Cliffbee.com: TFU Night Slash Cheetor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cheetor
Series: Transformers Universe
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Nocturnal Warrior
Alternate Mode: Technorganic Cheetah



CHEETAH MODE
Height: 10cm Length: 18cm Width: 8cm - exact dimensions depend on pose

   A mustard yellow cheetah with transparent red claws and neck, charcoal tail, shoulderblades and rear knees. There are splotches of blue "noise" here and there and some metallic blue and gold highlights. On the one hand it's a return to yellow for this mould - the original NS Cheetor was blue - on the other it's not a return to bright yellow, making this repaint different from the original version and distinct from the various Cheetors we've seen down the years. It's a fairly tasteful colour scheme as Universe goes - no neon in sight. There's an Autobot logo stamped onto the transparent spark crystal on his back.

   The great thing about this mould is that the cheetah mode is stable, unlike the Mega or Supreme Cheetors. Thanks to a combination of rigged shoulders at the front and tight joints at the back, you shouldn't have any trouble finding a way to stand this cat up. The front shoulders are swivels on springs, which is a robot mode gimmick. The elbows are hinged and the wrists ball jointed, however the ball joints are restricted, only allowing his wrists to rotate or bend inwards. The neck is more or less immobile, the tail can lift up and down. The hindlegs are where all the action is, with ball jointed hips and ankles, two hinges per knees and hinges below the ankle joints.

   Unfortunately, the restricted wrists at the front really limit what you can do with this toy, since all poses need to accommodate them. There is a lot you can do with the hindlegs, but in the end the front legs have to be crouching, so Cheetor ends up low to the ground, almost in a crawl. Considering that cheetahs are cats that run down their prey, a hunched, ready to pounce pose isn't really natural for this type of cat. The lankiness is retained, although this toy is far more angular than cheetahs tend to be - part of the whole technorganic thing. There's a claret jetpack on his back, on a hinge allowing it to point up, which fits in with his angular look and is one of the few solely robotic parts of this toy.

   The colours aren't quite as cool as those of the original and the blue outbursts are a little unusual, but the colours still work. As Beast Machines Maximals go this is a good beast mode. The play value isn't really what you'd expect of a Beast Machines toy, which is really because it's all been saved for the robot mode. In the end, I'm not worried because this is one of the few Beast Machines Maximals that looks really good in beast mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pretty simple, like most Cheetor toys, this is pretty much stand him up and straighten the limbs. More precisely, you stand him up, flip out heelspurs, extend the knees, rotate the hands and fold down the thumbs. The chest and back panels open, allowing you to rotate the head away and rotate out the robot head. According to the instructions the heelspurs are his feet and the feet the heelspurs, but I recommend ignoring this error.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 7.5cm

   Again mustard yellow with the transparent red feet and hands, Cheetor now features a transparent red chestplate and claret head with silver face and red crown. The colours are again satisfyingly different to the original and now also markedly different to yellow Cheetor toys. The red in this mode reminds me of Catscan, the white BotCon toy using this mould (which also featured red). His waist is painted with a metallic blue, the ankles and wrists are claret while the ankles are gold. This is a pretty good colour scheme - especially for TFU. While it's not quite as nice as the original, again it's still appealing in it's own right.

   The defining feature of Cheetor in Beast Machines was his double-knee feature, and Night Slash Cheetor retains this signature. Luckily they decided to use the mould which actually got it right - the first two BM Cheetors had awful knees. His ankles are a little weak but this toy stands quite easily, and can actually be posed, with a little ankle work. As mentioned, the red feet, with their claws, look best at the front and the claret heelspurs at the back.

   The limbs' poseability is essentially the same as the beast mode, with the addition of hinged heelspurs and the loss of wrist motion. As mentioned, the ankles are a little weak, but with two joints and the jointed heelspurs, the end result is that Cheetor's feet are quite versatile. The arms aren't all that poseable, which is understandable since both his gimmicks involve the arms.

   The first of these gimmicks is a set of inbuilt charcoal machetes, deployed by red switches on the outsides of his shoulders. When deployed, they spring down so that the handles end up in his hands. While these swords aren't removable they stow well and look great in his hands anyway. The other gimmick is activated by the spark crystal, now on his back. Pressing the spark in causes the arms to swing up and down out of phase with each other, giving Cheetor a two-handed slashing attack (or a double punching attack if the machetes are stowed).

   The red yellow chestplate has a lot of detail on the _inside_, although the outside is smooth. Most of this detail is lost on such a dark toy, but I don't mind since there's already enough happening with his colour scheme. The details themselves are a good mix of cheetah spots and mechanical stuff, and is typical of the detailing of Beast Machines. The facial sculpt is excellent - his mouth is slightly open in a grimace, and he has moulded teeth inside (why not, after all he's technorganic!). The rotating chrome dish inside the chest of the original is no longer chromed, making it essentially useless. Not that you'd see much through red plastic anyway.

   Aside from the weak ankles, I can't really fault this mode. The colours do a great job of being different, despite representing a return to yellow. The colour layout works, the slashing gimmick is a lot of fun and there's sufficient detail. The gimmick restricts his poseability a little but it works well, so the sacrifice isn't for nothing.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although as mentioned he is a repaint.

OVERALL

   Another example of the TFU line starting to get it right just as Hasbro canned it. A rare example of a well executed Beast Machines Maximal. The slashing gimmick works so well the mould is worthwhile for that gimmick alone. While I wouldn't recommend it over the original, if the concept/gimmick appeals and you missed the original (as I did - it never reached Australia), then I'd recommend this toy - 7/10

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