Back when the Armada toyline was first coming out, I was positively apeshit for Transformers. I was literally going out two or three times a week to look for the new toys. I was particularly keen on getting Thrust and Cyclonus and after a couple of weeks of fruitless hunting, I finally broke down and bought them on Ebay. That very next day I ducked into a Walgreens for some cold medicine and there they were hanging on the pegs. Not a Target, Walmart, Kmart or Toys R Us withing 50 miles had them, but Walgreens did! I bought them anyway and wound up keeping the others in the package to hang on the wall. Ok, story time is over, let’s look at the figure.
Cyclonus’ vehicular mode is an attack chopper and his Minicon, Crumplezone, is a tank. Cyclonus is a bit too chunky to be based on a real helicopter, but I still love this mode. There’s a ton of sculpted detail all throughout the figure and the color scheme works really well. With giant guns underneath and wing mounted missile launchers, he’s pretty well armed too. The chopper mode also has a cool action feature with a trigger placed under the tail boom that spins the rotors when you pull it. The front of the chopper looks a little stubby, but we can fix that by flipping up the cockpit and plugging his Minicon into the front to form a much better looking extended cockpit.
Naturally, all the Minicons could combine with the bigger robots in vehicle mode, but Cyclonus is one of the few Armada figures that had such a cool and beneficial union like this, which actually enhanced his alt form.
Transforming Cyclonus is pretty easy and obvious, but I like the results. In fact, the only thing I don’t like about this figure is his oompa-loompa face. The head sculpt, like a lot of Armada Decepticon figures, is kind of strange and the orange paint doesn’t help. Still, Cyclonus’ robot form is very unique and works well. You can choose to leave his rotors on his back or, as I prefer, you can plug them onto his arm as a weapon. He has Minicon ports on each of his arms, which fire his missiles when activated. And speaking of his Minicon, Crumplezone transforms into a cool little robot too.
Cyclonus’ articulation is pretty decent for an Armada figure, although it is pretty lacking by contemporary standards. His head can only bob up and down, which is part of his transformation. The arms rotate at the shoulders and have hinged elbows. You can get a little lateral movement at the shoulders too. The legs will rotate back a bit and bend back at the knees, but both of these points of articulation are part of his transformation. Ah, but this look at Armada Cyclonus wouldn’t be complete without taking a peek at the two repaints of the toy.
First, he was repainted as Powerlinx Cyclonus with a green paint job. Were they going for a Springer homage here? Maybe. It looks mighty nice, though, and Hasbro even gave him a wash over the paint that really enhances the appearance in my eyes. Cyclonus was again available as a KayBee Toys Exclusive with a black and grey camo deco, which was also a pretty cool look for the figure. Naturally, both figures got repaints of the Minicon, Crumplezone, as well. Too bad all of these Cyclonus repaints shared the same orange Oompa Loompa face.
But Hasbro still wasn’t done with the mold, as they re-released it yet again, this time with a bit of retooling, as Buzzsaw in the Cybertron lineup. Buzzsaw featured a new cockpit and worked with a Cyberkey instead of a Minicon. He also had a crazy yellow, white and purple paint job. Buzzsaw also got a brand new headsculpt, which was a big improvement over Cyclonus’ mug.
Like many Armada toys, Cyclonus goes for a more toyish and less realistic approach. Some newer fans who are used to the likes of Classicsand the Bayformers may not take to it all that well, but I still love these guys. Cyclonus is a really well designed and very fun figure. I think the Powerlinx version remains my favorite of the re-decos, but they’re all still pretty cool.