Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon:
Originally intended to join the ranks of G1 figures, the Transformers: Legacy Deluxe Autobot Nightprowler robot toy was never been released…until now! Nightprowler, a renegade Autobot, hunts in darkness, silently stalking his foes.
Transformers: Legacy brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse. Figures feature deco inspired by their universe with an updated Generations design. In honor of the almost 40-year legacy of Transformers entertainment, the fandoms come together from across the Transformers multiverse, all in one toy line.
Transformers: Legacy action figures are great kids’ toys and exciting collectibles for fans of all ages. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro. Includes: figure, accessory, and instructions. Figure scale: 5.5 inches Ages 8 and up. Warning: Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years. © 2022 Hasbro. All Rights Reserved. Manufactured under license from TOMY Company, Ltd.
- NEVER-BEFORE RELEASED DESIGN: This Transformers: Legacy 5.5-inch Autobot Nightprowler robot toy was originally intended to join the ranks of G1 figures, but was never released…until now! Featuring a Generations-style design
- UNIVERSES COLLIDE: Universes collide with Transformers: Legacy! This epic line of Transformers toys brings together fan-favorite characters from across the Transformers multiverse
- 2 EPIC MODES: Action figure converts from robot to snow leopard mode in 20 steps. Features intricate molded fur texture, articulated lower jaw, and detailed claws for more realistic snow leopard poses
- TAIL BECOMES TAIL WHIP: Tail detaches from snow leopard mode during conversion and becomes tail whip accessory that can be held by figure in robot mode
- EXPAND YOUR MULTIVERSE COLLECTION: Look for other Transformers: Legacy figures to build out your Transformers multiverse collection and create your own crossover stories! (Each sold separately; subject to availability)
Much ado has been made in fandom about the Legacy boxes not having plastic windows (and some of the concerns are legitimate for sure) but no worries with this set of figures. Each of the Walmart exclusive Legacy figures has the same cardboard design as the mass release figures but they also have plastic windows like traditional Transformers packaging. I doubt this means they're changing course on the packaging. More likely these exclusives were planned before the final decision was made to remove plastic windows.
The box art itself is pretty spectacular. The more Earth-tone colors of Kingdom have been traded up for a very retro-scifi (circa the 90's) look. The background tones are mostly purple and black and the Legacy logo just screams "Pay Attention to Me!!!" with its sharp angles and beveled letters that look like something right out of 90's toy packaging (and yes, this is what the BWTF logo circa 2022 is a homage to). On the right is the now traditional vertical Transformers logo with the Generations logo above that. Both have a "worn metal" coloring on them that really looks great. The left (angled) side of the box features Nightprowler's robot mode art. The front features Nightprowler in beast mode. Interestingly enough, both pieces of art are new and not just recycled Cheetor artwork in new colors. The back of the box features Nightprowler in both modes, calling out a 20 step transformation. Unlike the mass release figures in Legacy, Nightprowler does not feature a QR Code to scan (presumably because it is an exclusive figure).
I do have one major reservation about the packaging (beyond the open window portion), and that is how thin the cardboard is. Once upon a time Transformers boxes came in thick cardboard boxes with many layers. This box is super thin and it feels rather flimsy. I worry about how these boxes will stand up to damage on shelves or as they are shipped. Of course, if you ditch your boxes anyway this is not an issue.
During the Universe era of Transformers Hasbro looked to redeco what felt like every figure they could get their hands on. One of these planned releases was a "Halloween Horrocon Variety Pack" at Wal-Mart. One of these packs would have included an Autobot named Nightprowler, a redeco of Beast Wars Cheetor. This may seem odd, but the Universe line was pretty much set up as Autobots versus Decepticons, regardless of the source of the sculpt. Ultimately the packs were never released but Nightprowler did make an appearance at a San Diego Comic-Con Hasbro event and then faded into the realm of legend.
Fast forward decades later and Nightprowler has been released as a Wal-Mart exclusive at long last. In May of 2022, a set of three Beast Wars based exclusives were released as Wal-Mart exclusives under the Legacy banner. This figure's base sculpt has been used several times already as:
Check out any of those reviews for my original throughts on the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made for this release.
The original Nightprowler was going to feature the Cheetor sculpt in grey with bright yellow, gold and red colors with black spots. This release of the Cheetor sculpt follows this pattern. Most of the figure is made up of two different shades of grey plastic with yellow parts on smaller bits like the shoulders and ankle joints. The head's "helmet" section is painted yellow with a really tiny Autobot symbol in the crest. The waist plate has yellow painted on front and the beast mode eyes on the chest are red. Most of these details are directly inspired by the original prototype. I do wish however that the designers had used gold paint on the lower legs, which really popped nicely on the original.
All the joints on this figure are every bit as tight as those on my other versions of this base sculpt so no concerns from that perspective but this figure also suffers from the "broken tab" problem on the beast mode head piece when you transform it. While it took my original Cheetor a few transformations before the tab broke, on this figure it broke the first time. This does not affect it from a functional standpoint, but breaking pieces on a brand new figure definitely points to a design/quality control issue.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the tail weapon and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Rotate the beast mode arms on the back out to the sides.
- Swing the panels on the sides of the mid-body out.
- Angle the robot head up, then rotate it around.
- Pull the beast mode head up from the chest, swing it up and over the robot head and then swing the lower jaw up.
- Move the robot arms down, then swing them against the armor behind the shoulders. Adjust the beast mode "fur" panels so they line up.
- Swing each of the front halves of the beast mode in and connect them in the middle.
- Swing the mid-body side panels in. They may "snap", but they should be okay.
- Straighten out the front legs and point the paws forward.
- Swing the robot feet up into the back of the thighs.
- Swing the rear beast mode legs down.
- Attach the tail to the back.
In beast mode, Nightprowler is intended to be a Snow Leopard. He is mostly grey with black spots. The disappointing part is that the pattern is the exact same one used for Cheetor. Now look, I get it. You're not going to have some designer sitting there doing a brand new, paintstaking spot by spot reproduction of a real snow leopard's spot pattern for a store exclusive figure. Especially if this was developed during the pandemic when schedules were all over the place when it comes to production. Still, I cannot help but feel a bit disappointed. At the very least it would have been cool if they left the spots on the body alone but changed the head pattern. The lines around the eyes are very distinctively "cheetah" stripes and it kind of breaks the fantasy of this being a snow leopard. I know, that's a pretty long rant about spots. You don't write about Transformers as long as I have without getting a bit obsessive now and then!
Nightprowler is the least thrilling of the three Legacy Wal-Mart exclusives, partly because of his deco and partly because of the three this one features no retooling. That said, I really appreciate the really obscure deep cut this represents. I would say this figure is most aimed at hardcore fans (or for those who want another kitty in their Beast Wars army).
- Excellent robot mode and beast mode sculpts.
- Fantastic articulation.
- Fun transformation that is intuitive to boot.
- Fun obscure character reference.
- The weapon's sculpted angle is just odd.
- Lack of beast mode head articulation restricts one taking full advantage of the articulation points in beast mode.
- The tab on the back of the beast mode is very thin and after a few transformations snapped off on my copy of this figure. The transformation still holds up (the head doesn't flop around or anything) but any piece breaking off as part of the transform points to a bad design decision, bad quality control or both.
- More could have been done with the deco, but I understand the limitations the designers worked under.