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CHEETOR

Series: Beast Machines
Allegiance: Maximal
Categories: Supreme
Year: 2000


Act with quickness, and leave the enemy no time to think!
Cheetor continues to mature as rapidly as he moves over the surface of Cybertron. Remains Optimus Primal's strongest supporter, and one of the most formidable warriors against Megatron and his Vehicons. Beast mode provides him with cheetah-like speed and agility, matched with amazing endurance and enhanced vision. In Robot mode, becomes impossible target thanks to body surface that repels virtually any and all energy pulses without damage. Expertise with multi-function sword makes Vehicons keep their distance - if they can.



Robot Mode: Supreme Cheetor has the distinction of being the second-tallest Transformers figure (or mold, at least) of all time. If he stretches his legs, he towers over other Supreme class figures such as Cybertron Starscream and almost comes up to the shoulder of Fortress Maximus. Of course Cheetor is a lot leaner than most other figures his height, so in terms of overall mass he's far from the biggest, but still. A pretty tall guy.

Unfortunately in making Cheetor this tall the designers haven't really done him any favors. He suffers from the same problem as the "normal" Beast Machines Cheetor in that his multi-jointed legs have a hard time keeping him upright. Add the fact that the electronics in his torso make him very top-heavy and you end up with a figure that has a lot of trouble just standing there without toppling over. Sometimes even a straight-up standing pose is too much. See the fifth picture in my galery, where he toppled over just as I made the shot. And his head came right off, too.

Lack of stability isn't Cheetor's only problem, though. You expect a figure this size to be stuffed with gimmicks and he is, but I must say that most of these gimmicks disappoint. Let's start with his right arm. Cheetor can launch two missiles from his palm, the trigger is pulled by pushing the arm back and bending the elbow. Fine and dandy. But this trigger mechanism means that Cheetor can't keep his elbow bent and it also means he can't twist either his wrist or move his forearm sideways. The arm is pretty much restricted to shoulder movement and it only goes up and down there, too, not sideways. It's especially bothersome as Cheetor can't hold his sword in his right hand in any other pose than horizontal to his body. No dynamic sword fighting poses there.

Let's continue to the left arm. This arm is a lot more posable as you can bend the elbow at will and twist the forearm, too. Meaning a south paw Cheetor can hold his sword in a whole lot more positions. Theoritically, at least. Unfortunately the left arm contains a gimmick, too. In this case Cheetor's three finger claws (but not his thumb) can extend quite a distance. Not a bad gimmick as such, but the problem is that the only way to keep the claws from extending is to keep the wrist at a 90 degree angle to his forearm. Maybe that's just a problem with my version, not sure, but the moment to level out the wrists, the claws pop out (and he can't really hold the sword that way, either).

One good aspect here: Each of Cheetor's finger claws is seperate and posable. So if his wrists weren't so hampered by his gimmicks, he'd have pretty decent hands. As things stand, though... well, he can at least give his enemies the middle finger.

Going purely by looks, though, Cheetor is pretty good. He's probably the toy that comes closest to actually depicting the character from the TV series. His torso is a bit too pear-shaped for my taste, but apart from that there is little to complain about look-wise. Cheetor's head is very nicely sculpted and a lever on its back makes his mouth move and his eyes change color. Cheetor's is also stuffed with electronics, but to be honest? I don't really remember what sounds and lights they make and when. I took out the batteries, seeing as I'm not a big fan of electronics.

Overall a very nice-looking robot mode, but that's where the good things stop. The rest is a waste of plastic which could have been used to make three or four much nicer figures.

Alternate Mode: Once again Cheetor transforms into a robotic cheetah and the resulting beast mode does a pretty good job of representing its TV counterpart. Some reshaping of the torso gives the cheetah a very slim waist with a very powerful chest, probably the most faithful cheetah beast mode in terms of proportions yet. So the cheetah looks pretty good just standing there. The beast mode head is sculpted just as nicely and faithfully as the robot head was and there is very little to complain about as far as paint job and detailing goes.

Sadly Cheetors suffers from bad gimmicks in this mode as well. His right front leg, formerly the right arm of the robot mode, still can't bend at the elbow/knee (or stay bent, rather), making any sort of running pose for the cheetah pretty much impossible (or at least strange-looking). Also, Cheetor has the same problem as many other beastformers whose arms become legs, as there is no way to hide his robot thumbs. Cheetahs don't really have thumbs, so these stick out.

There isn't really a whole lot you can do with this beast mode except have it stand there and look pretty. So the bottom line is the same as it was with the robot mode. Looking good, but nothing more than that.

Remarks: Cheetor was pretty much the most prominent character in Beast Machines, even more than Optimus Primal at times. His face replaced the box arts for the entire first year of Beast Machines toys and he had multiple incarnations across the line. This Supreme-sized one here is without doubt the biggest of them (also the biggest of the entire line and among the biggest Transformers of all time, too). Sadly it is very, very far from the best. Or to put it another way: Supreme Cheetor is a serious candidate for worst toy of the Beast Machines line.

This is a very good example of a toy that tries to many things at once and ends up coming short in just about every aspect except flashiness. A small kid might be taken in by his lights and sounds, but even that hypothetical tyke will soon discover that it isn't much fun to play with a toy that can't even stand upright most of the times. I bought Supreme Cheetor when he was on clearance and for what little I paid he's just about okay. Looks nice on the shelve. But that's pretty much it. So if you want a huge, nice-looking toy to put on your shelve, he might just be okay. Everyone else should invest their money elsewhere.

Rating: D-


 
Tags: - Animal: Mammal - Beast Machines - Cheetor (BW) - Hasbro - Maximal




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Published 01.10.2009
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