Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Transformers Generations: Combiner Wars – Cyclonus

Company: Hasbro
Year: 2015

Originally debuting in Transformers: The Movie back in 1986, Cyclonus has never quite achieved the fame of some of the A-list characters of the franchise, but that doesn’t mean he’s not pretty awesome in his own right. Controversy still dogs his G1 origins – is he a reformatted version of Skywarp, or Bombshell? 30 years on, no one is really sure. For good reason, more recent continuities have avoided the question altogether by simply making him a separate character. IDW continuity currently has him as a good guy, serving aboard the Lost Light – but here, he’s all villain.

Retooled from the Aerialbot Silverbolt, Cyclonus is (to my eyes) a much better use of the mould, primarily thanks to his purple colour scheme. It’s weird; I don’t like purple all that much in my day-to-day life, but I have a real weakness for purple on Transformers.  

Cyclonus is a little unusual in that he doesn’t have an accompanying wave of bots to serve as his limbs when in his combined Galvatronus form. According to the box, his “official” limbs are Sky Dive, Air Raid, Dragstrip and Breakdown – but his bio also indicates that he can wield hypnotic power to make any compatible bot a potential limb, including Autobots. Personal canons can obviously run wild at this point. Currently I own three compatible bots, so if I ever buy a fourth (and I probably will at some point) I may actually build Galvatronus. Keep an eye on my Instagram (@lupinebookclub).  

The transformation is simple in principle but quite frustrating in execution. DO NOT LOSE YOUR INSTRUCTIONS if you can help it; I had an absolute pain of a time trying to track down some online after mine vanished into the aether. But the transformation essentially amounts to a sort of shellformer, like most of the Aerialbots did -- fold the nosecone up and then fold away the limbs to create the vehicle mode. 

Speaking of which, the vehicle mode is supposed to be some kind of Cybertonian plane, but as it shares a mold with Silverbolt it essentially amounts to a purple Concorde jet. Which is pretty great; Concorde jets were amazing to look at, and it's a shame that they're no longer in service -- the speed at which they could travel between countries was incredible.  

(Side note: in a curious twist, the fins on his on the back of his vehicle mode are actually assembled incorrectly in the box – they’re flipped the opposite way to the original G1 toy. You can pop them off and reattach them easily, but they do look fine in their “incorrect” form – they’ve been corrected for these pictures though.)   

In bot mode, articulation is pretty good – ball-jointed head, swivel shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel-hinged hips, cut thighs and hinged knees. The neck doesn’t have a lot of motion, but his shoulders, biceps and hips are ratcheted, so they’ll stay put – and also keep everything sturdy when in Galvatronus mode.     

Accessories are always kind of ordinary with Transformers these days – the fact that the main toy can transform is really the main draw – and Cyclonus continues that trend. He’s armed with the same weapon as Silverbolt, but this time it’s been cast in a greyish silver. It splits into two pieces – a shield and a gun – but I think it looks a lot better as one long rifle, myself.  

Dubious accessories aside, Cyclonus makes a fine addition to any Transformers collection. As a big ol' purple Decepticon, he was a near essential purchase as soon as I laid eyes on him, and he continues the high standard that the Transformers Generations line has been setting for some years now. He's mostly gone from shop shelves now, but you may still be able to find him kicking around at a Target or Kmart. Recommended.  

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