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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Additional Image:
Box Art:

Kamen's review: Jazz

Name: Jazz
Allegiance: Autobot
Fuction: Elite Ninja
Subgroup: TFAnimated Deluxe Vehicles

Quote: “Cybertron is cool, but Earth rules.”

Galactic Powers and Abilities:
- Master of Circuit-Su, even more powerful than Prowl
- Prefers hand-to-hand combat to fighting at a distance
- Member of Cybertron Elite Guard

Autobot Jazz has studied Earth culture since he first became aware of it. He loves everything about it – the music, the movies, the vehicles, and – of course – the style. He’s usually a pretty chill guy, being a cyber-ninja and all, but he can barely contain his excitement at finally getting to check out Earth and give his new vehicle mode a spin. His excitement won’t make him forget his duty, however. He is a master of hand-to-hand combat, with the fastest fists on Cybertron.

Jazz has always been the hippest and coolest of Autobots; he’s also one of my personal favorites. Although, he’s been ignored in Transformers animated media since G1, Jazz returned as second in command of the Autobots in the 2007 live action Transformers movie. Soon after, he appeared in Transformers Animated as the only other competent member of the Elite Guard besides Blurr. In the comics, Jazz has been a constant figure, appearing throughout the Marvel, Dreamwave, and IDW runs, though often as a sideline character. In each incarnation he retains the same laid back personality and love of Earth popular culture.


Alternate Mode:

As usual, Jazz transforms into a trendy sports car. In this case, though, his alt mode isn’t based on any real-life car that I recognize. Designed almost entirely with rounded sweeping angles, the figure looks swift and stylish. However, more so than some other Animated figures, Jazz’s alt mode clearly demonstrates the “loony tune” aesthetic. In fact, he appears to have driven right out of the cartoon, so closely modeled is his figure (or vice versa as the case may be). Fans of the Animated figures will, of course, have no problem with this, but those who are still unsure of the current stylized trend in Animated should look at another figure.

His colors nod toward his G1 origins. Blue and red racing stripes on the hood break up the overall white. Black and grey fill in small details, and a beautiful translucent cerulean serves for his head and fog lights. A red insignia on his hood marks him as a member of the Elite Guard.

Jazz has no gimmicks other than the standard rolling wheels, but it is a nice little car with no flaws at all. I only caution that if you don’t like the Animated look, you’ll probably not like the look of this figure. Otherwise, the alt mode is solid.


Robot Mode:

In robot mode, Jazz is slightly less show accurate (he still has molded headphones, fortunately) simply due to liberties taking by the animation crew. These differences are minor and in no way detract from the figure. Like his ninja brothers Oil Slick and Prowl, Jazz is lithe of limb. Less thin, of course, in his calves and chest area, which are made of car parts. He may look slightly awkward at first, especially in the chest, but as you toy with his range of possible poses the look actually starts to work for him, and he begins to look like he’s competent, if not sleeker.

Jazz’s articulation is fabulous. Ball joints in neck, shoulders, hips, and wrists. Hinges in his elbows, knees, and feet, and swivels in his elbows, waist, and knees. Add to that decent balance, and Jazz can hit some funky fresh moves. My only complaint here is the location of his waist joint. Rather than being at his actual waist, the joint is directly beneath his chest. With the size and overhang of his chest, he can end up looking awkward if twisted more than a few centimeters. Although not a point of articulation, it is also worth mentioning that his chest does not lock into place on his torso, and since the shoulder joints are very tight, he’ll tend to start transforming if opposite pressure isn’t applied. One other point of minor annoyance that his neck is molded in such a way that his head is forced into a side-cocked position when turned.

Like any ninja worth his tabi, Jazz has weapons carefully concealed on his body. In this case his exhaust pipes detach to become “energy-chucks”. Where the energy part comes from...you’re guess is as good as mine. Anyway, while I’m pleased to see Transformers expand their martial repertoire (Animated Seaspray better have an eku!), I personally really, REALLY hate loose weapons like nunchaku, simply because I don’t think they pose well. While Jazz’s weapons aren’t as bad as some (*cough*Oil Slick*cough*), he does tend to look goofy unless posed in a position where he’s smacking something. Still, kudos for the effort.

I’m pleased to say that other than the minor points already mentioned, Jazz has no other flaws.


Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 3 – An interesting twist on the shell-former. Not difficult, but some pieces need to be worked to get in and out of place.
Durability: 9 – No obvious break points that I can find.
Fun: 9 – I pity the fool who disses the ninja! Jazz has great articulation, though he may appear slightly awkward. He’s definitely enjoyable to play with.
Price: 7 – $10 USD. A good price for what you get.
Overall: 8 – If you don’t like the toon-look, you probably won’t like this figure. If you do, then be aware that Jazz has some other aesthetic quirks. Past those, Jazz is a fantastic figure.
 
 
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