Cliffbee.com: Transmetal II Cheetor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




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



CHEETAH MODE
Height: 13cm Length: 13cm Width: 7.5cm

   A rich yellow hunchbacked cat with lots of bronze and some maroon chrome, Cheetor doesn't really look all that much like a cat - let alone a cheetah. While the yellow bits have fur patterning, he has no spots, and he's way too short to look like a cheetah. The bronze bits are for the most part "uncovered" robotic bits, and the chrome bits are on his left side legs and the rocket pack on his back. There's some fluorescent red paint here and there, most noticeable his eyes, and his upper fangs are painted white. The mouth is moulded open, the lower jaw does not move. The choice of this rich yellow, which is verging on gold, works against him - it'd be better suited to a lion. Lions kill cheetah cubs (and occasionally adults).

   As you may have surmised, I don't really like this beast mode. It's totally lost what made Beast Wars such a hit - it just don't look like a cat. The head is cat-like, but the body looks like he's a hyena or something. The tail is moulded into a big hook and curls up over his hunchback. The main theme of the Transmetal II line - the intricate mould detail - is clearly apparent - the robotic bronze spots are highly detailed, and like most TMIIs the detailing is assymetrical.

   Like the Transmetal Cheetor of the previous year, Cheetor's head is pointing downwards, but now with the hunchback it looks bad, whereas before it was only a minor nuisance (if that).

   The poseability is somewhat haphazard. All four hips are ball joints, the front limbs have restricted ball joints at the "elbows". The right wrist is a swivel while the left is a hinge - the right paw sweeps back, unable to be hinged into a natural position, and the left one tends to sag, so Cheetor's usually leaning to his left. The knees at the back are hinged, as are the ankles and the false ankles that cats have (it's actually a foot joint). The head swings up and down, but even at it's highest point it's still looking down. The jetpack on his back can swing up and out to become a missile launcher. The missile launcher works pretty well, shooting a bronze missile a few feet. The chrome panel on his left hip lifts up to reveal a green Maximal spark crystal.

   While Cheetor has a good level of detail, the fact he doesn't look like a cheetah really hurts this mode. The poseability could have been good, but the problems with his front paws ruin it for the most part, since you'll have to compensate for his leftist tendencies when posing him.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a fair bit of twisting involved in transforming the torso, which includes folding away the beast had and folding out the robot head. The end result is a torso that still has a hunchback, the front limbs are the arms and the hind legs the robot legs. I'm really not a fan of this "stand up and twist stuff around" concept, which was applied to a lot of quadrupedal TMIIs, and continued into Beast Machines.

   The tail detaches and can be held as a weapon with some difficulty but it's not a very good one. The rocket launcher can unclip from it's hinge, if you clip it in facing the either way he has a rather nifty overhead rocket launcher.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 9cm

   Again he's a mixture of rich yellow and bronze, with the maroon chrome mainly on his right arm. There's more of the fluorescent red scattered here and there, including his eyes and forehead. As with the beast mode, the yellow is mainly fur patterned while the bronze has a robotic sculpt.

   This is an ugly robot mode. The face, which is largely bronze, has a distinct snarl on it, and his cheeks are painted a light yellow - it's a shame they only use this yellow sparingly, since it's far more suitable for a cheetah. I'm not impressed that despite rotating and twisting and whatnot, this mode still has a hunchback. The weird jointing in his wrists isn't so bad now, although his right hand is stuck in something of an awkward pose. The other thing that really hurts Cheetor's aesthetic in robot mode is the fact his legs are curved. His thighs are convex and his shins concave, and as a result his legs look really stupid. They managed to get the jointing right in the Transmetal version, but this time with the same joints the robot legs are messed up.

   The poseability is better than the beast mode, largely because stable poses are now possible. The knees and ankles bend a little, the waist and neck rotate, the shoulders are restricted ball joints, the elbows are hinged and the wrists are the hinge and swivel from the beast mode. While this is by no means good poseability - it's actually pretty poor for Beast Wars, it's still a relative high point. The overhead launcher is probably his best feature as a robot.

   As mentioned, this is an ugly robot mode. The poseability isn't all that great and the only real high point is the rocket launcher, which is an indictment on this mode - and Cheetor overall.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Tripredicus Agent is a repaint, and apparently has a much better colour scheme.

OVERALL

   I initially passed this toy up, and when I finally bought it I realised why I'd held back for so long. Transmetal Cheetor was a tough act to follow, granted, but this is a disappointing toy. Yes, the detailing is good, but he's ugly in both modes and the hunchback thing really works against this Cheetor. I'd recommend grabbing the original or the Transmetal version of Cheetor instead of this one - 3.5/10

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