Special Ops Jazz
Review by chachipower
When it comes to finding the newest Transformers release, persistence pays off when trying to acquire the absolute newest figure. Having a fat wallet does too if you are willing to pay any amount for a chance to have a figure before the rest of the nation does. This is usually done by paying a premium for "Lunch-Time" or "Back-Door Specials". In my case, persistence, not a fat wallet paid off in acquiring this new figure. Thankfully the most innocent looking drugstore in town just happened to have the latest in Hasbro's new Reveal the Shield lineup.
I usually don't show the package in my blister-bound Transformers reviews, but in this case I would be doing an injustice by not showing it. Why? Because the new packaging is very similar to the Hunt for the Decepticons packaging which a lot of people tend to ignore because it usually means left-overs that nobody wants. So be careful when looking. An easy way to spot them in the mountains of red and yellow packaging is to look at the faction logo on the side of the blister pack. You will usually see an Autobot or Decepticon logo. In the case of these releases, you will see a blue faction logo silhouette with the words "Reveal the Shield" across it. So moving on to the packaging, you will find it's the same familiar blister pack design.
Once you greedily rip open the package, cut away the rope that has recently replaced the wire-ties, you are left with this cute little sports car. It's very 350Z/911/Solstice-ish in it's design. Something I wouldn't mind driving (sans racing stripes) and very reminiscent of cars I have had the pleasure of driving in the past. His body is molded with a pearlish white plastic. It's got a nice big number 4 on the side along with some red and blue racing stripes not unlike the original G1 favorite.
Here is a look at the front. You'll notice that the windshield, headlights and fog lights use a translucent blue plastic to give it a tad more quality than just painting them. The racing stripes are applied nice and sharply but the lip spoiler suffers from a bit of over-spray/messy masking.
In an act of automotive blasphemy, Hasbro either forgot or just plain did not give a darn about applying any semblance of rear lighting nor a rear window. I mean really. You have the red paint in use on the rest of the car's detailing but taking the extra step to apply taillights on a vehicle was too much for you? Painting a rear windshield too? Sheesh...maybe it's 'cause I'm a car guy or maybe it's 'cause, well...it's an obvious detail. Ranks up there in my world with not painting eyes on a figure. As if body colored exhaust tips wasn't bad enough.
From a birds-eye view it becomes more evident that this sports car design borrows cues from well known cars in the real world. In fact, Hasbro/Takara did a great job in tastefully mixing the design of a Porsche from the G1 release and the design of a Solstice of the movie release. Good job.
Once we have the car on it's side, you can see the engineering that went into getting all the bits to fit for a clean looking vehicle. The black block of plastic right behind the front bumper cover is the gun neatly tucked away.
A neat little touch that's made possible in part due to his transformation design, is the ability to have working doors. I like this feature, although it shows some internal bits.
Jazz likes to kick the party up a notch, so instead of having a normal stereo system like the rest of the world, his speakers can actually extend out of the windows so everyone can join the party.
Some of you car guys might dig a feature only found in the most sportiest of cars- Adjustable spoiler! Yes please.
Jazz has the standard flip doors out/snap in half/pull legs and arms out/bring hood down transformation that is seen on many other releases, but is still fun nonetheless. The lower legs were a bit confusing even with the instructions since there is a spring loaded panel that I couldn't figure out due to my impatience to transform. I love that when the hood is folded down when completing the transofrmation, his head pops up to exactly where it needs to be. The inner hood and neck are geared to perform this feat.
When done you are left with this glorious alternate mode. Allow yourself a moment to take it all in. It is unmistakeably Jazz any way you look at it. Not so glorious is the front of the lower legs. There is a gray vent-like panel that could have been molded differently or colored white to lessen the hollow look. His upper arms have been painted white instead of being molded in color. Looking at him like this makes me wish he had two things. One is a shoulder cannon and the other is a visible autobot insignia.
Here is his back view which is relatively clean. Again, I would prefer that there be panels to clean up the back of the lower legs and something to cover the rear part of his thighs which are molded hollow to save on plastic and weight no doubt ($). Honestly though, who spends their time looking at the rears of their figures? It is a toy so it's more than acceptable.
Here he is up close. He has an amazing sculpt. No crazy looking movie crap here. This is an honest to goodness old-school derived sculpt.
He's got a generous amount of light-piping on the back of his head, but Ive never had this effect come to life through normal use, I've always had to hold the figures up to the light or take an LED to the back of the head to see it, but It's nice to see that Hasbro cares enough to provide light piping.
I'm one of those people that don't like feet and I definitely don't like Jazz's feet. They are bulky and completely hollow and cheap looking. Like something you would see on a dollar store toy.
Here is what I mean by hollow and cheap looking. Now I'm just nitpicking really.
He also likes to party in his robot mode which is why he is showing off his speakers here. A form of sonic weaponry no doubt.
I like the detail given to the speaker cabinets. The size would roughly equate to a smallish 8-10" speaker in real life so he can only party so hard. Then again, these are not your average car audio speakers.
Remember that gun I said was stored behind the front bumper cover? Well here it is in all its transforming glory.
The gun can also combine with the speaker cabinets to form a more powerful sonic weapon! Told you these weren't you're average car audio speakers.
Now we get to the gimmick of the new lineup. Its called Reveal the Shield because you need to...well, Reveal the Shield! This is done easily. If you are familiar with some old-school Transformers you may remember the rub-signs used to determine whether your bot was good or evil. Maybe it's cause I'm older, but this ain't foolin' nobody unless you've never been down with Transformers in the past and don't recognize key characters. This time around, they are diecut and more flush to the figure than the past ones. This minimizes peeling of the insignia. Anyways, give it a good rub and voila! It starts out a dark blue then goes through all the colors of the rainbow.
Well that's about it. I really like Jazz as a character. He's appealing to the eyes and he's just cool. The figure has it's faults like hollow body parts and no taillight detail, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. He has no loose parts out of the box, color scheme is nice and transformation is fun. Seems to be that Reveal the Shield will be another hit for Hasbro.
|Posted 7 December, 2010 - 00:16 by chachipower|