Friday, November 15, 2013

Hasbro Transformers Generations Ultimate Gift Set Jazz 2012

A few months ago, I got an appeal over Facebook for assistance from my good friend, and Transformers uber-guru, AMD. Unable to turn down his call for help, I found myself going halvsies on an online-exclusive Ultimate Gift Set that included Jazz, a miniature Motormaster (called Motorbreath now for copyright reasons), an oddly colored Optimus Prime and a miniature Thundercracker. I cut Optimus Prime out and sent him to his new home and got to keep the rest. Talk about a nice deal! To fluff out the Transformers content on my site so that Menasor is not all alone, I figured I'd take a look at this figure, Jazz, originally released in 2012, based on a mold from 2010.

The original cartoon Transformers featured some great voice work, but one of the most recognizable voices is that of Scatman Cruthers, who did the voice-overs for Jazz. (Casey Kasem was also heavily involved, as he was apparently contractually obligated to be in every 80s cartoon ever.
The original, Generation 1 Jazz was designed around a Porsche 935, with sleekly curved lines and a look of power emanating from it. This modern mold follows that inspiration without being quite so blatant, and thereby avoiding the licensing and royalty issues. Originally, this mold was used in 2010 for Special Ops. Jazz, and was repainted with colors recalling his Generation 2 colors when he was added to the Ultimate Gift Set. This is, undeniably, a modern Transformers figure with all of the engineering innovation that comes with that. Make no mistake, these are complicated toys that manage to get a great appearance in both robot and vehicle mode, and Jazz is no exception.
The vehicle mode is absolutely sleek in this version. Looking closely, there are evident cut lines where the transformation happens, but those are just about impossible to hide, especially on a white vehicle where every dark line is highlighted. It's to Hasbro's credit that they don't try and use a lot of decoration or paint to try and hide these lines, letting the mold stand as it is. And it is a great mold, don't get me wrong. The headlights, grill, wheels, and other smaller details are all exceptionally well done and lend a true air of authenticity. This figure also uses my favorite technique of translucent glass for the windows, which helps them look realistic without being so clear that everything missing inside is evident. It really is the best of both worlds, and I'm thrilled to see it used here not just for the windows but also the headlights.

It will take a few times to get proficient at transforming Jazz into robot form. He does feel more fragile than the vintage figure, but that's because the 'bot can move at just about every joint imaginable! Seriously, his articulation is through the roof (no pun intended) and is wonderful to enjoy. I went beyond my usual, more static illustrative photos to give a sense of it. The left arm on mine has a tendency to come off during the transformation process, but that's totally okay! As it is a ball joint, it just pops right back into place again, no muss and no fuss. You've got to love a toy that's Wes-proof!
Once you do figure out the transformation, you're left with a really impressive figure who's quite close to his Generation 1 on-screen appearance. You get the broad chest, the "wing" doors, and a head sculpt that has a bit of attitude and a lot of charm. Once everything is "locked" into place, he's also a very solid and stable Transformer, with a lot of ball joints and very stable feet that allow for a good range of movement and balance.
He comes with a gun that is, itself, transformable a couple of ways. It can be folded up and stored under his hood during transformation for storage (which is great and will definitely keep me from losing the darned thing) and can also be combined with his speakers through a "clip-on" technology. The speakers themselves can be stored inside the doors or outside in both robot and car mode, but I kind of fail at this one. I unfolded them when I first got Jazz and have never been able to get them to stash away again behind the doors, so I guess they'll just permanently be on display. There are worse fates!
As an affordable nod to a vintage figure and one which is incredibly well designed and executed, I highly recommend this to someone who wants a definitive Jazz figure that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. The kibble (extra parts left over from the transformation) is practically non-existent) and the color scheme works incredibly well. Beyond all of that, the figure is pose able, playable, and sturdy enough to enjoy without constantly worrying about it breaking. Whether you find this in the Ultimate Gift Set, as the Spec Ops release from 2010/2011, or loose on Ebay for a decent price, Jazz is definitely well worth picking up!


Post a Comment



Fine Vintage Reviews. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Revolution Two Church theme by Brian Gardner Converted into Blogger Template by Bloganol dot com