Monday, 18 June 2012

TransFormers Collectors' Club 2008 Members Incentive (Timelines) Topspin

(Members Incentive Monday #6)
And so we come to the penultimate component of the TransFormers Collectors' Club Members Incentive gestalt, Topspin, based on the Stormcloud/Blackout mold from Bruticus... Meaning the component parts of Nexus Prime are basically Aerielbots and Combaticons - neither of the Constructicon Maximus parts were used. It also means that all but Landquake and the Torso component are flyers...

Vehicle Mode:
Helicopters are notoriously difficult vehicles from which to create a viable transforming robot and, generally, the smaller the chopper, the more basic the robot. This mold was no exception, not least because it had to fulfil the third function of being a limb for a gestalt.

Overall, helicopter mode looks pretty good, even though it has large, chunky robot arms rather than runners to land on, but the main thing that strikes one about this is the dearth of transparent plastic. Sure, it's there for the cockpit, but the bulk of the chopper is opaque red. This is cleverly disguised by liberal use of paintwork - most of the cockpit is painted over with silver, the nose is black, the rotor's engine area and most of the tail is painted silver, and there are silver details on the jet-pod-things and the wings on either side... so it's certainly pretty... But where all of the others had a kind of ethereal/ghostly/made-entirely-of-Energon look, Topspin's flat red looks cheap and ugly.

The weapon is quite odd in this mode... Because of the two connection pegs on the outer cannons, they have to face backward, while the two smaller, inner guns face forward. This really does look as if they're facing the wrong way, but I guess tail guns are always welcome...

Robot Mode:
Best filed under 'odd', this one. From the front and - just for a change - also from behind, Topspin looks pretty decent and appears to have reasonable proportions... but viewed from the side, he looks awful. I know protruding chests are pretty much a staple of TransFormers over the years but, considering his size and proportions, this one just looks nuts... and the tail hanging between his legs isn't one of the finest design elements in recent years.

On the other hand, it does offer an extra point of contact with the ground in the more dynamic poses so, in that sense, it's a welcome addition.

One of the strangest Energon gestalt weapons really comes into its own in robot mode, because it can be pulled apart and the larger cannons can be mounted on Topspin's forearms. The middle part of the gun then becomes a bit useless (it can't even be carried in one hand, mini-gun style, because the 'thumb' is too thick to fit into a fist), but it can always be recombined and held (awkwardly) in one hand...

The distribution of paintwork makes Topspin look far more interesting in robot mode than he does in vehicle mode, and the fact that his head is molded in transparent blue/purple is quite curious...

As with the other components, Topspin isn't a bad model by any stretch but the extensive use of opaque red leaves him still looking rather boring compared to his team-mates.

On the upside, the character as depicted in the Club magazine's ongoing comic was quite interesting - utterly nuts, completely loyal to Alpha Trion... and able to remove the living sparks from any TransFormer!

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