Alternate Mode: Helicopter
Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Cyclonus for the purpose of this review.
Height: 8.5cm Length: 16cm (19 if rotor extending forward) Width: 18cm (rotorspan)
A baby blue chopper with a bronze rotor on top, brass painted windows on his cockpit, which is itself painted navy blue. The winglets are off white with a raised, painted Decepticon logo on the starboard winglet - sadly the relief is also painted. Clashing with just about everything else, Cyclonus has violet paint apps here and there. The blues and off white would work quite well, and even the bronze would fit into this, if he didn't have violet complicating things.
This is a long way from a realistic Earthen helicopter, as with most Armada vehicle modes. He's still quite obviously a helicopter, and there's a long tail at the back, although it sports tailfins and no stabilising rotor. The winglets on the sides of his fuselage, but rather than acting like wings they serve as attachment points for weapons systems, similar to those on Apache helicopers. The front is boxy and looks incomplete since there's a hole in the lower, violet section. The fact that the front is a different colour (navy & violet instead of baby blue) from the rest of the fuselage really doesn't help here.
There are live hardpoints on the outside of the weaponpods, which launch bronze missiles when a MiniCon is plugged in. There's a bronze trigger under the tail which - when pulled it causes the rotor to rotate clockwise, and the faster you pull the faster the blades spin. In theory you keep pulling back on the trigger (which snaps back) the rotor will continue to spin, although the mechanism is a little heavy, resulting in a slightly jerky motion, but it's still impressive. You can lift up the navy blue section at the front and plug Crumplezone in to create a much more convincing nose section - it's baby blue for starters. The back end of Crumplezone's cannon plugs into that hole, and it appears that this was intended to swing from side to side as you pull the trigger - but this has been stripped. The entire toy is built around the trigger gimmick really, and while it makes for a simple Transformer, the idea was right. It's such a shame they stripped the necessary piece for Crumplezone's part in this gimmick. Adding Crumplezone to the front is worthwhile, but it seems silly to me that all he does is make the vehicle look decent - and that it looks poor without him.
A simple and in theory elegant chopper mode, which is held back by some silly decision making. Adding one piece to the gimmick would have made Crumplezone's addition much more satisfying while removing at least some of the violet - or using a better colour - would have made Cyclonus look much better. The basic idea here is right, but the execution is lacking.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Swing down the runners underneath to form his legs, rotate the waist and fold back the black heelspurs. Fold down the tail to form a backpack, slide the groin down and click into place. Flip up his head from on top of the cockpit and swing down the weaponpods to form arms.
Height: 15.5cm Width: 13.5cm
I'm ignoring the rotor in the above dimensions, BTW. Anyway, he's again mainly baby blue. His chest, head and wrists are navy while the thighs, shins and upper arms are bronze. The forearms and winglets (which anchor the arms) are off white. The violet is still around, joined by a garish bright orange face with green eyes. I'm really not keen on the choices of supporting colours on this toy. The right winglet's allegiance symbol is still visible. It's also confusing that this figure sports bronze _and_ brass, which is on his fists as well as chest. Neither is a bad colour, but with the orange, green and violet, the entire colour scheme is just plain messed up.
The simple Transformation allows Cyclonus to retain some of the play value, but the trigger gimmick is non-functional which is disappointing when you consider how much of him goes into making that feature work. The missile launchers are on the outsides of his arms and there are hardpoints on the outsides of his knees. Plugging MiniCons into the knees causes bronze guns to lift up on his shins, but the activation point is quite deep. By the way, the tail hangs off his back, and it's quite visible (and slightly phallic) between his legs. It's close to his body and the heelspurs are quite handy, so it doesn't cause balance issues.
Poseability is okay, but must of it is residual as a by product of his transformation. The shoulders are hinged - remember the arms attach to the undersides of the winglets which are shoulderpads of sorts. The elbows are hinged, his his swing and the knees are hinged. Without any rotators in his limbs, Cyclonus isn't able to achieve any dynamic poses. Compared to many Armada moulds his poseability is average, although he doesn't compare well to many of the lines before and after Armada.
A limited robot with some really stupid colour choices, Cyclonus would look good if the designer had bothered to think about which paint shades to use here. The play value is okay, if less than his vehicle mode enjoys. While there's nothing downright awful here, Cyclonus's robot mode lacks any real strengths.
None that I'm aware of.
The chopper mode is okay with good play value while his robot mode is limited. The paint colours really hurt both modes in different ways - in vehicle mode they help ensure that Cyclonus looks disjointed while in robot mode they're just plain ugly. The gimmicks are a great idea, but I'm amazed that so much of this toy is based on the the gimmicks, and one was so obviously stripped out. Overall he's underwhelming without being terrible. A little bit of focus would have done wonders for what should have been a fun toy - 5/10