Wednesday 6 November 2019

REVIEW: FansToys TF-31C Spoiler

For whatever reason, third party attempts at Transformers characters generally come in threes. Someone, somewhere decreed it. It's rarely less than three and it's even rarer to be more than three, as three seems to be the absolute sweet spot. Reflectors, Insecticons, Seasprays, Springers, you name it. Oh, and now the rule of three has spread to the Combiner wars (see what I did there?) as everyone and their mum is having a go at giving us Masterpiece-styled big lads. Well, now FansToys are throwing their hat into the Stunticon ring with - Spoiler alert! - Spoiler!

Before we kick off, let me say a big thanks to the wonderful people at who have made this review possible. I'd definitely recommend giving them a look, as their service has been absolutely top notch in my experience - great prices, excellent free shipping options and reliable packing. They stock plenty of third party (and "fourth party") Transformers, so be sure to check them out.

Straight out of the box and you'll see that Spoiler hits all of the right notes as far as aping the intended character goes. This is definitely Breakdown in all his glory, and FT have done a really nice job on the paint and finish in particular. The colour scheme is really lovely and a great attempt at brining the cartoon to life, whilst there's a very polished feel to the whole thing that in-keeping with what we've come to expect from this company. Proportionally he looks a little leaner, maybe even a bit lankier than I somehow expected based on the character's animation model, although credit where it's due for that very tidy backpack. Overall he looks the part.

I will say though that whilst he appears to be very tidy and kibble-free to begin with, there are a couple of bits that I find to be pretty annoying about his robot mode. It's mostly the pieces hanging off the back of his arms and legs, which form the rear wheel arches of his car mode and the bonnet respectively. At first they seem like no big deal but because they don't tab into anything and just kinda hang there they have a habit of getting moved around a bit and end up needing repositioning. It's by no means a big deal but it is a little irksome all the same.

There's also some a little... "stiff" about the robot mode, as thought it's kinda lacking some finesse somehow. Despite hitting all the usual beats when it comes to articulation it never feels quite as fluid as something like Masterpiece Sunstreaker. Still, overall there's plenty on offer to enjoy here, and to his credit Spoiler at no points feels like a mere "limb bot", as so many Scramble City combiner team members can. He is capable of pulling off some more interesting poses and does look pretty cool overall despite a few niggles.

One thing that is really interesting about him is his size - he's significantly larger than X-Transbots' own attempt at this character (which comes in at the same head-height as a Masterpiece carbot), and in fact is basically eye-to-eye with a Masterpiece Seeker. Quite how you feel about that is up to you, although I will say that I've always liked the idea of the carbots and the Stunticons being the same size, rightly or wrongly, so that's a tick in XTB's column for me. Otherwise though? Well, there's no doubt that FT have the nicer finish and paint scheme, and I definitely prefer the choice of colour to the creamy plastic that XTB went with. That said, I do think that XTB still win this round for me overall as there's just something about the design that evokes the character to me a little more, but that's not to say Spoiler doesn't give it a good go too.

With X-Transbots Crack-up (right)

The transformation to car mode is a surprisingly involved one, with a lot of twisting and turning and bits folding up and through themselves. There were at least a couple of WTF moments going on with the legs, although nothing that put me off giving it a go again and again. There's a bit involving moving two small sections away from the hips that proved to be a bit of a pain and required use of a small tool, and getting the car untabbed for the journey back to robot mode can be a tricky prospect too! Otherwise, I found that some of the clearances were very tight which meant that you needed to do everything in the correct order or you'd be forced to go back and redo several steps again. I don't know if I'd say it was a fun transformation overall, but the result certainly looks pretty tight!

At this point I have completely lost count how many Lamborghini Countach toys I've photographed and reviewed but it's quite a few. Still, there's something about this form that is just so sublime, and FT have certainly done it justice with Spoiler. It's surprisingly not very often that we see real-world car modes from them but it's good to know that they can knock it out when they need to, as this is really something.

Again, the finish looks excellent and is nicely set-off by those black windshields. The rear lights are also a lovely touch and make the whole thing feel quite premium, as do features such as the pop-up doors. Sadly the pin on one of mine is a bit loose as I mentioned before, meaning it struggles to stay up. There is also a set of pop-up headlights, but if I'm honest I've yet to deploy them as it seems to require use of a tool and I just don't fancy that!

Looking at him versus X-Transbots' effort, I do think that XTB have got their proportions a bit closer to the official MP Countach toys we've seen overall. Spoiler feels a little "beefier" somehow, but that said I think it's maybe the nicer of the two car modes overall taken on its own merit.

In terms of comparisons with other MP-style toys, I think this one will depend how you feel about the size of him in robot mode, at the end of the day. As I say, he's maybe a bit bigger than I would have imagined, so he absolutely towers over the likes of the MP carbots but even looks very tall next to something the size of MP-36 Megatron.

With Masterpiece Megatron

With Masterpiece Sunstreaker

With Masterpiece Bumblebee

One thing it definitely does is bring into question the scale of a lot of previous attempts at MP-style combiners by other companies, such as Unique Toys' attempt at Combaticons. I'm not going to start posting cartoon screencaps or scale charts or any of that, as ultimately it will be your call on whether this looks "right" for your collection or not, but either way it's an interesting choice.

Also with Masterpiece Soundwave

With Unique Toys Rage Winterchill & Archimonde

With Masterpiece Ironhide

With no combiner bits in sight it will also be interesting to see how the rest of this team shapes up and eventually come together to form Marauder, FansToys' take on Menasor. It's surprising how little we yet know about the finish product considering the team is already being released, but those renders do look pretty enticing! One thing's for sure, given how weighty Spoiler is all by himself FT will need to compensate for all that mass when it comes time to put the combined form together, but I guess that's a problem to consider for another day.

Final note before we end, you can find this toy for sale at here!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this review and would like to help support me to produce more content like this (in exchange for some additional great perks!) then please take a look at my Patreon page here. I've only just got started with it, but a big shout-out to the following early adopters: Andrew Birmingham, Christopher McClure, Gareth Madeley, Jason Highley, Peter Hammerson, Spider-Bob, zindios - many thanks!

What's HOT?
A decent-enough robot mode and a really lovely car mode. The finish is also very nice!

What's NOT?
I debated between a 2 and a 3 rating as there are some flaws - the 'bot mode has some annoying kibble and my copy has a loose door and a loose finger on one hand. The transformation pushes the boundaries of fun a bit, too.

Keep in touch:


  1. Nice pictures. However, your page contains a "meta http-equiv="refresh" content="30">" tag which causes it to automatically reload every 30 seconds and it's suuuuuper annoying.

    1. Thanks! And thanks for the feedback - I'll remove that!

  2. I agree on the flimsy bits on his shoulders and legs but apart from that I think he is a great addition to team. In the end I probably will display them in combine mode but individually Roadking and Spoiler are great representations of their cartoon counterparts.

  3. Nice review. With the question of size, it's open for debate of course. I think it comes down to who you see them facing off against? XTB's effort seems designed to face off against Autobot Carbots, while FT's seems designed to pair off against the Aerialbots. Menasor and Superion where introduced in the cartoon as natural opponents, so it makes sense to me that they should be similar in size.
    I own both XTB's and FT's and preferences on which compay I prefer generally split pretty evenly between the two companui=ies, but Spoiler definitely wins this round for me. XTB pretty mcuh lost me with their colour and finish choice. And that choice becomes even more disappointing given how much better they did the finish on the toy version.
    I do prefer the proportions of XTB's car mode (their bot mode I'm not at all a fan of) but given Spoiler does double duty as a Seekeer sixed bot, and a Combiner limb (without the use of fake covering parts like XTB) it;s amazingly oimpressive that F compacted him down so well.