Wednesday, 7 June 2017

In Defence of Omnigonix Spinout

 - Dorian MacQuarrie

Omnigonix Spinout is a fantastic toy. 

Not what you would expect to hear about a release known for terrible quality control, questionable material choices plus a few design issues thrown in for good measure. If you can look past those issues though, glaring as they are, you may just see the wonderful design that lies at the core of Spinout. As the first release from a new third party company, Spinout could have been one of the most successful attempts at recreating the Hasui style of Masterpiece Transformers but whether it was cost cutting measures, head office meddling in the manufacturing process or if rumours are to be believed, sabotage at the factory level, Omnigonix was unable to deliver a Masterpiece build quality. 

The reveal of MP-39 Sunstreaker has set the fandom alight with anticipation of this once unlikely release from the Masterpiece line. It has also set eBay and selling forums alight with a wave of Sunsurges at bargain prices. Not so much with Spinout. Be it because he differs so drastically from the cartoon focused MP-39 and Sunsurge or maybe it's the storied journey the toy went through from conception to release, Spinout seems to be keeping his place as a Sunstreaker representation on many Masterpiece shelves. 

This isn't the first time I've written about Spinout on this blog and it won't be the last as I'll be sure to write a comparison piece between Spinout and MP Sunstreaker when he's finally released. He is just one of those figures that captivates and I'm not alone in this regard, you need only head over to the Spinout thread on TFW2005 to see how much fanaticism this toy has garnered. 

Early adopters of the toy went on a journey, from supporting a new designer working on a project through the thrilling highs of revealed concepts and audience participation in voting for head sculpts to the abject lows of the final reveal and the tragic story of how a spectacular design was rendered into a thoroughly unspectacular form. This investment of time and interest has held sway over the many collectors who push past the flaws seen in the toy, resulting in a supportive community who are more than happy to help with fixes and tips to get the most out of your Spinout. 

Even with the known flaws, Spinout still looks amazing and I don't just mean a swell looking bot, I mean absolutely, drop dead gorgeous amazing. From the toy focused detailing of the real car hood making the real robot chest to the clean, kibble free back to the feet, oh those damn feet! Spinout is the quintessential representation of a Masterpiece Sunstreaker for my tastes. He is more in line with the early Hasui cars than a 3PMP has any right to be. For someone like myself who is not a fan of the current cartoon focus of the MP line Spinout is a breath of fresh air and allows me to have the classic duo of Sideswipe and Sunstreaker in a matching aesthetic.

Car roof for a chest? Check. Car hood feet? Check.

Yes Spinout's downfall comes from the poor build quality, be it indeed because of factory sabotage, head office meddling in the manufacturing process or just the inexperience of a new third party company, but there is still a great toy under all that mess.

The best way I could describe the experience for those who have never handled the toy is similar to that of a middle to high quality KO or maybe that of an early test-shot, or at least what I imagine an early test shot would feel like (I've only handled final test shots in my limited experience). Everything is there, the toy works as a transforming car-robot-man but the fit and finish is lacking. Details from the initial designs removed as cost cutting measures, poor quality plastics used for armatures and transformation joints and a general feeling that Spinout needed a few more passes through the manufacturing process before he was ready for release have taken what could have been a A+ release into a risky purchase. 

"Put up your dukes!"

My Spinout could be considered a "good" sample, with slightly loose joints and the ever present issue of wheels popping off. I've heard horror stories of figures literally crumbling away and parts missing upon opening which makes it difficult to defend Spinout and put forward why I think it's such a great toy. 

As ridiculous as it may seem you need to divorce the QC issues from toy itself. The toy is fantastic and mine is fairly well built and very much in line with the early releases of the third party scene. The quality controls and materials used in the manufacturing of the toy are the real culprit and the reason why your experience with Spinout may be disappointing. That's a bit mad to say as of course so much of a toy is the build quality but I struggle to think of another example where a terrific design was so severely hamstrung with a poor build and in a way Spinout stands alone in this very niche, particular bracket. 

LamBros forever

Even with a pre-order down for MP-39, Spinout will still have pride of place in my collection. As the only offer of a toy focused Masterpiece Sunstreaker he looks marvelous next to the early MP Autobot cars and is a more fitting partner for Sideswipe than Sunsurge or even the official release. If you can find one for a good price (oddly difficult these days) roll the dice and take the gamble, you may be pleasantly surprised. 

Until next time, keep it #Refined

Follow Dorian on Twitter @Vigadeath


  1. You pretentious bastard. You bought a shit toy that retailers were desperate to give away and you're desperately trying to convince yourself it wasn't a waste of money. Christ its quite embarrassing how you try to make a grown man buying plastic toy robots sound worse, orders of magnitude worse, by trying to make it sound stylish and classy. Pretentious crap lacking in self awareness.

    1. Thanks for reading the article, "Unknown". You seem kind of rude and mean to me but there's something to learn from negative feedback, no matter the source. I would challenge you that any pursuit, no matter how esoteric, can be improved with passion and class. A lot of thought went into making these toy robots, who does it hurt to enjoy them with the same level of detail? Have a nice day.

    2. As an also Unknown, I totally 100% agree with this article. Everything in here is correct that the toy had huge potential and the design of the figure is indeed stellar but the unfortunate manufacturing part of it is where the failure lies.

  2. Seriously, this is quite appallingly self indulgent. I'd stick to 'seeding your influence'... whatever the fuck that means, you talk such a lot of shite its hard to keep up.

  3. Appallingly Self Indulgent is like a life motto for Dorian, you're only encouraging him.

  4. Unsure about the negative comments here. Seems some people take personal offense to this? I feel that the article is fairly well written with both facts and personal opinions in place and from what I can see, the facts are correct, from my experience with this figure.

  5. I'm with you, Spinout for the win :)

  6. I loved the design of Spinout and still prefer it to the others.