Altered States Magazine - June 2002


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    Armada Wave 1
    Cyclonus

    By Daniel Lipkowitz, Assistant Editor

    ASM Quick Facts

    Faction: Decepticon
    Transformation: Helicopter
    Mini-Con: Crumplezone (tank)
    Powerlinx: 4 gimmicked
    Size: Deluxe
    Difficulty: 2 (Intermediate)
    Packaging: Blister Card
    Contents: Cyclonus, Crumplezone, missiles (2), instructions, mini-comic/catalog

    Mini-Con

    Cyclonus comes packaged with Crumplezone, a Mini-Con tank. In vehicle mode, Crumplezone’s turret can rotate, and rolls on wheels under the treads. Moving a tab on the back of the tank turret causes the cannon barrel to wiggle back and forth (or more accurately, to the left and back to center). To transform Crumplezone to robot mode, unfold his legs and rotate his waist. In robot mode, Crumplezone has swivel points at his shoulders, waist, hips and knees. His faction symbol appears on the left side of his chest.

    Vehicle Mode

    In vehicle mode, Cyclonus is a light blue helicopter with accents of bronze, cream-grey, dark blue, purple and silver. Although clearly inspired by military transport vehicles, the overall design is futuristic. The helicopter is armed with two missile launchers and a pair of heavy cannons. Cyclonus actually comes with two totally different missiles: one smooth and undetailed, the other with gatling-barrel-like sculpting along its sides. A Decepticon symbol is sculpted onto the top of the right-hand stabilizer wing.

    Vehicle Mode Features

    • Holding the rear fin of the helicopter like a handle and pulling the trigger beneath the tail spins the rotor for about a second. By repeatedly pulling the trigger, the blade can be made to spin fairly continuously (if rather loudly, due to the buzzing gears).

    • Attaching a Mini-Con to the Powerlinx peg on either missile launcher fires the missile on that side.

    • Attack Mode: Cyclonus’ partner Mini-Con, Crumplezone, can be used to convert the Decepticon’s helicopter form to an assault chopper mode. From vehicle mode, Crumplezone’s tank turret is rotated to the back. The Mini-Con is flipped over and the treads are rotated 180 degrees. The nose of the helicopter folds up and Crumplezone is attached as a new cockpit, with the tank barrel serving as a nose-mounted cannon. In this configuration, the gear system moves the tab at the back of Crumplezone’s turret when the rotor spins, making the front cannon flick rapidly back and forth.

    Transformation to Robot Mode

    Straighten Cyclonus’ legs, snapping his knees into place. Fold the cannons down as heel supports. Swing the pelvis and legs down, then rotate the waist. Fold the helicopter tail down, sliding and locking the waist section into place. Unfold the missile launchers to form arms and flip up the head.

    Robot Mode

    Cyclonus retains the color scheme from his vehicle mode, with the addition of dark orange and light green for his face and eyes. He can look straight ahead (an early concern, since photographic and Toy Fair display models had the head stuck at an odd angle), although his face is tilted very slightly upwards to avoid being obscured by his collar. Due to the trigger and gear system, the helicopter tail hangs down straight behind the robot.

    Articulation

    In robot mode, Cyclonus has rotation points at his shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. Hinges on his wings allow him to shrug but serve no other obvious purpose (fortunately, the hinges are strong and aren’t likely to sag over time). If he leans forward to clear the helicopter tail, Cyclonus can also rotate at the waist.

    Robot Mode Features

    • As in vehicle mode, attaching a Mini-Con to the pegs on Cyclonus’ forearms fires his missiles.

    • Attaching a Mini-Con to the pegs on the sides of Cyclonus’ knees causes cannons to unlock and spring up from his shins.

    • While it’s not in the most graceful location, the trigger for the rotor can still be accessed in robot mode, and Crumplezone can be attached to Cyclonus’ chest for added weaponry (although his cannon barrel will not move when the rotor spins in this mode).

    Impressions

    Although his colors may seem a bit odd for a villain, Cyclonus is a fun toy with a good deal of play value. It would have been nice if the robot legs were a little better disguised in vehicle mode, as they pretty much hang there in plain sight without even the benefit of skids or landing gear to keep the helicopter level on the ground. As with most first-wave Armada toys, Cyclonus does suffer a bit in the articulation department; one hopes that subsequent waves will improve in this respect.

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      Copyright © 2002 Altered States Magazine
    A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication