Cliffbee.com: Generations Topspin Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Topspin
Series: Generations
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Space Shuttle



SHUTTLE MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 13cm Width: 11cm

   A white Cybertronian shuttle with some royal blue on his wings and some lighter mid blue (which is a good match for that seen on G1 Topspin elements around the nose. There's also bright orange on his nose - a colour that doesn't really make much sense & doesn't contribute much - although it's not enough to ruin the colours thankfully. There's also extensive gunmetal & silver painted elements on the body of the vehicle. There's a small red Autobot logo on the fuselage which is easy to miss. While the colour scheme works well enough it's unremarkable and doesn't remind of the Jumpstarter at all, as there's nowhere near enough mid blue - and it's a nothing more than a tertiary colour really.

   The "windows" are not so much windows as flat mid blue regions, but there's a nice pair on the angular nose of this vehicle that help define this arrowhead shaped vehicle as a space vehicle. Okay, so Cybertronian vehicles don't really need anywhere for the crew, but it helps define Topspin's vehicle mode so I'm glad this feature was added. The most distinct aspect of this vehicle is the large tubular rear section - something like a giant engine. It's here that Topspin features silver recessed stripes - which are well sculpted with mechanical detailing. His sculpt is actually pretty good overall, in fact. There are five white tailfins on the white sections of this engine. He's not much to look at from the back and there's no undercarriage but overall this is a well designed vehicle mode. It's nothing like his original rocket sled form, but then he's a retooling of Blast Off and any dedicated Generations mould for Topspin - assuming we ever see one - is unlikely to be a rocket sled since they're likely to go for something more defined.

   Play value is limited to attaching/detaching the guns. His two white gun plug into holes on either wing - which are Ruination's fistholes (there are two as Topspin can form the right or left arm). I prefer leaving them attached as they cover up these visible fists. Topspin comes with an extra gunmetal weapon which can plug into a hole on top of the fuselage (not present on Blast Off). It's a nice looking gun & the white guns can plug into either side and look good there. There's a silver post on the right side - pulling it back causes a silver buzz saw to flip out & it'll spin. The idea is great but the mechanism tends to lock up & the buzzsaw resists coming out or slips some teeth on the gear. Easy enough to fix, but annoying in that it dampens the fun.

   A well designed shuttle mode but it's pretty generic and sadly so are the colours. This just doesn't evoke the G1 character at all. The weaponry is nice but the gimmick isn't as sturdy as it needs to be.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach & set aside the guns. Unclip the wings & rotator down and backwards to form his legs. Split the engine, pivot the halves up and forward (they're likely to pop off), giving room to pop up the midpanel. Rotate the front section to form his torso, revealing the head. Push the midpanel back into place. Swing the arms out of the engine halves, clip the engine halves into the torso to form shoulderpanels. Give him his guns and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 11.5cm

   A white robot with gunmetal thighs & upper arms, Topspin has more of that mid blue & orange with just a hint of royal blue now. His face is silver with a mid blue eye visor & there's lots of silver on his shoulderpads. It's more Topspin now - mainly because the resculpted head is all Topspin (despite being white, not blue). The colours again are unremarkable & in fact I find the orange doesn't work so well in this mode - the orange forearms are just ugly (I would have much preferred mid blue). The small Autobot logo is on his back no, unforntately.

   The shoulderpads really dominate this robot mode visually. They're huge - we're talking hunchback of notre dame sized shoulders basically - with those tailfins now giving him three spines per shoulderpad. There are also winglets on his forearms. The cockpit is now his groin which works well. I like the idea of the prominent shoulderpads, but I don't really like how the shoulderpads point inwards slightly - it looks like he's mistransformed but he's not, which is annoying.

   Topspin can hold the white guns in either hand and they can combine into a compound gun although it doesn't look very good. We also have the gunmetal gun or the combined gun - which is a little big but still works. The head turns while his waist is fixed. The shoulderpads sit on ball joints with hinges below them, but there's not much useful poseability between these two joints. The elbows and hips are ball jointed while the knees are hinged with rotators. The overall poseability is just okay since the shoulders are so restricted; Topspin's play value is respectable here for a combiner limb, but by no means impressive.

   A decent robot mode which is attractive for the most part; the resculpted head really does make the tribute work here despite again there being too little mid blue. The orange arms were a bad idea. The shoulderpads are both the most interesting visual aspect here and the most significant flaw.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. He's a retool of Blast Off.

OVERALL

   A decent effort for a toy that combines as either an arm or a leg, but Topspin has some annoyingly needless shortcomings. The shuttle mode is his stronger mode, despite an almost total lack of play value. This toy should had had a lot more of that mid blue paint & really should have dispensed with the orange which really hurts his robot mode. The resculpted head makes this toy Topspin and while it's a poor mould, it's quite likely the only Generations Topspin we'll see and while he'll do, the awkward shoulders, fairly weak tribute & poor colour choices make this one of the weaker Generations toys - 5/10

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