Cleatus - FOX Sports Robot

If I were to ask most people what they thought of 'cleatus' on FOX television, they'd say "You mean the slack jawed yokel?  Him and Brandine are hilarious!".  Ah, but that's Cletus Spuckler...tonight I'm talking about Cleatus the FOX Sports Robot.

It should surprise no one that Cleatus is the subject of much hate mail.  His silly warm up antics aren't really the kind of thing the serious aficionado of a mature sport like football are going to enjoy.  And so he has joined such memorable yet reviled mascots and spokespeople like Mr. Whipple, the "Where's the beef?" granny, and the Noid in the Hated Icons Hall of Fame.

FOX Sports loves him though, and they had a company called Actionheads aka Foamheads aka Foam Fanatics develop a 10" action figure, and a 3" '3 in one' figure.  I'll be checking out both in tonight's review.  For those of you who know David Reeves, he was heavily involved in the development of this guy.


Before we get started, I wanted to point out which photos were of the 3" version, and which were of the 10" version, to avoid too much confusion.  There are only three shots of just the 3" by himself, so I'll point those out.  Obviously, the photo directly above with the chain attachments is the 3" guy.  He's also in the fourth and sixth photos on the left - you can probably tell the difference, since the paint ops on that much smaller of a figure won't be quite as clean.

Packaging - ***
Neither package is going to do much to knock your socks off, but they do the basic job.  The larger window box does show off the figure pretty well, and it's even relatively collector friendly.  It's a little thin and easy to damage though, giving it a short mint shelf life.

The '3 in one' figure - figure, keychain bauble, or just thing you can hang on something - has a hard plastic shell, similar to other keychain figures.  It will certainly hold up well, although it also suffers from a bit of the boring.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Both sizes exhibit some terrific sculpting, looking just like the mascot in 3D form.

The 3" scale version isn't quite as detailed of course, and some of the areas are a bit more choppy.  But he's certainly a step above most other PVC's in this scale, and the sculpt works well with the limited articulation.

But the really impressive guy here is the 10"er.  There's wonderful work on the various mech parts, like the fingers, hoses, and connectors, giving him a much more realistic appearance than I had expected.

The sculpt and articulation work together amazingly well, and the hands are designed to look good in as many poses as possible with the unjointed fingers.

It's important to note that this guy is solid, and not rotocast in any way.  Don't throw this guy at anyone you don't want to hurt.  He's solid enough to handle plenty of actual play, and there are no parts of the sculpt that would be easy to break or damage.

Paint - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
The paint work on the smaller figure isn't quite as good as the larger, which should be no surprise.  Trying to do those tampos and masked areas on a figure in the 3" scale is tricky to say the list.

Still, they did a generally great job on the little guy, much better than the usual PVC in this size.  The only spot to show serious issues is the football, where the stitching lines are pretty sloppy.

The big guy is great all around.  The tampos are perfect, and the areas that are painted, like the football and blue face, are clean and neat.  There's the occasional blip here and there on the yellow highlights, but it's fairly minor, particularly for a mass market toy.

The body is cast in the gray color, but at least it matches the source material pretty well.  More detail work on the hoses or other mech areas would have really made this guy stand out, but the reality is that the actual bot doesn't have all that much paint detail either.

What he does have though that this figure lacks is wear and tear.  There's more damage to his outer skin, with wear on the pads, etc.  I can't say I expect that for $17, but if they'd managed to pull it off there would definitely have been four stars in this category.

By the way, I have no idea what the significance of the number 34 is.  I know it was Walter Payton's number, but I don't see the connection.

Articulation - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
I was initially impressed by the price when I saw this guy at Toys R Us.  But it wasn't until I opened him and realized how excellent the articulation was that I was really wowed.

There are ball joints at the neck, shoulders, hips and wrists.  Technically, these aren't traditional ball joints, but rather a combination of a peg/disk joint on one side of the ball, and a straight peg joint on the other.

To better explain, let's talk about the neck.  The head has a peg and disk that attach into the ball.  This is similar to Marvel Legends necks.  Because the peg is up into the head is round, the head can turn 360 degrees, and because of the disk inside the ball, it can tilt forward and backward.

But with ML figures, that's it.  There's no ability to tilt the head side to side with that type of joint.  Ah, but the minds behind this figure worked that out - the ball also fits into the torso on a peg!  That means the ball can turn 360 degrees in relation to the torso, so that the disk can line up at any angle, not just forward and back.  Voila, the head can tilt at any angle to the body.

This is the same or similar type of joint used on the hips, shoulders and wrists, which means all these areas have an exceptional range of movement.

There's also pin elbows, ankles and knees, cut biceps, and a cut waist.  The only thing missing that might have added something to the poseability is jointed fingers, but that's a pretty minor quibble.

The only reason this guy isn't getting four stars is that the hip joints on mine are a bit too loose.  The knees and ankles were fine, but the hips ended up a bit sloppy. You can remedy that with the old Super Glue trick (more on that below), but you shouldn't have to.  Still, this guy was one of the biggest articulation surprises of the year.

Oh, and the little version has a cut neck, cut shoulders, cut waist and hips.  Pretty good for this scale.

Accessories - 3" **1/2; 10" **
There isn't much in the line of accessories for either one.  The 3" version comes with a keychain/screw attachment and a lanyard/screw attachment, if you want to carry him with you or hang him from the rear view mirror.

The big guy has removable shoulder pads (I shot a couple different photos of him sans pads), and these pop on and off fairly easily, but fit tightly enough not to drop off unexpectedly.

The football is also removable on the big guy - if you want to badly enough.  It's glued in place, but the glue isn't all that sturdy.  Pull straight out on it, and the peg (which inserts into a hole in his palm) will pop out.  After that, you can pose him holding it at different angles, or you can simply skip it altogether.

Fun Factor - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
The little 3" guy is okay, but kids aren't going to find him all that exciting.  There's a little articulation there though, so that's a plus over the usual PVC.

The 10" is where the fun is, although the slightly floppy joints can cause an issue.

Value - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
This figure had two big surprises.  One was the articulation.  The other was the cost.

Actually, the little guy runs about what you'd expect in the $4 or so range.  He is more articulated than the usual keychain PVC, and runs about the same price, making him a bit better value.

But the big guy is a terrific value at just $17 at TRU.  Considering that most 6 - 7" figures are running anywhere from 12 bucks to 15 bucks these days, this guy is quite a good price.  And he's licensed as well, with terrific articulation (which doesn't come cheap).

Things to Watch Out For - 
The floppy joints won't be something you'll know about til you open him up.  If you do get joints (like the hips on mine) that are a little too loose, you can try the Super Glue trick - put a little in the joint and keep working it back and forth til it dries.  Be sure you don't stop moving it til it's DRY!  You don't want the joint permanently glued.  And if you screw up trying this, it ain't my fault.

Overall - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
It's a rarity when I get taken by surprise by a figure.  Oh, I still get disappointed far too often, but for a figure to pop up that's actually much better than expected...that's all too rare.

This is one of those figures.  The sculpting and paint are solid, and the articulation and price are excellent.  There's only one little problem - you could very well hate Cleatus, or at best not care about him.

But that doesn't mean you should overlook this figure.  This guy has a TON of customizing potential, since he's a fairly generic mech character.  The shoulder pads are meant to be removed, and the football pops off without too much trouble.  Whip out the scalpel and you can alter the face mask with only a little effort. Presto - you've got a menacing looking robotic base body in a 10" frame, just right for a large character to go with 6 - 7" superhero lines. A little paint, a little creativity, and you've got yourself a pretty bad ass looking robot monster.

The 3" version is less appealing to me, simply because I'm not all that big of a fan of the mascot.  I suppose he'd make a nice little Transformer looking toy for your sixth scale figures.  Otherwise, I suspect you'll need to be a big fan of Cleatus to really appreciate him.  And I'm not sure the poor guy has a whole lot of those.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
Articulation - 3" **1/2; 10" ***1/2
Accessories - 3" **1/2; 10" **
Fun Factor - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
Value - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2
Overall - 3" ***; 10" ***1/2

Where to Buy -
I've seen these guys at most Toys R Us stores over by the Mcfarlane Sports figures.  At just $17 for the big guy, they have a great price.  You can also get them directly from FOX, or from the Actionhead website, but you'll pay a few bucks more.

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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