Say hello to my little friend, his name is Nightstick.
My favorite character as a kid has always been Ironhide. I didn’t understand the concept of military rank too much as a kid, so to me, Ironhide was always #2. Optimus’ right hand man. I’ve always been enamoured by the concept of that loyal “blood brother” character type. For that reason, the Decepticon that I dug the most was Soundwave, whom I saw as Ironhide’s counterpart. After all, he’s blue while Ironhide was red, but above all else, they were both their respective leaders’ right hand men with both displaying loyalty above and beyond.
So what’s this got to do with a Cyclonus review? Well, for those who are familiar with the G1 cartoon continuity’s view of Cyclonus, it should be pretty obvious. Much as Soundwave was Megatron’s loyal right hand man, so was Cyclonus to Galvatron. In fact, it could be argued that he’s even more loyal than any Decepticon was to Megatron. Seeing as he takes a regular beating from Galvatron, has seen first hand what’s become of Galvatron’s mental faculties etc, yet he still tries to do right by his leader. He’s pretty much ALMOST as fanatically loyal to Galvatron as Animated Lugnut is to Megatron.
Additionally, Cyclonus may have started the whole “noble Decepticon” thing. There were a few instances where he talked of honor in terms of battle and of being a Decepticon. The most famous was the time he saved Ultra Magnus from being chomped up by a black hole, so that they may finish each other off in honorable combat. And then there was the time he was chasing down Octane, and was utterly flabbergasted by Octane’s cowardice of dying like a Decepticon. That’s not to say he wasn’t a typical evil Decepticon most of the time, after all, this WAS an 80s cartoon to sell toys. But he had his moments.
So G1 Cyclonus was pretty cool. I wasn’t a fan of the third season, where Cyclonus was featured, but he was one of the bright spots of the show. Obviously, it didn’t hurt that he’s one of the cooler looking robots anywhere. In terms of the comics however, he’s pretty much a punching bag, so the cartoon version’s the one you’ll want for a “cool” version of Cyclonus.
I was initially going to give Cyclonus a miss. When the initial photoshopped pics came out, I was pleased as punch. But then the unshopped product shots came out and may I say, I was less than impressed. I figured I was just going to give the Hasbro release a miss and wait for the Henkei version. But then I saw the figure on display and thought that oddly, it looked quite good. The contrasting colors work. The reason is probably because of the use of a rich dark purple for his primary color. Were it the show accurate light purple, the unpainted white/gray bits would have made this guy seem like a half assed effort. As it is, I’m fine with the colors, and while it may not be totally show accurate, I can’t take anything away from him for the colors. So that’s the big issue out of the way, now onto the other stuff.
In his vehicle mode, Cyclonus is a futuristic sci-fi space fighter jet… thingy. It’s pretty much his G1 alt mode, only a lot more well armed. This is on account that the nosecone and the hinges on his sides resemble blasters. Add in Nightstick, and this is one well armed mofo. Otherwise, it’s an incredible reproduction of the original. The only downside here are his back/thrusters section. There’s an interesting transformation scheme involved there, but nothing pegs or fits into place there, leaving the back of Cyclonus’ jet mode looking mistransformed, though it ain’t. Still, this is one cool future jet.
Transformation is quite cool, with everything moving into place in a way that just feels “right”. There are a few Transformers whose transformations evoke that feeling, where everything moves like a well oiled machine. This is one of ‘em. Cyclonus’ lower legs are formed together much like First Aid’s, from the Cybertron line, but with no sacrifice in articulation. And the cockpit works in a sort of reverse-Seekers way that’s just keen. That said, it’s not exactly the most fun transformation to do, but it’s still cool nonetheless.
Finally we come to robot mode. What’s to say? There’s very little wrong with this guy. He looks fantastic. Maybe he’s doesn’t give a 100% Cyclonus feel due to the colors, but he’d definitely make a good “Warrior” or “Armada”. Or, just stick with Cyclonus.
Really, it’s hard to write about this guy because there’s so little wrong with him. I personally think his head deserves mention though. It’s designed so it looks like he’s wearing a helmet, as opposed to the old way where it looked like his head was flat. This works. What also works is his light piping. Not only is it a really effective light piping, much like Galvatron’s. But the translucent plastic doesn’t take up the whole of the back of his head like with some figures. Instead, it only occupies a “window” that gets the job done and leaves his head free from looking like he’s got an empty brain cavity.
He’s lacks a cut of some sort at the biceps to provide swivel there, and there’s no waist articulation, but otherwise, he’s well articulated. No real complaints here.
In season 4 of the original G1, which consisted of the “Rebirth” 3-parter, Cyclonus and some other Decepticons went chasing after a group of Autobots who were holding onto the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. Yaddi yaddi yadda, Cyclonus ended up giving up his gun to be modified into an exo-suit for the local communists dictators. And the gun-robo’s name is… Mini-co… err, Nightstick.
Now, for the Nightstick toy, he’s very cool, insofar as Targetmasters/Minicons go. He’s got a Minicon port, and is otherwise very similar to Vector Prime’s Minicon, Safeguard. Though Nightstick lacks the knee articulation Safeguard has. And that’s pretty much the only knock against him. Nightstick looks cool, and is functional. He’s got good detailing, most evident in his tiny face. And not only can he turn into a gun to be held by Cyclonus, the gun mode can simply plug into Cyclonus’ forearm for a gun hand. Poke out one of Cyclonus’ eyes and he’d be Shockwave.
A Transformer who fires on all cylinders. Cyclonus is a good looking and well engineered toy. His colors are good, despite what pics might suggest otherwise. You might want to wait for the Henkei version, if show color accuracy is important to you. This guy is good enough that I might pick up the Henkei version as well.
***1/2 out of 5.
Edit: That’s 3.5 out of 5, not 2.5 out of 5. Pardon any confusion. I’m changing to a numerical format in future though. So as to make it easier to readers (now that I actually have a few readers).