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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Auntie Slag's review of TM2 Cheetor

Generation: Beast Wars
Function: Robotic Jungle Patrol.

"Emerging from an explosion caused by Megatron's dangerous cloning experiments, Cheetor is experiencing some unusual growing pains. The lines between beast and robot have blurred, creating a new Cheetor even faster and more ferocious than ever before. But he must learn to control his new capabilities - instead of being controlled by them. Outfitted with a new high-powered missile launcher and leap-thruster, the new ultra-strong and somewhat unpredictable Cheetor strikes fear into the circuits of all Predacons he encounters. "

"Nothing endures but change". Transformer toys are typical of this quote. The Beast Wars line took it as their cue from such luminaries as Optimus Prime and Madonna to change their looks as often as possible in order to remain fresh, vibrant, marketable and attractive to the opposite sex. To this end, the humble hellcat known unaffectionately at Cheetor has been through three Beast Wars changes, and a further Beast Machines adaptation. This review represents his third transformation in the Beast Wars saga.

Alternate Mode: After 15 years of churning out other companies toy moulds, Hasbro decided it was time they got their act together (read as: Flog the dead TF horse because we've got a TV deal going with Mainframe) and actually construct some toys of their own. The 'Beast Wars' were formed (literally), and with this line, they generated the inevitable spin offs e.g. the 'Transmetals', and the inventively named 'Transmetal 2' line.

Being as pointlessly obvious as possible, Cheetor is… a Cheetah! Hardly a robot in disguise then. Surely a Predacon would only have to hear this bots name once in order to take a wild stab in the dark and guess what he transforms into, then his cover's blown.

Still these are simple times, for Skynet never overthrew us. So Hasbro may as well take up the slack and continue appealing to the lowest common denominator whilst we leave all our fridge doors ajar and buy our gas guzzling 4x4's for the school run, because we're all gonna live forever. Hoorah!

Ahem, Cheetor's Cheetah mode is quite simply the dog's unmentionables. The important thing to note about Hasbro's Transmetal 2 line is that they are a fiendish incorporation of organic and technological parts, mixed in with child pleasing, freaky mutant angular pointy bits and pieces. Cheetor is all of this and more. Well no, he's just all of this.

Imagine a 'Frankenstein's Cheetah', that's Transmetal 2 Cheetor. Indeed, Mainframe (the company that produced the Beast Wars TV show) thought this too, and wrote his introduction in this new TM form as such. For example, he has pointy dagger blades atop each elbow, now who wouldn't want that?

There's two things great about Cheetor:

1) He's very detailed. All over his body are portions of metal showing through the fur with an appropriate silver finish. Even his fur is textured and natural looking, much better than opting for a simple smooth plastic, relying on the color alone to suggest his animality. Whoever created his mould evidently gave a damn, and should hold some sort of mutant toy design award, though its more likely he's since been fired and now works in insurance.

2) He's got shiny purple bits! Yes, part of his TM2 freakish mutation was to gain some very attractive purple pieces of metal, which in my opinion (and seeing as I am the alpha and the omega in this review, you must worship me or die) is fantastic. Adorning his left forearm is a handy double scythe-thing, which looks very impressive. Presumably he used this to help bring in the harvest crop for his maximal compatriots.

On his left thigh is another pretty shiny purple piece, concealing his secret identity-crystal thing (Maximal insignia), which heals damaged portions of his body in battle, rather like the Terminator T1000 series.

3) Okay THREE things! His claws are wonderfully razor sharp and elongated, though not long or sharp enough to do any serious harm to a small child, which depending on your point of view is either a good thing or a bad thing.

4) Alright FOUR! His gun is worthy of mention; for not only is it shiny, and not only is it purple in a gorgeous metallicy-purple stylee... it also has four lovely orange spines jutting out underneath, proving its Transmetally might and worth. Also, should he ever drop it one day, he'll know its his, and so will you. Crafty eh!

5) *sigh* Look, I can't count and I have a short attention span. Remember that bit in Pulp Fiction where Samuel L. Jackson is in the diner and he wants his wallet back? and he says; "Its the one that says 'Bad Mother ******'". Well that's what Cheetor's beast mode is, he's a baaaad mutha! His gait, his evil looking face, it's awesome. He looks born to shred some Pred. But the rather strange thing I've noticed, and maybe I'm being picky here but.... isn't a Cheetah supposed to have spots?

What makes this toy even better is his articulation. He's fully poseable and very bendy. His hind legs feature three, yes THREE joints! I almost fainted in amazement when I saw that for the first time. His eyes are a bright red and his incisors a brilliant white, one of the coolest looking alternate Transformer modes I've ever seen.

"I am Cheetor, hear me roar".

Indeed.

Robot Mode: Ok he suffers a bit here, because his robot mode is ugleeeee. He's like a robot Cheetah version of Igor or Mr. Burns because of the massive hump on his back. You could picture him walking around the ark with a limp whilst drooling "Yesssth Mathster".

On the plus side, his face bears a nice slanty growl expression. He still has those menacing red eyes, but rather excellently he now sports the biggest most awe inspiring set of side burns known to man! If Barry Gibb could hideously mutate himself into a freaky half robot-half cheetah thing, then this is what he'd look like. If Barry Gibb had hyper-extended claws for hands with which to (possibly) rip off a small child's face, this is how he'd do it. And lets be fair, everyone wants hyper-extended claws for hands, or even to be Barry Gibb. Roxxors!

Unsurprisingly, his back legs from his beast mode become his legs for his robot mode, and his front arms likewise. He contains all the sumptuously meaty ball-joint goodness of his Beast Wars brethren, and makes for an excellent toy to both play with, and pose on your shelf. I'm pretty sure that if you could plant a tiny speaker module in his chest cavity, he could at least run for vice president.

Transformation:6 - I found twisting his torso and getting his head into the right position to be quite hard on the first few attempts. Be patient, yet firm. Try not to indulge in too much heavy petting when he's in beast mode. Get to know the bot first.
Durability:He's a Beast Wars ball-joint extravaganza! If a bit pops off, just pop it right back on. However, his tail is meant to be easily removable and could be lost if you're not careful. In addition, all the pointy bits on this figure are just asking to be nibbled and chewed on happily by any younger members of your family, or even yourself if you never grew out of that stage.
Fun: 8 - I think Cheetor's great. I've even learned to love his ugly robot mode, because he's just so poseable. One moment he can be heroically shooting his load, the next he can be firing his gun. Anything is within reach.
Price:7 - I'm not too sure about this. I only paid three British pounds for him in 2001 in a shop that buys things randomly in bulk. I've seen him marked up by idiotic eBayers for 10 pounds mint on card, but never once have I seen anyone bid for him, or any other Transmetaller at that price, unless its an extremely rare Transmetal, which I don't think Cheetor is.
Summary: 8 - A toy should be fun. I think this toy is fun. He's cheap, cheerful and he looks like he could be a real mentalist on the battlefield. Until they make a mutated Barry Gibb with hyper extended claws, Cheetor's the man.


 
 
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