The release of Transformers: Dark of the Moon was about 8 months ago, but I’m only reviewing the majority of the figures now that they’ve hit the bargain bin. I really only bought 3 Dark of the Moon toys at suggested retail price: Skyhammer was the first. Then Roadbuster. Then I got this guy.
Topspin is another member of “The Wreckers”, a group of Autobots who went around violently ending the lives of various Decepticons. I don’t have any particular attachment to the group since they were introduced in the comic continuity (which I never really got into). I did, however, have the original Generation 1 Topspin figure:
|Image from the Generation 1 galleries at www.seibertron.com|
He was one of those old Diaclone re-releases that was given the tag “Jumpstarter” for the action gimmick that he and his fellow Wrecker, Twin Twist, sported: a pull-back motor that drove the toy forward until a latch popped and caused the vehicle’s weighted top to flip out. Centripetal (or is it centrifugal? I can never remember the difference) force then launched the toy to its “feet”.
It was awesome.
This figure is decidedly less so.
Topspin is a child of the Bayverse’s oddly insectile robot aesthetic. He’s gangly and awkward and has all sorts of doodads all over. His robot mode is exactly opposite of his car mode, which is slick and wicked, with all sorts of guns covering it.
Like the rest of the Bayverse Wreckers, Topspin coverts to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chevrolet Impala stock car decorated with the number 48 and Lowe's/Kobalt logos. The placement of these decorations is nowhere near accurate. It could be that’s because this is the “weaponized” version of Topspin’s vehicle mode, unlike Roadbuster who is in street mode.
He comes with his Mechtech blaster, a huge ugly claw that turns into a huge ugly crossbow. The gimmick works well, but like many of the Mechtech toys I’ve gotten, there is no way to lock it in the crossbow mode, which is where you want it. The claw just looks ridiculous, especially since both his hands are claws as well.
Converting him to a robot is a little more involved than it was with Roadbuster, but I’m not convinced that’s a good thing. His proportions aren’t as nice as his comrade (his legs are long and too thick), and there are the aforementioned claws instead of hands. Instead of missile pods mounted behind his shoulders, Topspin has gun mounts attached by articulated arms. The mounts feel like leftovers from the transformation design. They’re oddly shaped and the articulation makes them feel counter intuitive. They do have several 5mm ports, allowing for some nice armament arrangements, though.
The articulation of the robot form is nice enough. They’ve got the essentials here: shoulders, hips, elbows, knees. In addition to that, he’s got some righteous ankle articulation and a ball-jointed head. The dreadlocks do get in the way of his neck though.
Dreadlocks. On a robot. Sigh.
Like most mass-market Transformers, they don’t bother to give him waist or wrist articulation but one doesn’t really notice it. There’s more than enough to give you some very good play value and a lot of posing options. Plus with his large footprint, it’s easy to keep him stable.
I wasn’t going to get him at first, but what convinced me are the accessories he came with. You get the lackluster Mechtech bow, but you also get 4 simpler guns as a kicker. The guns all sport the semi-standard 5mm peg so they’re interchangeable with other Transformers figures. Get another Topspin and you’ve got the ordnance you need to weaponize your Roadbuster!
If you don’t want to shell out for an exact copy, there was also a re-color of the toy, the “Armored” Autobot Topspin which was colored in gray and gray. Locally, though, the gray one seemed scarcer than the blue. Not that you’re likely to find them at retail, though. These have long since sold out.
While Topspin isn’t a must have toy, he is a good representative of the movie line. The figures in the Dark of the Moon toyline are a little smaller than the first two toylines, but the look is still there. If you like the designs from the movie, this guy will fit right in.
There is something else to consider though. The Wreckers in the movie were a band of 3 bots. Hasbro cancelled the last waves of Deluxe figures, which also included a Leadfoot toy. Without it, you can’t complete the team. Oh, you can pay for a Japanese Takara version, but they’re currently going for about Php 4,000.00.
Of course, if you are considering completing the set, there’s really no other way to do so. The numbers of Cyberverse Topspin weren’t sufficient (I’m not even sure if it saw Philippine shores – I never saw it), and there’s been no word about a Human Alliance version of the character.
Up to you to decide.