Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Combiner Wars Cyclonus Review

combiner wars cyclonus galvatronus

After seeing all of my favourite characters brutally killed, and brand new, less cool replacements taking their place, I emerged from the cinema in 1986 liking only one of the new characters from Transformers: The Movie.

It all centred on a single moment, when the Decepticons are pursuing the Autobot Shuttle through space (with Hot Rod being as annoying as ever), and Galvatron dispatches Cyclonus to finish them off.
He drops out of the Decepticon ship, transforms to jet mode then does this slow roll before jetting off leaving these awesome rocket trails following him.

Even now, with any jet toy I get I try to recreate that sequence, noises and all.

Ahem, anyway here we have Combiner Wars Cyclonus who is a very heavy remold of Silverbolt. Enough to earn your money?

Read on.

combiner wars cyclonus jet
Hasbro have produced the best recreation of the G1 animation model jet. The top is as close as perfect as you are likely to get, and it looks really beautiful. Silverbolt has no presence here, everything appears to be brand new. I especially love the flat exhaust vents which have the tail fins mounted on top, they just yell "fast jet whizzing towards you!".

The bright vibrant Purple that makes up most of the jet, is broken up with Silver, Gold on the cockpit and some gorgeous darker Purple. 

A far better proportioned and less stubby nose than the Universe toy had, juts out of the front looks sleek as heck.

The telescoping antenna is nowhere to be found, but it does not hurt the look in the slightest. If you really need that in your life, you can mount Cyclonus' gun under the nose to produce a similar, if more ridiculous silhouette.

Curving edges give the jet mode an almost 1950's in places, as there is a very retro feel to it, mostly in the form of the cockpit and rounded body behind it. 

It calls to mind those rounded, vintage cars you see in old video footage of Hollywood during those times the talkies were making it big.

combiner wars cyclonus jet side

However sleek the top looks, once you take a peek at him from the side - you can see Cyclonus is a jet carrying a folded up robot.

You can clearly see his body hanging away under there but that does not bother me at all. The Universe toy looked great in robot mode, but suffered badly in jet mode and lost almost all of the sleekness you would associate with Cyclonus. Here we have a very sleek G1 Cyclonus, just carrying a box underneath.

I don't mind stuff like that, because the G1 cartoon trained me to think of it as having doors and ramps that people could enter through (Silverbolt, Skyfire). or just be rocket boosters.

At the end of the day it is a toy, and not designed to be a Masterpiece figure or an exact replica of a specific vehicle. 

generations cyclonus

It is not as if the looks of this mode are particularly compromised either. The robo pancake underneath fits quite well and does not especially look out of place. One thing that does look daft however, is that unlike Silverbolt, Cyclonus' head is not covered up in alt mode. So he looks a bit like he is piloting an Exo-Suit of his own body.

Hasbro's designers may have just gotten to this bit and given up, because that is certainly how it feels.

If you are are going to remold a figure that is fine, but at least make the effort to ensure make it look complete.

Though his face peering out there looks a bit like the Emperor from Return of the Jedi, or Zartan from GI:Joe.

cyclonus jet mode

Cyclonus' jet mode looks great, and feels like a toy. Not a collectors piece, but a thick, solid toy to be played with.

As with all Combiner Wars figures, making it fun to play with seems to be the prevailing idea and it is achieved handily.

You may not like the robot/jet backpack thing he has going on, but it does not hamper the figure in any meaningful way. In fact you soon stop noticing it.

The head not hiding though, is less easy to forgive. Somebody dropped the ball on that.

cw cyclonus silverbolt

Transforming Cyclonus is almost exactly the same as transforming Silverbolt even if some the parts have been totally remolded and fit together slightly differently. His jet nose for example pegs into a large tab that stands where the tail fins on Silverbolt are placed.

The wings seem to snap into place over the pegs much better on Cyclonus too, where on Silverbolt the tabs seemed to be ever so slightly too big so would often force their way apart.

One difference, and it is only one is the tail fins. On Cyclonus they are separate pieces that slot into the underside of his hands, so when you transform him he ends up wielding them as knives. Vicious.

You can pop them out and slot them into any peg hole but the official way is on the sides of the arms. That is a cool look, but my personal preference is to attach them to the holes on his back as it makes him look like a frickin Dinosaur, and I am in full Jurassic Park mode at the moment with the new movie being out.

Spoiler - Things go badly for the humans, and it is awesome.

combiner wars cyclonus 2

In a complete about face from his starkly G1 alt mode, Cyclonus robot mode appears to based on no particular version of the character - this guy is his own bot. Recently Hasbro have been on an IDW trip, so you may have expected a Cyclonus figure based on that version of the character, after all he is one of the most prominent characters in More than Meets the Eye. No, they decided to go all maverick on us and churn out something different...gut punchingly different.

Hasbro have completely remolded the upper chest, so major points for that, but also in a twist from the total remold of the alt mode, most of the pieces here carry over from Silverbolt. The legs, arms, stomach and waist are all just repainted parts of Silverbolt, but they don't look bad. It actually works fine.

What draws my eyes however and ire (old fashioned word that), is the shoulders.

Not giving him his traditional 80's power suit shoulder pads is a bitter pill I can swallow if someone gives me a matching shade of Purple to wash it down with.....but they didn't.

The shoulders are a much darker, sparkly type of Purple plastic and instantly it pulls your eyes to it and looks out of place. For some reason my brain cannot quite comprehend, it makes me think he is wearing a tank top.

It just breaks up the flow of what is otherwise a lovely looking robot, and it has taken me a long time to get over it.

Fanboy that I am.

cyclonus gun

Also following on from Silverbolt is his gun, but this time remolded in Grey plastic. I have just flung this to the side, because it does not fit in with Cyclonus in my opinion.

It is very obviously Silverbolts gun, and it is too huge to subtly match with Cyclonus. You can use Nightstick from Universe Cyclonus though, and it looks much better on this sized figure to be honest.

Cyclonus does not need a gun though, he has evil tail fin knives.

cyclonus vs ultra magnus

What I have not spoken about yet is the head, which is all new and clearly has had a lot of time spent on it.
The face is fantastic, and looks like he is pulling off a constant sneer, because he views you and everyone else with such disdain. Unless your name is Galvatron, then he turns his stomach into your head as an homage.

There is some excellent paint work with the Red eyes and they are outlined very cleanly in Black.

His head crest is larger than normal, and has a twisted feel that is much more creepy than usual. Then again, he is reborn from a dead robot....so he is naturally creepy.

It also looks even more like a demonic crown, which is cool because as a kid, I used to use my broken Cyclonus as a Star Wars Emperor kind of character and would call him King Purple as his secret villain name.

A ball joint holds the head in place, but due to the size of his noggin you don't get much extra movement out of it. Articulation for the rest of him is exactly the same as the previous use of the mold - nothing new to report sadly.

cyclonus and scourge

Despite reusing many of Silverbolts parts the Purple plastic hides it sneakily well. You don't feel like you are looking at just a Purple Silverbolt, which is handy.

Extra remolding has made a large difference, and despite the annoying shoulders I find that I like this figure even more than Silverbolt, and that was arguably my favourite toy of last year (so much so, I own it twice).

There is just something quite freeing about seeing a Cyclonus figure that is not beholden to trying to stick to slavishly to a G1 model, and struggle due to it being really tough to match the animators original ideas.


This is where it gets a little wonky folks, because as part of Combiner Wars Cyclonus can transform into a combiner torso. But instead of just leaving it as Superion but in eeeevil Purple, Hasbro went crazy and decided to remold it all and call it Galvatronus.

Yes, Cyclonus turns into a body of Galvatron out of fanatical devotion to the artist formerly known as Megatron. Actually, they should have called this mode Purple Rain, I'd totally be on board.

The bio says something about mind control, but really that does not matter and I doubt many people will ever bother with this mode. If you are buying the extra limbs though, it does give you somewhere to stick Alpha Bravo, Rook and Off Road, and create a bitter combiner out of all of the cast offs.

combiner wars galvatronus

Nice to see them go to the extra effort to make him different from Superion, and the new molding is all really nice - but it is not for me. The Galvatronus head does not quite hit the mark as Galvatron, but is quite a cool, Kuato from Total Recall style bonus. If they had spent the extra resources on the individual robot mode of Cyclonus, I think it would have been a much wiser decision.

It is easy to dismiss Cyclonus as just a repaint but it is such a good toy in its own right. The jet mode is fantastic, bot mode is really cool and the combiner mode is...well...it is a thing that exists.

This is not the IDW Cyclonus we all want, but that does not mean it is not a good toy. If you are skipping it purely because it is a repaint then I believe you are missing out, as that was my plan too but once I got it in hand I became completely smitten.

All hail King Purple.

Combiner Wars Cyclonus is available to buy from Masterforce.co.uk

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