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Series: Robots in Disguise
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Ultra Store Exclusive
Year: 2002

Always know what your allies and enemies choose to ignore.
Cryotek is a gangster in Cybertron's dangerous criminal underworld. Once a brilliant engineer, he turned his talents to crime, along with advancing technologies that were outlawed. Cryotek runs a tight organization that skirts the law, embarrassing the Maximal Security Force, who could never dig up any evidence against him. Ironically, Cryotek's claim to fame would be his protégé, the rogue Predacon who would be called Megatron. Cryotek's greatest ideas would be co-opted by his former student. If there's one thing Cryotek's pride cannot stand, it's his own failures.
(Adapted from Cryotek's TFWiki entry)

Robot Mode: Cryotek is an Ultra-class robot, very large and massive. He's mostly different shades of blue, the only spots of other color are his grey head and some black on his wings and joints. There is little doubt as to what he transforms into. He's got dragon wings on his back, clawed dragon feet as feet, and, of course, the neck and head of the dragon form his left arm. Which brings us directly to the one flaw this figure has: The dragon's neck as an arm looks cool as hell, but it's made of rubber. Meaning posing the arm is pretty much impossible. It's got a solid shoulder joint, but everything else just hangs there. It would have been great had they given him an actual multi-jointed, fully-posable neck. As things stand it still looks cool, but is somewhat awkward when it comes to poses.

Please note: I've been asked to include the fact that the rubber-neck also features a mechanism that, when a lever on his shoulder is moved, causes the rubber arm to trash around and stuff. To be honest I completely forgot about that, as I find it a pretty useless gimmick, but it's there. Just for the record. Oh, and supposedly the lever can lock into place to keep the arm in certain poses, but only if you unscrew everything and put the lever in backwards or something. Too much effort for me, I think.

No other complaints in terms of posability, though. Cryotek has pretty much a full range of movement, only somewhat restricted by his general bulkiness. He can't turn his head much, because it's connected to the dragon's tail which lies flat along his back, but there are no other restrictions. He can also spread his wings via a lever on his back, which can also lock into place to make them stay spread. His only weapon (apart from his dragon head hand) is a missile launcher above his head. Could have done without it, but it doesn't impede him any, either. The detailing of the body is pretty well-done overall and unlike with the Megatron version, it doesn't look as if a smaller robot is wearing a large rubber suit. I'm still not sure what the purpose of that thing on his chest is supposed to be, but like I said, great overall look.

So bottom line: A pretty good robot mode with very cool looks and no flaws except the left arm, which really could have been a lot better with a different (though probably more expensive) design.

Alternate Modes: Like many Transmetals Cryotek just about manages to qualify as a triple changer (a two-and-a-half changer?). He has a beast mode, which can be modified slightly to become something of a vehicle mode. Let's start with the beast mode. Not much of a surprise here, Cryotek becomes a dragon. The transformation from robot to dragon is a bit tricky, but once you've done it a few times it comes along pretty easily. The dragon itself is both a beauty to look at and pretty posable to boot. The dragon can extend and flap his wings, has a rubber tail, fully articulate legs and somewhat articulate arms. The rubber neck things comes into play here again, but isn't quite as bothersome as in robot mode. So all in all a very cool dragon mode. No complaints except, once again, wishing for a better-designed neck.

Cryotek's third mode is a "ground racer". Basically the dragon lies down on its stomach, folds in the legs (which reveals wheels) and flips out two engines/booster things from his knees. Position his tail and the wings in whatever way you like. Megatron, the original owner of this mold, never used this mode in the Beast Wars TV series and neither did Cryotek in his comic book appearances. Strangely enough I couldn't stand this mode with Megatron, but find myself somewhat liking it here. It's certainly not in any way spectacular and little more than an add-on, but a cool-looking one.

Remarks: Much like Air Attack Optimus Primal and Megatron Megabolt, Cryotek is part of the Robots in Disguise toyline, but actually belongs in the previous Transformers series Beast Machines. And while he didn't appear in either series, Cryotek was retro-actively inserted into the Beast Wars / Beast Machines universe by way of 3H Productions' Universe comic books. He was the main villain of the Universe: Wreckers series, the mentor of Beast Wars Megatron, aided the Quintessons in staging an invasion of Cybertron, and almost got his hands on the power of Primus himself. Since the 3H Productions comics were never completed, you can only get the full story of that in the prose-story "Wreckers: Finale", available to members of the Transformers Collectors Club.

Cryotek's real world history is also somewhat interesting, as the first pictures of him were believed to be fakes, simply photo-shopped picture of the red Megatron toy. It didn't help, of course, that the first few Cryoteks were actually sold in Beast Wars TM2 Megatron's packaging. It was only when the toy actually appeared at a convention that fans started believing. As for the toy itself, despite being a 'mere' repaint, I like Cryotek a lot. The blue brings out the superb details of this mold somewhat better than Megatron's red. I wouldn't go so far as to say you need both versions of this figure, but in direct competition Cryotek edges out Megatron by a slight margin. And boy would he be a great figure if he had a better-designed neck.

Rating: B+


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