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Series: Masterpiece
Allegiance: Maximal
Year: 2017

Prelude: To avoid confusion, this figure is obviously Beast Wars Cheetor, yes, but given that the Masterpiece series is from Takara, it is called Cheetus instead. Why? Because that was Cheetor’s name in the Japanese dub of Beast Wars, simple as that. I will still refer to it as Cheetor in this review, though.

Robot Mode: Let us start with the fact that Cheetor here looks like he just stepped out of the mid-1990s TV screen, rendered for the Beast Wars series. It’s really amazing how close he looks to the character from the series. There is really just one major difference to the TV figure and that’s that the cheetah head on Cheetor’s chest does not, in fact, become the head of his beast mode. Given how much the head flattens in the TV animation, though, that would have been impossible to implement in a toy short of using nano-technology, so I’m fine with that. Otherwise: a perfect likeness. Very nicely done.

Cheetor is very nicely articulated and can wield his two weapons in all manners of poses. They are the same the original BW Cheetor toy came with: his main weapon, the gun with the sculpted ‘guts’ on it, and the ‘rump gun’, formed from the behind of his cheetah mode. Both can be stored on his back in robot mode, somewhat invoking the image from the cartoon where the robot reached behind their backs and suddenly had their guns in hand.

Much like Optimus Primal, Cheetor comes with different faces in robot mode, giving him a stern, an angry, and a smiling face. Sadly, just like the original issue of Optimus Primal, there is no mutant face to be found. I assume it will be part of a reissue later on. Anyway, you can sort of improvise a “battle helmet” look for Cheetor simply by turning his head (minus a face) around. Looks pretty good.

So to sum it up: a pretty perfect robot mode. Sure, it doesn’t have as many gimmicks as Optimus Primal, but that’s simply because the toy / character it’s based on didn’t have as many. Two thumbs up here, no complaints.

Alternate Mode: Unsurprisingly Cheetor transforms into a cheetah. While the original toy didn’t really resemble a cheetah that much (at least not in terms of shape), this beast here certainly does. It’s long and lean and mostly legs, as befits the fastest runner in the animal kingdom. Sure, the transformation is a bit of a cheat – as I mentioned above – as the cheetah head seen here isn’t the one from Cheetor’s robot mode chest, but who really cares? The cheetah looks great, is fully articulated, and the only visible robot parts are the back of the hind legs.

The cheetah, too, comes with three different heads, sporting three different expressions (neutral, surprised, and angry) and real, actual whiskers, too. Personally I really like the surprised-looking head, as it nicely captures Cheetor’s season 1 character, I find. Also, the cheetah eyes are interchangeable, giving you the option of having each cheetah face with eyes looking right, left, or center. So bottom line: a very, very nice beast mode. No complaints here, either.

Remarks: Cheetor is, to me, still the best-developed character in all of Transformers. He started out as a wide-eyed youngster at the beginning of Beast Wars and grew organically into an experienced warrior and leader by the end of Beast Machines. He even had an awkward teenager phase when he got his Transmetal 2 body (complete with crushing on the female teammate). And while my favorite incarnation of Cheetor is still his Transmetal body from season 2 of Beast Wars, this figure here, depicting him in his original body, does a superb job.

Which is pretty much all I can say here regarding this figure: it’s a pretty perfect depiction of the season 1 version of Cheetor. No real flaws, no restrictions, nothing to complain about. So unless you are simply not into Beast Wars or don’t like Cheetor, there is really no reason not to get this excellent figure here.

Rating: A
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