Cliffbee.com: Henkei Cyclonus Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cyclonus
Series: Henkei
Allegiance: Destron (Decepticon)
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 17cm Width: 15cm

   A lilac jet of a similar shape to the original with chrome purple wings, a silver needlenose, some silver cannons flush against the nose (but behind the needle) and transparent red windows on the cockpit. There's some (non chrome) purple at the base of his wings and various other locations. There are no Decepticon logos visible here, but otherwise it's a good colour scheme. The colours are based on the cartoon, incidentally, and are much lighter than those on the G1 toy. The wings sweep forward with forward sweeping fins at the back of them, just ahead of the thrusters. The shape, as mentioned, is quite close to that of the original toy, but the needle nose and red windows are based on the animated version of the character. There's less silver here than on the G1 toy, as well.

   Sadly, Cyclonus isn't very stable. The wings are a bit of a mess - they unclip too easily. The rear section doesn't _quite_ clip together properly, and while it looks okay, the fact that it floats around hurts because if you pick the toy up and the back moves a little, one or both of the wings will then unclip. The needle slides away as part of the transformation, but there's no internal notch to keep it fully extended - so if you brush it against something it'll push in with only minimal contact. All of these are fairly minor engineering issues in themselves, and really should have been addressed, but combined they make this vehicle mode far less stable than it should be.

   The play value here is decent, aside from the loose nature of the vehicle. Nightstick plugs into a hole just behind the cockpit and looks pretty good there, since it's the same spot the original TM Cyclonus sported his weapon and the extensive chrome on this gun stands out nicely. There are black false wheels which can retract - one under the nose and two under the rear section. Unlike some modern plane Transformers, Cyclonus is still stable on the table with the landing gear stowed.

   An attractive mode with some nice play value, good use of chrome and a one that strikes a nice balance between the G1 toy and the cartoon. It's such a pity that it's so unstable - and needlessly so. The wings and needle would have been very easy to shore up and while the rear section would have taken more work, again it's something that should have been fixed before the final release. It's still a nice vehicle mode - but you can't ignore the flaws, sadly.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach and set aside Nightstick, if attached. Stow the landing gear, if deployed. Slide the needle in (you can just push it in, of course). Unclip the wings, lift out the panels above and below on the back, pivot them back and plug together to form his boots. Lift up the cockpit, fold the nose away and close the cockpit. Rotate his head, fold out the feet and heelspurs, stand Cyclonus up. Clip the floating wings onto the sides of the torso to form shoulders, extend the forearms, flip out the fists. Fold the chrome wings back behind his upper arms, attach Nightstick if you wish.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 10.5cm

   A lilac robot with silver feet, hands and thighs, Cyclonus has a silver antennae and a silver painted face with transparent lilac eyes featuring an excellent lightpipe. There's a dark purple Decepticon logo on his chest and some silver and amber details on his torso, while the forearms are painted purple with lilac winglets protrude from them. The colours match the cartoon very nicely while still reminding of the G1 toy quite well, and they look great - the eyes are a highlight.

   For all the failings of the vehicle mode's engineering, this robot mode is very stable and carries pretty much no kibble. Sure, the wings sit behind the upper arms but this is a deliberate tribute feature. The head is very much Cyclonus, the bodyshape is good, although his legs are a shade skinny. The only kibble here is some black transformation struts on his hips, but you'll barely notice them anyway.

   The play value here is excellent. The wings can sit facing inwards as on the G1 toy or pointing up and out as on the cartoon. Nightstick can plug into a hole in Cyclonus's right fist or you can fold away either fist allowing the gun to plug directly into his forearm, as seen on the Headmasters cartoon, where the Targetmasters actually fuse with their partners. His poseability is good - the head turns while his waist is fixed. His shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows are hinged with rotators above them. The wrists are fixed but as mentioned you have Targetmaster options. By the way, the "cartoon" configuration gives his shoulders a wider range of motion, since the wings sit further out to the side, whereas the "toy" configuration has them overlapping his torso. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators. The rotators are mid-thigh and the thighs are quite angular, so turning the boots too far will look bad, but Cyclonus still has a wide range of poses. The feet and heelspurs can both fold down, and he's quite easy to stand in dynamic poses.

   An excellent robot mode with great play value, great colours, a good lightpipe and a very strong tribute. The options in his wings and gun really please me - while I prefer the "cartoon" wings and Headmasters style gun, the fact that TakaraTomy gave us the options at all says a lot about the design of this toy.

NIGHTSTICK

   A chromed silver gun with a darker chromed tip and some black towards the rear, Nightstick is 6.5cm long. The handle is (wisely) unchromed black plastic. There's a silver (unpainted) notch at the back which plugs into Cyclonus's wrist. The transformation is fairly standard Targetmaster, with the top twin barrels folding down as legs and the longer, lower single barrel ending up on his back. The twist is that he has feet that fold out - something G1 Targetmasters never had. The robot has a black upper body with a red face, silver groin and feet with chrome silver legs. At 5.5cm tall, he's about standard height for a Targetmaster. The hips and shoulders swing while the elbows bend, giving Nightstick poseability well beyond that of any *master in G1, and better than many G1 toys, period.

VARIATIONS

   The Hasbro "Universe" version feature a much darker purple instead of lilac, and lacks chrome. Gentei Strafe is a repaint of Cyclonus. There is a transparent purple e-Hobby repaint.

OVERALL

   With an excellent robot mode, a very well designed Targetmaster partner, a clever transformation, excellent play value and a very strong tribute, Cyclonus should be an amazing toy. He's still very good, but the looseness of some parts of the jet mode really hold him back in ways they didn't need to. A little more tweaking of the vehicle mode's stability would have topped of an good effort, but even without that, the engineering is still impressive - especially with the options we get. I prefer this version myself, but I wouldn't recommend against Hasbro's version either - 8.5/10

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