Sunday, April 30, 2017

Toy Review: Transformers Masterpiece MP-34 Cheetus (Beast Wars) (Cheetor)


Review:  #376
Name:  Cheetor
Brand:  Transformers
Allegiance:  Maximal
Line:  Masterpiece
Year of Release:  2017
Size Class:  Masterpiece (MP-34)
Mold Status:  new

PACKAGING AND CONTENTS:


The second Beast Wars Masterpiece figure after Optimus Primal, Cheetus (from now on, referred to as Cheetor), comes in the same black box.


The Masterpiece logo is suitably designed using the same aesthetics as the Beast Wars logo.


Cheetor comes with the standard card showcasing the tech specs and artwork, a fold-out set of instructions, and various accessories.

BEAST MODE:


Cheetor, naturally, transforms into a cheetah.  The problem with Cheetor is that he transforms from a lean beast mode into a bulky robot, and one mode has to give.  However, the designer did a fantastic job of not comprising either mode too much.


There are two main flaws of beast mode, the first is that the robot feet is visible behind the hind legs, it's not too horrible since you'll mainly view Cheetor from the front anyway.  The second, more notable flaw, is that the waist does not lock, and so it will flop around if you pick him up, it's very annoying.


As expected, the beast mode relies heavily on various panels and he cheats a bit since the gut and the tail section are both detachable pieces, that transform into his robot mode guns.


Size-wise, he is bigger than expected, almost as big as Optimus Primal himself, despite the price difference.  However, Cheetor is naturally not as heavy and not as complex.  Above is a comparison against Generations Rhinox and Generations Rattrap as well.


The spots are beautifully painted on, and the spotty application replicates the CGI model from the show.  The other neat thing is that his whiskers are separate flexible pieces.


The mouth can open and close and the head has a bit of motion.


The beast mode is quite poseable, the front legs has multiple joints including swivels.  The rear legs are more static but still have various joints, enough for heaps of poses.


Cheetor comes with two additional faces for beast mode, the first is a surprised face.


The surprised face is great for replicating the scenes where Cheetor comes to a sudden halt after running flat out.


The other face is an eyes-narrowed, suspicious face viewing to the left side.


Cheetor holds together reasonably well in beast mode apart from the loose waist as mentioned.  Swapping heads will also invariably detach the head section from the back panels.


A fantastic beast mode given what it had to achieve.  It is leaps and bounds better than Cheetor toy thus far.

TRANSFORMATION:

You may expect Cheetor to have a complicated transformation given how great both modes are but surprisingly, it's not too bad.  He has a heavy reliance on panels as expected and there is even a faux beast mode which is disappointing for a Masterpiece figure.  The trickier parts remain aligning the panels just right to peg them together.

ROBOT MODE:


Cheetor's robot mode, simply put, is stunning.  It is crazily show-accurate, right down to the shiny gold metallic parts.


One of the best things too is he now has the show-accurate crossed beast legs on his back.  The biggest piece of kibble are the beast panels behind his arms, otherwise, Cheetor is very clean.


The headsculpt is sublime, from the spots on his cheeks to the metallic golden crest.


In terms of size-, Cheetor is taller than your average Deluxe (above is Generations Combiner Wars Swindle), but he is lankier.


Above is a shot with most of the Season 1 Maximal cast, now we only need a decent Dinobot (the Universe one is terrible).


Poseability is excellent, as you'd expect.  Cheetor forgoes ratchets for tight swivel joints which work equally well.


There are no problems with balance while he is in a standing pose, but due to the combination of his heels and angled feet, he's trickier to balance in action poses.


The chest is a fake beast head, which is somewhat disappointing and as a result, looks very flat.  This is in order to be screen-accurate.  The real beast head tucks behind, and one thing to note is that you have to be careful since the whiskers will be permanently bent if you just shove it in roughly during transformation.


Cheetor comes with two weapons, the first is the gun that used to form the belly of the beast mode.  This is the gun he used in the show, and also the one derived from the original's "gut gun".


As with most Masterpiece figures, there's a corresponding slot in his hands to the peg on the handle so that he can firmly hold onto it.


The fingers are all jointed as one and it is difficult to insert the gun.  Also, for some reason, the hands are easily detachable.


Cheetor has just enough articulation to hold the weapon with both hands.


When not in use, you can store the gun on his back.  The beast mode legs also have joints which allow it to lift up, so they don't get in the way.


The other gun is formed from the tail section of beast mode.


Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the handle is smooth and so the gun loves to slip out of Cheetor's hands.  It's frustrating.


It doesn't look too great as a weapon thanks to the organic look but is inspired by the original toy's weapon.


Again, if you don't want to use it, then it can store behind his waist.


Cheetor comes with two additional faces, the first is a cheeky smile.


While the second is a bigger smile...  If you look carefully, this face has a bigger smile and both eyes are large, compared to the other which has a smaller smile and the right eye is slightly smaller.  Why they bothered giving two faces where the differences are so subtle, no idea.


Despite what it may look, Cheetor holds together solidly.


Once again, the Masterpiece line astounds you with its accuracy and update of the character to present-day standards.

OVERALL:


Cheetor is a brilliant figure.  He has some flaws such as the flimsy waist in beast mode, and the loose gun in robot mode.  However, on the whole, the designers have done such a great job of translating the show model into a toy mode that transforms.  Cheetor is definitely recommended for Beast Wars fans.

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For other Transformers reviews, have a look at this page.

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