Cliffbee.com: Collector's Club Topspin Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Topspin
Series: Collector's Club Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Helicopter




HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 13cm Width: 5.5cm
The blade is 13cm long

   A red Apache-style helicopter with transparent purple winglets and engines, Topspin has transparent red windows on his cockpit while there's a generous serve of silver paint on his tail and around the cockpit. He's a repaint of Blackout/Stormcloud, and both his colours and paint mask are closer to the latter - the silver corresponds to gold on Stormcloud. There's a small purple Decepticon logo above and behind the cockpit on the starboard side. The colours are notably less garish than most of the Collector Club annual toys - they all rely on red and transparent purple but Topspin's red and silver are far more noticeable than the transparent plastic.

   I'm not sure if this is accurate to an actual helicopter model out there, but it looks like it could be, notwithstanding the highly unlikely transparent purple. Both the main and tail rotors spin freely and both are single blade. Topspin doesn't have any wheels on his underside, but the arms form runners of sorts on which he rests. The energon weapon forms a sort of gunpod which clips in underneath the chopper, which is why they didn't worry about wheels. I'm not completely sold on the gunpod - the idea is good but a chopper resting on a transparent red gunpod is a little weird, although it does add about 1cm of height. The pod itself is well put together, so I'm not really complaining.

   The Decepticon logo is only about 1/2cm tall, yet is moulded and the grooves are painted white (although the white is sloppy on mine). Behind the rotor shaft is his spark crystal, which actually faces backwards. Behind the spark crystal is a panel which is fairly obviously the robot groin, although it's been done in a way that it's believable as a helicopter surface. The red Energon Chip can clip over the spark crystal, and while it's transparent red it blends in quite well - much better than most do.

   I have only two real complaints about this helicopter mode - firstly without the gunpod it has no ranged weaponry, which is a little unusual for a combat helicopter. Secondly the main rotor has a tendency to pop off (specifically the uppermost half). The colours are fairly garish, but within the context of the Collector's Club combiner set, they're respectable.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the tail down and underneath the tailshaft, unclip the engines and rotate them back to form his left, flip up the feet. Rotate the waist, unclip the arms from underneath and swing them out to the sides. There are two little red panels under the cockpit that have to flip out (not sure why), which will allow you do fold the canopy down to form his chest and reveal his head. Position the arms, give him his gun if you'd like. Lastly, fold the rotor halves together so they hang down on his back, out of view.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 8cm, 13.5cm

   There's more purple here - his torso is mainly red and silver - the cockpit is his chest - while the upper arms and thighs are also red. The head, forearms and boots are transparent purple. His face is silver with a transparent red eyestrip - I like the contrast of transparent colours on his head, since it looks great even if it is unlikely. The Decepticon logo is on the left of his chest. The placement of purple here works very well - the limbs balance well, making this an attractive colour scheme despite the garish colours.

   There are some nicely integrated chopper elements here. The chest is his cockpit, the winglets sit on the outsides of his forearms and of course you have the option of leaving the rotor deployed on his back. The tailshaft is actually visible behind his legs, since it doesn't fold away at all, but thankfully it's quite inconspicuous.

   The spark crystal is now on his back, along with the Energon Chip if you've attached it. Topspin has the option of holding his rather large, five-barrelled Energon weapon in his hand or attaching it to holes on either winglet, and you can even detach the two outside barrels as single handguns (although since the posts are on the outside sections, if you do this the core piece will be spare kibble).

   The Energon weapon is actually quite complex, as these things go. The gunpod mode has the two outer barrels rotated back, while the composite gun has all four swung forward, and the swivels are loose which is what allows the handguns to detach. I like the options, although I suppose detaching pieces makes it easier for stuff to lose itself.

   Topspin's articulation is is excellent for a basic. The head and waist turn while the shoulders, elbows, knees and hips are all ball joints and the ankles are hinged. He's a little back heavy, but his tail can serve as a third leg which helps greatly in posing. Lots of ball joints are one thing, but a toy which can actually make use is even better, and Topspin falls into that category.

   I can't really complain about this robot mode. Sure the colours are garish but that's a given within this series and the colour mapping here is well thought out. Mouldwise the tail is kibble, but it's out of the way and actually aides posing rather than hindering it while the weaponry options are good. While it's not what I'd call spectacular, this is a very solid robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of. Topspin was only available through the Collector's Club.

OVERALL

   Topspin has a very good robot mode and a good chopper mode, and while the colours are unrealistic and fairly garish, the designer has done a good job of using awkward colours well. The chopper mode is fairly realistic, the robot mode looks good and is poseable while the weapon is versatile. You'll need Topspin if you're planning to put together Nexus Prime. The colours aren't as nice as the Energon toys, but that's not quite the point here - 7.5/10

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