"Transformers R.E.D. (Robot Enhanced Design) Cheetor Toy Review

03/18/21

General Information:
Release Date: March 2021
Price Point: $19.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Walmart Exclusive
Accessories: Hands (Open) x 2, Fists x 2, Hands (Weapon holding) x 2, Blaster, Energon Crystal, Blast Effects x 2

Official images and text below in italics are from Walmart.com:
Transformers R.E.D. [Robot Enhanced Design] Beast Wars Cheetor, Non-Converting Figure - Ages 8 and Up, 6-inch

  • TRANSFORMERS R.E.D. [ROBOT ENHANCED DESIGN]: R.E.D. 6-inch figures are inspired by iconic Transformers characters from throughout the Transformers universe, including G1, Transformers: Prime, Beast Wars: Transformers, and beyond
  • FIGURE DOES NOT CONVERT: Transformers R.E.D. figures do not convert, allowing us to enhance the robot mode with a sleek, "kibble-free" form
  • SCREEN-ACCURATE DESIGN: Highly poseable with 71 deco ops and 26 points of articulation, Transformers R.E.D. figures were designed to bring collectors the most screen-accurate versions of their favorite characters to display on their shelves
  • BEAST WARS-INSPIRED ACCESSORIES: Figure includes 2 sets of alt hands, a tail blaster, an Energon crystal, and 2 blast effect accessories
  • COLLECT OTHER TRANSFORMERS R.E.D. FIGURES: Enhance your collection with more collectible R.E.D. figures (each sold separately, subject to availability).

    Enhance your Transformers collection with Transformers R.E.D. [Robot Enhanced Design] figures. These 6-inch scale figures are inspired by iconic Transformers characters from throughout the Transformers universe, including G1, Transformers: Prime, Beast Wars: Transformers, and beyond. R.E.D. figures do not convert, allowing us to enhance the robot mode with a sleek, "kibble-free" form.

Highly poseable with 71 deco ops, this R.E.D. figure was designed to bring collectors the most screen-accurate version of the characters to display on their shelf. The brave Maximal scout, Cheetor, from the Beast Wars animated series features 26 points of articulation. Includes 2 sets of alt hands, a tail blaster, an Energon crystal, and 2 blast effect accessories. Chest piece can be removed to reveal figure detail beneath inspired by what would be the inner workings of a Transformers robot.

Look for other R.E.D. figures to enhance your collection (each sold separately, subject to availability). Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • Includes: figure and 8 accessories.
  • Figure scale: 6 inches
  • Ages 8 and up
  • Warning: Choking Hazard -- Small parts may be generated. Not for children under 3 years.
  • © 2021 Hasbro. All rights reserved.

Transformers R.E.D. action figures are Hasbro's most recent jump into bringing non-transforming Transformers figures onto the market. This has been tried many times before perhaps most successfully with the Heroes of Cybertron line back in the early 2000's. In recent years, the runaway success of Hasbro produced lines such as Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black Series helped to convince the Transformers brand team that 1:12 sized Transformers figures may be worth a shot. To that end, a deal was struck with Walmart to release the R.E.D. line as a Walmart exclusive series of figures. That said, Hasbro Pulse recently opened up a Partner Exclusive section on their web sites where the first wave of R.E.D. is currently available, so it is possible future waves will be posted on the site as well.

Packaging:
Inspired by packaging such as the current Star Wars Black Series, the R.E.D. packaging is a compact box featuring artwork on the front and right side while the front and left side have clear palstic windows. The window in front gives you a great look at the figure inside. The window on the side let's you see all the accessories. The box itself is mostly red with some black and blue detailing. Cheetor's artwork looks like a new interpretation of the artwork from the original Beast Wars figure which portrayed the character as older looking than he would be shown in the cartoon. The art is on the front but also wraps around a bit to the side. The front features a section with the logo of the series the character belongs to. In this case there is the Beast Wars logo.

Overall the packaging looks good and fits in theme with the Black Series and Legends packaging that helped inspire this series.

Accessories:
Since the R.E.D. figures do not transform, the designes instead decided to focus on aesthetics and accessories. Cheetor includes several accessories so you can vary his appearance for your display. Here's the rundown:

  • Fists: The "default" hands on the figure are hands balled up in fists. Each has a wrist hinge, allowing the fist to move up and down. Each of these are soft gold plastic.
  • Hands (Open): These alternative hands are open with the fingers curled up in a dramatic position. These also have the wrist hinge and are gold.
  • Hands (for weapon): These hands are perhaps the most "traditional" in that they are partly open so weapons can fit in them. Each of these has a hinge and they are made up of soft gold plastic.
  • Blaster: I find it funny the product description describes this weapon as the "tail blaster" when in fact this Quasar Cannon is actually based on the "gut gun" made famous for having "guts" sculpted into it in the original Cheetor toy. Those details were toned down in the cartoon, and they are all but eliminated for this weapon design. The actual "tail blaster" was used on the show once and featured a flat portion on top and a very different barrel than this weapon. Name aside, this does have the oval shape with weapon barrel that fans have come to expect from the show. The "guts" are replaced with mostly mechanical looking details. This weapon is gold with yellow paint on it. For those wondering, the handle is not a 5mm peg, but it can fit into the fist of Kingdom Cheetor!
  • Blast Effects: There are two translucent purple Blast Effects included with this figure. One is fairly narrow and thin while the other is much wider and thicker. Both attach to the blaster barrel just fine but the wider one is heavy enough that it can pull the wrist down at an angle. I would caution against displaying the figure with the larger Blast Effect for a prolonged time as I can see the plastic potentially warping.
  • Energon Crystal: This accessory is based on the appearance of Energon crystals in the Beast Wars show. They are purple and set into a black piece of "ground".

Cheetor:
The Cheetor figure features an interesting design. This is not intended to be a "show accurate" Cheetor. Instead, it appears to use the original Beast Wars package art as its foundation with some changes. For one, his legs are thicker, giving them an athletic appearance. Also, his face features a sculpt that appears more "mature" than the way he looked on the cartoon. In my book this is kind of a fun idea as it helps differentiate the figure from its Kingdom counterpart and it offers an interesting aesthetic that differs slightly from the traditional view of Cheetor.

Cheetor's construction is interesting. There are layers to the figure. This includes cheetah "skin" sections layered like armor on his forearms and the "cheetah head" attached to the torso as a separate piece. Also, the "cheetah legs" on his back also detach, as if to give us a look at what his body looked like before the Axalon created a techno-organic layer over his robotic body. I was especially pleased to see the sections of his body under these pieces has some really cool mechanical detailing worked into the sculpt.

Other details are inspired from Cheetor's Beast Wars animated counterpart. This includes rounded shoulders and tube shaped arms. The legs have armor panels over the thighs and spikes coming out of the lower legs. There's no mistaking this figure for anyone else and I think it looks great.

Cheetor is mostly made up of yellow and blue plastic. The yellow plastic serves as a nice foundation for a ton of paint applications. However, these are not all super obvious and that is actually a good thing. There are many different tones some off-white, others different shades of yellow distributed throughout the figure. You can see this very clearly on the feet. Other colors include black spots and lines from the cheetah parts, copper color on the head, arms and legs and metallic blue on the legs. The deco looks great, especially on the parts where the lighter colors fade into darker ones.

There are thirty one points of articulation on this figure, and for the most part they are all significant ones. This includes seven in each arm and leg. Now, two of these points do not have the biggest range, specifically the part where the shoulder connects to the torso section. This part can swing up and down to the side a bit, but not fully but I"m still counting it. Cheetor also technically has an ab crunch, but you cannot use it unless you take the cheetah head off.

Final Thoughts:
Cheetor really reinforces my belief that the R.E.D. line is best served creating figures out of characters other than just the 1984 line up of characters from G1. Designs like Cheetor's really lend themselves to a non-transforming figure like this and I really dig it. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt.
  • Very nice deco.
  • Cool accessories.
  • Excellent articulation.

Cons:

  • The larger Blast Effect has a tendency to cause the wrist to bend down and this could potentially get warped.
  • Fans looking for the cartoon model in plastic may be disappointed as the design takes liberties with that design.
  • I wish his true "tail gun" was an accessory.