Cliffbee.com: Fox Kids! Cheetor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cheetor
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Jungle Patrol
Alternate Mode: Cheetah



CHEETAH MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 14cm Width: 6cm

   A light metallic yellow cheetah with metallic rust spots all over him - this particular incarnation is trying to be markedly different from the original, while still keeping up with the fact that cheetahs are yellow with dark spots. The overall effect is very similar really, although you can easily pick this toy from the original - which is the point. Anyway, Cheetor is far stockier than a real cheetah - these things are slim, sleek, animals, whilst Cheetor is stocky and solid looking. So he has the wrong proportions for a cheetah - I guess cheetahs patrolling the jungle don't need to be built for speed like those on the savanna.

   Cheetor's tail is shorter than a real cheetah's although it is sticking out the back for balance, as a running cheetah's does. His hindlegs are far stockier than a real cheetah's, also, I suppose this has to do with Tigatron being an Arctic tiger. His neck isn't as long as it should be, although his face is cheetah-like. The eyes on this version are green - no variants as on the original. His body is covered in moulded fur and spots, so despite the proportions it's clearly a cheetah.

   The play value in this mode is probably slightly less than you'd expect from a Beast Wars Deluxe. His hindlegs have ball joints at the hips and knees, although the hip ones are really restricted. I suggest swapping the thighs over, since they restrict both modes. The forelegs aren't designed to move at all, so he's pretty much forced to stand upright looking like a cheetah on steroids. He has a water squirter on his underside, if it's loaded pushing on his belly will cause water to squirt out from his chest. It's a little strange, since the illusion is that he's emptying his digestive tract. It'll shoot a stream of water about a foot. In this mode, at least, the gut-gun doesn't really work all that well.

   While it's far stockier and shorter than a real cheetah, it's clearly a big cat, and the spots leave you in no doubt that this is meant to be Acinonyx jubatus (AKA the Cheetah). While it's not an excellent beast mode, it's reasonable. The repaint is trying to tread the fine line between remaining yellow with dark spots and being a distinctly different toy than the original. It succeeds, but ends up being a very underwhelming variant as a result.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the gut-gun and the tail. Rotate the rear and straighten the legs and flip out the feet. Rotate the cheetah front legs down, lift out the cheetah back to form the arms, swing them out to the sides and down. Fold down the groinplate, swing around the beast head and fold it down to form the chest. Give him guns if you wish.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 6cm

   Again dominated by metallic yellow, now complimented by a metallic green paint. His groin, shoulders, shins and face are metallic green while his eyes are light green. His forearms and feet are also metallic green - the biggest colour shift on this toy (the original had gold forearms & feet). There's still a fair few spots, mainly on his chest. All up, these colours work quite well. They're actually closer to the Cheetor we saw in the cartoon in some ways, and more distinct from the colours of the original - although very close to the colours on the 10th Anniversary Cheetor.

   This is a nice robot mode. The colours work well despite the shift from blue to green and the proportions are great while his head looks suitably heroic. He's solidly built without being stocky, and looks like a robot with lots of cheetah bits stuck on - especially with that cheetah head on his chest. The mutant head, which is green, looks very insect-like. It's forgetable, but doesn't get in the way - just forget he has one.

   The poseability is up to the standard you'd expect of Beast Wars - his neck has two joints, one allows his head to look up and down and the other side to side. His shoulders are ball joints, his elbows are hinged but there are swivels above them, so the elbows have full motion. His waist rotates, although it does so behind the groinplate, so can only rotate so far. His hips are ball joints, his knees are double jointed like his elbows. Off the card his thigh movement is restricted, but if you've swapped the thighs as I suggest, then he'll have great leg movement. The cat paws form nice big heelspurs, so he's easy to stand in a lot of poses.

   Aside from the gut-gun Cheetor's tail section also forms a rifle. The rump of the cheetah is sitting on top of the rifle, but it still looks better than the gut-gun, which has his intestines, stomach and even blood vessels moulded onto the bellows. Better a spotty gun that one with innards on it. I'll give them points for bothering to mould these details, though. Anyway, he can hold one weapon in each hand, so he's quite well armed.

   The robot mode is easily the better of Cheetor's modes, thanks to good colours, good proportions and good poseability. The weapons are lacking, but that's not enough to really hold this mode back. The repaint works very well here, since the lighter spots aren't as prominent and the metallic green works well without departing too much from the concept of Cheetor. Again there's just enough to delineate this version from the original without losing the character.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although as mentioned this is a repaint of the original Cheetor.

OVERALL

   The beast mode, while not really a cheetah in shape, is reasonable while his robot mode is a clear strong point. Cheetor's such a prominent character in the show that he's basically a must have anyway, but even if he wasn't in the cartoon, I'd still recommend him. This Fox Kids version isn't quite as strong as the original, but it's pretty close anyway, so it's not far behind. I wouldn't recommend this one if you have the original or 10th Anniversary (indeed, I only nabbed it so I could review it), but this is still a decent version of Cheetor - 7/10

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