Release Date: March 2023
Price Point: $54.99 (3 Pack Price)
Retailer: Target Exclusive (boxed set)
Accessories: Tail/weapon, Blaster
To align with the release of the Rise of the Beasts film, the toy line based on the film was segmented into three main silos: Rise of the Beasts "mainline", Studio Series and the Target exclusive Buzzworthy Bumblebee line. One of the Buzzworthy Bumblebee releases was a three pack featuring Cheetor, Nightbird and Wheeljack. Interestingly, the Cheetor from the set has also been released as an individual release in other countries as part of the Rise of the Beasts "mainline" putting the figure under two "sub-lines" at the same time. Each of these figures is pretty much a Generations style Deluxe, but interestingly the Generations branding is not used on the box. I will be reviewing the figures in this multi-pack separately.
At Target stores in the United States, Cheetor is packaged in a long Buzzworthy Bumblebee box. The set is labeled as the "Jungle Mission 3-Pack" and a small version of the Rise of the Beasts logo is off to the side. All three figures are packaged in robot mode. There is no plastic used for the box, so the window featuring the figures is open. Underneath each character is artwork (presumably from stock Paramount Pictures art). Off to the left are the "Evergreen" designs for Bumblebee, Optimus Prime and Megatron featured on most Buzzworthy packaging.
The back of the box features the Rise of the Beasts logo and the "Jungle Mission 3-Pack" logo. Each figure is shown in both modes calling out their transformation steps (21 for Cheetor, 19 for Nightbird and 23 for Wheeljack).
For Cheetor's Rise of the Beasts "mainline" release, he is in an individual box. The graphics on the box are akin to those of Battle Changer Rhinox and other "mainline" figures. This features a largely green background with some other orange and green colors mixed in. Cheetor is packaged in an open window box (again, no plastic) in robot mode and artwork of him in beast mode is printed in front. The back of the box features Cheetor in both modes, again calling out 21 steps. In the corner is what looks like an ancient carving with a stylized cheetah head.
Cheetor includes two accessories:
In the original Beast Wars toy line the first Cheetor toy had a weapon that formed his abdominal area in beast mode. When you detached it, it formed his Quasar Rifle and even had intestines sculpted into part of the blaster. This led to the weapon being called his "gut gun" by some fans. History has repeated itself once again with this weapon. Once again this weapon attaches to Cheetor's "gut" area in beast mode and the sculpt is inspired by the weapon shown in the Beast Wars cartoon.
Shaped very similarly to the Quasar Rifle with an oval body and a barrel that extends forward to a point. Some of the raised details on the sides and barrel look like the Quasar Rifle from the Beast Wars cartoon so this is a fun callback. This piece features a 5mm port on the bottom and a tab on the side to attach to the legs in beast mode. This can also attach to the sides of the robot thighs. This weapon is made of two shades of yellow plastic with no paint applications. The tip of the barrel can fit a Blast Effect.
Cheetor's tail is his other accessory. This piece is sculpted with both organic and mechanical looking parts (favoring the mechanical ones). The top and the end seem to be organic with rounded shapes and fur sculpted in. The rest however is very mechanical looking like the bottom which looks like it has the mechanical equivalent of bones. I really dig the sculpt of this accessory as it leans heavily into the techno-organic look of the Rise of the Beasts Maximals. This weapon is also a fun callback to Beast Machines Cheetor whose tail would detach to become a bladed whip.
Swing the end of the tail back and you reveal a blade. The other end has a 5mm port, allowing Cheetor to hold this bladed whip in his fists.
This piece is made up of yellow plastic (with a darker yellow for the end). Gunmetal grey is used for the mechanical bits on the bottom of the tail and the blade.
This Cheetor design is not the design that is used in the film (you can see that design on the Studio Series figure). Instead, this appears to be a stylized version of the design from the original Beast Wars cartoon. This design features a lot of elements from that design including the head featuring a central crest and blade-like designs sticking out at angles. His cheetah chest is on his head, beast mode legs wind up on his back, he has rounded shoulders and even some smaller details like those on his thighs carry over from Beast Wars. A lot of additional sculpted details have been added to the design to make him look more intricate as the live action Transformers tend to be. I find this a nice middle ground between the original Beast Wars design and the live action films.
It is important to note that despite initial appearances, this figure is not a redeco/retool of Kingdom Cheetor. It looks like it at first because the two Cheetor designs are so similar. However, most of the parts are very different. For example, this Cheetor has a "collar" piece around the base of the robot head that Kingdom Cheetor does not have. The legs also transform differently and the transformation is very different.
Cheetor is made up of copper and yellow plastic. The yellow is mostly a lighter shade but some smaller parts are a darker mustard color (this is seen on his weapons as well). Paint colors on this figure include metallic blue, black, mustard yellow and a brighter yellow. The metallic blue color really contrasts beautifully on parts like the head, arms and legs. Black is used mostly for cheetah spots and details on the beast mode head. Overall the deco looks really nice.
There are twenty points of articulation in this mode. This includes four in each arm (including a ball joint at the shoulders) and five in each leg. Surprisingly he has waist articulation too (something I didn't think he would based on stock photos). All the joints are really solid and tight. Each fist has a 5mm port, allowing Cheetor to hold his weapons. You can also attach the Quasar Rifle to the side of his thigh using the tab and thin slot. There is a small port on the back of the figure allowing you to attach it to stands like those made by Bandai.
Transformation to Beast Mode:
- Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Point the feet down.
- On each leg, swing the rear panel back.
- Rotate the section with the robot feet and rear beast mode feet.
- Close the copper panels up.
- Rotate each of the lower legs around.
- Push out each of the side pieces of the "collar" around the head.
- Turn the robot head around.
- Pull up the chest section with the beast mode head.
- Swing the beast mode head over the robot head.
- Take the Quasar Rifle and swing the barrel into the main body of the weapon. Attach this to the 5mm port in the torso.
- Swing each of the robot arms in. Connect the tabs on the forearms to the corresponding slots on the waist area.
- Swing the beast mode's chest piece over the robot shoulders, forming the chest and collar area of the beast mode.
- On each of the forearms, rotate the yellow "fur" panels on the sides.
- Rotate the front beast mode legs out then swing them down.
- Attach the tail piece to the back.
- Swing the rear beast mode legs up, lining up the tabs on either side of the rear end with the slots on the thighs.
- The circular parts of the knees line up with the round indentations on the tail.
Unlike the robot mode the beast mode looks a lot closer to the Cheetor see in promotional art and the trailers for Rise of the Beasts. At first glance he looks very much like a Beast Wars style techno-organic cheetah. However, a second look will show several of his parts look like metal plating running along the back and cables inside his rear legs. At the same time there are many parts that clearly show "fur" patterns. The only part I'm a bit iffy on is the way his robot arms are so obvious in this mode. I wish they were hidden a bit more.
All the same colors from the robot mode carry over here, but we get to see a lot more cheetah spots, especially on the front half of the beast mode. A large Maximal symbol is painted on his head (and yes, this was plainly visible in robot mode too). The deco in this mode looks good thanks in part to a lot of contrast between the various colors making up the figure.
There are nine points of articulation on this figure. This includes two on each leg and the ability of the mouth to open and close. You can't get a ton of poses out of this, but that's a fairly common issue with feline based Transformers.
Cheetor is a really cool figure. In many ways, this feels like the team took lessons learned from Kingdom Cheetor and applied them to this figure. I liked that figure, but I really like this one! As an individual release, I totally recommend this figure. As part of a three pack it is also great but whether or not you want that 3-pack depends on how much you care about the other two figures.
- Excellent interpretation of the Beast Wars Cheetor design.
- Good articulation.
- Fun and intuitive transformation.
- Good deco.
- Cool weapons that call back to previous Cheetor figures.
- This is not a movie accurate Cheetor (assuming the Studio Series figure is true to the film).
- In the United States at least you will have to buy this as part of the three pack or wait til someone breaks the set up and sells you the figure individually on the secondary market.