Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Transformers Henkei!: Cheetor C-12

Transformers Henkei! is Takara Tomy's version of Hasbro's Classics/Universe line of Transformers.  In typical Takara fashion most of the figures received premium paint applications and some of them had chromed pieces.  I went a little crazy and imported near the entire line.

Hasbro released new deluxe molds of the Beast Wars characters Cheetor and Dinobot under the Universe banner.  Takara Tomy opted to include these characters in the Henkei! line, albeit at the end of the line.  Neither of the toys sold well for Hasbro.  While Dinobot can be fairly expensive on the secondary market these days, Cheetor is a little more affordable - no matter which version you go after.  Up until the recent Generations voyager Rhinox toy was released, I really had no where to display Cheetor.  So once I acquired Rhinox I wanted to snap some shots of him w/ Cheetor...and Dinobot if I can ever find a decent priced specimen.  Initially I didn't care either way for Cheetor, but after messing around with him for this review I have to say I have a new found appreciation for this new mold.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox026_zpsafcc18b6.jpg

You'll have to excuse me skipping over the packaging.  His blister card packaging is packed away and I just didn't have the time to go digging it out.  One of the things I hated most about the original Beast Wars Cheetor mold was the fact that the beast mode was fat!  Cheetahs are some of the fastest land animals and as a result are pretty lean animals.  Takara remedied this with a new Cheetor mold.  I know a lot of people just don't like this toy, but if you give it a chance it has a lot of good things going for it.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox030_zps1db50efa.jpg

In beast mode the toy features several points of articulation.  It's no secret I'm not the best when it comes to posing my TFs, but here you can see how Cheetor can get low to the ground as if he's ready to pounce on a Decepticon or go running across the landscape at break neck speeds.  Shoulder, hip, knee and toe articulation give you free range of motion to pose him however you'd like.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox029_zpsf7b9cefe.jpg

Cheetor does have a large chest in beast mode as you can see from the above picture and especially from a side view.  That aside I personally think the beast mode looks a lot like an actual cheetah.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox027_zps08335427.jpg

Cheetor does feature one "action" element.  On the back of his neck is a button that sits flush with the body.  When depressed his mouth opens and his eyes change from green to red.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox028_zps77f1b8f6.jpg

If you don't know, the red eyes are a homage of sorts to the original Beast Wars mold.  Both Hasbro and Takara originally released Cheetor with red eyes, but as a running change later made the eyes green.  Perhaps this was done to better match his CGI counterpart on the television show.

While I don't normally care for action features, this is a subtle touch and one that doesn't necessary detract from the toy overall.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox031_zps09d74290.jpg

Cheetor carries his slender and sleek look over to robot form.  If I'm being completely honest with myself there are several aspects of robot mode that I don't care for.  While the over robot looks pretty good, it's hard to get past his his robot arms carry beast mode leg kibble and his large paw feet.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox033_zpse90ad80e.jpg

And oh, did I mention his honkin' huge "backpack"?  Thankfully his feet are large enough to help balance the robot where he can stand un-assisted.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox032_zps14985ef8.jpg

Takara opted to chrome Cheetor's head where as Hasbro went with a flat colored plastic.  The gold chrome does stand out, but surprisingly it doesn't look gaudy in person like I thought it would.  I like how the feline traits carry over to this robotic face as well.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox034_zpsa7813e5f.jpg

Located on each side of Cheetor's legs are these unsightful "pouches", however they do serve a purpose.  Each pouch opens up to reveal a shuriken like throwing star.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox035_zpsfaf8911f.jpg

Pull out one "blade" and the others fold out simultaneously.

Henkei! Cheetor photo Rhinox036_zpsa66e67a8.jpg

Generations Rhinox & Cheetor photo Rhinox041_zpsac706a86.jpg

Generations Rhinox & Cheetor photo Rhinox025_zpsfb16304e.jpg

Generations Rhinox & Cheetor photo Rhinox023_zps4e68a49c.jpg

Generations Rhinox & Cheetor photo Rhinox024_zpse5ea1e8c.jpg

I prefer Cheetor's beast mode over his robot mode any day, but he still blends well with the new Generations Rhinox no matter how you pose him.  I can't wait to complete this pair w/ the new Generations Rattrap coming soon.  Just as I opted for Takara Tomy's versions of Cheetor and Rhinox, I too will probably go for the "premium" deco Takara Tomy's version of Rattrap will most likely sport.

This updated Cheetor toy is far from flawless, I get that.  What I don't understand is the extreme hate from a lot of the fandom over this mold.  In my opinion the most show accurate Cheetor toy to date is still the first Beast Wars Transmetal.  I didn't care for this Transmetal 2 look or Beast Machines.  I've heard some think that Cheetor might not receive a new mold in the near future, but I'm OK with that.  I can overlook the weaknesses of this mold and focus in on the excellent, well articulated beast mode.  Thankfully whichever version of this mold you may go after neither are terribly expensive on the secondary market.


  1. I have nearly bought this guy on several occasions, but, as you've said, the robot mode leaves a lot to be desired. That cheetah mode is seriously great, however.

    1. The robot mode isn't that bad, but you are right...the beast mode is where this toy really shines!