It seems like forever since I last looked at any Transformers. That’s primarily due to the fact that the Dark of the Moon toys didn’t hold my interest and Hasbro’s got nothing else on the pegs or shelves that I want. [Except for those Kre-O sets, and we’ll likely be looking at one of those before the end of the week. -FF] Anyway, thanks to the Ross Toy Graveyard I was able to get almost all the Reveal The Shield figures I needed to complete my Classics/Generations/Universe collection. That is all except Jazz and finally one of the online retailers I deal with regularly was able to get me a pretty decent price on him and so here we are today…
Bidding a fond farewell to the Reveal The Shield packaging, as this should be the last time we ever see it here. Truth be told, I was never all that fond of it. Its basically the Generations cardback with a less Tranformer-like orange color to the card rather than the more traditional red. Jazz comes packaged in his vehicle mode with his gun mounted beside him. Note the name, “Special Ops Jazz.” This isn’t some kind of special repaint or variant, but rather just one of those cases where Hasbro lost the rights to use the name Jazz by itself so their lawyers told them they’d be safe if they tacked on “Special Ops” before the name. The bubble also sports the ubiquitous Hub network sticker to remind you that there’s a current Transformers series running, but doesn’t mention that Hasbro continues to make it next to impossible for you to buy any toys based on it, unless you fancy paying about forty bucks for a Deluxe on the Interwebs. End bitter rant now.
Out of the package, Jazz’s car mode is indeed quite nice and very reminiscent of his original G1 Porsche mode. He is cast in that white plastic that makes me afraid that it will yellow over time, but it’ll probably last longer than my liver, so who’s worried? His color scheme includes blue and red striping up the middle and sides and his racing number four on the hood and doors. The Rub Sign is on the roof of the car and mine doesn’t work worth a damn. God, how I hate these things.
Jazz is really easy to transform and in robot mode he looks outstanding. I’m not one of those collectors that hate on the Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen mold from Classics, but even I have to admit that Jazz looks tons better and doesn’t suffer from problems like the door panels falling off nearly every time in mid conversion. Yeah, I realize that G1 Jazz used a different mold as the G1 versions of those three, but the robot modes are so similar, the comparison is still valid in my book. Either way, great job on this one, Hasbro!
Jazz does have one cool little gimmick and that’s the speakers that deploy from behind his car door “wings”. I love that Hasbro included this as it really gives the toy a lot of personality and its a nice fanwank back to the original Sunbow cartoon. They’re ball jointed so you can position them in all manner of ways.
And so Jazz rounds out my collection of updated G1 Autobots quite nicely. Sure there’s still Skids and Trailbreaker and Hoist and more Minibots to make, but based on what we heard at Toy Fair this year, it looks like we’ll have to wait until 2013 for those. I was able to get Jazz for $17 shipped, which is about what I would have paid if I would have ordered him off of Hasbro’s own Toyshop, assuming he was ever actually available. Sure, its a lot more pricey than the other Reveal The Shield figures, but then I was able to find all of those on clearance at Ross. You can’t win them all.