"Generations" War for Cybertron: Kingdom Tigatron Toy Review

12/13/21

General Information:
Release Date: November 2021
Price Point: $31.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Tail/Whip Weapon, Blaster

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:

  • DISCOVER KINGDOM: Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever
  • BEASTIFY THE BATTLEFIELD: Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Tigatron collectible figure, featuring detailed beast mode with intricate molded fur texture
  • EPIC BEAST MODE: Tigatron toy converts to Beast Wars-inspired white Siberian tiger mode in 23 steps and features an articulated lower jaw. Beast mode tail can detach and be held as a tail whip accessory in robot mode
  • CLASSIC BEAST WARS-INSPIRED QUASAR CANNON: Comes with classic Quasar Cannon accessory inspired by the Beasts Wars cartoon
  • GOLDEN DISK CARDS REVEAL POSSIBLE DESTINIES: Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character!

Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever. Primal power floods the battlefield as the fierce beast modes of the Maximals and Predacons are unleashed! Unleash the primal power of the beasts with this Tigatron collectible figure, featuring a detailed beast mode with intricate tiger-inspired molded fur texture. Toy converts to Beast Wars-inspired white Siberian tiger mode in 23 steps and features articulated lower jaw. Beast mode tail can detach and be held as a tail whip accessory in robot mode. Comes with his classic Quasar Cannon accessory inspired by the Beasts Wars cartoon. Includes a Golden Disk card that reveals a possible destiny of a key character. Collect other Kingdom figures to reveal all 3 alternate destiny variants for each character! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.) Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Packaging:
A new style of packaging has been introduced with Kingdom. The shape is very similar to what has been seen with Siege and Earthrise, with a rectangular box that has an angled panel on the left. This time however the box does not have a window in front that shows off the entire figure. That said, it does show more than the Deluxe boxes do. Almost all of Tigatron can be seen through the window. This window has plastic over it, but what this allows for is artwork featuring the character in both modes, something that is extremely uncommon for the Transformers line. Like previous Generations packaging the Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with the Generations and Takara Tomy logos above it. On the lower part (under the window) is the Kingdom logo. On this box, Tigatron is shown in running in beast mode and in a fighting pose in robot mode using his tail/whip weapon. Behind him is a volcano with the Ark on top.

The back of the box shows Tigatron in both modes calling out a twenty three step transformation. Above him is a modified Maximal symbol which appears to incorporate elements of the Autobot symbol. In the corner is a nice, classic callback featuring the Transformers logo with the "More than Meets the Eye" tag line under it. Overall this packaging is beautiful and I think it is really going to pop on store shelves.

Tigatron himself is attached to a cardboard insert inside the box.  The insert itself is covered in patterns based on the Golden Disk, which played a large part in the cartoon.  On the back is a small slot where the accessory is stowed away, so always be sure to check the entire insert before tossing it out!  Also included is a collector card/sticker.  Be sure to peel the sticker off to reveal the "alternate fate" of whatever character you get!  These are randomly inserted so you can get just about anyone.

In the Beast Wars episode "Fallen Comrades" a new Maximals was introduced to the show: Tigatron! Taking on the alt form of a white tiger, Tigatron went on to become a beloved character from the show affectionately referred to as "Big Cat" (with Cheetor being "little cat"). Tigatron would later be shown in Botcon fiction with three different Botcon exclusive figures made of the character! At the end of 2021 the Kingdom line brought fans a new version of the character featuring an all new figure!

Accessories:
Unlike his smaller counterpart Cheetor, Tigatron comes with two accessories. The first is a whip weapon formed from his tail. This is not the same weapon as Cheetor's. There is no blade at the end and the curve/design is completely different. This actually looks like a viable whip weapon versus Cheetor's weapon which curves oddly close to the shoulder. This pieces is white plastic with black stripes on it.

The other accessory is Tigatron's blaster. The design is based on the cartoon design for the "gut gun", so called because on the original Cheetor/Tigatron/Shadow Panther sculpt this gun was formed by the stomach area in beast mode and had intestines sculpted into it! This design was modified for the TV show, with an egg shaped section attached to the weapon barrel with the "intestines" at the back of the weapon. This blaster looks just like the show model and offers a bit of retro grossness to this unique weapon. This piece is white plastic with pink paint on the "guts", a nice touch that draws the eye to this fun and gross little detail.  The end of the blaster allows you to attach a Blast Effect, which I was grateful for as I think Blast Effects are one of the best ideas to come out of the War for Cybertron series.

Robot Mode:
When the first photos of Tigatron were released, many fans believed he was just an upscaled version of Kingdom Cheetor. However, once you get the figure in hand it is clear this is not the case. The two figures absolutely share some core engineering and design elements, but the designs of various parts of this figure and even the way it is constructed are quite different from Cheetor. That said, I have no doubt that the designers started at the same place for both figures, but then ended up in very different places for each in the final design. Here's a rundown of some of the key differences between Cheetor and Tigatron's robot modes.

  • The head sculpt is very different, featuring a sculpt based on Tigatron's Beast Wars animation model including a wide nose and a cat-like face.
  • All the limbs are much thicker and sturdier than Cheetor's, with slightly different sculpted details on them. The fists also lack the extra panel of plastic that Cheetor has on his hands.
  • The tiger head that forms a bulk of the torso is completely different, looking more like a real tiger head with rounded ears and bit tufts of "fur" on the sides.
  • The feet are thicker and rounder than Cheetor's and they feature heel pieces Cheetor did not have.

Sure there are some similarities between the two, given that the two shared animation model elements it makes sense. They both have round shoulders, beast mode heads on their chest, a crest with "horns" sticking up on top of their heads and spikes on their lower legs. The combination of these similarities and differences drive home how much this figure resembles the animation model, which started with Cheetor's model then tweaked some elements to create Tigatron in the show.

Tigatron is mostly white plastic with some green parts such as the shoulders and elbow joints. Interestingly there are two kinds of white plastic here. One is a flat white color, the other is one that sparkles under a flashlight. This is most noticable on the robot head and the forearms. Green can be found on bits like the shoulders and the elbow joints. As you'd expect, there is liberal use of black stripes all over this mode, carried over from the beast mode. A beautiful metallic green paint is used on parts like his lower legs and face. His crest and eyes are painted red, mirroring the appearance of the CG model from the TV show. You will notice some yellow-ish patches here and there on the figure when you look closely. This is a wonderful touch as it is meant to reflect how real life fur on a tiger may look at certain places. They didn't need to add this detail but I'm glad they did!

There are twenty eight points of articulation on this figure. This includes seven in each arm and five in each leg. The articulation points are well thought out, allowing parts like the arms to not only move up and down but also swivel out sideways and so on. He can hold his weapons in either fist and he has 5mm ports on his forearms and heels to attach other accessories. For those of you who want to attach Tigatron to a Bandai display stand, lift the tiger striped panel on his back and you'll find a port there to attach to a display stand.

Transformation to Beast Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the heels into the feet.
  4. Swing the front of the lower legs down, which will in turn push the feet into the back of the lower legs, forming the rear tiger legs.
  5. Raise the robot arms up and swing the small panels on the sides out, lining them up with the panels behind the arms. Then move the arms back down.
  6. Swing the forearms up against the biceps.
  7. Rotate the arms outward and attach it to the panel behind the arms using the tab and corresponding slot.
  8. Rotate and extend the front tiger arms out to the sides so they are out of the way.
  9. Lift the beast mode head up, then swing it forward. Push the robot head down, then swing the beast mode head up.
  10. Swing the panels with the arms and the ones under them together, forming the sides and lower portion of the tiger mode.
  11. Attach the tail to the back.
  12. The blaster can attach to one of the 5mm ports on the underside of the tiger.

Beast Mode:
In the original Beast Wars toy line, Tigatron was a straight up redeco of Cheetor so it took a bit of imagination to see the figure as a "true" tiger in beast mode. This time out, Hasbro decided to create a beast mode that is distinctive from Cheetor's. Sure the two figures use similar engineering but the overall shape of the beast mode is different at key points. This includes the bulk of the forward section and legs. Combined with the wide beast mode head (complete with a wide nose for the tiger) this truly looks like a tiger versus a cheetah masquerading as one.

This mode also offers up some more differences between Tigatron and Cheetor. The front half of the beast mode is nicely integrated together without robot arm bits kind of sticking out towards the back. Also, the rear robot thighs angle up in a nice way that is very different than Cheetor, whose legs go straight back instead of angling upward. Keep in mind the point of this mode is to look more like a "realistic" tiger versus the CG model from the TV show.

This mode mostly shows off white plastic with a bit of green sticking out on the back of the rear legs and at the base of the neck area. In this form we see black stripes going from the head all the way down the tail. The yellowish areas are still there but now you can get a better look at them. I appreciate the liberal use of this color on the legs and back. The eyes are painted black with a yellow background but beware, some copies of this figure have the eyes looking in different directions. Mine does not have this issue, but I've seen photos of one eye looking forward while the other eye looks up! A fun little touch is the nose, which is painted the same pink as the "guts" in the blaster.

This mode has twenty one points of articulation, with most of that focused on the legs. The mouth can open and close as well. The blaster being able to attach to his belly is a fun (sort of) reference to where Tigatron's blaster wound up in the original Beast Wars toy line but I find it looks a tad awkward. To be fair however, I'm not sure where else they could have stored it so I'm thankful there is some place to put them in beast mode.

Final Thoughts:
Tigatron is fantastic. He is much more than an "upsized" Cheetor and the aesthetics of the figure are fantastic. Highly recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt in both modes.
  • More than just an "upscaled Cheetor", instead featuring several differences in design and construction.
  • Very nice deco, especially with the "yellow fur" touches.
  • I love the "gut gun"!

Cons:

  • I do wish the "gut gun" could have been integrated better into the beast mode.
  • I would have liked the tail to be articulated so it wasn't drooping down all the time. You can rotate it around but then you see gaps and no tiger stripes (can you tell I'm stretching a bit for "cons" here?).