"Generations" Combiner Wars Spinister with Shrute & Singe Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: June 2016
Price Point: $297 (for the Transformers Subscription Service 4.0 with a total of seven figures)
Retailer: Fun Publications Exclusive
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon; Blaster; Shrute Targetmaster figure/weapon; Singe Targetmaster figure/weapon

In 2016 Fun Publications began to ship the action figures for the "Transformers Subscription Service 4.0". The theme of this series of figures was a new Combiner known as "Thunder Mayhem". Comprised of five G1 Decepticons, this series focused on Transformers introduced in the latter half of "Generation One". The first of these was the Decepticon known as Needlenose, who was one of the G1 "dual Targetmasters" who included two Targetmaster figures that could become individual weapons or combine into a super weapon.

For this release, Fun Publications worked hard to make the figure a premium release. Like Needlenose Spinister is a combination of a "Combiner Wars" figure and Targetmasters from Scoop. Here's a rundown of prior reviews that are worth checking out for both the base figure and the Targetmasters. This review will focus on the changes made to the figures for this release:

Spinister comes inside a cardboard box with a foam tray inside. The instructions and tech specs are inside a plastic bag underneath the foam. The figure is stored in vehicle mode with the accessories laid out around it. The box has three stickers holding the flaps together with "TFSS 4.0 3" on it.

Spinister includes the two accessories that came with Alpha Bravo. Both pieces have been cast in light grey plastic wit no paint applications. The joints on the hand/foot/weapon piece are nice and tight. He also includes the two Targetmaster figures which are discussed in more detail below.

Shrute is the new name for the character of Hairsplitter, most likely renamed due to trademark reasons. No, "Shrute" is not a reference to some type of weapon. More likely it is a homage to the character of Dwight Schrute from "The Office". The character of Hairsplitter was a nit-picky bureaucrat in G1, so that makes his association with Dwight perfect (since that's what he is on the show).

Shrute is cast in purple plastic with a lot of paint applications (slightly more than Singe!). Following the pattern of the G1 Hairsplitter figure his forearms, thighs and face are dark green. His waist/hip area, lower legs and feet are grey.

The joints on this figure are nice and tight. This includes his weapon barrels and the 5mm peg in between the legs. So far it seems this sculpt isn't too worn out despite being used several times.

Unlike Shrute, Singe managed to keep his G1 counterpart's name.

Singe is cast in black plastic, the same as his G1 counterpart. Fun Publications did their best to follow the color layout of G1 Singe's figure. This includes grey paint on the forearms and waist and teal paint on the face and thighs. He looks great and I really like the amount of paint used on a small figure.

The arm joints are still nice and tight on this figure. I was surprised to find the peg in between the legs is connected pretty tight. Given how many times this sculpt has been used I was happy it is not showing signs of wear and tear (yet).

Spinister Review

Vehicle Mode:
Spinister's vehicle mode was a helicopter in Generation One, so choosing Alpha Bravo was a natural choice for this iteration of the character. There were no tooling changes made to this form for this release, so it has the same curved design as Alpha Bravo along with the group of rockets on the sides. Sure it's not the same type of helicopter as G1 Spinister, but thematically the mode works just fine for the character.

Spinister is cast in teal, purple, grey and dark pink plastic. The teal is mostly focused on the middle to the front of the vehicle. Purple is found on the rotor engine and the sides. The pink is really on the underside, but a lot of dark pink paint is used on the vehicle from the middle all the way to the rear rotor. I was thrilled to see just how much paint there was on this figure. Painting most of the rear half of this vehicle takes a lot of paint. However he also has light teal on all the windows. Not just the ones in front, or just the ones on the sides. All the windows are painted, which looks fantastic and shows the true potential of the vehicle's detailing. The rotor in the back is painted grey, contrasting nicely against the dark pink. The vertical fins in the back have large Decepticon symbols tampographed on them and the center on the back has a red and white detail on it, calling back to a sticker on the top of G1 Spinister's vehicle form. Some purple paint is used to paint the rockets on the sides and on top of all that is black paint on the 5mm ports on the sides of the figure. A finishing touch includes red arrows with white outlines on the front end, a reference to stickers on G1 Spinister.

What it comes down to is this: the deco on this figure is beautiful and does a wonderful job of paying homage to G1 Spinister.

All of Spinister's connection points for weapons are nice and tight. This includes the 5mm ports on the sides and on the bottom.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the rocket sections out to the sides to form the robot arms.
  3. Swing the rotor section up.
  4. Swing up the top of the cockpit section.
  5. Split the cockpit section and rotate these halves out.
  6. Swing the bottom half of the vehicle's front section down, then swing the top half up.
  7. Pull the front end halves forward, then push them together. Split them in the middle to form the robot feet.
  8. Rotate the halves of the cockpit's front end and push them against the sides of the lower legs.
  9. Rotate the waist section around.
  10. Swing the rotor section back down.
  11. Push the tail section back, then swing it up against the back.
  12. Push the rotor blades up. I find situating them in between the tail and the vertical fins holds them in place.
  13. The weapons can be placed in either fist.

Robot Mode:
Spinister's robot mode is the same as Alpha Bravo and Vortex with no retooling. That means it uses the same head sculpt as those two however thanks to some creative deco work, this figure still manages to look distinct from its predecessors.

The same plastic colors used in vehicle mode appear here but this time out you get to see the dark pink plastic on the middle of the torso and thighs. The head is also cast in this color. In order to make this figure match up with G1 Spinister more, a liberal amount of paint applications were applied. The head is painted black, with the mouthplate painted teal. To bring out a different look on the head, the visor eyes are not painted as one piece. Instead, there are two distinct eyeballs painted onto the visor eyes, making this head look a lot like G1 Spinister's. I think this was a very smart way to make the head look distinctive while not using a new head sculpt.

The torso is mostly cast in the same dark teal color that forms most of the vehicle mode's front end. However G1 Spinister's chest was a combination of pink and purple. The answer? Paint! The edges of the torso are painted with a combination of dark pink and purple paint, leaving only the Combiner connection piece in the middle dark pink plastic. There is some additional pink on the knee armor. Silver is used on the waist area, calling back to a sticker in the same area on G1 Spinister. Finally, a Decepticon symbol is tampographed onto the left side of the chest.

This color scheme is not as intricate as some of the other ones the club has produced. However I have to say they've done a masterful job of trying to bring the look of this figure as close to the G1 Spinister as they could. Given the sheer amount of paint used on this figure, I would have been shocked if they managed to tampograph more details on or use even more paint. Overall Spinister looks great.

I have to admit as I transformed Spinister I was really surprised at how tight his joints were right out of the box. Given that this tooling has been used several times already between Hasbro and Takara Tomy I expected some loose joints or floppiness. However every joint on this figure is solid. Indeed, they're actually tighter than some of the joints on my copy of Alpha Bravo! This was a very happy surprise.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all weapons.
  2. Transform the fist piece into the hand. Flip out the four fingers that are sculpted together, then swing the thumb up to the side you want to form.
  3. Swing the helicopter rotors in.
  4. Swing the robot arms out to the side.
  5. Split the front end and swing them back to the sides.
  6. Lift up the panels that formed the top of the cockpit section.
  7. Swing the bottom panel of the front end down.
  8. Lift up the rotor section.
  9. Swing the top half of the vehicle's front end out, then extend it forward.
  10. Push the top and bottom halves of the vehicle's front end together.
  11. Rotate the lower half of the body around so the legs can bend as the Combiner's "elbow" joint.
  12. Swing the robot arms back down and push them into the tabs on the sides.
  13. Lift up the rear of the vehicle and push it up and then down (as if you were forming the robot mode).
  14. Swing the robot head down to reveal the Combiner connector piece.
  15. Attach the fist to the end of the arm.

Arm Mode:
The arm mode is very solid thanks to the surprisingly tight joints on this figure. It's one of the few arm modes I have that can reliably hold up a Legends Class figure in weapon mode without having to manipulate the arm too much. The ratchet joint is still nice and strong as well. Appearance-wise there aren't any surprises here since this form is basically a variation on the vehicle form.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Swing out the palm portion of the hand/foot piece to flatten it out. The thumb piece should act as a heel.
  3. Swing the back of the vehicle up and back down, just like it would be set in robot mode.
  4. Swing the top part of the cockpit section up.
  5. Split the cockpit itself and swing the parts out against the sides.
  6. Swing the rotor blades up.
  7. Push in the robot head to reveal the connection piece.
  8. Attach the foot piece to the 5mm port revealed in the cockpit area.

Leg Mode:
Spinister's leg mode holds together well. The foot piece attaches tightly and the ratchet joint is strong enough for him to hold up Thunder Mayhem.

Final Thoughts:
This set has been absolutely nailing it so far. Spinister may not be as crazy detailed as some of the previous members of this team but he is still beautifully done. Kudos for the creative use of paint on the face and the extra tight joints. If you're a hardcore collector this guy absolutely belongs in your collection!

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