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Numbat's Review: Cyberverse Topspin

Name: Topspin
Function: Wrecker / Silent Asshole
Subgroup: Wrecker / Dark of the Moon (DOTM) Cyberverse Legion Class (Legends Class)

I’ve never been a particular fan of the Wreckers elsewhere in Transformers fiction – that all seemed to blow past me. The only one of the original characters that I ever had an real connection with was Topspin, purely for sentimental reasons (frankly, the original G1 figure is utter pants, but I always felt bad for being initially disappointed when my grandparents gave me him as a present when I was wee – seriously though, he doesn’t transform, he just stands up!). When photos were leaked from the DOTM set showing three heavily armoured Autobot Nascar Impalas sporting machine guns and rocket launchers, though, the Movieverse Wreckers all grabbed my attention. These guys were Autobots like we have not often seen in other Transformers lines – total all out warriors.
The DOTM Wreckers also serve as my introduction to Nascar. Frankly, I didn’t know much about it beyond that it was an American autosport before. It doesn’t seem to be a big deal in the UK, which is funny, considering the other great thing about the DOTM Wreckers – they’re British! Well, Roadbuster and Leadfoot are – as Topspin never speaks we’ll just have to assume he is.

The DOTM toy line includes a pocket money size class equivalent to the Legends Class figures that have been with us since the Cybertron line back in 2005 – only now Hasbro has renamed them Cyberverse Legion Class, and upped the prices beyond the pocket money bracket (in my opinion). While I love Legends size figures, sadly the Movieverse lines do seem to produce the worst moulds at this size class. That, coupled with the now £5+ RRP meant I decided not to pick any up when they were released.

I picked up Legion Class Roadbuster and Leadfoot, which both looked serviceable and half-decent as far as Movieverse Legends size figures go, but I held off getting Topspin. Frankly, I just didn’t feel the figure justified the high price tag. However, I was keen to round off the set, and Notabot kindly picked one up for me at US retail. Even with postage, this would have been cheaper than the UK shelf price (crazy I know!), but Notabot generously gave him as a Christmas present! So I now have another Topspin figure with sentimental value.

Now, Legion Roadbuster was great fun, Leadfoot is perfectly okay, but how is Topspin? Well, put it this way: I now have two crap Topspin figures with sentimental value!

Alternate Mode:

All of the Wreckers transform into Nascar Chevrolet Impalas, and Topspin is no exception. Unlike his Legion Class Wreckers compatriots, though, Topspin transforms into the standard unweaponized version of the vehicle. It’s worth noting that none of the Wreckers are seen in unweaponized Nascar form in the film, and so this could be seen as a shortcoming of Legion Class Topspin, but, frankly, there are far more serious failings that we may as well overlook this. It is unfortunate that HasTak did not produce versions of all three Wreckers in their weaponized (or unweaponized) forms in a single size class, as it means that the trio of Wreckers never quite gel together in Legion or Deluxe Class (a Human Alliance Class Topspin was never released).

In Nascar mode, Topspin measures 3” (8cm) long, putting him around 1/67 scale – which, conveniently, is the same scale as Legion Class Roadbuster and Leadfoot. And he’s a blue and white Nascar, which is a nice nod to the G1 character whether or not that was intentional.

Topspin is nicely detailed in Nascar mode, although obviously lacks the ridiculously high levels of detail displayed by Legion Roadbuster and Leadfoot simply because there is less detail on the unweaponized car modes.

Also, in common with his Legion Class Wrecker pals, Topspin has a surprisingly high level of paint applications in his Nascar mode, with white over the blue base, red lines, silver headlights, metallic grey windows and various racing and sponsor decals. Unusually for a Legends size figure, all of Topspin’s windows are painted! It’s also perhaps worth noting an oddity – there is no Autobot insignia on Topspin’s car mode. He’s one of the best disguised figures ever – and certainly the best disguised of the DOTM Wrecker figures in that sense.

Other than the jagged join running obviously down the centre of the car mode, and the fact Topspin transforms into a standard unweaponized Nascar Impala, it’s difficult to fault the car mode.

Robot Mode:

While the designers did a good job of detailing and painting Topspin’s Nascar Impala mode, they must have called it a day and hit the pub after that, finishing the design with a serious hangover the following afternoon.

Legion Class Topspin’s transformation is laughable. Seriously, laugh out loud and weep tragic funny. Basically, after flipping his feet down you pull apart the car halves and fold them back (hence that crooked join on the car mode – although I truly see no reason the join could not have at least been linear and symmetrical), revealing the robot mode inside. You can’t get more shellformer than this!

Standing 3 ¼” (8.25cm) tall, Topspin is the tallest of the Legion Class Wreckers, but that’s the only thing he has over them.

Although he’s weirdly proportioned, and chunky rather than lanky as he is in the film, I’ll try not to be too harsh, and I will point out the single good feature of his robot mode – the designers gave his torso and head a lot of moulded detail. It’s just such a pity they didn’t bother to paint it. Other than metallic blue dreadlocks and paler metallic blue visor, Topspin’s torso is solid dull grey.

Unfortunately, the very fact his torso and head have so much detail makes the figure seem all the less consistent – the arms and legs lack anything much in the way of detail. The legs look like what they are – the rear half of the car split in half with feet flipped out. These are largely blue plastic, with some of the white from the car mode, failing to look anything like the movie CGI design. Oddly, his crotch is moulded in black plastic, making him seem even more a load of random parts.

Moving on to the arms though… Bloody hell. There is nothing good to say about these. I mean, what were the designers thinking? The lanky pincer arms are there, fair enough, moulded in the same flat grey as the torso, and glued into the massive blue car halves that just hang off and ruin any silhouette. The arms have no shoulder articulation (unless you could the hinges which move back and forward in an entirely un-useful manner), but at least the pincers can be flipped forward away from the car halves thanks to a simple elbow joint. Of course, this makes Topspin look even more like he has a cape…

Aside from the elbows, Topspin also has ball joint articulation at his hips, but the car half kibble and brick legs mean this is largely useless – especially without knee joints or useful ankle articulation (frankly he’s hard enough to stand bold rigid upright!).

That’s it – four limited points of articulation. Now I know this is Legion Class, but come on – the play value of this guy is zilch!

At least he has an Autobot insignia now – printed in silver on his right knee…

Legion Class DOTM Topspin is awful. The Movieverse has produced some of the worst Legends size figures ever, but Topspin must be in the top five disasters, if he isn’t the worst of all. Another terrible disappointment of a toy for the character. Don’t pick him up unless you’re aiming to complete the Wrecker trio in Legion Class.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 0 – DOTM Legion Class Topspin has one of the poorest transformation schemes ever. No thought whatsoever went in to this. If you can’t figure out how to transform this guy without the instructions, I think you should seek professional help.
Durability: 8 – This is one area Topspin does well in – he feels pretty solid. But he is a brick…
Fun: 1 – Topspin is ok to roll around in car mode, but that’s where the fun ends.
Aesthetics: 1 – The car mode does look good, but this is a Transformer, and I think to score well here you need at least a serviceable robot mode – something which Topspin lacks.
Articulation: 1 – Topspin has just four points of articulation (hips and elbows), all of which are limited by kibble and a poor brick leg design. It’s impossible to have him strike anything resembling a natural pose, let alone dynamic.
Value/Price: 1 – Cyberverse Legion Class figures sell for £5+ at RRP on the shelf (when the DOTM line was out), which is really quite steep for such a small and simple Transformer. He still goes for this price or higher online now the line has ended. If you find him for 50p Legion Topspin is still not worth it in and of himself.
Overall: 1 – DOTM Legion Topspin is an unmitigated disaster of a Transformer. Seriously, this figure is awful. The only reason anyone should pick him up is if you want to round off the Wreckers trio in Legion Class, but even then you will be disappointed. In fact, Legion Class Topspin is so bad you may well choose to display the Legion Class Roadbuster and Leadfoot without him, to avoid bringing the whole lot down. I strongly recommend that you avoid him.
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