place is as the right leg of Bruticus,
the design of the combination system means that any figure can become any limb - and so, Hasbro had to design them all with the capability to be an arm or a leg. Swindle's arm form is decent, if uninspired: there are two large hands hidden in the robot's legs, and you just fold down whichever one you want (depending on which side you want him on) and that's it. The hood of the not-a-Jeep can't plug into the back end, or else you'll lose the faux-elbow articulation.
As a solo figure, Swindle is... okay. The robot looks fine from the front, but the back is just a hollow oddity. And honestly, so is the altmode. For being so tall, he really feels slight. And if all the complaints about bad construction are to be believed, you should probably be very careful.
Onslaught | Blast Off | Vortex | Swindle | Brawl