Cheetor didn’t fare too well in the Beast Machines series. His original toy has standing issues but many fans complained that he didn’t quite look like he did on the show. Of course the toys are usually designed first (except for maybe the Michael Bay movies and Transformers Animated) so that didn’t bother me and I could work around a lot of the legs issues so I actually like him. Still Hasbro decided to try again in the Battle For The Spark subline, where pressing the spark crystal activated certain gimmicks with each figure. For this subline Cheetor got his “Night Slash” version, a ground-up redesign in a smaller size class. (The original was a “Mega”, with a terrible “Supreme” size made that I never got and I hear I’m better off for it. The thing was as big as a house cat. Now that would take up a lot of space.)

For the Universe line Night Slash Cheetor was brought back and given a less nighttime color scheme, something closer to the colors of an actual cheetah. This is the version I own since I already had a Beast Machines Cheetor and even then I was starting to scale back slightly in my collecting. So how does this version fare?

From Maximal to Autobot.

This is the Universe version of Cheetor, back in yellow and I think it works better for him than a black cheetah. He’s a little less technorganic and more mechanical-with-organic-elements, although he still retains the transforming engineering that comes with being a Beast Machines Maximal, where it was more like a metamorphosis than a typical Transformers transformation, emulated in the toys as best they could. Again, I wish I could demonstrate transformations in picture form.

Cheetor has a translucent red head and paws, plus his spark crystal. The gimmick in this mode is a slashing feature which works if he’s on his hind legs since this time both of his arms have the action feature. The Transformers Wiki, where I got the Beast Machines version pic from says there’s a disk in the chest that spins when he slashes but I can’t see it moving. Apparently the chest, despite also being translucent red, is too thick to see it.

Otherwise it works pretty well, but it does add some issue to posing his arms since you have to overcorrect to get into the position you want and if you don’t do it enough it won’t work. Cheetor’s arms want to be in one position and only gravity keeps him from falling over, and you have to get the elbows right for that to even work. That’s why there’s no pose picture for his cheetah form. Well, that and his legs’ articulation is better equipped for his robot form. His tail does move up and down, and pressing his head opens his mouth, though it closes again when you let go. It’s not a bad looking form but posing is limited.

“What do you mean I’m ripping off Optimus Primal?”

Cheetor also gets a jet pack on his back that both forms can use. This is a solid almost maroon piece but it does have a hinge to better access it in each form. I don’t think it’s meant for flight so much as speed, since that better fits Cheetor’s personality. You can also see an Autobot symbol placed on top of his spark crystal, hiding the Beast Machines Maximal symbol or whatever is under there. Transforming has one huge pain and that’s in the swapping of the cheetah head for the Cheetor head, as I keep getting confused how to fold the cheetah head into the body. I go one way and it doesn’t work, I go the second way and it still doesn’t work, then I go back to the first way as there aren’t any other ways and figure it out. This happens every time and it annoys me to no end.

I don’t have trouble finding pants in my size. I’m a robot cheetah. I don’t wear pants.

In robot form Cheetor is pretty tall. How they do it is partially taken from his first Beast Machines figure. Extending the legs gave him his height but was also tied to his standing problems, so they went with the hinge system instead, which made him look like he was kneeling in cheetah form. This was designed for this form and I’m not really a fan. It makes him look more like he has bird legs in robot form than cat legs. The sculpt otherwise looks okay and he’s not ugly by any stretch. On the other hand I don’t really find it that exciting.

Works on Vehicons and Thanksgiving turkeys.

The “Night Slash” part of Night Slash Cheetor comes from the other half of his action gimmick. On the show Cheetor has twin swords but the original figure had one more rapier-like sword formed from his tail. This version instead has twin swords that spring out of his arms. As gimmicks go it’s actually pretty cool. Depending on where the arms are and how open his palms are the swords spring right into place with little problem. The swiping gimmick becomes a sword-slashing gimmick and unlike his comrade Snarl it actually looks pretty good, but still has that overcompensation issue when it comes to posing the shoulders.

Notice how I have the feet compared to the TF Wiki image above. Turning the feet that way does not solve the issue with the weak ankles causing him to fall forward and it looks like his feet are on backwards. They look more like heel spurs than robot feet. The legs have no good looking poses that I found beyond keeping them straight. You can get some decent poses out of him mind you. The neck has great articulation and even though Night Slash Cheetor lacks the left to right movement of the elbows the rest does allow for a good range of sword ready moves but not as many sword strike poses as I would like due to the action features.

Decision: Goes

Don’t get me wrong, this is a really good figure. However, the Transformer reviews aren’t about doing toy reviews but trimming my oversized collection and it just doesn’t work for me. I’m sure others disagree with me and I do understand why but it’s a matter of personal taste. As an objective review overall he’s a good figure, designed for play and molded and painted really nice. For me personally I just can’t get excited over the figure, mostly due to the issues with cheetah form while robot form doesn’t make up for it enough. He’s a nice toy but just doesn’t really interest me and I’m sure someone else can get more enjoyment out of him than I can.

Transformers Universe Night Slash Cheetor has been added to the Clutter For Sale section under Toys For Sale, with instructions.

 

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