Toy of the year, eye-searing helicopter/10.
But seriously though, even though I'm giddy just due to the mere existance of such an accurate neon terror of a figure, fanboyism aside I think he's still a great Transformer. My #1 beef with the Siege line (even before the price hike) has always been the lazy transformations and alt-modes. We've gotten several really awesome robot-mode action figures in the line but very few nice vehicles and even fewer well-engineered conversions. But Spinister is a hit on all three fronts: a super-poseable robot, a slick helicopter and a really creative switch between the two.
I didn't realize that his shins were see-through from so many angles, and that's a definite mark against him. So is the fact that he winds up with a second cockpit under his fuselage due to Hasbro's surprising decision to faithfully replicate his box art look. But even so, this is my favourite figure from the Siege line and it's really not even close. And yeah, it probably would have been regardless, but I think it's actually justifiably so. Only a handful of Siege figures even come close to working as well as he does, and they all have much bigger drawbacks. I only wish he had some cronies to hang out with. Needlenose, the Triggercons, Bludgeon's Pretenders, a half-decent Thunderwing...I'm not picky.
One of the figures that does rival Spinister? Siege Impactor. I can say most of the same things for him as I did about Spinister, honestly, and if I'd grown up with the UK comics instead of the back third of the US run I'd probably be squeeing about this one instead. Great articulation, great transformation and a great rendition of the character...except for the face. I don't know what went wrong with Impactor's face scupt, but the end result is probably the worst I've seen since the hasitily-re-sculpted "mouth" on Commemorative Series Jazz. It doesn't ruin the figure, but it definitely detracts from something that should have been an easy 9/10.
Not quite up to the same level as those two, but still a solid entry? Siege Crosshairs. The original Crosshairs was one of the first Transformer toys I got, as a kid. Funny enough, I didn't really like him very much...which led to him being one of the frew Transformers who survived my childhood, which ironically led to him becoming one of my favourite Transformers as an adult simply because I can barely remember a time when I didn't own him. This Crosshairs, though...isn't that guy. This Crosshairs is based on his drastically different Sunbow/Marvel character model, which I'm mostly used to seeing block-coloured in the back of crowd scenes because that's all Marvel Crosshairs ever did. I would have told you that I hated that character model, so I was really surprised to see how gorgeous this figure looks. Of course, the difference here is that Nel Yomtov isn't doing Hasbro's colour layouts, so the figure is properly coloured in Crosshairs' gorgeous dark blue with red and white highlights.
And considering this figure is the sort of minimum-effort "new head and nothing else" retool that we would have expected circa 2008ish, it's surprising how well it works as Crosshairs in robot mode. Really, it's a set of giant shoulder wheels away from convincing me that it was designed to be him from the get-go. Of course, all that goes away when you turn him to vehicle mode, because he transforms into...a box? With wheels? Because while Spinister and Impactor are two of the best actual Transformers in the Siege line, Crosshairs here skews a lot closer to the Soundwave and Reflector group with their "it's an alt-mode because we say it is, shut up" design philosophy. It almost, sorta worked for Ironhide and Ratchet when they used this mold, because they always turn into boxes, but even then the total lack of effort given to hiding robot parts was pretty shocking. But for Crosshairs, a guy who's traditionally turned into an off-road vehicle with a ton of personality? For him it's super disappointing. He's still a pretty good toy thanks to the really nice robot mode, but he's clearly the weakest of the three.