Release Year: September 2006
Retailer: Botcon 2006 Exclusive
Price: $299 for Botcon 2006 registration that included boxed set, $249 for members of the fan club
Accessories: Gun/Engine, Golden Disk with "holder" (Cyber Key)
When you think about Cheetor, you definitely think about speed. Being one of the fastest land animals in Beast Wars, it was natural to find a sleek and fast vehicle mode for him for this pre-Beast Wars set. Keeping in line with choosing a readily available sculpt, the sculpt used for Galaxy Force Skids figure aka Cybertron Clocker (and later Cybertron Swerve). Check out those reviews for details on the sculpt itself. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Cheetor's animated counterparts have always been portrayed as having yellow as his primary color. Taking a cue from that, Cheetor's primary plastic color in this form is yellow, replacing both the orange and blue plastic on Clocker. While Cheetor uses translucent blue plastic for the wheels and front section, it is a darker shade than the one used on Clocker. Paint applications are done in black, metallic blue, yellow and red. The yellow paint is used for the translucent blue section in the front. It uses the same pattern as Clocker, leaving open translucent blue gaps on the headlights and windshield. This yellow is applied evenly and covers the translucent blue well (unlike the apps on some Clocker figures released).
On the hood of the vehicle is a large Maximal symbol, a detail similar to the large Autobot symbol on Swerve. Black paint is used on part of the engine section in the back and the seats have spots on them. This touch was added as a foreshadowing of things to come for the character. The metallic blue paint is used on the exhaust pipes, the sides of the engine section and the edge on back of the car seats. The metallic blue color used here is a match to the metallic blue parts on 10th Anniversary Beast Wars Cheetor, which makes it look great when you have the two figures standing side by side.
The Cyber Key gimmick works on this figure better than it did on my Clocker figure. I was very relieved to see this. Not only do the gun barrels swing up quick, they also swing out and point forward without a problem.
Cheetor features a new head sculpt created just for this figure run. Since his head was partially shown in the first episode of "Beast Wars" as being the same head he had during Beast Wars - that was the head used for the base design. The sculpt is extremely well done, with the trademark horns and crest. If you look carefully the horns coming out from the crest actually have the smaller outlines inside the edges of the crest as well.
Most of the plastic on Cheetor is yellow, so it falls to deco patterns to keep him from being visually monotonous. Metallic blue appears again here, making up details such as the tubes on his waist, the robot face and his feet (and the machine like details connected to them). The blue can also be found in the center of the crest on his head. Black is used for more spot details on his chest, and the car seat black spots carry over into this mode (more foreshadowing to his future cheetah beast mode). Black is also used to color the rectangular stripe details on his legs, something Clocker did not have painted in. Look closely at Cheetor's face, and you'll see black spots on there as well. This was a detail we wanted to make sure to put in since up until this point no other version of Cheetor had done it despite his appearance on the show having those "freckles".
A color not used on the vehicle mode is bright green, a color carried over from Cheetor's appearance on the television show. This is used for the robot eyes and the two circles on his chest. These also give a bit of foreshadowing as the green circles with the black line in them look a lot like a cheetah's eyes. Another detail that was used on Clocker is a symbol on his leg. Here, Cheetor has a small Maximal symbol on the left leg.
The choice of using Clocker for Cheetor was perfect. The form matches the character and the new head sculpt is very well done. The color scheme is visually attractive while offering nice foreshadowing to his Beast Wars form. A great part of the set!