Sunday, 20 March 2016

A Concise Review of Combiner Wars Cyclonus (And Galvatronus) In 500 Words Or Less

Pricepoint/Vintage: Voyager, 2015.
Modes: Robot, Cybertronian Space Fighter, Combiner Torso.
Transformation Style: CW voyager, Silverbolt style.
Play Patterns: Robot and vehicle, combiner, 5mm weaponry.
Points of Interest: Extensive retool of Silverbolt. Combined mode looks suspiciously like Starscream in purple.

The Good
As remoulds go this is a quite comprehensive one, and Sliverbolt was a highlight of wave 1. The altmode is surprisingly close to the animation model, giving it a rather different feel than the original, while the robot mode gains a new head and chest. Articulation remains solid at 21 joints. Both forms benefit from two completely unnecessary, but very welcome, wings with 5mm pegs. These add some play value as improvised knives, and further reinforce this is Cyclonus. The combined mode has been reworked too, with a new head and chest.

The Bad
Cyclonus shares the weak vehicle transformation of Silverbolt, with almost the entire robot on the underside of the fighter and a notable backpack in other modes, but there's a new problem. The new head is limited at the neck and there is no panel to conceal the head in other modes, resulting in a hysterical case of Visible Head Syndrome if you neglect to turn it. This toy also comes misassembled, with the vertical fins facing the wrong way, but that's an easy fix. The tolerances seem a bit off on my example, with a removable wing a hair too loose in the ports.

The Mediocre
Cyclonus retains the ungainly gun/shield combo, and has a slightly harder time with it due to the new parts. The shield can't fit on the back with the wings fully folded, and using it as an arm mount requires a tail-fin be removed. I also managed to scratch the right forearm during transformation, but that might just be me being heavy handed. Galvatronus arguably suffers for the lack of a dedicated team. Noted pain to photograph due to the purple.

The Alternatives
Cyclonus has two high profile rivals, the Universe mould and the TakaraTomy version. The Universe mould was specifically designed to be Cyclonus, and is well-liked, if a product of its time. The Japanese iteration however comes in a highly desirable if expensive boxset with four other toys, two of which with exclusive head sculpts. 

The Verdict
Silverbolt was my #10 of 2015, and Cyclonus is a comprehensive reworking, that seems ill-fated to end up on sale. The reason for this has less to do its weaknesses, of which there are a few, but more with the concept. Nobody really wanted a combining Cyclonus, but it seems they did it because they could, and it would be fun. He is therefore quite nice, but completely optional in a line that encourages you to buy six toys at a time. If you like what you see, Cyclonus/Galvatronus definitely have merit, but feel free to skip this one otherwise.

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