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by yo go re

Hey everybody! It's time for a crazyass off-brand Transformer!

The evolution of the machine has reached a new level. Mankind has produced what we have all feared... robots that think and feel. There is only one hope for us... Cykons. These top of the line robots have been built for extreme battle situations, with their help we will battle the machines that want to keep us as slaves and return to our daily lives. So do your part and collect them all and maybe... "you can help save mankind!"

I don't think it's fair to say we've "all feared" robots that think and feel. There's an entire subculture of people out there waiting with one hand for the day that happens. Have been for years. And besides, if it's robots we built that are the problem, how will building more robots help? It's like we're signing our own death warrants.

The Cykons (not to be confused with any other similarly-named killer robots) come to us from Maisto, a company that apparently makes die-cast replicas of real vehicles - they're the ones who did the bikes we use for the Dreadnoks, for instance. This is another motorcycle, but it's some generic sportbike rather than a licensed design. It's all sleek lines and curvey bits, and the wheels really roll. Sort of. The back wheel's really stiff.

The bike is white with dark metallic pink trim and grey support structures inside. The windscreen is clear plastic, and there are silver discs on the wheels. Brakes? Gears? Beats me: I know toys, not cars. Maybe that's where the unicorns live, for all I know. The headlights and turn signals are painted on, and there is a square cross painted on each side of the frame. And despite the fact that this is just a goofy little toy, they even sculpted the valve stems on the wheels.

Converting the bike to a robot is anything but complex - in fact, it's pretty much the same thing you had to do for the GoBots' bad guy Cy-Kill back in 1983. The arms are holding the front wheel, and the back wheel is tucked between the feet. So yes, it's basically just a matter of standing the bike up. There's a little more to it, such as spinning the feet and hands around, but overall? Very simple and very straightforward.

There's no sort of bio information about any of the Cykons on the packaging, but considering the emergency-style crosses on the bike and the fact that this one is named "Res-Q," you can pretty much guess what sort of function he has. She has? Sure, why not? Let's call Res-Q a girl. She can be the Cykon version of the Paradron Medics from Transformers.

All the figures use the same robot body, which, surprisingly, is fairly nice. The joints are tight and there's decent detail in the sculpt. Res-Q has balljoints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and shins, and big flat feet to keep her standing. There's a lot of kibble, including a wheel on the outside of the leg, and the entire outer shell of the bike hanging off her back. The robot doesn't really have a head - it's just the front of the bike sitting unchanged on her shoulders. Really, Maisto? You couldn't come up with any kind of head?

Res-Q's front wheel is permanently attached to her hand, so it serves as some kind of shield. The set also includes a strange little gun that can be held in the left hand - or, alternately, plugged into her chest. Why? Because they said so, that's why. The gun barrel is on a balljoint, for no adequately explained reason, and may either have silver and pink paint apps, or be solid black. I've seen both. Variant! (Or poor quality control.)

The Cykons aren't the first Transformer-style toys Maisto's made - that honor would go to the RoboRods, which were both smaller and crappier than Res-Q. Best not to speak of them. You can find the Cykons at discount chain stores; you know, the kind that always advertise how they buy other companies' leftover product? Yeah. Res-Q and her friends aren't great toys, but for the price you pay, she's really not terrible. The toy's construction is good, even if the design isn't anything to write home about, and that's a lot more than you can usually say for this kind of knockoff. If you want something unusual in your collection, pick the bike you like best and stick it at the back of your shelf as some nameless drone.

-- 12/15/09

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