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Reader Reviews: Fox Sports
Bot (Cleatus) Version 2.0

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…

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12 comments to Reader Reviews: Fox Sports
Bot (Cleatus) Version 2.0

  • Lay Ze-Man

    Nice review DR!
    Tons of great pics and info!

    I wonder if we’ll see any customizers tackle these? Maybe new takes on Stel, Sentinel, Roboto, etc.

    With the size already what it is, a linebacker would be crazy indeed! Who the hell would be able to ref? 😀

    Speaking of size, did your conversations with FoamFanatics reveal any thoughts behind the decision on scale for these?

    Gentle Giant involvement also makes sense, gives these less of the “How did these just show up out of the blue?” feel.

    • I’m not sure. I don’t really check for the latest customs and whatnot, but I can’t recall seeing too many of the first Fox Sports Robot. It’s a fine template for those who want to.

  • Black Arbor

    Dayraven: The Chris Claremont of reviews.

    Good review though! I appreciate the pics with other figures to show scale.

    But Noisy, let another reader have a swing at a guest review next time, huh? that’s two in a row for DR!

  • dayraven

    posted some extra photos in the thread on the forum: http://www.itsalltrue.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=657&p=30003#p30003

    this fig is tons of funs, and as a fellow toy geek and pinoy playboy pointed out to me during a facebook convo on this fig, he’s superior to anything jazwares has produced in all their time as toy makers… a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the folks at actionheads.

    lay ze- see, this is why i’m not a professional reviewer… it didn’t even occur to me to ask why he’s scaled the way he is. i have no clue, other than perhaps the young frankenstein theory, the minuteness of the parts serves as hinderence to speed of work. i do know that the intent was to create a base cleatus that could be used as a buck so that they could cover more than one sport with only minimal additional tooling, so perhaps that was some reason to have a large base body?

    black arbor- thanks for the kind words man! i try to get lots of scale shots, as i like to know scale personally. it’s not always a deal breaker, but having a fig feel like the right scale is sometimes essential to my purchase decision. i try to chose figs that i figure most readers have to help illustrate the scale, plus provide some “across lines” illustration. integration of aesthetic is something i know some collectors are very picky about, they want to know how a piece will look next to what they already have.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Great review and pics, mate!

    Unfortunately, the best way to get me uninterested in anything — even cool robot toys — is to link them with big-business spectator sports. Especially if those big-business spectator sports mostly consist of obscenely overpaid guys standing around for fifteen minutes at a time between 10-second plays. And have been responsible for pre-empting anything I’ve wanted to watch on TV that was scheduled after the game WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE FINISHED, BUT THE SOMANOMBATCHIN’ FARGIN’ BASTICHES TOOK SO MUCH TIME FARTING AROUND THAT THE GAME OVER-RAN BY AN HOUR AND A HALF!!!

    Not that I’m bitter.

    Having said that, I’m a huge fan of Robot Wars . . . which was cancelled years ago.

    Not that I’m bitter.

    But, like I said, great review and pics, mate!

  • orionpax636

    Another excellent review D-Rave! I’m truly appreciative that someone with an eye to detail and poseability like you gives a well-deserving company this kind of publicity. Great stuff with the 3-point stance pose, I had mine in an upright pass rush pose for a week…

    As for the figure, it’s solid as hell and sports a truly ambitious arsenal of articulation. Cleatus 1.0 only beats it in arm range of motion and slightly in balance. I think Cleatus 2.0 here would stand more rooted to the ground if he has bigger or thicker feet, but I don’t know that staying true to the actual model would allow for it. I could also prefer a few more paint detail, but aside from those two small nitpicks, this is a fun, playable, excellent beast of a figure. Never let this guy fall on your foot…

    I give Actionheads a ton of respect as a company. By no means are they an outfit completely focused on toys, yet they’ve already turned out 3 action figure efforts deserving of high praise in multiple scales. My dealing with them have been answered with courteous, personalized responses over e-mail or Facebook, a practice rare from any manufacturer. As a big figure, pro football (GO NINERS) and sports fan, I wish these guys the best of luck and hope we can get more killer efforts like these.

  • That last pic with him in the three-point stance is pretty sick!

  • dayraven

    i can also testify that my kids have had plenty of time with this fig, playing against lego hero factory, transformers, various action figs, you name it, and every thing is intact and solid as the day they got here. the figs have been dropped indoors and out, bashed, crashed, posed, etc… solid as a rock.