Series: Robots in Disguise
Nightcruz’ actual robot body is rather small, actually. He’s a Basic-class figure (today’s Cyberverse Commander class, though it was a tad bigger ten years ago) and not among the biggest of robots. But apart from his actual robot body, Nightcruz has two huge extra parts on his forearms. His right arm has a big double-barrelled missile launcher attached, the other has the entire front portion of his jet mode, which can open up into a huge claw.
Which brings us to one of my pet peeves: hands. Nightcruz hasn’t got any. Oh, with some imagination you might be able to interpret those grey thingies that connect his arms to the missile launcher and claw respectively as some kind of hand (had he been animated on TV, I imagine they would have been his hands), but it’s a stretch. That said, I kind of like his asymmetrical look in robot mode and when he opens that big claw (by pulling back the red spark crystal), it looks awesome. Despite having these huge things on his arms he doesn’t have balance issues and can pull off all sorts of poses thanks to his ball-jointed elbows, knees, hips and shoulders.
So bottom line: Nightcruz is certainly an acquired taste and the lack of hands bugs me a bit, but otherwise he’s a very interesting robot. I like him.
Nightcruz transforms into a Cybertronian jet that somewhat resembles a (fictional) UI-4054 Aurora reconnaissance aircraft from the Ace Combat flight simulator game. The strangely proportioned robot mode comes together nicely into a sleek jet whose underbelly consists solely of the double missile launcher and looks very aerodynamic. The mostly black paintjob is broken up by grey lines. It actually looks like dust has settled into sculpted details, but those are grey paint apps. An interesting stylistic choice.
The claw gimmick works in this mode as well (not pictured above) and pulling the spark crystal on top of the jet will open it up and fire the missile launcher at the same time. The jet lacks a landing gear, though, as it basically rests on the missile launcher. So overall a nice jet mode with a nice but non-obtrusive gimmick. Not revolutionary, but fully okay.
This figure started life as Beast Machines Spystreak, one of a number of Vehicons created solely to bolster the toyline without ever appearing in the series itself. Forward into the Robots in Disguise series where once again additional figures were required to fill up the toy shelves and you got a three-pack of reissued Beast Machines Vehicons. Nightcruz is the only one of the three to gain a new name, but all three were converted from Vehicons to Autobots and got new paint jobs.
As a toy Nightcruz is nice. He’s an interesting design and I kind of have a thing for asymmetrical robot modes. He’s certainly not an all-time classic and has zero media presence to make him interesting as a character, but if you can get him cheap (either individually or together with his two pack-in partners Scavenger and Mirage GT), he’s worth a look.