November 25, 2010 02:00 pm
I was gonna save this guy for tomorrow, but then I'd be talking about Jazz on Black Friday, and that's RACIST.
Man, how did it take so long to get the last of the Classic Pretenders into Classics/Universe/Generations form? Bumblebee, Grimlock, and Starscream came out in 2006! And finally, four years later, outta nowhere comes Jazz. (Of course, the reason we didn't get a new G1 Jazz all those years is because we kept on getting Other Kinds of Jazz. He woulda had to sneak out before the first movie toyline like the others.) I'm so glad I found him the same day I got Thunderwing, 'cuz you just can't have a Matrix Quest battle against Thunderwing without the final Classic Pretender, man. You just can't.
Speaking of finding Jazz, I found mine at Walgreens! Yeah, friggin' Walgreens! I noted in my ToyNewsI strip that he first started showing up in "Neighborhood Market" Walmart stores, and the closest one of those is 3 hours away. That's too far even for me! So I was happy to see the first sighting of Jazz in a store that Columbus has plenty of. Oh, we have plenty of Walgreens. We have too many of them. I've been to probably 20 Walgreens in the past 52 hours and I'm still not out of Walgreens to check. (See, I found Jazz, but Tracks is still out there.) If I were out of Walgreens, I could stop looking, but at this rate by the time I search the last one it'll be time to cycle back around again!
Did you know Walgreens are open on Thanksgiving?
This is a sickness.
Anyway, Jazz. If you're jonesing for a new Generation 1 Jazz, then I'm pretty sure this toy will be sex to you. It's really hard to find fault with this toy. Sure, the hood-chest transformation style is a little Done To Death, but whether that bugs you depends on what sorta person you are. Even so, the transformation has a few surprises. I'm tickled by how the "4" on the hood splits in half and is pulled underneath and away by the shoulder transformation. It's sort of an ingenius way of keeping the "4" on the hood yet not on the robot chest, as seen in the old animation model sheets. I don't mind the "4" on the chest, but I still find it fascinating that they tried to replicate this.
And with the arms no longer trying to both fit under the hood (they line up lengthwise along the underside of the car), he makes a very satisfyingly-proportioned robot. He's big and blocky, and a little stout, an aesthetic that I enjoyed from the early Transformers toys. The continued use of slightly-open hand sculpts pleases me as well. Jazz has got plenty of articulation, as well, including double-jointed elbows, bicep swivels, a balljointed head that can look around pretty freely, and a turning waist. The one thing that's missing is the ability for his arms to rise above his shoulders, due to his wheel kibble. He's basically John McCain. Poor guy.
Now, that's all super awesome, but ultimately secondary to what I found most fun about the mold. I've talked about the new little clippy-rod snap-on weapons that new Transformers toys are utilizing. Well, Jazz comes with two. They're speakers! 'Cuz, y'know, he loves to listen to Madonna. What's awesome about them is that there's little hinges down the middle of both of his windows so that you can open the doors, flip out the speakers, close the doors, and have yourself an awesome car with speakers hanging out the doors. That's sweet. You can flip them out in robot mode, too, of course. Plus you can snap them onto his blaster and make a super-weapon! That is some great versatility, and I keep moving the speakers around to all the various places and ways they can attach.
Plus, of course, you can give the speakers to anyone else that has the clippy-rod things. Don't tell me you don't see the hilarious potentialities.
Jazz also has a rubsign. And his rifle looks like his Classic Pretender rifle. And his details are heavily-inspired by the original toy as much as his media appearances. I keep on coming up with reasons why I dig this dude, which is great for a hood-chest car guy. You'd think I'd be bored of them by now. But this is a really solid toy. I want them to redeco and retool it a billion times.