Transformers Swindle
Transformers Swindle
Transformers Swindle
Transformers Swindle

Swindle was one of the more interesting attempts to expand the successful Movie toyline beyond the thirteen Transformers seen onscreen. The figure was based on a drone type from the Activision tie-in video game, wherein Swindle units are a fairly weak generic (being the next step up from Scrapper drones) used by both sides of around the same size as most of the playable characters.

An all-new Deluxe Class mould was devised, and quickly given a basic character in order to convince kids the figure they were holding was a bonafide Decepticon warrior and not just a piece of cannon fodder. Amusingly, if predictably, the only people over the age of 8 to fall for this were IDW - even including Autobot version Camshaft as well (a Bluestreak-inspired recolour which retained the same head, despite the factions using slightly different designs in the game). Despite the Decepticon version being maroon and the Autobot version being green in-game, the toy versions are red and silver respectively.


The figure's vehicle mode is a slightly modified (i.e. license-dodging) Chevrolet Cobalt. Even by the standards of other GM cars featured in the line it's a pretty generic shape, though at the same time it looks more like the sort of car people might own compared to the high-end Camaro/Solstice/Stingray. It's not so much unpleasant as instantly forgettable. Fair play, though, it looks good in red and has some nice detailing.

The silver patterning on the doors is rather subtle while there are clear plastic moulded headlights (something not found in most of the onscreen toys) too. Sadly, the Swindle drone is covered in join marks, especially on the back half. There's also a button just behind the roof that can activate the robot mode's cannon so it looks like some sort of extreme booster thing. And is hilarious.


Swindle has a fairly intuitive transformation, though getting the launcher in just the right position takes a bit of practice - it doesn't so much lock into place as have the upper torso rest on it. The robot mode is shorter and stockier than the one seen in the game but does retain the same sort of look - you can't mistake this robot for anything other than a drone with its' lifeless lens head. The shoulders are a bit of a mess sadly - it's difficult to pose them without a monkey-like gait with the arm above the elbow continuing more or less horizontally from the sides of the body and the forearms then pointing away from them. However, careful positioning of the car doors can make this a little less obvious visually.

The figure has quite poor articulation with the head barely moveable and the arms, as mentioned, only much use below the elbow. The waist can turn though the joints on the legs give surprisingly little movement without costing balance of just losing their shape. Of course, Swindle has a massive spring-activated cannon in his chest which does at least fit with the look of an unthinking mobile weapons platform and the presumed firepower excuses the robot's lack of mobility in terms of display value (if not playability). It's actually not bad fodder for Deluxe figures and while he isn't that much to look at on his own, a unit of them could work well in a display.


Swindle arguably does what the designers set out to achieve, being an unspectacular 'army builder' type figure that really does feel like it's a cloned unit. The toy has little personality in either mode but for some strange reason this quite appeals. I'd only really recommend him if you have a few other Autobot Deluxes to combat Swindle but the figure is generally quite cheap on the second hand market, and it is very tempting to get a squad of them together.