The History of Online TransFandom
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A SkyJammer Enterprises Publication
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Remember what a fuss broke out among Transfans back when the first pics of a blue Transmetal 2 ("TM2") Megatron toy (from the "Beast Wars" toy line) started circulating on the Net? Some people insisted it was a fake, while others -- like myself -- speculated that it was one of the BotCon 2001 exclusive toys. It turned out to be neither; it was in fact an upcoming Target exclusive called Cryotek, an evil Predacon crime lord who shares a clandestine past with Megatron (from both "Beast Wars" and "Beast Machines").
Dragon Mode: One word sums up this mode: WOW. At 46 cm (18 inches) long, 30 cm (11.5 inches) tall, and with a wingspan of 33 cm (13 inches), Cryotek is the longest and tallest toy in the in the "Robots in Disguise" ("RiD") line so far. And if his size doesn't impress you, his gorgeous colour scheme certainly will. Cryotek is mostly royal blue with black spikes and claws, black and translucent blue wings, aqua rubberized neck and tail, and deep purple vac-metal for his upper jaw, neck plates, belly, and part of his wings. What's more, his upper jaw, plates, and belly all have airbrushed blue-white on them to give him more of a "frozen" look. To complete the paint scheme, his eyes are yellow. Whereas TM2 Megatron would look right at home in a volcano full of molten lava, Cryotek appears best suited for the frigid Arctic wastelands. Interestingly, while he has the familiar body of a European dragon, Cryotek's head is actually that of a Chinese dragon's, with a long snout, a goatee, pointed ears, and stag-like antlers. All he's missing are whiskers.
The sculpting on this toy is nothing short of superb. Every inch of him is covered in scales or robotic parts, as befits a TM2 mold. A Predacon Spark crystal is mounted on his left breast and if this toy were shown in the RiD cartoon, one could assume that it would be like RiD Predacons' Sparks and shoot out a beam of energy. His small forearms end in sharp, curved claws. His lower limbs are thick and muscular with long, four-taloned feet. His huge wings have a worn look to them, with plenty of holes and ragged edges. Note that the claw on his left wing is thicker and duller than the one on Megatron. Pushing down on the pointed tab on his back causes the wings to spread wide. Locking the tab into a slot on the left allows the wings to stay that way. Cryotek's knobby tail ends in a vicious three-pronged claw that is actually supposed to be based on the Spark extractor that he created (*) and Megatron used in "Beast Machines". Such a frightful weapon makes Cryotek's rear end just as deadly, if not more so, than his front end.
There are two flaws on Cryotek (also apparent on the TM2 Megatron toy) which can be easily remedied. First, his robot head is clearly visible at the base of his tail. To fix this, I simply rotate the tail around 180 degrees so that the robot head is . . . well, peering up the dragon's rectum. I find that it really does look better this way and allows a better range of poses for the tail. The second flaw has to do with Cryotek's neck gimmick. His neck, made of rubber, is designed to thrash rapidly back and forth, but the large black tab that controls the movements has been installed backwards. To fix this, take a Phillips screwdriver, unscrew the tab (located on the back of his neck), remove it, and reinsert it facing forwards. You will now get a wider range of motion out of the neck, plus you'll be able to straighten it out and lock it in place that way.
In addition to his thrashing neck and spreading wings, Cryotek comes with three plasma torpedoes that can be inserted into his mouth and fired by pressing down on his upper jaw. Two of the torpedoes can be stored in slots located near the base of each wing.
Cryotek is articulated at the jaws, neck plates, wings, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, ankles, and tail in his dragon mode. Watch you don't leave him in the same location with BW Megatron, RiD Megatron, or BW2 Galvatron, or you could have a nasty fight on your hands!
Vehicle Mode: It's a crouching dragon on wheels. Riiiiiiiiiiight. This mode is even dumber than it sounds. Take one look at the picture below, and then just consider it nonexistent.
Transformation: Gah. Cryotek has one of the most complex transformations of them all, only marginally less frustrating than Magmatron's. The most annoying part is trying to keep the wings out of the way while you're unlocking/flipping/swinging out various parts. Also, try to be gentle separating his robot hips when transforming him back to dragon mode. My Megatron suffered a small breakage awhile back, akin to a hip fracture. Suffice to say, I'm being very careful with Cryotek now.
Robot Mode: At just under 20 cm (8") at the top of his helmet, Cryotek's robot mode isn't nearly as intimidating as his dragon mode, but it's still impressive in its own right. Certainly, he looks every bit as evil and dangerous as Megatron in this mode. In the centre of his torso is a translucent blue half sphere with a tiny rotating control chair visible beneath it. His robot head is silver with red detailing, yellow eyes, and a mouthful of pointed white teeth. The expression on his face can best be described as the same expression you'd make if you were late for work and your car was encased in ice from last night's freezing rain. Etched into the translucent blue visor on his helmet is a small Predacon symbol. He also has stylized blue lightning bolts made of rubberized plastic extending back from his head. Finally, there's his massive ponytail, formed from the dragon tail. One can easily envision Cryotek swinging it about during a skirmish, slamming it into an opponent in order to stun him before using the Spark extractor to siphon out his life essence.
Cryotek's left arm consists of the dragon head and neck, and thus very heavy and difficult to pose nicely. By contrast, his right arm is quite small, almost graceful, and ends in a normal robot fist. His index finger is sticking up in a beckoning motion, as though he were signalling his evil little sidekick, Chro (**). There's a hole in his fist for a weapon to fit in, even though he doesn't come with one. The wheel covers on Cryotek's legs can flip up to function as hover jets to augment his flight capability. His wings can still spread and lock in this mode via the tiny switch on his back. In addition to his torpedo-firing dragon mouth, Cryotek has a second launcher mounted on the top of his helmet. Although it fires a reasonably good distance, I, myself, think that Cryotek looks a bit silly with a torpedo sticking out of his head.
Including his wings, ponytail, and dragon mouth, Cryotek has sixteen points of articulation in robot mode. His head is pretty much locked in place due to his wings and helmet. Also, keep in mind that his wings and ponytail make him rather backheavy. You usually have to position his left arm forward a little in order to keep him from falling over.
Overall, Susp Sez: TM2 Megatron was already an excellent toy, but Cryotek one-ups him with an absolutely gorgeous Arctic colour scheme. Even if you already have Megatron, I'd strongly recommend getting Cryotek as well.
Final Grade: 9.5/10