Series: Universe 2.0
Alternate Mode: Cheetah
Thanks to Morkus for loaning me Cheetah for this review.
Height: 8cm Length: 18cm Width: 6.5cm
A yellow cheetah with black spots, a black nose, green eyes and a white brush of point on his paws. Cheetor's colours are essentially the same as those of the original Beast Wars toy, although that toy came with eye colour variants. There are a few blue outbursts here and there, mainly around his waist but also on the back of his neck. It's a fairly good job of a cheetah's colours, although yellow with black spots isn't hard to pull off. There are no visible allegiance symbols here.
I suppose the idea behind revisiting this character is that the original wasn't quite as lithe as you'd expect of a cheetah. While that was partly so that he could be repainted into Tigatron, I suspect it also had something to do with making sure the robot mode wasn't a stick figure. Anyway, Cheetor is a lot more slender this time, although the trade off here is that his narrow gut section is a bit of a mess, and the robot thighs are clearly visible. Mind you, he is quite sleek and more or less cheetah shaped, although I'm disappointed that his head tilts down, limiting the poses you can achieve. The sculpt is good, with fur pretty much everywhere (including underneath) up and a tail with natural deviation along its length (although it's still symmetrical).
The poseability is a bit hit and miss, and not just because his head is fixed. The tail is hinged and can lift up while the upper jaw lifts to reveal white fangs and red eyes. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides a little while his hips are hinged - but you'll have to do so carefully or his waist gut will begin to disassemble. All four knees and ankles are hinged. While the articulation beats that of the original, the end result is about the same - you can't do a lot with the front since his head tilts down. The moving tail is a nice addition but the gut isn't secure enough. The red eye trick is a nice homage to the original - back in the BW days the eye variations of Cheetor were a big issue in the online fandom.
A more slender cheetah than the original toy, and one with greater articulation, but not necessarily a better beast mode. It's still decent, but the gut is messy and the fixed position of the head hurts his poseability. The eye trick is cool and the colours work - although that's not hard. This is Cheetor's better mode.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Unclip the plate underneath his gut, swing the plate and hindlegs down, fold out the sideplates and clip into the beast neck, forming the robot torso. Open a panel on the back of the beast's neck to reveal the robot head, pull it out. Open a panel across the beast's back to allow the robot's shoulders to pull out - pull them out and pivot the forelegs down to form robot arms. Swing back the paws on the end of his arms. Detach the tail and insert into either fist as a handweapon - if you like.
Height: 16.5cm Width: 12cm
A lanky yellow robot with metallic blue on his thighs, kneescaps, forearms, shoulders and face. Cheetor has green eyes, a red crest on his forehead and a red Maximal symbol on his waist, which is partly concealed by the cheetah head on his chest. There are some spots visible here, on that beast head and on the sides of his upper torso. The colours are a fairly good match to those of the original's robot mode, and those seen in the cartoon. The main improvement is the Maximal logo, but they've gone and covered it up, which is somewhat annoying - surely one of the arms would have been a better spot for it.
As I mentioned before, the designer has gone for more slender cheetah mode, which inevitable means a slender robot mode. The legs are very long and quite thin aside from the pads on the outside of his knees (which break things up in a bad way). The arms aren't too thin, but the beat paws hanging off the back of his wrists are visually intrusive kibble. Looking at this general bodyshape, I don't think the designer properly researched the history of Cheetor toys, because they've fallen into the trap of reproducing Cheetor from Beast Machines - with the same pitfalls such as the lanky limbs and rather pointless tail weapon.
The biggest problem I have with this robot mode is the complete and utter lack of heelspurs. I'm not sure what the designer was thinking about, but it sure wasn't Cheetor. You can either straighten his legs (giving you no hope of Cheetor standing up), fold them akin to the Beast Machines versions (which still makes standing him up very tricky) or using the feet _and_ ankles as feet, giving him clown shoes, but making Cheetor easy to stand. I'm not really happy with any of these options.
Aside from the poor design of his fee, Cheetor has limited poseability anyway. The head can turn a little, his shoulders are ball jointed with rotators below them. The elbows bend a little, his hands are fixed. The waist is fixed while his hips are ball jointed. The knees are hinged with rotators. I've already covered the feet. The pads on the outside of his knees pop open to reveal three-pronged throwing stars, which can be held in his hands. I don't quite see the link to Cheetor, but it's a nice way to use the knee kibble.
A pretty disappointing robot mode, overall. It ends up being less poseable than the original despite greater articulation. The tail weapon is pointless and while the throwing stars are cool, Cheetor lacks the gun we often saw him use in the Beast Wars cartoon. The kibble is significant and the feet are just plain awful. The problems introduced in Beast Machines (which were largely solved on Night Slash Cheetor) have all been revisited here.
None that I'm aware of.
A fairly good cheetah mode despite limited poseability and good colours in both mode are undone by a terrible robot mode. With feet he can't stand on, lots of kibble and overly lanky proportions, this toy is worse than the original - despite over a decade of Transformer engineering advances. The throwing stars are about the only feature here which are a plus, sadly. Track down one of the versions of the BW mould instead - 3/10