Transformers Movie (2007) Swindle Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action Movie

Swindle Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Image from the Official Transformers web site.

Tech Specs:
SWINDLE is one of many DECEPTIONS brought to Earth by MEGATRON just to cause as much trouble as possible for the AUTOBOTS. He's not a great fighter, but he makes up for it in the amount of pleasure he takes just in blowing stuff up. His extending torso cannon fires explosive rounds, and he leaps around like a madman, firing randomly in a fight. Battling SWINDLE is like battling a crazy bundle of living dynamite!

Strength: 6  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 6
Rank: 2  Courage: 5  Firepower: 9  Skill: 3


Swindle is the latest addition to an ever-growing cast of Transformers characters who do not appear in the movie but are a part of the film's contiuity. He has already made an appearance in the the Prequel comic book by IDW and is set to appear in the upcoming Transformers Movie video game.

Packaging:
Swindle is packaged on a standard blister card with the right and left edges of the bubble wrapping around the sides of the card to the back. The right side of the bubble has tech detail cast into it and the right hand side has a raised Decepticon symbol. The front curved piece says "As seen in the Transformers video game" helping to explain where this guy comes from since he doesn't appear in the movie. The back has the figure pictured with a slightly different paint job, with grey paint applications on his waist section. His cosells are Bumblebee, Jazz, Barricade, Scorponok and Bonecrusher. The picture of the figure on card from the official web site seems to be an international version with more text than the US one.

Vehicle Mode:
Swindle is a two door Earth car in vehicle mode. His design is not based on any one specific vehicle, but it takes many design cues from cars you would see on the road today, giving it an Alternators-esque feel. The vehicle has a very streamlined shape with a hood that slopes down and a front end that curves back. The doors on the side are wide and lead to a back section that angles up slightly. The front section has a middle and lower grille made up of horizontal lines and the headlights have a distinct angled shape. The general design of this vehicle looks nice, but at the same time it is fairly non-descript, which makes sense considering this is a robot in disguise in the somewhat realistic world of the Movie.

Swindle is cast in orange, translucent grey and black plastic. A majority of the car body is orange (leaning towards a red-orange) while all the windows and headlights are a smokey translucent grey. The wheels are cast in black. His paint applications are quite distinctive. On the hood is a tiny Decepticon symbol in the center that looks very much like a car manufacturer emblem until you look at it closely. On the sides of the car are silver triangular designs. At the very back are Decepticon symbols painted in silver on either side. The sides of the wheels are painted silver as well. This color scheme works well with the generic form of the vehicle. He looks very much like a basic car someone took and tuned up and gave a (somewhat) flashy paint job. These are very common nowadays and most people would probably not give Swindle a second look as he drove down the highway.

Lift up the panel on the back of the vehicle and press the grey button on the rear windshield and Swindle deploys his powerful looking cannon. Cast in the same translucent grey plastic as the windows,the cannon is actually made out of two rolled up rows of small cylindrical piece that look almost like crystals. It's a fairly alien looking cannon that differs from the typical weaponry of Transformers.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the back of each door from the main body of the car and swing them forward.
  2. Swing each robot forearm forward.
  3. Separate each half of the back of the car from the center piece (where the cannon rests).
  4. Swing the cannon up into the center of the robot body.
  5. Swing the front of the car down, separating it from the cabin ceiling piece. This reveals the robot head.
  6. Swing each robot foot piece forward, then swing out the heel pieces.
  7. Rotate the lower body around.
  8. Swing each half of the rear windshield in to form Swindle's knee armor.
  9. Swing the rear panel from the car mode down.

Robot Mode:
There is a generic quality about Swindle that carries over from the vehicle mode to the robot mode. His transformation is a nice, different taken on the typical "car front end becomes robot chest" design, yet he winds up looking very much like a generic trooper. A lot of this has to do with his head sculpt, which is V shaped head with one big circular optic sensor at the end. Granted this type of face design is hardly new. Shockwave had it in G1, but he had other distinguishing features such as his gun mode and "laser gun arm".

Swindle's body is similar in design principle to Wreckage, where some of the movie design principles mesh with more traditional Transformers design. The traditional elements include the front of the car forming the head and chest as well as the use of clearly defined arms and legs without a lot of complicated looking machinery underneath. Where the figure borrows from the movie is the paneled look of some parts such as the rear windshield pieces forming armor over his knees, his three fingered hands and the slight chicken walker shape of the legs. This combination of designs work well for this figure and give us a Transformer who is both familiar and alien looking all at the same time.

Most of Swindle's body form is fairly smooth, so there is not a lot of room for tinier details. Still, some can be found especially on the main body and arms. The arms all have raised and cut details running from the shoulders down to the forearms, which have a really nice set of multi-layered sculpted details. Swindle's mid-section has several parts that look like tubes and springs on them, looking like something that could have been from the internal workings of his vehicle mode. The upper legs have line details etched deep into them in broad strokes, which look really nice.

Swindle has twelve points of articulation, mostly focused in the arms and legs. His head does turn a tiny bit, but I won't count that. I was disappointed that his head did not raise up at all. Although it would have cost a bit more to add in joints to extend his head, it would have been nice to see. Without a neck, Swindle looks a bit odd.

The cannon from the vehicle mode now serves as his primary weapon in this form. Press the grey button (now on his back) and the cannon extends forward from his gut.

Final Thoughts:
Swindle is a fun toy for any Transformers line. While the lack of head articulation is disappointing, I cannot help but really enjoy his vehicle mode and the generi-trooper look he has in robot mode. He's not for everyone, but I like him. Recommended.