It only sold poorly because people (stupidly IMHO) expected an actual transforming toy on the game. I realize Gomez said something along the game having something like that but serious, how would they make something fully transform. Only people whom don't have any Transformers or never have played with them in their life wouldn't realize that wasn't going to be possible. Takes way to many moves with twist and turns to accomplish. Thus the lifting megatron was born.
The other major complaint was the voice actor for Optimus. Yeah, it's not right but, let's be honest, unless you are a diehard fan you aren't noticing it. If you are a hard core fan, then it's a valid complaint but I've gotta believe that a VERY small % of owners these days now that they are slowly finding there way into the hands of players.
Then there were all the, "starting a mode is wood chopping because you have to hit X number of shots to start a mode". Then when you start a mode they are all the same. I never understood that complaint. First of all, the modes are not all the same. People may not like them but to say they are all the same felt ignorant to me. Pinball is a game of shoot the flashing light and with TF that light moves around based off modes. The only real, valid, complaint was the Optimus roadblock which they got rid of. But to further expand. People bitched about this game on how you start a mode. Hmmmm... How do you start a mode in Iron Maiden or Jurassic Park (just taking examples from 2 of the most celebrated games right now). Yup, that's right, you have to shoot a couple of shots on the PF to light them. Again, I know people have a right to their own opinion but the hate for this game was super high from original buyers that expected something they didn't get.
I agree, there isn't much to a spinner. But that's not really unlike 90%+ of games out there. Metallica for instance only serves to make a drum sound and count for switch hits in one mode for the whole game (Fade to black) but people with the Pro fall over themselves to add spinners to the game. Spinners in most games are just there to score points and make sounds. I find very few games actually use them for anything meaningful anymore. Maiden does a good job using them for modes and switching your modes, Deadpool uses them for several things too, but most just seem to be for points.