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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Warcry's review of: Spinister

Name: Spinister
Nebulans: Singe and Hairsplitter
Generation: One
Sub-Group: Double Targetmaster
Function: Aerial Assault
Motto: "Respect your foes' abilities as you would your own."

An eerie aerial adventurer. As much of a mystery to his fellow Decepticons as he is to his enemies. Talks little, reveals less. Spends most of his time off on his own. Enjoys scaring unwary Autobots and then attacking them while they're off guard. Equipped with infrared attack sensors in helicopter Mode. Teamed with two Nebulans: Singe, who converts to a dual flamethrower and Hairsplitter, who turns into a twin lock-target laser rifle.

Spinister is a master of stealth who's chosen to colour himself in shades of pink, purple and aqua green. That sort of ridiculous contradiction is what defines the character for me, more or less. After seeing Spinister in action in the old Marvel comics, he quickly became one of my favourite characters.

His toy isn't particularly impressive physically, which, ironically, falls right into line with his characterization. People who aren't fans of the character probably won't appreciate the irony, though, and would classify Spinister as a fairly average late-G1 figure.

I picked this guy up on eBay about a month ago (complete, with both his Nebulans) for about $15, which is a fair price in my books.

Alternate Mode:

Despite his...exotic colour scheme, Spinister is a fairly accurate representation of an Apache helicopter in this mode. His cockpit and forward fuselage are aqua green, while his tail section is pink. Black, light grey and purple highlights break up what would otherwise be an eye-searing scheme.

Spinister's rotors (both main and tail) spin freely, as I expect from a helicopter Transformer, as do his landing wheels. That's about all there is for standalone play value in this mode, though.

I said 'standalone' above because, with his accessories, he has a bit more use. His Targetmasters mount on the two short wings that branch off his cockpit, and they can rotate about 180 degrees when mounted. He's got a few more weapons-mounting points, too, including ones beneath either of his engine turbines and at the base of his tail (on what is obviously the back of his head). On the down side, though, if you mount a weapon at the later position it'll get in the way of his main rotor.

I'd say Spinister is a pretty good helicopter. He can carry a pile of weapons, and, unless you're a fan of the silly Armada Cyclonus-esque pull-trigger-to-spin-rotor type of gimmick, that's the best you can hope for.

Robot Mode:

Spinister doesn't even remotely resemble his US-comic self, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. In his Matrix Quest appearances, Spinister's robot mode was blocky and generic, omitting the helicopter cockpit for feet portion of the toy's design. It was also coloured mostly with a grey-blue; the only semblance of his real colours showing was the pink on his chest. I suppose they didn't think little boys would take a purple, pink and green villain seriously.

And purple, pink and green, he is. Specifically, purple shoulders and arms, pink chest, and green lower body. His head is mostly black, with a light green face. The scheme is...well...distinctive is the only word I have for it. And as odd as it sounds, he actually looks pretty good.

Spinister is articulated at the shoulders, neck and waist, though depending on how you arrange his rotors you might end up scuttling the waist joint.

If there's a big aesthetic problem with this mode, it's his arms. Specifically, they're about half as long as they should be to be in proportion with the rest of his body. If you're posing him without weapons, he'll look silly. If, on the other hand, you pose him with a Targetmaster in each hand, the flaw isn't even noticeable.

As a side-note, Spinister is absolutely tiny when compared to the first-wave Targetmasters; Triggerhappy is almost twice his height. There's really not much more to say about Spinister's robot mode. It's solid, but not particularly impressive in either a good or bad way.

Transformation: 7/10. Spinister manages to portray a nice helicopter, and the design of his robot mode is pleasantly unconventional. It would have been nice if he'd been a bit more complex, though.
Durability: 7/10. Some of his joints are prone to stress-marking, if mine is any indication. He's built pretty solidly, though, so you'd have to try pretty hard to actually snap anything off.
Fun: 6/10. Eh. He's not a total brick, but there's really not that much you can do with him, either.
Price: 8/10. Considering how old he is and how rarely a complete version shows up on eBay, I'd say my price was a good one. He doesn't usually go for too much more, quite simply because there isn't much demand for him.
Overall: 7/10. A fairly average, but still entertaining, G1 figure. Recommended if you like the character, or if you're looking for a cheap, somewhat obscure addition to your Decepticon ranks.
 
 
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