Cliffbee.com: BotCon Cyclonus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cyclonus
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Saboteur
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 31cm Width: 26cm

   A purple and grey jet with a long nose and forward swept wings, Cyclonus is a repaint of Ultra Jetstorm, who is in turn inspired by Deluxe Jetstorm. While the mould is from Beast Machines, the character is G1 Cyclonus - the mould is a very natural fit, too. Cyclonus is a mix of five similar purples (including chrome on the central block) and grey, which is largely limited to his wings, tailfins and tailwings. The canopy at the front is transparent red along with various other aspects. The purples blend together quite well, and you don't really notice how many shade there are - I had to count. The chrome looks good although mine has some chipping (and being a rather expensive BotCon toy, I've barely touched him).

   There's a fairly good level of moulded detail here and a complex paint mask. I don't have Ultra Jetstorm so I can't speak with too much authority, but from pictures Cyclonus looks to have scored quite a few paint mask changes. There are Decepticon logos on the wings - clearly not something the Vehicon would be seen in. There's a small blue panel on the front of the central block (just behind the base of his long nose), lifting it up reveals a white dome with a painted Decepticon symbol - the spark crystal has been covered and while it looks vaguely like a marble in white, I'm glad Cyclonus lost this Vehicon aspect.

   The play value here is good - even for an ultra. There are three light purple wheels underneath (all solid moulded), and while he can't lie flat on his belly, being able to lift the wheels gives some flying play value. There are three hinges along the length of the nose (two up and down, one side to side), allowing the head to move around like a bird's head. Many of the Vehicon toys were designed with a "head" in vehicle mode, and Cyclonus inherits this feature. There's a lever buried underneath which causes the tail section to lift out when pulled. There are three LEDs inside the toy - two behind the missiles now protruding from the front of the raised section and a third inside the cockpit. They'll stay illuminated for around 45 seconds (or until you stow the tail). The missiles are fired via twin levers underneath the tailfins and the launchers are quite powerful. There's a gear mechanism inside, when you turn the head side to side, the tail section follows, so as Cyclonus looks, around, his missiles follow. It's a fairly straightforward gimmick really, but the tracking works quite well so I'm happy. What's more, the gearing doesn't really get in the way of Cyclonus's transformation or poseability in robot mode. There are two drone missiles underwing which detach rather than fire, and they resemble little sharks which is rather cool (and harks back to some of the more aggressive BW toys).

   There aren't really notable flaws here, chrome vulnerability aside. The robot feet kinda hang out the back, but look fine from most angles. As repaints go this is a really nice jet, and while the purple might be fairly close to Jetstorm's blue, there's no mistaking this toy as another character. What's more, the mould really works as Cyclonus, to the point where it looks like it could have been designed with Galvatron's sycophant in mind.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   As you might expect, it's broadly similar to that of Deluxe Jetstorm, but not as close as you might expect, The drone missiles detach and the landing gear folds up (you need to fold the front wheel _back_). The legs unclip from underneath and the groin rotates them clips into the body. The nose folds underneath like a loincloth while the legs rotate to reveal the shins. The feet and heelspurs fold out, or you can spin the legs into each other and lift the shins for a hovering mode. Unclip the sides to form arms, swing up the wings and open the front of each arm to reveal Cyclonus's hands. The back of the central block (mainly that tail section), folds back, revealing the head which pivots forward. There's a whole bunch of panels folding and sliding that goes on in his chest, bringing the chest itself and his shoulders into place - it's all fairly intuitive but not easy to describe. The drone missiles plug into sockets on the outsides of his thighs, just below the hips.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 26cm Width: 23cm

   Again mainly purple, Cyclonus's torso is mainly chrome purple while his legs are various shades of purple plastic and his arms are a mix of purple and grey. The head is grey with a silver face and there are red missile launchers on either side of the head, flush with the top of his chest. Aside from the red launchers (and missiles), Cyclonus's colour scheme again matches G1 quite well, and the arms are especially reminiscent, with the grey wings hanging off his shoulders. The colours themselves are quite nice, although the lighter purple shades on his boots bother me a little. Again the colours help Cyclonus look different to Jetstorm, although the divergence isn't as strong here.

   Cyclonus has three pronged claws rather than true hands, composed of soft plastic. While this means he's unable to hold weaponry, the drone missiles on his thighs and the red ones on his shoulders ensure Cyclonus isn't defenceless. The drone missiles actually have heads that turn side to side, which makes aiming them kinda quirky. Cyclonus still sports two Decepticon logos, although they're now sideways. The hatch again lifts up to reveal his faction symbol, although it's not quiet central enough (on his waist) to really work as a primary faction symbol. The soft plastic tailfins of the jet protrude up and out to the sides from his head, forming distinct antennae.

   Cyclonus has mixed poseability. The head turns, the shoulders rotate and there's some wiggle in the elbows - but the arm poseability is pretty disappointing overall. The hips are ball jointed, while the knees, ankles and heelspurs are hinged. As I've alluded to there's a hover mode available, which looks nice even if there's no way for Jetstorm to stand on his own in that configuration. This mode was featured in the show, so I am glad they included it, for the sake of play value. I do wish there was some way for Jetstorm to actually hold his little drone missiles which come with white teeth and red eyes, since they're really nifty but tucked away down there.

This robot mode isn't as cool as the jet mode since the arms are kind of limited - coincidentally the arms are the weakest aspect of the original Cyclonus. The claw hands and limited movement hurt his arms but Cyclonus still manages cool weaponry and his leg poseability is good. The colours aren't quite as nice as the jet mode colours but still look good and tribute the G1 toy well. Considering that many fans will keep this guy in jet mode (since that's how he was boxed), I'm not all that worried about the robot mode being the weaker of the two modes.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although as I've mentioned he's a repaint of Ultra Jetstorm. Cyclonus was available exclusively at BotCon 2002, and as such was most likely limited to a single production run.

OVERALL

   An amazingly suitable mould-to-character match make this a great exclusive repaint. The jet mode looks really nice, the robot mode is looks good and the colours work well both as a tribute and aesthetically. The play value is pretty good overall despite limited arms, and while this isn't so important for a convention exclusive, I'm glad the mould used isn't a dud. Cyclonus might be one of the pricier BotCon exclusives, but he's one of the coolest from the perspective of a G1 fan. My only real complaint is the relative fragility of his chrome - 8/10

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