I decided to switch things up a bit and go with one of the Beast Wars characters who in my mind has made a big impact and certainly has a lot of toys.
In 1996 Hasbro relaunched Transformers and they decided to leave behind vehicles and go with animals as an alternate mode. Let’s face it, animal toys have been a big winner with children since prehistoric times. So this choice was a no-brainer and it rejuvenated and refreshed a stagnated brand allowing the company to return to vehicles at a later date when it could be fresh again. So BeastWars was born (known as Beasties in canada due the “war” word was a no-no!… stupid I know but what can ya do?) Initially it was met without rage from die-hard fans but they soon mellowed and it became very popular.
Cheetor basically fills the role of Bumblebee, the little brother type who is sometimes rash and needs guidance. His initial toy transforms into a generic looking cat in yellow with spots, (allowing for repaints for other characters such as Tigatron and Shadow Panther/ Tripredacus Agent) His robot mode is armed with a rifle made out of his hindquarters / tail, and a second gun formed out of his stomach that has a Water-squirting gimmick. He features a second flip down mutant head that replaces his standard robot face as was common among the toy line. This toy has had many paint variations over the course of time:
- HASBRO – early 1996: Deluxe class Cheetor: featuring black spots, blue cheetah eyes and gold robot eyes – (due to delayed shipping, so it was hard to find.)
- HASBRO – late 1996: Deluxe class Cheetor: featured black spots, red cheetah eyes and gold robot eyes.
- TAKARA – late 1996: Deluxe class Cheetus: featured black spots, red cheetah eyes and gold robot eyes. (same as the hasbro version)
- HASBRO – 1997: Deluxe class Cheetor: featured black spots, bright green cheetah eyes and green robot eyes.
- TAKARA – 1997: Deluxe class Gold Cheetus: A one-of-a-kind, all-golden (with mostly gold chromed parts, some parts were softer plastic and could not be chromed) Was awarded in Japan for a TV Magazine contest.
- TAKARA – 1997: Deluxe class Cheetus featured black spots, dark green cheetah eyes, a gold robot head crest instead of blue, and red robot eyes.
- TAKARA – 1997: Deluxe class Showdown of the Quickest: Cheetus VS Waspeeter no difference except he was shipped with deluxe class Waspinator.
- HASBRO – 1999: Deluxe class Fox Kids version featuring maroon spots, bright green cheetah eyes and green robot eyes. His blue and the gold robot parts were all replaced with a metallic blue trim.
- HASBRO – 2006: Deluxe class 10th Anniversary version featuring black spots, bright green cheetah eyes and green robot eyes, a Maximal emblem on his right beast mode shoulder.
- TAKARA – 2007: Deluxe class Telemocha Series 10th Anniversary featured black spots and white shading over the yellow fur in a more show accurate color scheme, yellow cheetah eyes, orange robot eyes and light grey parts instead of the original blue.
In an attempt to keep the original line up fresh with a new take came the Transmetal sub-line and of course more Cheetor:
- Hasbro – 1999: Deluxe class Transmetal Cheetor: This time the animal mode is robotic in yellow, blue, grey and gold with blue robot eyes and red cheetah eyes.
- Takara – 1999: Deluxe class Beast Wars Metals Cheetus: there are slight color changes between the two releases with most notably the robot mode eyes are now green.
- Takara – 1999: Deluxe class Beast Wars Metals Cheetus VS Metals Waspeeter: No difference except he was shipped with deluxe class transmetal Waspinator
- Hasbro – 1999: Deluxe class Fox Kids Cheetor: version is done in red and dark green with red cheetah eyes and bright blue robot eyes. (this version is rare and I did not know it at the time or I would have picked it up, I kick myself now but I won’t make that mistake again).
- Takara – 1999: Deluxe class JafCon convention exclusive Beast Wars Metals Cheetus: same as the Hasbro Fox Kids version.
- Hasbro – 2003: Deluxe class Armada Cheetor: Done in purple and black and orange with green cheetah eyes and green robot eyes. the flip out jets have been modified to be ports to connect Mini-con’s who have sockets such as either Cliffjumper or Skyblast mini partner. (I have this one with Cliffjumper and is the most common variety with skyblast being rarer, note that this CJ is no relation to the G1 version)
- Takara – 2003: Deluxe class USA Edition Beast Wars Metals Cheetus: Same as the Hasbro version but as an exclusive through Toys “Я” Us’s web site.
Shifting slightly in story to make more toys while keeping it fresh again, we got the Transmetal 2 sub-line with an all new toy:
- Hasbro – 1999: Deluxe class Transmetal 2 Cheetor: This version is part cat, part robot with a rocket gun stuck in his back. He is weird, ungainly and a bit difficult to transform. (this toys was repainted as Shadow Panther/ Tripredacus Agent, I have this version and I am looking out for the original version, and unless you have not guessed this is why I know how he transforms… lol) Please also note I have heard that Takara made a version but I am having a hard time nailing down the differences.
In 2000 Hasbro switched gears and re-envisioned BeastWars into BeastMachines under the explanation that they returned to Cybertron and were changed yet again. Cheetor became a technorganic cheetah in yellow with some green trim and black spots. His initial toys came in two different sizes:
- Hasbro – 2000: Mega class Cheetor: This class toy was about the size of a Voyager class making it a large toy in Yellow with black spots with red and
- Hasbro – 2000: Surpreme class Cheetor: looking very much like his smaller version, he is now the third tallest transformer in history while in robot mode. He is considered a fail in sales where he sat on shelves waiting to be highly discounted to be rid of him.
- Takara – 2005: Mega class Cheetus: was a re-release of the Hasbro toy as part of the Toys “Я” Us exclusive Beast Wars Returns line with no known color changes.
- Takara – 2005: Mega class Cheetus Black Version: This black and silver version was an exclusive contest prize only available by ordering the cartoon series on a digital provider and there is no word on how many of these are out there.
In 2001 they decided to re-brand the line as Battle for the Spark Beast Machines and it produced two toys for him:
- Hasbro – 2001: Deluxe class Night Slash Cheetor: Molded mostly in dark blue with a few green areas, yellow spots and cheetah head with orange translucent parts and eyes. He is much more angular and mechanical-looking version of the character, with a more show-like face sculpt. Each bicep holds a spring-loaded grey sword attached by a brace that flips into his waiting hands when released
- Hasbro – 2003: Deluxe class Universe Autobot Night Slash Cheetor: Predominantly orange-yellow coloration but with a lot of dark red and some dark blue accents with red translucent parts and eyes but basically the same toy as the above except instead of spots he has grey patches. He also sports a white trimmed red Autobot emblem on his back bubble.
- Hasbro – 2006: Deluxe class Timelines Dawn of Future’s Past Axalon Cheetor: is a redeco of Cybertron Clocker, transforms into a Cybertronian race car with a large Maximal emblem on his hood and a cheetah-pattern deco for his upholstery. (His head is retooled to represent his Beast Wars head more closely, making his face even more show-accurate than the original toy’s.) He was available only as part of the BotCon 2006 “Dawn of Future’s Past” box-set, with “Axalon” versions of Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, and “Darksyde” Dinobot. (note that is intended to be cybertronian versions of the characters)
In 2008 came a much leaner meaner version of the toy, much more in scale with a real cheetah but the robot mode had a bit of hunch back.
- Hasbro – 2008: Deluxe class Universe Cheetor: This time he is light yellow, with white shading on his paws with black spots and green eyes for both robot and cheetah.
- Takara – 2008: Deluxe class Henkei! Henkei! Cybertron Cheetus: With a much darker yellow and some gold pieces, there appears to be two versions with different cheetah eye colors. one in red and one in green (it is unknown if the red version also has red robot eyes or green like the other version)
In 2009 there was two transformers that converted from a USB stick to a cat (Tigatron & Ravage) and a year later they were repainted for Cheetor.
- Takara – 2010: 2GB thumb drive Cheetus: He is yellow with black spots and stored on the drive is an installable program called “Transformers Desktop Defender.” When plugged in, a Cheetor avatar appears on the screen, transforming the thumb drive to cheetah mode as the program is activated. You can rename your cheetah, alter the movement speed and personality, view his function, mission, and tech spec numbers. He can appear as Cheetor, Ravage, or Tigatron and he can eat your desktop icons. (I would like to get one but only if you can wipe the contents after boredom sets in after the initial look through).
In 2011, much later, after the Transformers Animated line stopped, they made an an addition:
- Hasbro – 2008: Deluxe class Timelines Cheetor: A Transformers Collectors’ Club-exclusive retool of Blurr, he transforms into a sleek, Cybertronian race car. (in story he is a cop and in trying to stop moving violators he crashes through cans of black paint effectively giving himself black spots.) He comes in Yellow with black spots with red and green accents and is very tall and slender making him one of the tallest deluxe class toys made.
well this has to be the most involved entry I have ever done, with lots of tweeks and fiddling around with the entries. I am so glad to be done! I am sure I missed a product or two but there is no going back now Big Bot!