Cliffbee.com: Armada Cheetor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cheetor
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Robotic Cheetah



CHEETAH MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 18cm Width: 7.5cm

   A purple cheetah with no spots, black legs, blue tail and paws and bright red painted mechanical details on his back. Unlike Transmetal Cheetor, of which he is a slight retool, there's no chrome. This colour scheme actually works better than you'd expect, although I could do without the red paint. Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect is the use of Decepticon purple on an Autobot, which is very unusual.

   It's a tad bulkier than your average cheetah, but the fact is it's too slender to work as any other large cat. He has a long neck and small head, making this very much a cheetah. You'll notice there's nowhere to attach Cliffjumper - you need to put Cheetor in flying cat mode to do that.

   His head is permanently pointing downwards, meaning Cheetor is looking down at the ground ahead of him, rather than directly ahead. While you can swing it up a little, he'll only ever look forwards, never up. His lower jaw and fangs are blue, the mask around his eyes is purple, the eyes green with red pupils. The choice of eye colour is pretty poor, but at least it's only a small paint application, on a black face. Both upper and lower jaws have sets of fangs, giving him a "ready to bite" look. His forelegs are designed to stand more or less upright, the rear legs are designed to crouch, as cats do when they're about to pounce. This is a great touch, since he looks ready to strike, and it works with the mouth. His tail is a solid blue piece, that's a wavy shape rather than sticking straight out. When chasing prey, cheetahs rely heavily on their tail for balance, it points out more or less straight back, but swings around a bit to help them maintain balance, so having a tail that's waving out there again helps sell Cheetor as a cheetah.

   Cheetor's "flight mode" which basically consists of taking out his tail, rotating it 180 and placing it back in it's socket to reveal a tailfin, and lifting up his side panels to reveal small jet engines that fold out on the end of very small wings. While it doesn't look really look capable of flight, it does look nice, and it's a fun mode. As mentioned, you can attach Cliffjumper in this mode - the turbines are modified so that they have powerlinx points, and you can stick Cliffjumper onto the turbines. I've serious doubts that he could fly like this, but when you consider that Cliffjumper's socket is on the back of the truck mode, Cheetor really needed a plug that points forward.

   Adding to the play value is good leg poseability. His front legs have rotating shoulders, hinged knees and hinged ankles. His hindlegs have ball jointed hips as well as hinged knees and ankles. The front ankles are weaker on this toy than the original Transmetal - the left one of mine is extremely loose - so he's not as poseable as he should be due to slight stability problems.

   It's a good cheetah mould, but the red paint really hurts an otherwise innovative recolour. Cliffjumper doesn't really add anything, since he doesn't belong stuck on a turbine, but I suppose they had to stick him somewhere.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the tail, straighten the legs (there are three joints on his legs, as well as his ankles), flip down his heelspurs. Fold up his forelegs, and then lift the front of his body (including forelegs) onto his back. Partially fold down the head and separate the halves into his robot arms. Fold out the robot head and the fold the chest and arms down completely. Swing the arms back so his shoulder joints are in place. Pose and give him his tail as a handheld whip, if you feel the need. It can also stow in the gap between his backpack and torso, or even stay attached to it's beast mode socket, although it looks silly there.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13.5cm Width: 7cm

   Still lacking in chrome, there's no spots here either. His chest, groin and shins are black, the chest is sprayed with a faint red paint. His forearms, thighs and feet are blue, his upper arms are a bright orange plastic. His head is purple, his face painted bright orange, his eyes green and his mouth is painted silver. The black, purple and blue again work pretty well, thankfully the red is largely gone. The orange is very bright, but since it's used with dark colours and used in moderation, it's bearable. I actually like the effect, but I realise it's not for everyone.

   Being a Transmetal mould, there's a lot of organic detail in this mode. His mouth is open, with silver teeth showing. The back of his head has moulded fur, along with his chest, forearms, upper arms and inner thighs. He has abdominal muscles on the bottom of his chestplate. Something I never noticed on Transmetal Cheetor himself but picked up on this Cheetor is that there's an abandoned lightpipe gimmick - his eyes and the central panel behind his head are a distinct piece of plastic. It's more noticeable now thanks to the green eyes.

   The poseability in this mode is amazing, despite it being 6 years old. His head, shoulders, elbows and hips are all ball joints, his knees, ankles and heelspurs are all hinged. The backpack is kept very close to his body, so it causes no stability problems. The limbs hanging off this backpack are far enough back they don't get in the way of his arms at all. The end result of all of this is very good poseability - although his head joint is fairly limited, the arms and legs are flexible. The poseability of the mould is great, but the heelspurs are looser this time around, so he's not quite as good as his predecessor in this department.

   The colours work better than the beast mode, the moulding is quite complex and the poseability is good. It's obvious that someone put a lot of effort into this mould, and the end result is a solid robot mode - assuming you can deal with the orange.


Name: Cliffjumper
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Off-Road 4x4 Utility Truck

TRUCK MODE
Height: 2.5cm Length: 5.5cm Width: 3cm

   It's a small purple utility with black tyres, including a painted spare on the back that houses the powerlinx socket. He's got silver windows, green spotlights on a rack sticking out of his tray and orange headlights.

   There are two gimmicks in this mode - the first being a winch, the idea being that as you roll the truck along the orange hook either retracts or unravels. It works nowhere near as well as on Ransack of the Adventure Team, of which he is a repaint. The second gimmick is front suspension. Basically, he has a set of tiny springs, so if you push down on either front corner, the wheel will lift into it's bay and then spring back down once you let go. It's kinda pointless, but it's nice they bothered to engineer it.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the rear down to form the legs, swing the arms up. That's it - this is a simple transformation, even for a Minicon.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 6cm Width: 3cm


Again mainly purple, Cliffjumper has black arms and bright orange thighs, orange shoulders and a purple head with green eyes. The mechanism for the winch is clearly visible on his chest, and the innards consist of an orange gear and a black rubber wheel, as well as some white cord. There are too many outbreaks of orange in this mode, and not enough black to temper them. Unless you're a rabid Phoenix Suns fan, you're probably not going to like this colour scheme. I don't, and I _like_ the orange on Cheetor.

   His poseability is slightly better than the average Micromaster - the arms swing up at the shoulders, the knees and hips independently swivel. The winch can be used, but a cord hanging off the top of his head looks pretty weird.

   Aside from being a bad reuse of the name Cliffjumper, this is a badly repainted Minicon. Ransack was okay, but Cliffjumper's colour scheme turns an average mould into a very forgettable toy.
VARIATIONS

   None as such, but he's a repaint and slight repaint of Transmetal Cheetor, and Cliffjumper is a repaint of Ransack from the Adventure Team.

OVERALL

   This is a great mould, so I don't mind it being reused, especially after such a long break. The use of Decepticon purple on an Autobot is curious, but his colour scheme would have been better without the red rubbish on the cheetah mode. Cliffjumper is forgettable, but Cheetor is worth getting if you don't have Transmetal Cheetor. If you're missing TM Cheetor, I'd recommend you get Armada Cheetor, and then hide Cliffjumper somewhere - 7/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.