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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Skyquake87's Review: Combiner Wars Cyclonus

Name : Cyclonus
Allegiance: Decepticons

Bio: Cyclonus uses mind control to combine with any bot, siphoning the powers of whichever Autobots or Decepticons will serve his purpose of unleashing chaos across the universe.

Cyke. Love Cyclonus. He's a character I enjoyed throughout the future-verse stories with his buddy Scourge, back in the day which made them both memorable and fun. Despite being, y'know, evil and all that. I was genuinely horrified when he got his head ripped off by Megatron as we tumbled into Time Wars – one of many visceral images Marvel UK's Transformers title etched upon my young brain – and further shocked that Shockwave ended up turning his decapitated body into some dreadful modern art installation. More recently, I've been loving James Robert's portrayal of the character as someone with a lot going on behind that brooding facade...and singing. Needless to say, he's recently endured another horrible death (hopefully permanent, Mr Roberts!) which has left me beside myself. Cyclonus was also one of the best things about the original cartoon's third season, being a dry, sardonic presence throughout.

Sadly, every toy he's got has been absolute arse in my eyes. The 1986 movie toy struggled turning such a sleek spacecraft into a decent robot, leaving us with some abhoration with pipecleaner legs, great big mitten hands and the Man With The Stick's paper helmet for a head. It looked crap. Fast forward to the future space year of 2008, and the Universe imprint gave us a Deluxe scaled nipper that got the robot mode pretty much bang on, but the alt mode was a compromised floating barrel of poorly pegged together arms and split apart legs. Although universally praised, I still find it a deeply unsatisfying toy which needed to be at least Voyager scale to do the character justice. Be careful what you wish for, right?

Combiner Wars has turned out a new Cyclonus toy. Sadly, its a retool of Combiner Wars Silverbolt. Not a bad thing in itself, at least at first glance. Shame its just not third time lucky.

Robot Mode: He's so purple! Oh my, this is all kinds of brilliant. He's a really nice vibrant shade of purple with some nice darker purples for his feeties and shoulders, plus those chevron marks on his arms. Some nice silver highlights on his midrift, hands, face and thighs, along with some grey plastics and flashes of red really make him pop. The rich hue of purple does a much better job of picking out all the cool details in the mould that Silverbolt's smudgy off-white failed to do and it makes him look all nice and crisp. He's got a nice stern grimace on his face and I actually think he looks pretty amazing. Okay, he's not as sleek as I'd like, as the mould is just far too boxy and bulky, plus the kibble here strangely feels more obtrusive on Cyclonus than it did on Silverbolt, mainly due to the larger wings. He comes with a straight grey repaint of Silverbolt's awful drainpipe gun, which looks just as pap as it did on Silverbolt and its a shame Hasbro didn't think to dig out Nightstick again as I'd have preferred his Targetmaster partner over this load of nonsense.

Alternate Mode: From the top down, Cyclonus loks pretty mega in his alt mode. What a difference the bigger size makes! This is more like it. It's sleek looking and mixes in some bluey-black into the alt mode. Pleasingly, the orange windows like the original '86 figure had have been carried over to this new upgrade. As with Silverbolt though, the underside is a clumsy jumble of not at all concealed robo-parts. This stops Cyclonus looking quite as awesome as he should, but I still prefer this over his two previous toys. He has some flip down landing gear under the nose cone and some moulded parts on his folded up legs that give the illusion of wheels. You can of course clamp the gun under the cockpit for a cocaine-snorting jet mode.

Alternate Mode: This being Combiner Wars and Cyclonus being a retool of Silverbolt, he can also form a torso and bring Galvatronus to the battlefield, seizing any limb-bots that might be in the vicinity. Whilst die-hard geewunners may roll their eyes at this, I really like it. Its a boss looking mode that apes the future Decepticon leader brilliantly and I like the additional play options this brings to the table. The detailing is again spot on, with the red tummy bits and cracking combiner noggin going on. Its just a really great extra to have.

Marks Out Of Ten For The Following :

Transformation Design: Unchanged from Silverbolt, with just the addition of two detachable fins to cover the fists in spacecraft mode, which is a nice touch. Sadly, the utterly diseased plastics are what make Cyclonus a failure. The plastics feel thin and brittle, like they could go at any moment. The ratchet joints are so heavy that they feel like they're going to cause this thing to explode every time you manipulate the figure, such is the strain you can feel they're putting the figure under. Its not a nice feeling and really makes playing with Cyclonus feel like some kiddy version of Russian roulette. 6/10

Durability: If he had better plastics – like Silverbolt – Cyclonus would be properly ace. As it is, I'm just waiting for the day that this thing explodes into a load of sharp plastic shards that'll rip my fingers to shreds. Not good. 1/10

Articulation: As established, mainline toys have just enough articulation these days for you to pose them and have them wave their arms and legs about. Its par for the course and will give you enough to work with, just don't be expecting the hyper-posable levels of yesteryears live action movie toys or today's Masterpiece figures. 7/10

Fun: I do like Cyclonus and I do find him a fun toy, but he's just made out of dead twigs and it really ruins the whole experience which is a massive shame. 5/10

Price/Value: I got this guy for 12.99 reduced at TRU a few months ago, and I'm happy with that. It makes his crappy plastics feel less of an issue than if I'd paid the 30 or whatever that's expected for these things normally. That said, I really do wish Hasbro would buck their ideas up and stop using such horrible low-grade materials for their Transformers toys. Just knock it on the head with all the One-Step, Quick Change piffle and use the money and resources you'll have saved to turn out some well made toys. I'm tired of feeling disappointed and that I'm constantly taking a gamble when I pick up any new Transformers toy. 7/10

Overall: My love of the character and this toy, despite its many flaws, does not make this something I can recommend to others, in all good conscience. If you're interested and can end up getting one second hand for a few quid, he might be worth it, but anyone else need not apply. He's a horrible, cheap, nasty feeling toy in the vein of Combiner Wars Hotspot – looks great, but just garbage in your hands. 5/10
 
 
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