NIGHT SLASH CHEETOR
Universe Night Slash Cheetor is, of course, a repaint of the Beast Machines figure of the same name. You can check out the review by Kamen Rider
of the original figure. For me, though, this is the first Night Slash Cheetor I own, so he gets his own, full-length review here.
Of all the various Cheetors I've seen who are based on his appearance in the Beast Machines series, this is no doubt the best, at least in robot mode. Not necessarily in terms of resemblance, mind you, but in overall play value. Cheetor not only looks pretty bad-ass, but also -and that is by no means a given- he can stand without any problems. He has big feet, solid leg joints, and absolutely no problems keeping his balance. Compared to the first BM Cheetor
, that is quite an improvement.
He's also doing pretty well in terms of weapons. Cheetor has two swords stored in his shoulders, which can flip out right into his hands. Interestingly enough the swords barely restrict his arm movement. He can't move the arms out sideways, but apart from that, no restrictions. He can bend his elbows with or without the swords and he even has wrist movement. Not bad for arms designed around a gimmick. The rest of Cheetor is pretty bendy as well, especially the multi-jointed legs.
The only real difference, apart from the colour scheme, when compared to the Beast Machines version of this figure, is Cheetor's spark crystal, which sits high on his back. Instead of a Maximal symbol he now has an Autobot one. The spark crystal is right above his jet pack, which is a bit out of place as BM Cheetor couldn't fly, but whatever. It looks cool. So overall a very nice, very well done robot mode. No complaints here at all.
Okay, let us be honest here. It is not hard to tell that this cybernetic feline here (which doesn't really look a whole lot like a cheetah anymore) is actually a robot on all fours. Then again, there are quite a few Transformers beasts where this is the case. So Cheetor isn't exactly the most convincing four-legged beast out there. So what? Overall I still like the look of his beast mode a lot. But let's look at the details.
Cheetor's beast mode is basically the robot mode, just with a different head. The hindlegs are constructed in such a way that they can easily bend in the right way for this mode. The forelegs, though, suffer from the fact that there is no way to disguise the thumbs. Apart from that, though, I can't find anything really wrong with this beast mode. It looks powerful and deadly. The jetpack on the back is a lot more prominent here and the Autobot symbol finally gets some visibility.
What I especially like is the beast head. Not only is it sculpted nicely, it has a polished-metal-look that you usually see only on custom figures. Very nice. So all in all I kinda like Cheetor's beast mode, even though it's clearly a robot on all fours. Nobody's perfect.
The Universe incarnation of Cheetor scored but a single short cameo in any media. He was briefly seen in a flashback in the "Balancing Act" comic book, where the final battle against Unicron from the unfinished Universe comic book series was depicted. One can assume that this is Cheetor as he appeared after the end of Beast Machines on the now techno-organic Cybertron.
The Beast Machines version of this figure was among the last BM toys to be released and personally I like it a lot. The beast mode could have been done a bit better, but Beast Machines made an art out of minimalistic transformations and the figure as a whole is still quite good and certainly better than most other Cheetor figures in the post Beast Wars era. So if you can get your hands on this or the original BM version of this figure, I'd recommend getting it.