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Top Gun

Spawn Series 12
by yo go re

Back before every toy had to be tied to a movie or cartoon or game, sometimes companies would just throw their hands in the air, say "screw it," and release original properties. The Spawn line was always great at that, throwing in characters who had been completely made up for the toyline. Sometimes they appeared in the comic, sometimes they didn't, but that didn't stop them from being cool.

The twin of Bottom Line and the second part of what makes the Gruesome Twosome. Another freak of organic alien nature. Living metal that can move and transform. It is a hunter seeking prey from a place of darkness that is legend in the cosmos. Now hunting on Earth for something too terrible and too twisted to think of.

I wonder what that something is? Like we said, these guys never appeared or even were referenced anywhere else, so that paragraph is the entirety of what we know about Top Gun. While his brother was mostly humanoid, Top Gun is definitely alien. He looks like a cross between Sebulba from Phantom Menace and Songbird from BioShock Infinite, except he came out before both those things. His head is covered with a helmet thing that comes to a point in the front, like a beak, yet he has a working jaw below it with dozens of sharp teeth.

He only has two limbs, rather than his brother's four. They come out of his upper torso, like arms - I guess that means he walks on his hands? Instead of little dangling feet, the bottom part of his torso curls forward to a point, like an insect's stinger (though not that sharp). The handfeet have three fingers and a thumb, and they all end in big nasty claws. None of the digits point backwards, like a bird's do, but he still holds his balance well. The surface of the creature is covered with numerous mechanical details, such as interlocking plates of metal, rubber hoses, flexible panelling and lights. There are angled plates sticking off the forearm in the general area where elbows would normally be, suggesting tufts of feathers and adding to the avian look.

Like his brother, Top Gun has a removable plate of armor on his chest, though his is already attached in the packaging. He does however come with two weird guns that need to be snapped in place on his shoulders: they're both amalgams of different types of weapon (Gatling gun, missiles, blasters), all jammed into a single weird device. They look like they were absorbed into Top Gun's body and recombined to make something new, kind of like the movie Virus. Since they have gun barrels pointing both directions out of them, you can have them face whichever direction you want. Also, they can attach to either shoulder.

There's also a water-squirting action feature: the nozzle is on top of his head, with a hose that runs to a bulb designed to look like the same sort of metal his body is made from. So taht it doesn't just dangle freely forever, there's a loop molded on the figure where it can be stored. It may not be a feature you'd ever use, but it's unobtrusive.

Top Gun's articulation is sparse, but only because he has such an unusual body. The neck and jaw are hinged, the shoulders are plain swivels, and the wrists (or ankles, depending on how you consider them) are swivel/hinged. Plus, the guns can hinge side-to-side on the shoulders, thanks to the way they attach.

In the '90s, McFarlane Toys had the budget and the audience to try crazy new things. Not all of them worked, but the effort mattered. Top Gun may not be the greatest toy they ever made, but it's certainly unlike anything else we've got.

-- 02/23/16

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