Cliffbee.com: Supreme Cheetor Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Cheetor
Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Cheetah

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Supreme Cheetor for the purpose of this review.



CHEETAH MODE
Height: 23cm Length: 45cm Width: 16cm

   A ridiculously large technorganic cheetah, Cheetor is dominated by three shades of yellow, including a transparent yellow prevalent on his body, a dullish yellow and an amber prevalent on his limbs and rump. There are black patches (spots) on his back, hindlegs, chest and neck while his nose is black and his teeth white. There are metallic green highlights here and there, which look pretty good, and vermilion highlights as well, which look very garish - I don't mind vermilion but doesn't suit a toy with so much yellow. The colour scheme is essentially the same concept as the mega version, although this toy lacks chrome, gaining transparent yellow and vermilion. Neither colour scheme is great, but this one is garish so I prefer that colour scheme (even though I hate both toys).

   As with a lot of largest price point Transformers, a large part of Cheetor's appeal (well, in marketing terms, at least) is the sheer size of this thing. It's huge, with the dimensions of a smaller housecat. but it's not actually _massive_, because the limbs are thin, the head fairly small and the tail slender. Granted there is more mass here than in most ultra toys, but the mass is about the same as a leader class toy, and nowhere near that of Fortress Maximus, who has similar dimensions but roughly five times the mass (ie weight). Other than the spots, this giant anorexic cat is fairly low on detail, with large expanses of little or no detail, which also ensures that he's not impressive despite his scale. Fort Max has a built in elevator in city mode, meanwhile Cheetor has vermilion cuffs on his ankles that wiggle. He's not without gimmicks, but that gives you some idea of the relatively simplicity here.

   As far as gimmicks go, there are two fairly successful ones on his back, although neither ends up being all that impressive. There's a partially hidden dial (which looks like a turbine), turning it causes his head to move to whichever side you move the dial. Behind the turbine is a little handle, pulling it back lifts the hackles on his back - a cat reflex - and it's on a spring so these will only stay up while you hold the handle. The head gimmick is well executed but isn't anything groundbreaking at this scale. The hackles gimmick is a really good idea but it needed a catch, to give you the option of leaving the things up - to offset the posing limitations here. Cheetor's electronics are linked to this latter gimmick - red and green LEDS buried within the toy flash as he emits a sort of roaring sound - although the sound quality is typically poor (as on most TF sound gimmicks)

   Cheetor's articulation is decent but the resulting poseability is limited, he's not that stable. The head turns, as mentioned while Cheetor's lower jaw opens and shuts a litte. All four hips swing, the knees all bend a little and the ankles are hinged. You're really limited to fairly conservative standing or walking poses, since running poses and the like will cause Cheetor to collapse under his own weight. The tail does wiggle around a little, however the joint at the base is actually where it detaches, and you'll detach it before you can find a pose.

   This is the mode that Cheetor is packaged in, and while it takes up a lot of room, it's not really massive or especially impressive. The gimmicks are okay, even if the electronics don't really add too much and neither gimmick knocks your socks off anyway. The colour scheme could have been better - a straight or dark red would have been a lot better than vermilion, which is about as bright as reds go without being fluorescent. I don't hate this mode, but it's far less impressive than most alt modes at this scale.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail, pull back the rear section. Pull down the rearmost chest panel - which will likely pop off and require some force to to reattach (this thing really needed a pin and some more clearance), unclip the central chest panel and rotate onto his back, slide the rear in. Pull down the front chest panel to reveal the robot head and so do a headswap, clip the front then rear panels in to form the robot's chest. Swing the forelegs down to the sides to form arms, extend the rear legs and swing down to form legs. You're meant to swing down his heelspurs but there's no point since you're not going to get this thing to stand anyway. As I type that, I finally find a somewhat stable pose. Let's see how long it lasts!

ROBOT MODE
Height: 39cm Width: 16cm

   A large yellow robotic thing with extensive metallic green on his chest, those damn vermilion cuffs, a green lower jaw with white teeth and some remnants of the spots, mainly on his hips, head and upper torso. The eyes and the crown of his head are transparent yellow while his nose is black. It's slightly less garish than the boast mode, mainly because there's less transparent yellow, but this is far from being an attractive robot mode.

   Again, scale is no guarantee of Cheetor being impressive. He does that odd dog legged thing we saw in the show (and the earlier mega version), if you decide to straighten his legs, he'll look like Robert Wadlow (google it!). The teeth look like he's putting on a face smile for a photo, the black nose reminds me of the lion from The Wizard of Oz and the hands look like the paws they are. The downright awful poseability in the arms (which I'll cover in a second) makes this much worse than it should be, too.

   The poseability is very poor here, especially for the pricepoint. There's a tab on the back of his head, pushing down on it causes the lower jaw to open and his eyes to turn bright green. So he goes from Fake Smile Cheetor to Possessed Cheetor. The head turns while the waist is fixed. His shoulders swing and both elbows lift up. There are two transparent yellow missiles buried in the right forearm, they're meant to shoot when you bend the elbow but it's pretty messy since lifting the arm will either cause Cheetor to lose his balance or shoot you in the face since you'll holding him anyway. This right elbow can't rotate - the left elbow rotates, with the intention being that he can hold his tail as sword - not that it really looks like those we saw in the show - but it doesn't fit over his hand very well. The three fingers on either hand are independently poseable, however. The left wrist defaults to a hand-out-to-the-side pose, making Cheetor look very camp, and just ruining his chances of holding the sword even more. If you do straighten the wrist, the fingers extend thanks to a spring that pushes out a long transparent yellow shaft. For some reason this shaft has a hinge in the middle - he can't hold his weapon but they bothered to give him a poseable shaft??

   The legs are just as bad - his hips swing and knees bend while the ankles swing, but there's so much weight on top, and since the ratchets in his hips and knees aren't that strong, he has a strong tendency to collapse in a loud ratcheting crunch, although so far, Goktimus' has stayed standing. I'd knock on wood but I'm trying to avoid bumping the desk. The dog legged pose actually makes standing him more difficult, because the feet usually end up behind the centre of gravity.

   So you're probably waiting for me to come to the upside. And here it is - I never spent a cent on this toy. This robot mode is very tricky to stand up, cannot hold his own weapon - not even for Hasbro's promo pics, has two facial expressions which both look stupid and has dumb failing gimmicks that ruin both the poseability and the look of his arms.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   If you're thinking of buying this toy, don't. Give the money to charity or something. Both modes are unstable and garish, the robot mode's gimmicks and play value are a waste of time, the detailing is not up to the standard you'd want for the pricepoint and often looks plain bad (face, cuffs). He's far worse than any other Transformer above leader class, even the massive shellformers such as Darth Vader/Death Star - and the transformation would be disappointing on a deluxe. While many Beast Machines Maximals had a stand-up-and-fiddle-with-the-limbs Transformation, at this scale that is downright insulting. To add insult to injury, he's horrendously out of scale with the other Beast Machines toys and was released _after_ the mega, which scales much better. Avoid this toy - 0.5/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.