Cliffbee.com: Spinister Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Spinister
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Aerial Assault
Alternate Mode: Apache Helicopter



HELICOPTER MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 7cm (rotors are 13cm across)

   A mixture of colours, Spinister's front half is a cobalt blue while the engineblock and tail are crimson, the stabilisers (winglets) are black, the wheels are rotors are grey and there's some purple plastic on the sides of the engineblock. While it's not a bad colour scheme, it's awfully busy and what has always puzzled me is why the designer felt the need to make him blue, purple and crimson when fewer colours would have been cheaper - and probably easier. Luckily his Targetmaster guns are black and purple - and don't add anything else to this mixed up colour scheme.

   The canopy is painted in a lighter blue, which works well, and there's a Decepticon logo on the nose and another in the middle of the engineblock, which is really there for robot mode. He has two rotor blades which are separate pieces of plastic and have some nice sculpting at the base, in the form of support struts. The tail rotor is a single piece with four blades.

   The play value here is at once good and frustrating. There are posts underneath the stabilisers into which you can plug Singe and Hairsplitter, and these positions are where guns usually go on these helicopters. The tailrotor spins quite well, the main rotor also spins although not as well as it should since the teeth holding the blades together aren't quite strong enough to overcome gravity pulling down on the blades (the gears fit loosely to allow transformation). Sure, you can spin the rotor, but only with care or the blades will slip out of place. The three wheels also roll, and this is one of the few Transformer helicopters with a trailing wheel underneath the tail - many simply have hidden wheels under the fuselage or have bumps and two wheels. It's a small thing, but I really like that Spinister has this third wheel rather than four (or worse, two) wheels awkwardly slapped on the bottom.

   The colours should have been a lot better and the rotor doesn't hold together as well as it should, but for the pricepoint he was sold at, Spinister is a good helicopter. The Targetmaster concept works _very_ well, making this a good value chopper mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove Singe & Hairsplitter if attached, set aside. Swing the rotorblades together, at the front. Swing up the stabilisers and twist the front half of the chopper upside down. Flip out the cockpit to form the boots, Swing out the purple panels to form the arms and flip out his fists. Fold the tail down onto his back, rotate the head and give him his weaponry.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   The roll call of colours has returned. Spinister has a crimson chest, purple arms, black head and hands and a cobalt blue lower half. The lighter blue canopy is now on his boots while the face is also the lighter blue, which works well on a black face but looks odd next to his crimson chest. The chest sports that Decepticon symbol, while the nose one is now on his knees - upside down. The colours really are a mess now, and while the chopper succeeded despite the colours, this robot mode fails in more than the colours.

   The boots are a single piece but this manages to almost work. I say almost because the thighs are thin and spindly, which conspires with the boots to give Spinister narrow legs that look like a stalk. The purple and crimson upper body clashes with itself, and the arms are very short, which doesn't help matters. The facial sculpt is very good and the guns both work well, even if the compound gun is too long for his stubbly little arms.

   There's not much play value here, the shoulders swing and the head turns. The Targetmaster gimmick helps a little, but Spinister more or less stands there looking static. Longer arms would have avoided this, and the guns don't help really.

   The colours are a mess as I've mentioned, but this is a robot mode that wouldn't quite work anyway. The facial sculpt is good but the legs and arms really drag Spinister down. While it's not awful, there's enough going wrong here to make this a mediocre robot mode.

Singe

   A black figure with grey and light blue armour and a light blue face, Singe has nice moulded weaponry over either shoulder and a detailed face. The handle is between his knees, the gun mode is a twin barrelled affair.

Hairsplitter

   A purple figure with grey and dark bluer armour, Hairsplitter looks like he's wearing a spacesuit out of an early 1980 cartoon. There's an unpainted cannon sculpted onto the outside of his right arm, which, along with the retro feel, makes Hairsplitter perhaps the most interesting of the small Targetmaster figures. Unlike Singe, the post is on his chest, and he forms a slightly disjointed double barrelled gun.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Spinister has clashing colours and good Targetmaster figures, and while the chopper is actually better than expected for a small, simple toy, his robot mode is quite poor. The arms are awfully short and the colours which managed to not get in each other's way in chopper mode are all over the place in robot mode. I don't dislike this toy, but I can't recommended him over better all-round toys like Quake and Quickmix - 6/10

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