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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Paul053's Review: Human Alliance Jazz

Name: Autobot Jazz
Allegiance: Autobot (it says on his name)
Function: First lieutenant, fighter, and being still functional
Subgroup: Human Alliance

Against the massed forces of the Decepticons, it will take every bit of power and ingenuity Autobot Jazz and captain Lennox have to win. Though the two soldiers have only just met, they are both experienced fighters, used to working in synch with others. They easily them up to focus all their fire on a single, huge Decepticon, and bring him crashing down.

Lennox: (whispering) I see dead robot. In Revenge of the Fallen.
Barricade: Ta-daaaa!
Lennox: WHAT THEÖ.! Ah, never mind.

Jazz is a character I like so much from the G1 cartoon. When he finally came back again in the 2007 movie, I totally dissed his new design and never bothered trying to pick up his toys. After another three years, like the disappearing Barricade who still kept getting new toys, and even though Megatron wanted him in two pieces in the first movie, Jazz also has a new toy in the highly anticipated Human Alliance line. Since I'm very satisfied with my previous two HA figures (Bumblebee and Barricade), and his product photos looked very good (unlike Sideswipe), plus being a Jazz fan that I haven't had any of his toys and the new classics design might have to wait until next year, I bought him right away when I saw it on the shelf. Result? Letís see.

Alternate mode:

Jazz's alternate mode is the last Pontiac, Solstice. Comparing to what Jazz should be and used to be as a Porsche Martini, Solstice is not a bad choice as a small sports car. The look of this car is great if you ever see it driving on the street.

This toy is very detailed and the metallic silver paint is nicely coated on the body. All windows are in clear blue and the front lights are clear. The Pontiac logo and two tail lights are in red, but there are some missing details on the back. He does not have a license plate which both HA Bumblebee and Barricade have. Also the tail light above license plate and two circle signal lights are not painted as well. It would've been much better if Hasbro can just simply add those.

This car has a little bit paint scratch on the front bumper but strangely that actually makes the entire car look more realistic.

He looks very busy from the bottom but that's a common issue for the HA line. Besides he can roll around smoothly and the two doors can be opened for human figures to sit and drive like other HA figures, his hood can also be opened thanks to his transformation design and that gives him kind of Alternators touch and feel.

If you look at his interior, it looks very mechanical compared to the other two I have. Also he does not have the realistic looking seats for the human figures to sit and drive but they all fit in there well.

Overall, I canít deny that this is a very nice looking car.

Robot mode:

Transforming him is fun and I managed to do it without peeking at the instructions. The first step is to pop out the hood and trunk, and this is the most difficult part since the panels are very tightly connected. But once they are out, the transformation scheme is very smooth and well designed. Extend the back part of the car and it becomes his legs. The not so comfortable seats are now his feet. Rotate the front part and flip out the engine which is his stomach. Pull out and rotate the grill which becomes his chest. The car doors are now his forearms, and you need to flip out the claw hands and fold the windows in. One of the windows is very stiff at the first time that I fear I would break it. But it is okay after a few transformations. Lastly, flip up the head and do some detail adjustments, and he is done.

Jazzís robot mode looks even nicer in front of me than his stock photos. He is about half a head shorter than HA Bumblebee which looks right. Besides the color metallic silver is darker and those additional brown colors, his robot mode looks very close to his CGI design (unlike BB which failed at several points, and Barricade who is close but his hip joints design is bad). Only one part that I would say he is not right is the spoiler. In the movie his spoiler in robot mode is on the back behind the head. Here his spoiler is on the lower back covering his hip. His deluxe figures did not do this right either (on the shoulder) and only the legend class did it right.

He now has more black showing up around the body and brown on the joints and hands. Jazzís trademark visor is clear blue (like the windows) and has a switch on the back of his head to flip up to show his eyes. Honestly I donít really care about seeing his eyes just like I donít need to see Primeís mouth, but this is an additional feature for fun.

Articulations are amazing that make him very, very posable (which initially I thought not from stock photos) and well balanced. Not counting all the small parts and panels that can move around or parts for transformation but just focusing on the limb movement, he has 7 articulation points on each arm including the claw fingers and 6 on each leg. Unfortunately he does not have the waist joint and the head can only turn left and right. If you want him to look up, you have to flip down the entire neck platform. Initially from the stock photo, I thought his high shoulders will block and limit some arm movements but actually they don't. The arms can move freely and so do the legs. He can kneel down, sit on a block or on a car hood like he did in the movie, sit on the floor with knees to chest, stand easily with one leg, and do a lot of cool or funny/silly poses.

Accessories:

The package comes with Lennox and a motorcycle. The motorcycle is clearly not the one Lennox rides in the movie. Which kind I canít tell but a nice looking super bike that is highly detailed and functional with a huge long missile acting as the exhaust pipe. All HA human figures can fit with it well and more importantly, this bike can transform to the gun that looks very similar to what Jazz used in the movie. Although Jazz isnít holding it with his claw fingers (the gun connects by a peg hole), the gun connects tightly on either arm. Donít really know how long the toy safety range for missile firing is but when first time I accidentally triggered the gun firing, the missile hit the printer next to me, then to the chair and then disappeared. I then spent almost 10 minutes looking for it in my study room. One part the instruction didnít mention well is when converting the bike to gun, if you push and pull the rear wheel further in, the front wheel can have more room to fold back and then itís barely visible when looking at it from the front view.

Human figure Lennox. Really not much to talk about him as he is the most insignificant part of this entire set. Firstly, he doesnít look like Lennox at all. His face is barely there but the hair color is totally wrong. Itís too light brown, and the real Lennox is much darker. Articulation is pretty typical like Sam and Mikaela but he does not have the waist joint. Like other human figures, Lennox is also pretty much designed for driving the car purpose which means when he is riding the motorcycle, his palms cannot hold the handles well and his head is constantly looking at the hood instead of forward.

Interactions:

Like other Human Alliance figures, Jazz also has few human interaction spots. If you like Jazzís G1 style huge shoulder rocket, you will not be disappointed. Jazz has one here as well which is folded on his shoulder but more like a cannon or machine gun. There is also a flip up seat that Lennox or others can sit there to operate the gun. Lennox can also sit on the motorcycle gun while Jazz is holding it. Not making much of sense though because I donít think he is helping Jazz aiming. Two more spots are on his feet which are the seats in car mode. There are two tiny guns can flip out and the entire bar can slide down to wrap around the human figures. Yes, the theme park roller coaster style. This does not even make any sense. Because in reality if humans are really sitting there, how can Jazz move? He'll just standing there as a big target.

Jazzís human interaction features feel like were designed after fact but I think that makes his robot mode even better because there is very less chance of me playing Jazz with these interaction features. No sacrifice, no victory.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 9/10. Logical enough without instruction. Trunk and hood are stiff when transforming from car to robot but very smooth after that. Fun to transform but need to be a little bit gentle on the windows.
Durability: 9/10. Solid and sturdy in the car mode. Nothing pops out during transformation and robot mode is sturdy and well balanced. Only his right arm window was very tight in the beginning that I was afraid to break it, but it went okay after few times.
Fun: 10/10. Perfect car mode that can sit up to two passengers. His robot mode is very posable plus a motorcycle can transform to his gun. And that's not even mentioning about his human interaction parts.
Aesthetics: 10/10. Besides some join lines and busy bottom, his car mode perfectly lookd like an Alternators car. The robot mode looks great; he can toss many cool poses and he does not have those hollow parts like HA Bumblebee has in his chest.
Articulation: 10/10. His body is clean and no panels or parts blocking each other. He can pose so well like Classics Mirage and still keeps very good balance.
Value/Price: 8/10. $29.99 full price I bought from Target. Not cheap, but this is a great figure plus a transforming motorcycle and Lennox. He totally worth it.
Overall: 10/10. Jazz wins it all. This time Hasbro really did it right on this Human Alliance Jazz, and he is the best among others. While being a great display piece, his play value is also so high. The Movie design may not be everybodyís taste but he is just that great that you donít want to miss him.
 
 
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