Secretcode's review: Cheetor
BIO: CHEETOR has always been fast. Other robots move at speeds that seem agonizingly slow to him, as if they were trapped in tar. Unfortunately, a lot of the time he moves a lot faster than he thinks, and finds himself in situations that, in retrospect, could have been avoided. Still, his speed has gotten him out of a lot more jams than it's gotten him into, and when speed isn't enough he can always break out his blades.
Growing up, my favorite show as a child was Beast Wars, and Cheetor was my first Deluxe toy. (Got him alongside the first Rattrap) While the 25th Anniversary Cheetor has quite a few differences from the original toy, he's still quite solid.
In what is a complete opposite of the original toy, this version of Cheetor seems to focus on his beast mode. Instead of being a completely immobile brick like the original, Cheetor has several points of articulation in this mode, mainly on the legs and slight movement allowed by the tail. The core gimmick in this mode is a lever on the back of the cheetah's front shoulders that opens the jaw of the head. When the jaw is open the eyes change from the standard green to red- A bizarre throwback to the variants of the original toy.
Like I said before, the cheetah mode is what seems to be what the designers worked on the most. He's fairly poseable and quite durable. One problems I have with this mode is the fairly loose back panel (Seems to be a wide issue) and zero head articulation which is due to the engineering of the toy. I also would wish that there was some way to keep his mouth open without having to hold down the button, but there isn't one as far as I can tell. Otherwise, the mode is very detailed, with very little robot bits showing with the only ones being on the back of the neck, under the belly, and on the sides of the cat.
One quick random thought before I move on to his Transformation. This beast mode is a WHOLE lot more cat-like than the original. As most of you know (or SHOULD know. If you don't, shame on you) the original toy was repainted into Tigatron. Not quite sure it'd work this time as I don't quite see an acceptable way for them to give this thing a Tigatron scheme and be able to pass it off as a tiger. Maybe with a remolded beast head, but as it is now it just seems unlikely.
Poor, poor Cheetor. Barring one exception (Transmetal Cheetor) each of his main line toys have always had a bunch of small issues that ended up being a point of frustration. For the original Cheetor, it was the brick of a beast mode. For Transmetal II Cheetor, it was it's Igor-like appearance...
This guy is no different. Let me just get this part over with: Big. Freaking. Backpack. The biting mechanism has to end up somewhere, and apparently the back is the only place for it. It doesn't look that bad in person, but it does cause some really bad stability issues due to him being really top-heavy. Sadly it's not the only beast-kibble problem. His forearms are also hampered to an extent as well, due to an ENTIRE front leg being placed under it, weighing down the arms (If yours is loose, that could be a big issue) and limiting elbow articulation to the point where his arms CANNOT be completely straightened out.
His poseability in this mode is somewhat okay. His head is on a swivel joint, like Cyclonus, and sadly cannot look up and down (Also difficult to arrange the body so it CAN, due to back kibble.) Arm can rotate and move on the shoulder joints, and at the elbow as well, but not completely. Legs are extremely poseable, something that carried over from the beast mode.
Cheetor has two different weapons in his disposal. The tail you can set aside during transformation can peg into his fist hole, into what is a club-like sword similar to Transmetal Cheetor's Axe. On his calves are panels that when you flip downward, reveal his secondary weapon- Twin Shurikens. These shurikens are well designed, and are easier to place in the hands, and unlike Animated Prowl, these want to stay in place and will unless you manage to screw it up.
Sculpt-wise, this mode is just as great as the beast mode. Same great fur pattern and the cheetah head doesn't stick out as far as the original. His feet are one of the worst part of the design however, as they look like giant clown shoes, and the other pair of legs just sits there. If they delayed this a couple of waves, I'm sure something could have been figured out.
5- A couple of great ideas, but sadly poor placement on a few parts of the beast mode may ruin the experience.
7- Tabs pop off every now and then, and the back of the beast mode is very loose. These problems are easily fixed.
??- Really depends how big of a Beast Wars fan you are. For me he's an easy 9.
9- With Wal-Mart's current $7.77 deal, it's worth it.
7- Despite it's flaws, Cheetor is a very solid figure, and the second best of his wave right behind the Hound/Ravage 2-Pack. I'm looking forward to future Beast Wars products from you Hasbro, especially Dinobot.