It’s Friday, and that means it’s Transformers Classics week is just about up. I’ve got time to throw in one more figure before calling it quits so let’s take a look at the only Targetmaster to be released in the line so far: Cyclonus with Nightstick. He’s definitely a figure that needed an update badly as the original toy was pretty rough, at least in his robot mode. He was one of those new designs from the 86 movie with a rounder, more organic look that just could not be done justice in the old toy line. I know I had plenty of fun playing with him as a kid, but now it’s tough to look back at his original toy without cringing. How did the Universe 2.0 version treat us? Let’s find out…
Cyclonus came carded in his space cruiser mode, so let’s start there. The roots of the ship design are certainly on display here, but it’s clear that a lot of sacrifices had to be made in order to help the transformation along. It’s not quite as sleek as the original toy design. You get a lot of disjointed hinging and segmentation and that retracting nose cone is particularly unsightly. The back half of the body doesn’t lock together and when viewed from the back it’s just downright f’ugly. That all having been said, I think they did the best with what they had, and if sacrifices had to be made, I’m glad they did it in the alt mode and not the robot mode. On the upside, Cyclonus has a hinged set of front landing gear and a socket in the top so you can plug in Nightstick and give him some extra firepower.
The conversion process is pretty simple and yet very clever. I really like the way the entire nosecone assembly folds away into the torso. The engineering in the legs is very cool as well. He’s lots of fun to transform and not at all overly complicated.
In contrast to the alt mode, Cyclonus’ robot form is excellent and very close to his animated counterpart. He hits all the points of the character’s great design elements. I love that Hasbro managed to remain faithful to the sleeker and more organic contours of the 86 movie look, which is something the G1 toys could never properly replicate. On the downside, I’m not sure what Hasbro was thinking for the colors here. The blue seems way too dark and the bare grey plastic doesn’t look that great. It’s passable enough for the wings, but the unpainted face just looks cheap and unfinished. That’s a shame because the sculpt of the portrait is great and the light piping in the eyes is particularly effective.
Cyclonus has all the articulation you could want in an action figure. His head rotates. His arms rotate at the shoulder, have some lateral movement in the biceps, as well as hinged and swivel elbows. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ankles and have swivels in the biceps. One of the greatest things about these updates is that we finally get these characters as fully realized action figures and Cyclonus sure is fun to pose and mess around with.
Nightstick is Cyclonus’ little Nebulon buddy who transforms into a gun/cannon. I loved this idea back in the day and I’m happy to see Hasbro begin including these in the retro-line. It’s a pretty simple transformation, but his robot form looks pretty good for a guy this size. His articulation is actually pretty good too, even if most of it is just there to accomodate his transformation. For some reason, Cyclonus only has a peg hole in his right hand.
Remember what I said about Astrotrain? Well it applies here too. If you don’t have Cyclonus and are looking to pick him up, spend the extra money and get the Henkei version. The colors are excellent and a toy this good really deserves the better paint job, than the unfinished grey parts on this Hasbro version. He’s not as bad a color variation as Astrotrain, though, so that’s saying something. You could also check out the Rodimus and Cyclonus two-pack that Hasbro did as it’s intended to be more a more cartoon accurate deco. Either way, Cyclonus is one of my favorite of all the Classics inspired figures. He looks amazing, has great articulation and is so much fun to play around with. If you don’t have him, get him.
And that wraps it up for Transformers Classics week. I didn’t quite get to all the figures I wanted to get to, but I had a pretty good run at it. I was considering extending through to Saturday just to get a few more posts in, but I’ve got other toys piling up, [Some of which are more Transformers… yay! -FF] so I’m going to just move on and revisit the ones I missed at some point in the coming weeks.