Botcon 2002 Exclusive
Images courtesy of www.tfu.info
This... is a beautiful toy.
In 2002, one of the Botcon convention exclusive toys was a repaint of Beast Machines Ultra Jetstorm into a homage of the G1 character Cyclonus. Cyclonus was, of course, Galvatron's second-in-command, formed by Unicron from the carcass of the Insecticon Bombshell. His toy was noticeable for its sleek design, forward sweeping wings, and the two "antennae/horns" (for lack of a better term) atop his head in robot mode. 3H apparently noticed that Ultra Jetstorm shared these features... and the rest, as they say, is history.
Cyclonus comes in a retro-styled box, which reminds one of G1 while still retaining a hint of newer packaging lines. The back tells the story of Megatron transplanting Cyclonus' spark into a new body, illustrated by artwork showing his old form, his new form, and Megatron's work between.
In jet mode, Cyclonus is a mix of purples, with gray used primarily for his wings and rudders, and a red cockpit. The mix of purples is rather impressive -- I count at least five different shades, and the top of the jet's body is a deep Transmetal purple. His landing gear is retractable but unfortunately doesn't roll, as the wheels are molded. Push a lever on the back to pop up the turret in the rear of the plane, and the cockpit and missile launchers light up red. Move it from side to side, and the jet's cockpit turns as well. Push two smaller levers to fire the missiles. He also comes with Jetstorm's two "shark missiles", which attach under his wings. Though the missiles are actually neat little toys themselves, I feel that they're too reminiscent of Jetstorm, and take away from the toy's homage to G1 Cyclonus.
His robot mode prominently displays the Transmetal purple on his chest with blue and fuchsia details. His legs are light purple at the top and deeper purple toward the feet. His arms and hands are mainly gray, with purple forearms (deep purple on the top, light purple on the bottom) and detailing, and metallic blue joints and details. His head is metallic blue with silver details and gray "antennae", resting on the translucent red missile launchers, which work perfectly in this mode. Push the button behind his head, and his eyes and missile launchers light up red! His shark missiles can attach to his hips -- though if you ask me, they detract even more from his "Cyclonus" look in this mode, and are better left in the box.
After all, the similarity to the original Cyclonus IS important here. After seeing Arcee turned into a spider, I was relieved at Botcon's first genuine homage to a G1 character... and they pulled it off perfectly. Cyclonus looks right. Everything from the jet's forward-sweeping wings, to the sleek look of the vehicle, to the dual antennae in robot mode, to the wings coming off of the arms, truly says "G1 Cyclonus".
However, all of the good things I've said so far are meaningless, next to the one thing that I truly love about this toy.
It... is absolutely beautiful.
The pictures don't do it justice. My descriptions don't do it justice. When you see this toy up close, in person, it's absolutely stunning. The purples flow together for an overall that is simultaneously based on one color and yet rich and varied. The Transmetal purple which makes up the body of the jet and the chest of the robot is not only attractive by itself, but is set against the other colors perfectly, in a way that enhances it and the colors around it.
When I got this toy last week and took it out of its packaging, my fiancé (who is sympathetic to my collecting, but not into Transformers at all) stopped speaking in mid-sentence. Her jaw dropped open, she walked over, and said, "It's absolutely beautiful. Can I hold it?"
I'm honestly trying to find something negative to say about this toy. Let me think... actually, the Transmetal paint covers a connector, which locks the turret/chest pieces together. The paint was already flaked off of the connector after transforming him once... but, then again, you never even see this connector except briefly during transformation, so that's not much. I also wish the landing gear had real, rolling wheels, but that's a complaint with the Ultra Jetstorm mold, really.
In short, this is (in my opinion) the best Botcon exclusive to date, hands-down, and one of the best Transformers released in the past few years, overall! It's very attractive, fun, full of features, and does a wonderful job of evoking the original G1 Cyclonus. Being a Botcon exclusive gives it a high price tag, unfortunately ($60 at the convention, going for around $100 on Ebay as of this writing), but nothing too daunting for a true collector.
If you're going to pick up any Botcon exclusive, make it this one. It takes the best things about G1 and modern toy design and combines them into a toy that is definitely greater than the sum of its parts.
|Reviewer||Reverend Pee Kitty|
|Date||May 21st 2003|
|Score||(10 out of 10)|
|Link||OTFCC (Botcon) Exclusives Page|