Siege Roadhandler & Swindler

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Siege Roadhandler & Swindler

Post by Skyquake87 »

Name: Roadhandler & Swindler
Allegiance: Autobot
Size Class: Micromasters

Representing for the Race Car Patrol are Roadhandler and Swindler. The latter presumably picked as he's Roadhandler's wrestling manager. Yes, when these snot-nosed punks arrived on Earth, one of the first things they did was turn their back on Optimus and get involved in the cartoon world of wrestling after being goaded into it on TV by Jake “The Jackhammer” Jackson (there's some alliteration Stan Lee would be proud of). They also had some King Kong type adventures battling Igunaus, as well as some appearances in the black and white days of the old UK comic, but the wrestling is the thing I remember most. Because it was fun.

I liked the rebellious attitude of the Autobot Micromasters, who treated their larger comrades with contempt and weren't team players, more of a gang. Something which bled through into Dreamwave's Micromasters mini-series, which I probably would have enjoyed more if the art wasn't such an eyesore, making it difficult to see what was going on. Something about underground racing and another origin for Blitzwing, I think.

The original toys were nice, but I was never into their colours, which whilst the usual primary coloured Autobot hues, felt a bit dull next to the likes of Sports, Race Track and Hot Rod patrols.

Robot Mode: Roadhandler's robot mode is great. The sculpting is nice and sharp, bringing out all that lovely Siege greebling. Paint apps are on the just enough side, which I like. I do wish he could have had yellow legs like his old toy, just to balance out all the red. He's changed his pants too, going for some black ones over his old blue y-fronts. He's fairly traditional looking in terms of robot design, but he looks very handsome and has a lot of character to it. Espescially in his angry blue face.

Alternate Mode: 'Cybertronian Sports Car' my arse. It's still a Pontiac Firebird, not that I'm complaining as it's one of my favourite American muscle car designs. It's nice, but looks weirdly long in the bonnet, but I think it's probably because I'm so used to the old toy that this doesn't look right. The wheels spoil it though – they're horrible cheap clip on things with no life or weight to them, rendered in black plastic. Some silver on the hub caps might have livened this up. At least the Autobot sigil tampograph is nice and tidy, although they missed a trick not stamping it on the bonnet, instead going for the left door.

Robot Mode: Swindler is rocking a slightly nicer silvery grey plastic compared to his original figure, which makes him look much more jazzy and interesting than his old toy, which was just flat grey. That excitement quickly fades when you look at how silvery he is. Needed more of that blue to liven him up, as his robot mode quickly runs into monotone. He's nice looking, once you get past all the grey and has a average looking face.

Alternate Mode: As with Roadhandler, this is clearly just his Earth mode DeLorean DMC-12 pretending to be from space. It looks good, but is again spoilt by the cheap looking wheels. It's interesting that it's only really the '84 guys that have got odd looking Cybertronian modes in the Siege line. I'd say that's probably because every Transformer from 1987 up had an alt-mode that either looked that way already or could have passed for one, due to how simplistic and blocky the toys had become by the late 1980s.

Alternate Mode: The two of them can combine into the Multi-Mech Exhaust Cannon, which sounds as good as it looks. They half transform to robot mode and plug together to form a mess and look better as a set of two half-car half -robot pistols for Sideswipe. So that's what I've done.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: As with all Transformers from Age of Extinction onwards, these guys have little tabs to help lock together the robot limbs in alt mode. The clutch power on these is so great, that the arms and legs frequently pop off when you're transforming them back and forth. I understand why they did it – one of the flaws of the original toys was that you ended up with very droopy looking alt-modes after repeated transformation – but it's annoying all the same. Getting Swindler's bonnet back in place isn't fun, as you have to find of force it between his arm stalks, which have no clearance to move away from the body of the vehicle. It all just feels a bit much on these tiny fellows. 4/10

Articulation: Their arms can wave about like sails on a windmill and it's all about the legs with these two, with waist rotation and movement at the hips and knees. Good for putting them in kicking poses, but not much else. 6/10

Durability: The tolerances being what they are, they're ball jointed, so the pieces that unintentionally pop off can be popped back on. Although these plastics don't look like they'd withstand being repeatedly clipped on and off, and are likely to develop stress fractures and break over time. 4/10

Fun: The fun's kind of ruined by having to stick them back together all the time, so yeah, not great .2/10

Price: I picked these up second hand off ebay for £8.00. That feels about right, given the 'fun' of having to stick them back together all the time. The RRP of £9.99 isn't bad, but doesn't feel good for toys that fall to bits when they're not supposed to. 5/10

Overall: Easily the weakest of the Siege Micormasters, for not being as visually interesting as the military vehicles or jets the other two sets have going for them. The colours aren't terribly exciting either and exploding limbs just make them disappointing more than anything. Which is a shame as, the robot modes are nice and the vehicle modes look good. 3/10
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