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Series: Beast Wars Japan Telemocha
Allegiance: Cybertron
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2007

Prelude: The Telemocha series is Takara-Tomy’s 10th anniversary line for the Beast Wars toys and consists of repainted figures from the original BW line, who have gotten new paint jobs to match their TV appearances as closely as possible. I’ve reviewed the original BW Cheetor before, but it’s been a while, so here we go. Oh, and don’t be confused, in Japan Cheetor’s name is Cheetus. I’ll still be referring to this figure as Cheetor in this review, though.

Robot Mode: Despite being the same figure as the original 1996 Cheetor, the new paint job this figure has received makes it look decidedly different. The head especially has gotten quite a bit of attention. The formerly blue face is now shiny silver, the green eyes turned red, and the shinier yellow used across the entire body just makes it look much more metallic than plastic. The same holds true for the rest of Cheetor’s robot parts, which are either a shiny gold (formerly plain yellow) or a slightly greyish shiny blue (formerly dark blue). The great detailing of the figure is brought out quite superbly here.

There is actually one structural difference between the original and this reissue. Cheetor has a pretty huge beast head sitting on his chest and where the original has a rounded swivel that enables you to push the head down quite a bit in order to give Cheetor some breathing room, the reissue has a squared swivel. As a result you can’t push the beast head on his chest as far down, so it somewhat obscures his robot mode head unless you’re looking at from the side or an elevated point. Not a big problem, but worth mentioning, as it compounds the only real flaw this figure has.

Apart from that, nothing has changed. Still very posable, still carrying two big weapons, still a great-looking robot. One that looks just fabulous in his new colours. Thumbs up.

Beast Mode: As one might guess from the name, Cheetor transforms into a cheetah. Now I’m not a zoologist, so I can’t really tell you how well the proportions match, but the overall look is a very good likeness to a real cheetah. The new paintjob doesn’t really make that much of a difference here, though the Telemocha version adds some lighter yellow to the legs and some other parts, making for a more realistic-looking effect than the original Cheetor’s uniform yellow. The head has also gotten some changes, more black markings and different eyes. Still, the differences here are far less obvious than in robot mode.

Comparison aside, this is still an excellent beast mode in terms of looks, but not so much in terms of posability. Cheetor’s rear legs (the robot mode legs) are fully posable, but everything else is pretty much immobile. Oh, you can move the forelegs, too, but that causes the torso to slide apart, so I’d advise against it. Also, don’t look to closely at the cheetah’s belly, as one of Cheetor’s robot mode weapons is visible there. So all in all a beautiful beast mode to look at, but not offering all that much in terms of play value.

Remarks: Cheetor was one of the core characters of the entire Beast era and is, to me, still the best example of a developing character within the Transformers franchise. We saw him go from a wide-eyed youngster at the beginning of Beast Wars to a veteran warrior and leader at the end of Beast Machines. There isn’t a single character in all of Transformers who has gotten anywhere near that much character development. And just a few (not counting the Movie toylines) who have received more toy incarnations.

Beast Wars was the first series with a clear emphasis of making the TV characters as close as possible to their toy incarnations. The Telemocha anniversary series tries to top that by giving the old figures even better paint jobs. In Cheetor’s case they’ve clearly succeeded. A great-looking figure, no doubt about it. Slight point deduction for not being able to push the beast head all the way down in robot mode. Apart from that, though: no complaints. Everybody needs a Cheetor of some sort and this one here is a pretty good one.

Rating: B
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