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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clog's review of: Jetfire

Name: Jetfire
Allegiance: Originally Decepticon; latterly Autobot
Function: Air Support
Motto: “Among mysteries of science lies the key to victory.”

PROFILE: Science is his driving motivation, and his belief in its abilities is what makes him one of the most daring Autobots. His bravado is tempered by one overriding thought: he sincerely believes that victory over the Decepticons can only come through advancements in Autobot technology. He charges into battle, confident that his highly advanced airframe design will carry the day. The Decepticons, and Starscream in particular, are eager to hunt down and destroy him for trying to intrude on the aerial domain they consider their territory. He is bravely willing to accept their challenge, as he will allow nothing to harm his fellow Autobots or Earth. His allegiance to his cause is only matched by his devotion to scientific research. (Dreamwave TF: MTMTE)

Skyfire was originally a G1 cartoon Scientist whose exploration partner, long before the war, was Starscream. They were two contrasting characters – the calm, gentle giant with nerves of steel and the self-centred, mercurial Seeker. Starscream went through the emotional wringer in ‘Fire in the Sky’ when his lost friend was found, until his ego won out and he declared Skyfire his enemy. The many later versions of Jet/Skyfire go to show just how happy writers were with his potential, which was sadly abandoned in the G1 cartoons. Possibly the ultimate Jetfire was his ‘War Within: The Dark Ages’ appearance, where he is set against Grimlock in more ways than one!

Alternate mode:

When you take him out of the box (only 5 wired ties, but two would be particularly difficult for large fingers) you notice that initial impressions are correct: Jetfire is really heavy. He is 21cms long in vehicle form, his delta wing configuration is 14cms wide, and his ‘resting’ vehicle mode wingspan is 18.5cms opening out to a maximum of 23.5cms, which is impressive, but looks a little odd, so don’t do it. With such obvious weapons, he looks the part of a warrior, and there are echoes of Sky/Jetfire’s many realisations here. Flip the model over and his gun, split into two, can be placed in each clearly visible hand, adding to the amount of burgeoning firepower, plus he even has arm cannon a la Seekers!
His top guns flip back and are held in place with sliding covers. OK, a bit fiddly, but a nice gimmick. There are some other well-thought out touches, like the movable afterburners and the vertically rotating guns on each side of the cockpit,
The mould is crisp, with no obvious flash to chase with the scalpel and the etched detailing on the fuselage is clean. Initial examination of the paintjob shows pretty good application and cover; there are, as can only be expected, a few minor scuffs and misapplications, but it’s churlish to complain. The undercarriage consists of 3 wheels pulled down out of the body, but I can foresee that the nose wheel will be the most fragile.
The only grumble I have relates are the tail fins, which have to be kept practically shut together, hiding the red paint flashes, and it would be better to also have the pattern on the outer faces. Frankly, I am wondering whether the fins have been mounted wrongly.


Robot Mode:

You know you just have to ignore the instructions and open that cockpit, yes? And there you find Jetfire’s head to flip down plus his helmet! They really gave him a removable battle helmet, and the forwards cockpit guns become the distinctive twin points on each side. Now, put it back and follow the guidance. He is not at all difficult to transform and, if you know your War Within Jetfire, you’ll already have some idea of how he should look.
The face is very nice, the silver making the features easily discernable, and there is a clear blue panel at the back of the head to light up his baby blue optics, but the glow is, sadly, almost lost when the helmet is in place. All joints are fairly stiff and give Jetfire comprehensive movement. However, he has to be carefully balanced, due to having rather small feet, meaning he’s most stable with straight legs. This is a shame as there are comprehensive knee and hip joints, plus lower leg rotation. The arms are also multi-jointed, with free rotating hands, but not enough overall movement for the classic ‘helmet in crook of the arm’ position. With the wing gun unit swung low on his back, he stands firm, but stiff; he needs the big guns opened and brought down over his shoulders for added stability if being put into a dramatic pose, which detracts from his WW feel.
Beware the arm cannon – on my model, they are capable of firing the missiles about 6 feet and, because the missiles are translucent blue, they may not be easy to find. This is the voice of experience.

If you are serious about collecting TF toys, you have just got to have Jetfire! He is one impressive lad. I am in love – again. And this time it’s with an Autobot. If I were in a battle, I’d rather have him on my side, providing he hasn’t got a mock Aussie accent… Place him next to your Classics Starscream as the two together reflect the original size difference shown in the G1 cartoons.

Transformation: 9 – Easy enough, just watch the wing unit.
Durability: 7 – The tail fins and big guns are potential fragile points, given the weight if he is accidentally dropped or, perish the thought, flown. The nose wheel might be vulnerable, too. Since the helmet can only be worn or placed in the cockpit, it is misplace-able. Again, beware the wing unit flopping free during transformation.
Fun: 10 – A perfect 10. Yes, he’s that good.
Price: 8 – GBP19.99, but he’s worth it.
Overall: 10 – Just got to give him that 10. This is by far the most sumptuous of the Classics range to date and proof of the best that Hasbro is capable of delivering. He looks good on display in either mode and deserves a place in any serious collection.

(Pics by Neuronutter – with thanks!)

 
 
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