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Swindle is the name given to several different fictional characters in the Transformers universes.

Transformers: Generation 1

Swindle originally appeared as a member of a group of five Decepticons known as the Combaticons who were able to combine together to form a larger robot known as Bruticus. As a basic sized combiner limb, Swindle could become the arm or leg to any similar combiner Transformers; he was usually found to be the right leg of Bruticus.

Whereas other Decepticons were motivated by lust for power or sheer love of carnage, Swindle's sole motivation was turning a profit. With the born personality of a salesman, Swindle would sell anyone anything - be they weapons, parts or bits of his own comrades.Swindle is also the brightest among his fellow Combaticons (and the Decepticons as well), describing himself as a "one-robot black market", Swindle would even sell his goods to the Autobots if he thought he could get away with it.

Marvel Comics

The Combaticons first U.S. appearance in issue 24 of the U.S. Marvel comics was unexplained in the American comic, however it is assumed that they were created in the same way as the Stunticons were through Bombshell's cerebro-shell attached to Optimus Prime tapping the energies of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership.

The company 'Energy Futures Industries' was a hydrothermocline plant which the Decepticons wanted to steal for their own energy resources. Megatron and the Combaticons launched an assault only to encounter the Protectobots and Optimus Prime. With both teams now combined into Bruticus and Defensor, the human Ethan Zachary offered a solution - that the two teams battled inside a computer program. Not wanting to destroy what they had come to steal, Megatron agreed. Predictably the Combaticons' bloodlust was turned against them as their disregard for the programs' sentient beings led to Swindle and Brawl being destroyed by First Aid. However, the Decepticons still won as Optimus Prime felt he had cheated by endangering innocent life in the game and destroyed himself.

Megatron would go increasingly insane after this, infuriated that he hadn't killed Optimus Prime with his bare hands. With Swindle attempting to warn him of a U.S. army, he was flattened by Shockwave. Shockwave convinced an increasingly deranged Megatron that Optimus Prime might yet live, Swindle and most of the other Combaticons were sent to look for Prime, leaving Megatron to be attacked by the Predacons.

Swindle would continue to make sporadic appearances throughout the U.S. and U.K. comics, attempting to place charges to destroy Galvatron (with Swindle nearly getting scrapped by a rigged jeep in the process), clashing twice more with the Protectobots as Bruticus, attacking the Autobot leadership contest between Grimlock and Blaster and nearly killing Brawn (commenting on how his parts would have a bright future), and being part of the staff of Club Con, the Decepticons' fake holiday resort. They were not shown to be deactivated by the Underbase powered Starscream, but as they were not seen again in the Generation 1 comic, it is likely.

He would appear in the Generation 2 comic a number of times (presumably revived with nucleon), showing Megatron the scale of Bludgeon's plan to capture the Matrix. Unfortunately he was destroyed with the rest of the Combaticons when the traitorous Starscream led the forces of Jhiaxus to the Warworld's weak spots.

Animated series

Swindle is most notable for receiving a new look for his animated appearance. Unlike his toy, the front of the jeep and its windscreen becomes Swindle's chest. Because of his alternate form, he was the smallest Combaticon despite his toy being the same size as the others aside from team-leader Onslaught.

Swindle was originally one of five Decepticon criminals that had attempted to overthrow Megatron on Cybertron. Their personality components extracted by Shockwave, they were later recovered by Starscream in the episode "Starscream's Brigade", himself exiled from the Decepticons after one clash too many with Megatron. Hitting on the idea of creating his own loyal troops from the wrecked vehicles on Guadalcanalmarker, he installed their personality components into the rebuilt vehicles, thus creating the Combaticons, with Swindle having the alternate mode of a jeep. After a series of attacks on both Autobots and Decepticons they were defeated by Menasor and exiled to space. Ridding themselves of Starscream they would then attempt to conquer Cybertron, defeating Shockwave's army, and then attempt to destroy Earth by sending it towards the sun. They were eventually stopped by Optimus Prime, Megatron and Starscream, but they survived - under Megatron's control.
Swindle's alternate mode

While he would mostly appear as part of the Combaticons, the episode "B.O.T." would spotlight Swindle near exclusively. After a gestalt-on-gestalt battle between Bruticus and Defensor, the Combaticons' combined form was demolished, with only Swindle surviving to revert to robot mode. The ever opportunistic Swindle took the opportunity to sell his comrades' parts — much to the fury of Megatron. (More impressive is the fact that he was able to sell their parts to both Western and Eastern Blocs.) Recovering all but Brawl's components Megatron had him fitted with a bomb to give him extra "motivation". Eventually he located it installed in a high school science project called B.O.T. (which had gone on the rampage due to Brawl's influence). Eventually recovering Brawl's personality components, the Combaticons merged into Bruticus in order to use Megatron's new superweapon, but were stopped by Defensor, forcing them to flee.

In "The Ultimate Weapon", a season three episode, Swindle was able to steal Metroplex's cog from the pacifistic First Aid. But instead of giving it to Galvatron, he planned to sell it. Galvatron responded by forcing him to hand it over or be destroyed. Eventually, the Autobots respond by stealing Trypticon's transformation cog, and re-tool it to fit Metroplex.

Swindle's last U.S. appearance was in "The Rebirth, Part 3". He and the other Combaticons continued to appear in the Japanese spin-off series Transformers: The Headmasters.

Dreamwave Productions

Dreamwave Productions' 21st Century re-imagining of the Generation 1 universe took its inspiration for the Combaticons from the original animated series, casting them as Decepticon prisoners who were reduced to protoform stasis because they were too dangerous to be released.

Onslaught, Brawl, Blast Off and Vortex originally appeared as part of Shockwave's attack on Iacon in the first War Within series. At the same time Swindle was with Starscream, Motormaster, Runabout and Runamuck after Starscream head sent Megatron and Optimus Prime down further into the depths of Cybertron.

Later, when Optimus Prime led a rebellion against Shockwave's domination of Cybertron in 2003, Starscream took the opportunity to form a power base, taking the protoform Combaticons to Earth and outfitting them with new alternate modes taken from an abandoned military base, then leading them in an attack on the Ark in order to acquire parts to make the Decepticon space cruiser, the Nemesis, spaceworthy. Confronted in battle by Brawn, Bruticus was caught in an explosion as Ratchet self-destructed the Ark, but he survived the conflagration, only to be knocked out by artillery fire from an incoming Autobot shuttle. After a battle with the evil clone, Sunstorm, Brawn opted to work out some of his stress on Bruticus's unconscious body, punching the gestalt about the head until his comrades yelled at him to stop. Bruticus would return, battling Sky Lynx for Starscream's amusement - until the Predacons appeared in their combined form of Predaking. The two gestalts battled as Starscream fled and Bruticus lost. The ultimate fate of the Combaticons in the Dreamwave universe was not revealed, due to the company's closure.

Devil's Due Publishing

Swindle would appear in the third G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers crossover from Devil's Due Publishing as part of the Decepticon force trying to hold back the combined Autobot/G.I. Joe force trying to rescue Optimus Prime.

IDW Publishing

Swindle made his first chronological IDW Publishing appearance in issue #3 of The Transformers: Megatron Origin, being seen as part of Megatron's underground group of gladiators.

Spotlight issue on Ultra Magnus would show his later activities. A Decepticon arms dealer who had broken what few laws govern the Autobot/Decepticon war, Swindle attempted to hide with his associate Lorcha in his impregnable fortress - to no avail. The Autobot law enforcement official Ultra Magnus tracked him down and apprehended him, making short work of Lorcha's defenses and henchmen in the process. Destined for a court martial at the hands of his superiors, Swindle bargained his way out of his fate by giving Magnus information on the whereabouts of a bigger threat - Scorponok. Magnus begrudgingly agreed, and let Swindle go - after planting a tracer on the unwitting Decepticon. Later, after being captured by Magnus again, Swindle once again attempted to deal his way out.

Fun Publications

In the city of Axion Nexus on Transtech Cybertron three Swindles from parallel universe run a shop called "Swindle, Swindle and Swindle." They sold upgrades to the Gobot Bugbite in Withered Hope and helped diagnose Bulletbike in I, Lowtech by Fun Publications. The three Swindles are represented by the three toy variations of him released in Generation 1 and Generation 2.


  • Generation 1 Swindle'
The mold of Generation 1 Swindle was released as the Decepticon Rollbar in the Robots in Disguise and Universe lines. Two variants of Swindle were released, the first having a die-cast metal chestplate painted purple, and the second having a plastic chestplate molded in gray.
When retooled for Robots in Disguise, Swindle's main gun was retooled with an extra connection point, which allowed Armorhide's vehicle gun (originally Brawl's) to rest atop it when wielded by Ruination.

  • Generation 2 Swindle'
The original Swindle toy was released again for Generation 2, now with a bright red XR311 mode with purple camouflage and a purple (plastic) robot chest and is still able to combine with his fellow Combaticons to form Bruticus. Generation 2 Swindle retained the same tech specs as his original release.

Binaltech card artwork
  • Alternators/Binaltech Swindle' (2005)
Swindle would reappear in the Alternators line. Alternators Swindle is the remold of Hound. The major differences between Swindle and Hound was Swindle's new head, a grill guard and larger wheels. Although the toy was announced to be Swindle first, this mold was originally intended to be used for Trailbreaker before it was decided to introduce Decepticons into the line, evident by the head which resembles Trailbreaker's. Swindle was the second and also the last Decepticon to use a mold originally intended to be used by an Autobot.
Using the deadly Cosmic Rust plague, Swindle orchestrated the decimation of the Earth-based Autobot army, only for the damaged Autobots to enter into partnership with human corporations and arrange for construction of new bodies for them by major car companies. Using their new, powerful bodies to strike back against the Decepticons, they injured many of them; Swindle was not damaged seriously, but with a bit of wheeling and dealing, he quickly moved himself up the list, past worse-off Decepticons, to be one of the first transplanted into similar new bodies. Stealing an Autobot chassis intended for use by the Autobot Trailbreaker, Swindle was reborn as an Alternator able to transform into a Jeep Wrangler. Armed with his traditional scatter blaster and now powered by an exponential generator, Swindle continues his black market dealings, including attempts to re-engineer the cosmic rust.

  • Universe Generation 1 Series Scout Swindle'
A redeco of Energon Blackout and Storm Cloud. When the first pictures of this toy make it to the internet in August of 2008 it was incorrectly identified as Sandstorm.

Transformers: Armada

Swindle was the Mini-Con partner to Starscream and transformed into an F-1 racing car.

Animated series

Discovered by Starscream in a forest, the airborne Decepticon used him to test out his shoulder cannons, decimating a good portion of the forest - and very nearly his fellow Decepticons.

Swindle continued to be partnered with Starscream, developing a respect for his continually downtrodden partner. His powers managed to reformat Starscream into Starscream Super Mode following the battle with Nemesis Prime. He managed to survive Starscream's attack on Unicron, being sent to safety by Starscream while the Chaos-Bringer obliterated his partner. He was consoled by Optimus Prime, and was not seen again.

Combining with Starscream allows the Decepticon to use his secret weapons.

Dreamwave Productions

Swindle also appeared in the accompanying Armada comic series from Dreamwave, where his relationship with Starscream was much more antagonistic. Captured by Cyclonus in the Decepticon attack on the Mini-Con village, Starscream chose him as a partner for the attack on the Cyber City, easily making short work of the Autobot defenders. While most of the other Mini-Cons eventually escaped, Swindle was doomed to servitude for the next million years.

Accompanying Starscream to Earth, Swindle's most prominent appearance came in the Dreamwave free comic released on Comic Book Day, where he pretended to have escaped from the Decepticons in order to lure Rad, Alexis and Carlo to the Decepticon base, where Megatron planned to recreate the humans as a power source like the Mini-Cons. Megatron had promised to free Swindle, but predictably double-crossed him. In response, Swindle managed to free Prime's Autobots, who drove off the Decepticons. Swindle thought he was free - only to be recaptured by Starscream.

Swindle would subsequently be part of the Mini-Cons who deserted to form a base on the Moon, again being recaptured after the Decepticons destroyed the base.

Swindle appeared among the Mini-Cons in issue #18 of the Transformers: Armada comic book who aided Over-Run using the Mini-Con Matrix in the defeat of Unicron.


  • Armada Starscream with Swindle' (2002)

  • Energon Starscream with Swindle'
Additionally Armada Swindle was repainted along with Armada Starscream for the Energon line, although the character did not appear in the show.

Transformers: Energon

Swindle was the Japanese name for the Transformers: Energon character named Blight.

Transformers: Universe

For the first time in Transformers, the name Swindle is given to an Autobot affiliated toy. This toy is a Railbot, one of a team of six Micromasters who are able to combine to form a larger robot known as Rail Racer. Aside from being released with a different part to form the larger robot (the left foot), this toy was originally released in Japan during 2003, itself being a recolor of a toy originating from 1991. Because of the lack of a bio from Hasbro, it is unknown whether this Swindle's identity is of a new character, the U.S. name for the Japanese train Micromaster or of a reformed Decepticon or Mini-Con.

According to Convertor's bio: "A historian, he is interested in earth's history and devotes himself to research centred on ruins around the world. Extremely well-versed in Seibertronian history, he will offer advice to his companions using historical facts as examples. Though he affects a youthful air, he is the oldest of the Micromaster warriors."

According to the story with Sixtrain Red Mode, the Sixtrain turns red and becomes more powerful when empowered by a piece of the Maxtix.


  • Generation 1 Convertor' (1992)
This toy was a redeco of Night. A Takara exclusive.

  • Generation 1 Convertor reissue' (2003)
Came with the chest of Sixtrain.

  • Generation 1 Convertor red mode' (2003)
A red redeco of the toy. Came with the thighs of Sixtrain Red Mode.

  • Universe Swindle' (2005)
Initially sold as a Kaybee toy store exclusive. Came with the left foot of Rail Racer.
The Micromaster Railbots were released in Cybertron packaging in European countries, as they didn't have the Transformers: Universe line.

Transformers: Cybertron

The name Swindle has once again been used for a Transformers off-road vehicle and is colored yellow in a homage to the original Swindle character. This time, Swindle is a repaint of the Cybertron toy called Hardtop. He comes with an Earth Planet Key with the code s4mr which should be used on the official Transformers site to unlock exclusive content. This exclusive content consists of an image showing Swindle's color guide and extra bio text. Swindle does not appear in the Cybertron TV series.

His toy bio indicates that he is the brother of Hardtop and somewhat of a cocky thug (similar to Generation 1 Rumble) who lives only to destroy Autobots, although he would rather do it up close. His loyalty to Megatron is far from absolute, as he'll serve anyone that lets him destroy Autobots.

Fun Publications

In the Fun Publications story Force of Habit Brushguard lead a small team of Decepticons to the planet Combatron looking the Cyber Planet Keys. Among his troops were Buzzsaw, Hardtop, Runamuck and Swindle. On the planet they discovered a long lost weapons cache and attempt to bring it back to Megatron but they are opposed by Autobots lead by Longrack.


  • Cybertron Swindle' (2006)
In 2006 a special edition of Swindle was available in Walmart stores which contained a DVD with the episode "Cybertron" as a promotional item - despite the fact that he wasn't in that episode.
Some bonus packs of Cybertron Megatron came with the Decepticon Hardtop as a bonus item.
He was be recolored for the 2007 Transformers movie as Hardtop, a Decepticon sniper.

2007 Transformers film

Swindle is the name of a Decepticon who appeared in the toy line and video game tie-ins for the 2007 live action Transformers movie, though not in the movie itself. He turns into a red sports coupe that resembles a Chevrolet Cobalt SS. Although Swindle is an individual, he also seems to be the basis of an army of drones who look just like him, but are non-sentient. There are both Autobot and Decepticon aligned Swindle drones, although the original Swindle seems to be a Decepticon.

Swindle's tech spec describes him that he's not a great fighter, but still takes pleasure in making trouble for the Autobots. He wields an extending torso cannon. Swindle has the exceptional number 1 on his tech spec intelligence (making him dumber than even Scorponok), but a 9 on his fireblast.

Video games

In Transformers: The Game, Swindle appears as standard-class drones for the Autobot & Decepticon armies. Autobot versions have eyes with a mask, & their primary color is green. Decepticon versions have a lens-head & their color is a dark red. Swindle is also playable in the PSP version of the game. A notable difference between the video game Swindle and the toy is that the video game version's doors are mounted on the shoulders while in the toy the doors are mounted on the elbows.

IDW Publishing

Swindle appears as the Decepticon who tortures Bumblebee to learn the location of the Allspark Cube in the first issue of the Transformers: The Movie Prequel.

Swindle styled drones appeared in the official movie sequel comic called The Reign of Starscream. A number of these drones were on the Decepticon ship on Mars, and yet more were seen later on Cybertron.

Swindle was among the Decepticons who arrived on Earth under the direction of Soundwave in Transformers: Alliance #3. He arrived in San Franciscomarker with Dead End and took on the form of a car. He was then ordered to distract the Autobots, so he started to attack cars hoping it would draw the Autobots out. In issue #4 the Autobots arrived in San Francisco to stop the Decepticon attacks. Optimus Prime killed Dead End by ramming him, and Bumblebee killed Swindle with a blast through the back with his gun.

Titan Magazine

Note: Stories from the alternate universe where Megatron won the battle for the Allspark are in italics.

Swindle style drones are seen on Earth in the story "Twilight's Last Gleaming." One helps guard the body of Optimus Prime and a platoon of them is commanded by Bonecrusher guarding the Allspark.

Swindle himself appears in the story "The Decepticon Who Haunted Himself" in issue #22.


  • Transformers Deluxe Swindle' (2007)
This Deluxe sized toy measures 14 centimeters long. With an actual Chevrolet Cobalt SS measuring 470 centimeters this toy is about 1/32 scale. This toy was redecoed into Transformers Camshaft. This make is more accurate to Swindle's prequel comic design, rather than the video game design.

Transformers: Animated

Swindle debuted in the Transformers: Animated series in the episode "SUV: Society of Ultimate Villainy." Swindle is a Decepticon arms dealer, whose loyalty is to only the highest bidder or his number one customer, Megatron. He has a large cannon on his right arm and several other built-in weapons throughout his body and access to even more via a Transwarp hammerspace in his chest. He makes mention of other alien races whose worlds he visited like the Vok of Nexus Zero who gave him his forcefield generation, the Quintessons, and the Nebulans.

Animated series

Sometime after playing both sides in a confrontation between Lugnut and Blitzwing, Swindle came to Earth and allied himself with Society of Ultimate Villainy, stringing them along to get his hands on an Allspark fragment, located within the timepiece weapon of the Society's leader Slo-Mo. It was Swindle's vehicle mode that inspired Nanosec to name their group "SUV". Double-crossing his comrades and obtaining the Allspark fragment, Swindle used it to power a device that froze all machinery in Detroit, including the Autobots. Swindle then intended to sell the weapon to Megatron. However, The SUV reacted to Swindle's betrayal by allying themselves with Sari and Bumblebee. Using Sumdac Tower's force field system to protect themselves, the SUV and Bumblebee managed to shut down Swindle's weapon, but he got a hold of Slo-Mo's timepiece, intending to use it to freeze the Autobots. Bumblebee, using the force field's protection, deflected the attack, which bounced back at Swindle, resulting in the Decepticon being frozen in vehicle mode. He was then impounded by the Detroit police force, who intended to sell him for parts at the next police auction.

He was later "captured" by Sentinel Prime in the episode "Five Servos of Doom", though Sentinel admitted that since he was trapped in his vehicle mode, all Sentinel had to do was pay a fine and have him towed back the Elite Guard ship. On its way back to Cybertron in the episode "Decepticon Air", the Elite Guard ship went straight into an space storm, allowing Swindle to regain mobility as he freed the other Decepticon prisoners and helped them take over the ship, tempting Lugnut to keep the Elite Guard as hostages. During the siege of the ship, Optimus Prime - who responded to an encrypted distress signal sent by Sentinel - transwarped from the Space Bridge on Earth to the ship through Swindle's chest. While Optimus and the other Autobots dealt with the Decepticons, Swindle looted the Elite Guard ship's armory before taking his leave in an escape ship. Swindle, Thundercracker, Skywarp, and Team Chaar are the remaining Decepticons in space.


  • Animated Deluxe Swindle' (2008)
A Deluxe sized mold, featuring Swindle's arm cannon, two over-the-shoulder blasters and a chest-mounted gatling gun.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Little is known about this version of Swindle yet. The toy box simply lists him as a Decepticon munitions expect. Presumably he's a different character from the red car named Swindle seen in the 2007 Transformers film toy line.


  • Revenge of the Fallen Scout Swindle' (2009)
A repackage of the toy previously released as Universe Swindle in other countries, this toy was released as a Target store exclusive in the U.S. as part of the Revenge of the Fallen toy line. This toy was in turn a redeco of the mold used for Energon Blackout and Stormcloud and Timelines Topspin.


  4. From the Tip: Rain of Starscream Part Deux
  5. TFAnimated: Preview of S.U.V.+ SWINDLE Images!
  6. As of yet unheard of Animated figs in Wal-mart computer. - TFW2005 - The 2005 Boards

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