Series: Generation 1
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Fighter Jet
Height: 5cm Length: 23cm Width: 15cm
A purple jet with swept forward silver wings, small red cockpit windows and some red and are purple stickering on the main fuselage and wings. Cyclonus has a very long needlenose and grey jets lodged in the back of the purple wing mounts (which sweep back). In front of the engines there are large Decepticon logo stickers, which are not of a standard size (mine's missing one and I can't replace it using the sheet of logos that came with my reissue Megatron. There's a rubsign lodged on the spine of the fuselage towards the back, rounding out a fairly coherent and well thought out colour scheme.
Not only do the colours work here but the jet mode is sleek and elegant, everything lines up well. Half the length of the toy is the nose and the back half is a fairly flat, single flying wing sort of shape. It's quite clear that the toy conceptually started here, it's Cyclonus's better mode. There are black wheels underneath the rear undercarriage and another on it's own fold-down strut underneath the cockpit. There's no reason why you'd fold it up in this mode - the jet needs it down to stand, but the fact that it has a strut adds to the jet visually.
Rolling wheels are really all we get here as play value, which isn't fantastic but is pretty standard for a G1 plane mode. The fold up strut counts I suppose, but it doesn't enhance things much. The regular version lacks any weaponry here but the Targetmaster version has a mount mid-fusleage for Nightstick in gun mode.
The wings, which become his arms, rely on tight shoulder joints (at the front of the wings) to stay up, and while these joints are quite well designed, there's nothing - not even notches - keeping the heavy wings up. Mine tend to sag a little, but he holds up okay. This is the only real shortcoming of Cyclonus's jet mode - which is otherwise well done.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Fold the nosetip up and back onto the fuselage, stow the wheelstrut. Slide the wings forward and fold up the grey outer sections of the wings. Lift out the panels at the back of the fuselage, lift him up. Swing down the boots and clip into place, fold out and rotate his fists. Give Cyclonus his gun, which will either be a silver pistol or the grey and black Nightstick.
Height: 19cm Width: 9.5cm
Again mainly purple, Cyclonus has a black sternum (the wheel folded away), silver face and silver spikes on his crown, silver plastic fins on his forearms, thighs and feet. There's a Decepticon logo on his chest and there are red eyes painted on his silver face. Some black stickers on his shoulders and purple stickers on the legs round out a unified colour scheme. There's a rare version which has blue painted below the silver spikes on his crown (not a Targetmaster variant, just the regular Cyclonus).
As I've already alluded to, this is Cyclonus's weaker mode. The fists are big, blocky engine covers while the crown his very tall, since it's part of the needlenose. For reasons unknown, the fins can fold in partially, but this doesn't appear to have any purpose (and they're not meant to be stowed in jet mode). Whether or not this is an abandoned third mode or as a result of late arm modification I don't know, but it's mystifying. The legs are well proportioned, but overall he does look a little odd.
The poseability is very good for a G1 toy. The shoulders rotate, the elbows are hinged and the forearms rotate. The hips and knees are hinged along with the ankles (although the latter isn't in itself that useful). Some of the jointing is part of the transformation, but there are enough extra joints that I'm sure the designer wanted to make Cyclonus poseable. The shoulders will rotate right through 360° although the wings on his back get in the way - you have to unfold them partially to achieve this.
The play value is pretty good all things considered. The poseability is great and Nightstick adds to his play value if you've got the Targetmaster. The main downside is that the arms are detachable from the ratcheting shoulder sockets, and while they will stay put most of the time, Cyclonuses (Cycloni?) missing arms are common on the secondary market.
There are both good and bad aspects of this mode, and how much you like/hate different aspects will influence what you think of him. The facial sculpt is excellent, poseability great for a Transformer from 1986 and the colours work well. The detachable arms, awkward hands and huge crown work against Cyclonus. Personally I find the negatives are just enough to keep me from liking this robot mode much. I certainly don't hate it, and appreciate it's positives, but just can't get into it.
Three main variations as mentioned. Working backwards, the Targetmaster has enlarged fistholes, a mounting hole on the back and of course Nightstick, the black and silver Nebulan. The second, rare variant, lacks these features but sports blue paint on the crown, while the first variant - the most common - lacks this blue paint also.
The first two variants are the same release, the Targetmaster was released in a different case assortment in 1987 (and is often listed as a separate toy as a result despite being essentially the same thing).
The jet mode is really quite well done, Cyclonus has a great colour scheme and his cartoon likeness is quite good. The robot mode has some great aspects and some disappointing features as well, which are enough to hold back the toy. His cartoon incarnation saw a lot of airtime but the character wasn't particularly memorable, so I wouldn't recommending him based on character. Having said that, he's so heavily involved in the Movie and the third season that he's a major character really, and there are enough nice aspects here that G1 fans will appreciate the toy - 6/10