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Bottom Line

Spawn Series 12
by yo go re

We've said in the past that Spawn Series 12 was one of the best in the entire line, and I stand by that. Part of the appeal were weirdos like Bottom Line.

First twin of what makes the Gruesome Twosome. Bottom Line is an organic freak of alien nature made to be the ultimate war machine. Rapid fire death spews from his limbs and his unknown alloy head is [a] launching battering ram without equal. Origin of Bottom Line is thought to be alien. It is here on Earth to hunt. What it is after... no one knows... yet.

Bottom Line (parsed once on the card and a few times on McFarlane's [now defunct] website as "BottomLine") never appeared in the Spawn comics or anything - he was created as an original character for the toyline, and that's the only place he was ever seen. So having read that bio paragraph up there, you know everything there is to know about him.

Top Gun and Bottom Line feel like a dry run for some of the later Spawn series, like Interlink 6 or Nitro Riders. The figure is a techno-organic mess. The head definitely has a bit of an animalistic bent to it, with the eyes set on the sides of the head, and a prominent snout. He's like a Bothan or that dragon-horse guy who hangs around with Abigail Brand in SWORD. ["Sydren" --ed.]

The body is mostly humanoid - you know, two legs, two arms, the joints bend the usual direction, all that. There are big spikes of metal forming pads over his shoulders, large armor on his thighs, and big rocket booster feet. Check out McFarlane Toys, breaking from the One Giant Boot™© trend, by giving us Two Giant Boots! The body is layered like a live-action Transformer, with innumerable small plates of metal, each lovingly sculpted with scratches, dings, and other appropriate textures. There are vents, bolts, bits that look like a xenomorph hive or meteor rock, hoses, a glass dome on the left hand with some kind of mechanism inside... everywhere you look, there's something weird and unique to catch your eye. Eleven rubber hoses run between different points on his body, and a chunk of the armor on the chest is removable, for some reason. Underneath it looks like the front bumper of a car.

Part of what Series 12 so great was that it was nearly the pinnacle of McToys' brief fliration with articulation. Bottom Line has a V-crotch, swivel waist, hinged fingers (two and a thumb on each hand), hinged wrists, hinged elbows, and swivel/hinge shoulders. As mentioned at in the bio, the head can be fired off like a battering ram: press the button between his shoulders and it launches. These toys came out in 1998, meaning Bottom Line has been in his package for a decade and a half, and yet every one of the joints worked perfectly on the first try.

Bottom Line represents something that doesn't exist in the world of licensed toys anymore: creativity. Marvel Legends may release characters no one ever thought would get a toy, but Blizzard and Speed Demon still come from the books. NECA can do the awesome Kenner Tribe, but as cool as they are, they're ultimately retreading someone else's ground. Bottom Line came from nothing but this specific chunk of plastic, but he's still a good toy.

-- 02/09/16

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