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Series: Animated
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Function: Weapon Specialist
Year: 2008

Hey man. Wanna buy a plasma cannon, cheap?
Swindle is a one-robot black market. He's only a Decepticon by default, since they're the ones who most often take advantage of his unbeatable deals on armor, weapons and combat systems. If it shoots, explodes, or focuses light into a beam intense enough to melt high-grade armor, Swindle will sell it to anyone. Anyone who can pay his price, that is. Most of his inventory, he scavenges from those who fall in battle, but he doesn't mind helping a crippled Autobot all the way to the scrap heap before stripping him of his weapons.

* Expert haggler and negotiator
* Skilled at weapon modification and invention
* Gyro missile disrupts enemy sensors and balance

Robot Mode: In robot mode Swindle pays homage to his original (cartoon) looks, though in an exaggerated way. The big black cannon on his arm is huge (like, Megatron-huge), his head with the slightly slimey smile is big and cartoony, and overall I just like his look a lot. Okay, the lower half of the car front on his chest is fake and doesn't become any part of the car, but whatever. Doesn't bother me.

Swindle's cannon features a simply yet suprisingly entertaining gimmick: If you don't load the missile, there are three purple stripes in the cannon's barrel. Once you load the missile, the purple shifts back and is replaced by bright orange, making it look as if the cannon is charged and ready to fire. Simple, but very effective. Additionally Swindle can flip out a small gattling-cannon from his chest and fold the "wings" on his back up and point the black bits forward, thereby replicating the look of his many weapons from the cartoon. Very nicely done.

Swindle is also very posable, so no complaints there, but there are two little things that ruin an otherwise pretty perfect robot mode. One, his 'stomach' is just a flap and tends to slip forward, seeing as it doesn't really fasten into place properly. You can improve this somewhat by pushing the plastic bits on the back of the flap together, but that never holds for long. A better fastening mechanism here would have worked wonders. And second, I don't like his hands. Not sure why, but I don't like them.

Apart from these two details, though, a very good robot mode. Swindle as he lives and breathes.

Alternate Mode: Swindle transforms into a Hummer-like vehicle and his big Megatron-style gun goes on top. Okay, the gun on top pretty much shoots down the realism of this vehicle mode, but it looks pretty cool. And if you leave the gun off, the car looks very realistic. In fact, it might just be the most realistic-looking vehicle mode among the Animated Transformers yet. The sculpting adds some nice details. Not Alternators-level, of course, but very good for a toyline that usually emphasizes cartoony looks over realism. So Swindle's car mode is very good.

Remarks: Back in the days of G1 Swindle was the exception to a rule. The rule being that members of Combiner teams usually didn't have much in the way of a personality, didn't hang out with anyone but their own teammates, and were just there to fill up the ranks. Not so Swindle. He was a double-crossing, self-serving capitalist who would (and actually did) sell his own teammates for parts and make a deal with anyone. For his Animated reincarnation Swindle remained true to his roots. He's an arms dealer, who will sell to anyone, though usually the Decepticons are his preferred customers. He's also a walking arsenal, keeping the best weapons for himself, and though he ended his sole appearance so far by being stuck in car mode and on his way to the scrap heap, I'm sure we'll see Swindle again before Animated his over.

As a toy Swindle is not the best Animated figure yet, but he does range pretty close to the top. One of the best vehicle modes in Animated yet, coupled with a robot mode with a great look and only a few minor flaws, makes for one great Deluxe-class figure in an already great toyline. I'm a big fan of Animated in general and Swindle, while not the most important character in the cartoon series, does rank among my top recommendations as far as the toys go.

Rating: A-

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