As always, I like to give one spot in a Guest Review Week to one of our readers. For this week, I’ve got a review that I’ve inadvertently had in the queue for some time, an updated college version of the Fox Sports Robot from reader Dayraven! Sorry it took so long to get this posted, DR!
Dayrvaven: Hey crew, this is Dayraven, back with my third guest review for IAT. This time, I’m taking a look at the Cleatus version 2.0 Fox Sports bot. He is a new release and only a couple of months old, but I’ve been looking forward to this review for some time, so let’s get started!
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge Actionheads, the credited creators on the packaging. I contacted them to thank them for a great toy, and after a couple of email exchanges, I got to chat directly with FoamFanatics rep Jeff Richey about this stellar toy. He was incredibly gracious with my questions, and I thank him for that opportunity.
So, let me spill some beans… Mr Cleatus here was modeled on the animation by Blur Studios, the guys behind those cool action sequences at the beginning of Fox Sports events now (and intermittently, during the airing of those programs). Cleatus has come a long way from those early commercial segue segments, and he’s not just for Football anymore. Any UFC fans like myself see him now during broadcasts of fights, and word is, he’ll be getting more face time thanks to the new Fox Sports channel, where Cleatus will be a branding tool that covers all the sports Fox is showing. That’s great news for geeks like myself, as Mr Cleatus will be wearing many hats, and with luck, we’ll be getting figures for all of them. There could come a day, one sweet day, where I might have the Wolverines Cleatus I’m reviewing today, standing next to a Red Wings Cleatus, sandwiched between Red and Blue Corner Cleati… it’s enough to make me salivate. The prototypes were executed by industry mainstays Gentle Giant, and then finished and distributed by Actionheads. They also were the ones who came up with the superhero-like attributes we see discussed on his packaging. Whether you’re a fan of big robots, the NBA, MLB, NHL or UFC, Fox wants to show you sports with their new mascot, and Actionheads wants us to have toys of them. Personally, I’m hoping these move well enough to get another Football bot, the big-body linebacker model from those animations… a Dayraven can but dream right? But I dreamed of a Red Wings bot and may well have him before next Saturnalia… Fingers crossed!
Jeff told me that the team was really focused on quality this go around, and it absolutely shows. This guy is a beast! A big, sturdy, well made toy that is just a delight to pose, play with, and look at. He’s got a great sculpt, not quite as detailed as his version 1.0 counterpart, but still very well done. Rivets show, exhaust ports peek out where his pistons vent pressure, lubricant hoses lurk beneath protective plates, and thick armored plates are all evident over him as you look the sculpt over. He reminds me of how a dinosaur would look, if robots were dinosaurs. Where 1.0 and Baseball bot were kind of all purpose combat droids, Cleatus 2.0 reflects a more refined aesthetic, defined in purpose and built to a specific task.
2.0 does not feature an add-in ball, and while he’s shown certainly running the ball in the animations, thanks to his well executed articulation, he’s more than capable of a Barry Sanders style juke… he just lacks a ball. Luckily, the glued in ball from 1.0 can be tucked under if you need him to do the Heisman pose. I actually prefer him not having a ball, as they’re easy to come by in his scale, if you need one, but I personally don’t. This Wolverine is for beating some behind, rather than ruling the gridiron.
His shoulders pads are now better integrated into the sculpt, so his movement is much less inhibited than his 1.0 brother. It’s also worth note than Actionheads should teach classes on how ball torsos should be done. Baseball’s torso ball had a smidge better range of motion, but 2.0′s is MUCH more solidly showcased, and intergrated better to disappear into the sculpt. In fact, all the articulation is designed into him to work with the sculpt, and it blends very very well.
This is a big boy. He is the most space-filling of the three Cleati, and, were it not for those HUGE shoulder pads on 1.0, he’d easily be the most massive of the three as well. Just like his brothers in arms, this a great snag for any sports fan but he’s a great snag for any robot fan or toy fan as well. This big fig is rock solid and sure to be a hit with the discerning collector, the aspiring customizer, and the kids. He will absolutely handle the rigors of kid play, and that to me is a huge part of his appeal. He looks great on my shelf, he can fight superheroes, wrestlers, or hero factory figs with equal aplomb, and is probably the only adult collectible you can hand your kids with complete confidence. Best of all, unlike some adult collectibles, you can find this big bad is some good old fashioned brick and mortar stores like Party City, Kohl’s, and Bed, Bath and Beyond… so if your relatives hit you up with those annoying gift cards this holiday season, you can spend not-cash and equip your robot army with their new general. How can you turn down holiday robots? Continue to Page 2…