"EarthSpark" 1-Step Swindle Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: January 2023
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from the Hasbro France Site: Switch from one mode to another while having fun! The Transformers conversion experience is brand new with this Transformers: Earthspark 1-Step Swindle Flip Changer figure! Transformers: EarthSpark introduces a new generation of Transformers robots: the first Transformers robots to be born on Earth. Together with the human family that took them in, they will redefine what it is to be a family. 1-Step Flip Changer figures are based on Transformers: EarthSpark cartoon characters (each sold separately, subject to availability).

Swindle converts from robot mode to off-road truck mode in 1 easy step, just make the robot jump in the air! When the robot successfully lands after blowing it up in the air in 1 exciting step, conversion to off-road truck mode is complete. Kids have fun activating this toy's conversion again and again with its 1-step conversion to robot mode! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • SWITCH FROM ONE MODE TO ANOTHER WITH FUN: The action takes an unexpected turn! Exciting 1-step Transformers conversions enabled.
  • A 2-IN-1 CONVERSION-ACTIVATED TOY: Swindle converts from robot mode to off-road truck mode in 1 easy step, just flip the robot in the air! Conversion to off-road truck mode is complete when the toy successfully lands. Kids have fun converting it manually back to robot mode in 1 step over and over again
  • 10CM SWINDLE FIGURE: Swindle figure is 10cm tall
  • TRANSFORMERS: EARTHSPARK CHARACTER: The Swindle figure is inspired by the manipulative Decepticon fugitive in Transformers: EarthSpark, a cartoon co-produced by Nickelodeon and Entertainment One
  • INSPIRED BY THE NICKELODEON SERIES AND ENTERTAINMENT ONE: In the Transformers: EarthSpark cartoon, two human children try to bond stronger than ever with Transformers robots and collaborate with fan-favorite robots like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee
  • Ages 6 and up
  • WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD – Small parts. Not recommended for children under 3 years old.
  • Includes Swindle figure.

In the first episode of EarthSpark, fans are introduced to a new version of the Combaticon Swindle. This version of the character is a mash up of the G1 and Cybertron versions of the character. While he is a fast talking 'bot with the personality of a Used Car Salesman, he is also the brother of another Decepticon known as Hardtop. This unique version of the character would make a couple of appearances in the first season of the show. Swindle joined the EarthSpark toy line as part of the second wave of EarthSpark 1-Step Changers. This figure began hitting Target shelves in my area before most of his online listings went up, hence me using Hasbro France's listing above for his official product description.

Swindle is packaged in a similar fashion as the Cyberverse 1-Step Changers. Instead of being on a bubble card, the figure has a cardboard card wrapped around it, forming a kind of box around part of the figure. The card art features the cartoon's animation model. The graphics in the front show off the figure in both modes calling out a "1-Step Flip" transformation. The EarthSpark logo is set to the right. In the corner is a callout of "Plastic Free Packaging", something Hasbro made quite a big deal of in 2023. The back of the packaging shows Swindle in both modes as well as a "mid transformation" step while calling out the 1-Step transform of the figure.

Vehicle Mode:
Swindle's vehicle mode is a mash up of a Humvee and pickup truck. The front and middle sections have the very angled and blocky shape of a Humvee while the back looks like it has a truck bed along with cage designs taken straight from the animation model. Other details taken straight from the animation model include a row of lights above the windshield and six raised vents on the hood. With 1-Step Changers you're always going to lose some fidelity to animation models but overall Swindle does a good job of representing the vehicle seen in the cartoon.

Where this figure differs quite a bit from the cartoon are the colors. I suspect the colors on this figure were decided before the animation model was finalized (or perhaps there was a miscommunication between Paramount and Hasbro?). Much of this figure is a light beige color, which fits with the Swindle character but the shade of beige used in the cartoon is much darker and looks more like the color used for the G1 version of the character in the 80's. There is also purple paint along the front lower edge of the vehicle and black is used on the grille. The windshield windows are painted light blue (different from the black used in the cartoon). The rear section however is made of grey plastic with no paint details. This unfortunately winds up taking away some of the black and purple details from the animation model that offer some nice contrast. The result is that the sides and rear of the vehicle look rather plain.

In terms of play value, most of that is focused in the 1-Step transformation, but in this mode the vehicle can roll on all four wheels.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Hold the rear section of the vehicle (the grey portion) to brace the figure. Then hold the cabin section firmly and pull it down and push it on top of the vehicle mode's rear section. This will unfold the figure into robot mode while locking it into place.

Robot Mode:
Swindle's robot mode sculpt has a lot of details carried over from the animation model. These include:

  • Head: The head sculpt features a large crest on the top of the head, large oval shaped eyes and a "helmet" piece that wraps around the sides of the head towards his mouth. Oddly, he seems to have no mouth, but I suspect it has been covered up by paint.
  • Torso: The toro features two window shaped sections on the chest and a section in the middle with two points on top. He also has faux "wheel" details on his sides.
  • Arms: The shoulders are trapezoid shaped with arms that appear to have vehicle mode "doors" sculpted onto them.
  • Legs: Each leg has six sided knee armor and the "vents" from the vehicle mode hood appear to carry over onto his lower legs.

Overall I really dig the robot mode sculpt on this figure. It does a nice job of representing the character from the show even if some of the proportions are different.

In this mode I found myself thinking once again that this deco was based on an earlier design of the character. There is beige paint that matches the light beige plastic which should be darker to match the show. There are also several silver parts including the torso and thighs which all are purple in the show. If these were purple there would be better contrast and it would be more show accurate. It makes me wonder if at some point this was his intended color scheme only to have it changed later. Light blue paint is used on the torso and some purple and white details are used on the face.

There is zero articulation on this figure, which really surprised me. In the past 1-Step Changers had, at the very least, arm articulation so you could give them weapons and have them point them forward. Oddly, he has a 5mm port in each fist, but they're basically useless. Swindle here is basically a brick in robot mode, which is disappointing. That said, his main gimmick is his 1-Step transformation and returning him to vehicle mode is most of the fun to be had with this figure. Simply push him forward on a hard surface and he'll fall forward. The trigger on his left leg will press against the ground and he'll "auto-transform" back into vehicle mode! I have to admit, it is fun to watch this in action and the gimmick works really well (out of ten back to back transforms I did for this review it only failed once).

Final Thoughts:
It is hard to compare this "generation" of 1-Step Changers to the ones from Age of Extinction or even Cyberverse. With budgets the way they are in the toy world now, 1-Step Changers have really been distilled down to the essence of just focusing on transformation without any other play features. Also, they're smaller than past 1-Step Changers. At the initial $11.99 price point I would absolutely say don't bother with these figures. However I noticed some stores recently bringing them down to $9.99 which is still a tad high (given what you get) but more respectable. I do like this figure and the 1-Step feature, however I'd say if you can get it on sale or at some type of discount (say, a Red Card discount at Target) that's the way to go. Recommended, with caveats.


  • Nice sculpt in both modes.
  • Really fun 1-Step transformation.


  • No articulation at all.
  • Deco is really off from the show model.

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