Dark of the Moon Autobot Armor Topspin Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Dark of the Moon, Deluxe, Generation One, MechTech, Wreckers

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: August 2011
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster/Combat Claw weapon

Images:

*Images and text from The Official Tranfsormers web site:
A master driver, this AUTOBOT has yet to meet a DECEPTICON he cannot outrun or outmaneuver. But AUTOBOT ARMOR TOPSPIN is not all flash and go – he’s also a genius weapons designer. The armaments he carries into battle are some of the most inventive and devastating in the AUTOBOT arsenal!

It’s an AUTOBOT-DECEPTICON smackdown, and you’ve got the ultimate warrior for good with your AUTOBOT ARMOR TOPSPIN figure! In robot mode, this figure has the blaster he needs to take on all comers. But when you convert him to track vehicle mode, his blaster converts to a combat claw! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his enemies throw at him! Figure comes with blaster accessory. Ages 5 and up.

Autobot Armor Topspin is a redeco of the the Deluxe Topspin figure released towards the beginning of the "Dark of the Moon" toy line. We learn in "Dark of the Moon" that the Wreckers are quite the engineers, so it's not a stretch to imagine that they can design special armor for Autobots as well. That appears to be the theme of this figure that takes a decidedly darker tone than its predecessor. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For commentary on the sculpt and its comparison to the real life prop, check out my original "Dark of the Moon" Topspin review.

Mech Tech Weapon:
Topspin is easily one of the most heavily armed Deluxe figures released in the "Dark of the Moon" toy line and that remains true in this release. He retains all of the same Mech Tech weaponry as his previous release including four small weapons and one larger, transformable blaster/claw weapon. This time out, the weapons are all entirely black plastic with no other colors. This may seem a bit lazy (and I confess I couldn't have minded a bit of silver brush or something on them) but it certainly fits with the darker theme of this figure. The transformable "claw" weapon still works fine. Slide the trigger back and the claws from the side of the weapon swing forward in a grasping motion. It's a very neat transformation, but I find myself wishing again that the weapon had the ability to lock into its alternate form.

Vehicle Mode:
Topspin's original colors (and those featured in the movie) were a combination of blue and brighter white and yellow colors. This time around He is very dark, making him look almost like a stealth vehicle. Most of the outer panels on the vehicle are cast in a dark shade of metallic silver. He also has dark grey and black pieces on him such as the front grille and spoiler sections. The windows are translucent blue, offering a nice contrast against the silver color. Combined with his various weapons, these base colors give Topspin a much darker appearance than his predecessor.

Paint details on this vehicle also use a very dark palette. Gunmetal grey is used for the raised details on the hood as well as the machinery detail right behind the front wheel wells. Black paint is used for a line detail that starts near the headlights and then goes around the edges of the vehicle's cabin section all the way to the back, where it covers most of the area behind the rear wheel wells. I like this black detail in particular as it leaves spaces unpainted to form a stripe pattern running along parts of the vehicle. Here and there you'll find spots of gold paint as well, including springs on the back of the vehicle. I like this extra little touch as the gold fits in with the metallic theme of many of the colors, but offers a particular brightness not found in the silver or black colors that dominate the vehicle.

Like any self respecting NASCAR based Transformer, Topspin has several sponsor logos printed or tampgographed ono it. On either side of the vehicle mode, Tospin has a Sprint logo, a Loew's logo with its familiar blue "house" shape in the background and the "Lowe's" logo in white and on the doors are the same numbers as the previous release: 48, done in yellow.

All of the holes on Topspin's armor still hold 5mm peg/Mech Tech weapons nice and snug, so no worries about arming him to the teeth!

I really do like the slightly more dangerous look beind this vehicle. Full of weaponry

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach all the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Pull the sides of the vehicle out a bit and then swing them forward.
  3. Swing the silver foot pieces down.
  4. Swing up the ends of the side panels to form the lower legs.
  5. Split the cabin cover sections and swing them out to the sides.
  6. Lift the hood piece and swing it up.
  7. Swing in the front grille piece.
  8. Rotate the lower robot body around at the waist.
  9. Swing the headlight sections of the vehicle down over the top of the legs.
  10. Swing the robot arms out to the sides.
  11. Push the robot head forward, inserting the tab under the neck into the matching hold on the chest panel.
  12. Swing the robot arms out on the vertical hinges and straighten out the arms.
  13. Rotate the panels on his back around on the ball joints so the "Lowes" logos face out to the sides.
  14. Topspin has holes on his forearms, the back panels from the previous step and on his back. Attach weapons as desired.

Robot Mode:
Topspin's new dark color scheme deepens quite a bit in this form with the introduction of several parts cast in gunmetal colors. This includes his arms, torso, head, hip joints, thighs and feet. This contrasts very nicely with the metallic silver colors that make up other parts such as his waist and lower legs. His eyes are cast in translucent blue for light piping.

There are not a lot of paint details in this form, but the few that are there are used to accentuate some of his armor panels on his arms and chest. These sections each have curved sections of armor painted red. Meanwhile he has some silver on the top of his head. A bit of gold makes an appearance on his arms, where they color the spring like details sculpted into the upper arms.

It may just be me, but I really do find myself wishing there were more paint details on this figure. The dark colors wind up obscuring a lot of the really nicely sculpted detail on the figure and a bit of paint on the edges would have helped bring them out.

All of Topspin's joints are still nice and tight and I actually find that the rear panels that hang on a ball joint on his back do not tend to pop off as easily as the ones on my first Topspin.

Final Thoughts:
I was highly enthusiastic about the first iteration of this sculpt, but less so about this one. A redeco should be exciting and really grab you, instead I found myself wanting more. The dark, metallic theme is a great start, but I think a few more paint decos would have served it well. I do stil love the sculpt mind you, and the paint job isn't bad, but it's definitely not on par or superior to the first release. Recommended mainly for the sculpt.