Cliffbee.com: Nightcruz Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Nightcruz
Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: SR-71 Spyplane



PLANE MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 13cm Width: 9.5cm

   A black spyplane with some grey bits and baby blue wingtips and nose, as well as a baby blue spark crystal mount on top - with a solid red spark crystal, Nightcruz has a fluorescent yellow cockpit and some transparent yellow on his tainfins. There are sculpted plane lines on the fuselage, which are washed with a grey paint. While I could have down without the non-functional red dome and the fluoro yellow, the blue bits and grey paint wash look _really_ nice, so it's a good colour scheme. Being black, it fits the whole spyplane thing better than his green predecessor, Spy Streak.

   I should point out that he's not actually an SR-71, rather a very close approximation. Close enough, certainly, to pass for one at first glance. Being a Beast Machines mould, it's meant to be a Cybertronian vehicle, but the designer's inspiration is obvious. I don't mind one bit, since it's a nice plane model to use and this is the first Autobot spyplane - the three previous are Decepticons. On that note, I should mention the stamped Autobot symbol on his left wing, which looks good despite being red and white on a black and blue wing.

   Nightcruz has no wheels underneath, instead he has two large transparent yellow missiles under his cockpit, with rounded grey tips. There are two pseudo-wheels at the back and a ridge on the missile launcher, so he will happily rest on a flat surface.

   The spark crystal holder is actually the trigger for both of the gimmicks of this toy. Sliding it forward will cause the two sides of the cockpit to part and push forwards and out to the sides. If you keep pushing, eventually it'll hit an internal trigger and fire the missiles, then spring back into position. If you push the missiles in while activating the claws, the claws will click into an open position and hold there. The two halves of the nose itself are actually serrated, so the claws have teeth! Yeah, so it's a little silly, but it's fun and works well. The missiles fire with some force, so pay attention where you aim them, or they'll end up behind the sofa on the other side of the room.

   As mentioned, there's a lot of detail in the mould - which is to be expected of a Beast Machines mould. At the base of the tailfins he has thrusters, and the grey paint wash give him a battle hardened look. The wash is uneven, too, as you'd expect from the wear on military hardware. The attention to detail in the paint wash _really_ impresses me.

   Lots of detail, two good gimmicks and some good colour choices make for a nice spyplane mode. The fluorescent yellow cockpit and red dome on top hold him back - but even they aren't enough to ruin a great plane mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the wings out and back to become the legs, with the wingtips becoming kneecaps and the tailfins on his calves. Flip his feet up, split the claws from the missile launcher on his underside, and bring the claws down to become his left hand while the missile launcher assembly becomes his right hand. Slide the yellow chestplate up to reveal his head.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 10cm

   Now mainly black, Nightcruz has grey upper arms, a grey forehead and grey thighs, while his chestplate is transparent yellow, along with his eyes. There is a lightpipe, but it doesn't work very well. He now has pointy baby blue kneecaps, with the Autobot symbol on the inside of his left kneecap. The horrible yellow is on his back and that silly red dome under his left arm, so this colour scheme is better than that of his plane mode, despite the loss of most of the blue. By the way, there's no sign of a cross on this mode, either ("cruz" is Spanish for "cross").

   Ok, so his hands are kibble rather than hands, but this is a deliberate design choice. He's not going to become a touch typist, but Nightcruz has a giant claw for a left hand and a twin missile launcher - with missiles that come up to his chest - for his right hand. You might notice that the trigger on the underside of the claw is nowhere near the missile launcher in this mode. It still activates the claw, but no longer activates the missile launcher. On the underside of the launcher are two small grey tabs, right next to each other, which activate the missile launcher. The reason for two tabs is so that each missile can be fired independently, although with the tabs being as small as they are, it's easier to just activate both.

   Nightcruz has excellent articulation - his head turns, the shoulders rotate and lift out to the sides, his elbows, hips and knees are ball jointed and his ankles hinged. The arms are very heavy - about 1/3 the mass of the toy, but the feet have built in heelspurs and with a little care, he can be made to stand in a lot of poses.

   As much as I like the blue on the jet mode, and as much as I like the spyplane itself, this is Nightcruz's better mode. The colours are better without the garish elements, the two gimmicks are separated, making it easier to control them and giving him big, powerful looking, weapon arms. The poseability is great, which adds to the play value in his gimmicks.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although he is a repaint of Spystreak and was sold as part of a 3 pack with Mirage GT and Scavenger.

OVERALL

   A great toy, it's something of a shame he was only sold as part of a three pack, since the other two aren't as nice. I actually got the entire set for Nightcruz, partially because I like the colours but mainly because it's a great mould I don't otherwise have. Granted, it's a terrible name, and whoever decided to throw random Spanish in deserves a kick in the huevos. Marred only by some weird minor colours, Nightcruz is a very good toy - 9/10

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