Posts tagged with "jazz" - 1
Posted November 23, 2017 at 12:40 am

This may feel abbreviated because I wrote a really long and verbose review of this toy the other night, but my website ate it, and I don't have it in me to write about this toy and its bullshit twice.  So.

Let's just get this part out of the way: Power of the Primes Jazz's deco artist hid the acronym "MAGA" in super-tiny Cybertronian-language characters on both of his doors, and then whichever Hasbro employee was in charge of this freelance person didn't catch it, but one of us nerds spotted it and translated it, and everyone was all "whoa yikes" and Hasbro had to release a public statement because some jag tampographed a white nationalist slogan on their black guy Transformer character.  

I removed it from mine with denatured alcohol after I took the photos you see here for TFwiki.

Before this discovery, this toy to me was kind of boring.  And once I woke up last week to this news, it was suddenly the wrong kind of interesting.  

Let's face it, this toy had a lot to live up to.  The last toy of G1 Jazz was the 2010 Reveal the Shield toy, and that is one of those rare Perfect Transformers.  And after seven years of budget shrinkage and rising production costs, it is impossible to create something that perfect again at the same pricepoint -- and even if you did, it'd just be the RTS toy again.  

I mean, this isn't a terrible Jazz.  It's an aggressively okay Jazz.  It's just not a perfect Jazz.  But the one thing it has going for it is that it can become an arm or a leg for a combiner.  It's true, RTS Jazz couldn't do that.  And it's not a small thing for a toy to do.  (Admittedly, another thing that RTS Jazz can't do is be on shelves right now in 2017, so that's another point to PotP Jazz.)  

Like the other Deluxe Class toys from this toyline, Jazz's combiner fist is also chest armor for the robot mode.  However, it fits on his chest only awkwardly, if I'm following the very scant instructions right.  There's just a drawing of the fist/armor piece and Jazz with an arrow, the end.  I thiiiiink you're supposed to gently nudge those thumb tabs into the seemingly-corresponding slots on his fender.  But it's not a great, secure fit.

In summary: This is the best available Jazz to you currently, but it's definitely not the best Jazz possible.  But it can be a combiner limb, if that's cool.  Also, maybe you might want to wait until he's repacked for Wave 3, since the MAGA might be gone by then, or see what the hell TakaraTomy does with him.

Posted December 12, 2012 at 12:36 am
I was about to remark how there's five whole new dudes in this third wave of Fall of Cybertron figures, but there were five new dudes in the previous wave, too, plus five new dudes in the wave following.  So I guess that's actually situation normal, and not some weird aberration.  What is still remarkable is the huge-ass new weapons that this wave's guys have.   Three out of the five are retools of guys from the first wave but with new giant things to tote around.  I presume this is the result of the growing pains the pricepoint has been in for the past tiny bit.  As the pricepoint skips up to $15, Hasbro's able to shove in more.  The first uses of these molds were on the low-end of the bell curve as far as deluxes go, but now they're bulked up in mass a bit.

I can't scoff at the $5 raise.  $15 in Today Money is equal to $10 in Past Money.  Proportionally I'm paying the same amount for these things as I was in 1999.  And in 1999 I was a poor college student who could barely afford Chef Boyardee, so I'm putting this one in the Win column.

It is surprising to me how much I like Sideswipe.  I didn't hate Jazz or anything, but I seem to like Sideswipe (who Jazz was retooled into) so much more.  I don't even like Sideswipe much!  Sideswipe is boring!  And I love Jazz.  But Sideswipe just appeals.  Maybe it's the smoother car mode.  Maybe it's the colors.  Maybe it's the large-ass gun.  I dunno.

It's the exact same transformation as Jazz, but nearly the entire car mode has been reskinned.  I assume all the bumper-to-hood-to-roof-to-spoiler parts were on one moldset, and that's been swapped out for a different moldset that poops out a different car design.  This is awesome.   I hope to see more retools like this. Sideswipe is retooled to look like his car mode from the game, though Jazz's transformation gives him a different robot mode.

Sideswipe's new huge-ass gun is a Path Blaster, a weapon from the game which isn't nearly this huge.  But I don't care that it's oversized, because the Path Blaster is named after the Pathblaster from the Marvel UK stories, which was indeed huge.  And wielded by Roadbuster.  Who's in the next wave.  The design looks nothing like the old Pathblaster, but I'm still totes giving this thing to Roadbuster when I get him.

The only thing I actively dislike about Sideswipe are his eyes.  I like his new head, but his eyes aren't so much eyes as they are black gouges on his face.  He looks as if he has expired.  I might try painting them, if there's anything there to paint and the eyesockets aren't portals to some cruel dimension of pain.

(My Jazz has the Reprolabels upgrade set, so he may not look just like yours.)
Posted October 25, 2012 at 2:05 am
I could make excuses for buying Wheelie.  He had a new head and weapon!  He was orange!  ... that's about it!

But this G2-style Jazz version of the same toy, I dunno.  I mean, I like myself some G2, but I'm not generally in for same-character redecoes of the same toy unless it's Hot Shot or Dinobot.  But I had this tiny desire to have All The RTS Jazz Mold Uses, and so I got him.

He's nice.

I have no idea what I'm gonna do with him, but he's nice.
Posted July 11, 2012 at 12:30 am
A question that repeats in my brain is "why the hell does this jazz exist the last one was the best ever pretty sure."  RTS Jazz was a great mold, and pretty definitively Jazz, and probably couldn't be topped for "G1 Jazz toy" until a Masterpiece comes out at some point, and maybe not even then.

Of course, the answer I have to shove back in that question's face is, "Fall of Cybertron Jazz isn't G1 Jazz."  I mean, sure, this design has been repurposed AS G1 Jazz in the current IDW comics, and it looks more like a G1 Jazz than a design from the universe he's intended to be from, but it's still the case.  This is the "Aligned" continuity Jazz, the universe Transformers Prime is located in, as well as the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron video games.  This is the Jazz who was Orion Pax's best friend before the war.  Organizationally, he'd go on my Prime shelf.  He's technically a new character.

But still, comparisons still battle in my mind, not unlike when I got Prime Wheeljack not so long after G1 Wheeljack.  And then,  y'know, the size.  RTS Jazz was a pretty friggin' huge Deluxe, and FOC Jazz is a pretty small Deluxe.  He's no Scout, but he's definitely less massive.  And while RTS Jazz's transformation is pretty standard and been-there-done-that, FOC Jazz is streamlined even more.  His entire car mode roof and rear is pretty much a shell that Automorphs onto his back, with his legs tucking underneath.  The only manual transforming you really have to do is folding down his feet and rotating his arms at the elbow.

Things I do really like, however: He's blue!  The Jazz of my childhood was white and blue, thanks in part to the Marvel Comics coloring practices of the times, as well as the Pretender and Action Master toys.  And so a Jazz with blues instead of blacks hits me right in the nostalgia.

And, yeah, he's fairly simple, but at least he's not goddamn WFC Bumblebee.  That toy should die in a fire.
Posted February 8, 2011 at 12:30 pm
As soon as I had Reveal the Shield Jazz in my hands, I knew that there'd quickly be a Reprolabels "upgrade" set for it.  Since most of Jazz's paint was used up giving him what racing deco he has (plus, uh, painting his forearms white), there wasn't bound to be much budget left for paint elsewhere.  So his rear window and taillights are unpainted.  If Reprolabels didn't exist, that's the kind of thing I'd actually bother to try to paint myself.  But they do and so I won't!

The thing of biggest concern to me was the Rub Sign on his roof.  The Reprolabels set includes new stripe stickers that complete the full length from hood to trunk, but since it's a more intricate stripe than the one the toy has, I couldn't just put the missing trunk stripe stickers on and call it a day.  Then it wouldn't match!  But putting the roof stripe on meant potentially covering up the Rub Sign.  That just wouldn't do.

Thankfully, I was able to peel the Rub Sign off without any problem, and it was still sticky enough afterwards to plop it right back on after I'd applied the new roof stripe sticker.  I was even able to center it a little better, so that's another plus.  Mission accomplished!

The set gives you an option between putting a "real" Autobot symbol on his chest/hood or leaving it blank.  Since I was keeping the Rub Sign, I chose the blank option, of course.  That's not the only option on the sheet.  Hell, half of his sticker sheet is a choice between four different sponsor decoes.  You can either have everything say "MARTINI RACING" like on the original toy, have it say either "AUTOBOT JAZZ" or "AGENT MEISTER" like on the reissues of the original toy, or have the text left blank.  Choosing between these was actually a little rough.  I mean, the "MEISTER" stickers were never a real option, but the other three were all vaguely appealing.  In the end, I decided to go for original toy accuracy and choose the "MARTINI" stickers.  Those go on the doors, on the spoiler, and on the top of the windshield.

The last option it gives you is between two personalized license plates.  You can choose between "JAZZ" or "1984."  I chose... neither!  Or both, depending on how you look at it.  Because Jazz's transformation slices up the rear end of the car like a stack of party cheese, each license plate sticker is actually four stickers, each with one character on them.  J-A-Z-Z or 1-9-8-4.  I decided to use J-A-Z-1, because the idea of Jazz  himself not being able to nab his name for his vanity license plate amused me.  Plus, well, it looks more like a license plate that way.

In the end, I'm pretty damn happy.  Jazz looks a little less bare, plus putting on stickers is fun.  And I feel like he's personalized.  He's mine, dammit!  Nobody else's Jazz has "JAZ1" on their license plate!  ...unless you steal my idea.


(Here's the toy before stickers.)

Posted January 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm
Happy motoring! Cock-a-doodle-doo!

With my deluge of new toys, it was kind of hard to decide which one to talk about first.  Do I go from least favorite to most favorite, do I go from most favorite to least favorite, do I go randomly, as the wind turns?  Do I say "fuck it" and start a site about stamp collecting?  I ended up going with Wreck-Gar, because he's this month's featured article on, which meant I felt he needed pictures the most immediately.  There's not many days in this month left!

I've never owned a toy of Generation 1 Wreck-Gar.  My only Wreck-Gar toy is the Animated version, who's a similar but different character.  Reveal the Shield Wreck-Gar fills a pretty obvious hole in my collection, because, dude, Wreck-Gar.  He leads the Junkions!  He talks TV!  He sounds like Eric Idle, except when he doesn't!  ...which is truthfully all the time, because Eric Idle's voice was processed so much you couldn't really tell it was him anyway.

You check in, but you don't check out.

Getting him out of the package, my first thoughts were, wow, this is a friggin' huge toy.  Maybe this was because I'd recently opened and played with RtS Laser Optimus Prime, who is a munchkin, but mostly it's because Wreck-Gar is legitimately pretty big for a Deluxe. vehicle mode, anyway.  He's very tall, since conservation of Deluxe Class mass means a thin altmode is going to be wider in other dimensions.   And as I transformed him and put him on our coffee table, I realized that this was probably going to be my favorite toy of this batch.  I mean, look at him.  Look at that devilish grin.  He just has all this personality.  And something about his visual style just tweaks my nipples or something.

I changed my mind a lot on how much I liked him on the way back into vehicle mode.  He was boggling.  I ended up with a bunched up torso and arms and some flailing legs that refused to fit into where they should go.  It was not a fun time.  Thankfully, it's not the kind of transformation that I hate, with the meticulously interlocking panels.  I was just missing a step somewhere, obviously.  It was murder trying to figure out what that step was, is all.  I think it turned out being something to do with how the upper thigh joints connected into the pelvis.  They unlock further, and doing that gives the bike mode the leeway to fit into itself better.

I'm a pepper. Wouldn't you like to be a pepper, too?

I really want to get Wreck-Gar's transformation down to a relatively short amount of time.  The Junkions' whole deal is that they ride each other in bike mode, get knocked off each other, then transform and swap places.  If it takes half an hour to get a dude back into bike mode, that's harshing on my playtime.  At this point I should mention how grateful I am that having one Junkion ride another Junkion is even possible.  The original toy was a super-wide bike that transformed into a robot with unarticulated legs.  The cartoon was kind of an asshole, repeatedly showing the Junkions doing shit that their toys could never ever do ever ever.  RtS Wreck-Gar makes up for that in spades.  He is obviously supposed to ride other iterations of his mold.  The underside of his pelvis ends in two square pegs, and there are two square pegholes on the seat of the motorcycle.  His fingers are also molded into a "holding onto handlebars" shape.  So once they redeco this guy into another Junkion, happiness comes to town.

He's really brown.

Offer expires while you wait. Operators are standing by.

His rear hubcap and its corresponding exhaust pipe clip off and unfold to become his battle axe weapon.  The hubcap portion also unfolds, going from "fan" to "pinwheel."  Wreck-Gar can hold onto the axe by the handle, or he can stow it on his back using the clip.  Or, of course, any number of other contemporary toys can use the axe, by either the handle or via their own clip joints.  (Lugnut has like 15 million.)

This is the toy Wreck-Gar's deserved for decades.  And it looks like the mold has at least two other possible Junkion heads (e-Hobby uses one, and another is featured in the instructions), so you're probably going to be seeing a lot of it.  What I'm saying, I think, is that I'd better friggin' like this toy, because I aim to own all of them.
Posted November 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm
Man, on no other day I am more glad that I'm out of retail.  Have a conglomeration of fun toy photos.

Here's Straxus with Jazz's speakers clipped onto him. Didn't I tell you these speakers are awesome? They spread their awesomeness around.

And here's Skullgrin and Straxus's clip-on weapons doing their magic with Thunderwing. His gun has gone from "over-the-top" to "fucking ridiculous."

Posted November 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm
He's living in a material world.

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!

Oh, hey, a Pontiac Solstice! Just like... movie... jazz.... Think you're clever, huh, Hasbro.

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.

Did he use these in the cartoon? Probably. I'm not up on my cartoon.

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.

It's kinda floppy, but awesome regardless.

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.
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