Those that know me know that I'm not a fan of the Universe line of Transformers. I usually don't like the choice in molds used for the line and when there is a mold that I like in Universe, it's colored horrendously. However, with the Universe edition of Night Slash Cheetor, originally from the Battle of the Spark line of Beast Machines, Hasbro did good. They took a decent mold and gave it the colors it probably should have had to begin with. Although, they could have left out the Night Slash part of the toy name.
Packaging & Paperwork
Cheetor comes packaged in a newer version of Universe packaging. There is more red on the card, to possibly tie it in with Energon visually. He's in his beast mode, unlike the previous version of the toy which was packaged in robot mode, and has his swords extended, giving away one of his features. As with most mainstream Universe products, his character artwork is stunning, though small and cut off. I'd love to see the Universe artwork compiled somewhere, free of names or other stuff.
The back of his card shows him in both modes with "Sword slashing action!" declared above. The standard Universe story blurb in French, English, and Spanish to the left. Near the top are the cross-sell toys. In this case pictured are Frostbite and Long Haul & Hightower, presumably sold in a set similar to Energon's Grimlock and Swoop.
Cheetor's beast form is a mechanical cheetah, or so one would guess given his name and character. He really could be any number of large felines since he's rather nondescript and I don't know anything about cats other than mine is really cool, but he drains the life out of me. He is mostly a mustard color with dark blue techno bits painted on the outer portion of his upper arms and legs. The engine module on his back, forearms, and head are crimson and the middle of his hind legs and tail are dark brown. These colors, mixed with the clear red for his feet, chest, and Spark go very well together.
He features shoulders that turn and pivot slightly, bending elbows, front feet that are on ball-sockets enabling them to rotate and bend inward, ball-socket hips, two bending knee joints, and rear feet that are on both a hinge and ball-socket. The tail and engine unit pivot as well.
Pressing down on the Spark crystal, where an Autobot symbol covers his Maximal heritage, causes his front legs to swing back and forth at the shoulders. This makes him look more like he's running, rather than attacking anything. My cat wasn't impressed when I stuck Cheetor in his face, claws swinging.
To get Cheetor into robot mode, it's primarily a head swap by opening the back and chest panels, elongating the limbs, repositioning the arms and hands, and flipping the robot toes out and turning the feet around. It's not too tricky, but the heads can stick on their tracks on occasion.
So, outside of expanded legs and a different head, Cheetor is pretty much the same as he was in beast mode. The gray paint used to highlight his waist and four-pack abs is more visible now. His head is an odd, yet streamlined, one. His face is painted silver with the black spots, stripes to the side of each eye, and eyebrows. Eyebrows? Well, I'm sure he doesn't actually have eyebrows, but they sure look like eyebrows the way they're painted.
Pressing the brown levers on the sides of Cheetor's shoulders releases his swords. If you have the forearms positioned correctly, with the thumbs out, they will pop right into his hands making it look like he's holding them. They're made of a more sparkly brown plastic than his tail and leg sections. Unfortunately, given the nature of his limited shoulder articulation, he can't be posed in too many different positions, at least ones that look cool. This feature works in beast mode as well.
The arm slashing feature is also present in robot mode and looks a little better than in beast mode. Although, he does tend to hit his upper legs quite a bit unless you reposition the arms at a slight upward angle.
Night Slash Cheetor is one of the few toys that Universe has done justice to, in my opinion. They took a good toy and gave it an improved color scheme, while leaving it recognizable as the character it is supposed to represent. If you missed out on this mold before, pick this one up. If not, get it only if you like the new colors scheme.
|Reviewer||Richard C. Mistron|
|Date||March 2nd 2005|
|Score||(7 out of 10)|
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