Friday, August 11, 2017

Toyworld Spanner - Springer

Toyworld Spanner - Springer

After the somewhat disappointing Crank, I opened Toyworld Spanner with some trepidation. I never technically stopped collecting lines before - TFC Toys Old Soldiers series fizzled out before I could reject any new figures - but I was ready to stop should Spanner turn out be bad, especially since Springer is of such nostalgic importance for me. Fortunately, Spanner offers me just enough to stay vested in this series.

I'm sort of indifferent to his car mode. It's neither egregiously bad nor inspiringly awesome. The proportions just seem off to me. His tail section is a bit messy. I wish his rear wheels had been hidden because they look so awkwardly tiny. The rear fenders don't want to stay tabbed to the body and are constantly coming apart. His canopy opens to reveal a cockpit painted in metallic gunmetal that is also used on his thrusters. I wished he had more of that gunmetal instead of all that drab grey. The yellow panels in front also open to reveal blue transparent . . . headlights? weapons?

Transformation to helicopter mode is ridiculously easy. There is a bit of parts-forming with the rotor blade. It was extremely hard to peg in, at least not without causing the rest of the vehicle to splay apart. It also doesn't spin very well. From above, the helicopter looks alright. From underneath, the back of Spanner's head is clearly visible. The undercarriage panel doesn't really stay tabbed together very well. His side sections have no tabs at all. There are gaps throughout the form. Overall, the designs of the vehicle modes aren't making me itch to use either in a photo project.

Transformation to robot mode is not difficult. As expected, his rotor becomes his sword. Everything moves smoothly, except for a squeaky bicep swivel and one kneepad that keeps popping off its nubs. Returning to either vehicle mode is also simple and hassle free.

Robot mode is definitely where I enjoy this figure the most. His Die-cast chest is particularly nostalgic. Additional Die-cast in his shins give him some extra heft. His light-piping works really well. Despite being from a line of slightly oversized figures, Spanner is surprisingly short when compared to Unique Toys Allen. He also doesn't have that chunkiness of Allen. The asymmetrical line work on his chest is a bit off-putting, but at least there is a decent amount of it. I do wish he had more paint applications and was a little more stylized.

His head is on a hinge and swivel. He can look up, but not down. The hinge is extremely loose, causing his head to flop backward just from handling him and sometimes when he's just standing still. His shoulders are on swivels and double hinges that let him raise his arms to the sides 90 degrees despite his shoulder pylons. He has another set of outward hinges just above his elbows that allow him to raise his arms sideways without even moving his shoulders. He swivels at his biceps, wrists, waist, and thighs. His elbows are double-jointed and can curl just past 90 degrees. His thumbs are on ball joints and his fingers are single-pinned. Like Crank, his fingers articulate in pairs. His hips are on universals that can swivel quite a fair amount, but they feel rather loose. He can perform full front and side splits. His knees are ratcheted and technically double-jointed, but the lower joints only have room in the housing for one click. Comically, his knees can actually bend in the wrong direction slightly more than in the normal direction. He doesn't really have articulating feet. His toes are on ball joints. Unfortunately, his heel spurs sit ever so slightly higher than his toes, which causes him to have a slight lean and to have some trouble holding dynamic poses.

His accessories include a pair of rifles, his sword, an extra face, and some screw hole covers. The rifles are grey plastic with some line work and red paint applications. They slot into his fist and stay in place pretty securely. They can also mount in either vehicle modes. In robot mode, one can peg where the rotor blade would peg. His sword is grey plastic with some line work. It splits apart to form his rotor blade. Unfortunately, the top side is not aesthetically pleasing. The extra face has a snarl or a grimace; I can’t really tell. The screw hole covers go on the back portion of the vehicle and the side of the housing for the thruster.

Spanner will join his brethren on my Toyworld shelf. I'm glad that he is better designed than Crank. Robot mode is where I enjoy him the most. The other two modes are a fair bit of meh. He's definitely not G1; none of the Toyworld oversized figures really are. For me, that's just another reason to start a shelf with these guys. All in all, Spanner is quite a step up from Crank and keeps me interested in more from Toyworld.








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