Transformers Classics: Jetfire by Hasbro

I had a lot of fun checking out TF:U King Atlas last week, so I thought I’d pull out another Autobot jet that I haven’t featured yet on FFZ… It’s Jetfire! How is it possible that in over three years of doing this toy nonsense, I never looked at Jetfire here? I loved Jetfire in the Sunbow cartoon and while I’m not going to sit here and say I didn’t love the Macross style G1 toy, I always wanted something a little closer to the animated counterpart. Was this Classics release it? No, not really. There are some obvious homages here and there, but in the end Classics Jetfire is more a reimagining of the character then a direct update. I’ve had this guy in my collection for a while and the package is long gone, so we’re going to get right to the figure. As always, let’s start with his alt mode!

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Like the original G1 toy, Jetfire has removable booster rockets, giving him the ability to be displayed in a basic jet mode. To be honest, I usually display him with the boosters on, but I love having the option to outfit him the way I want, especially since his vanilla jet mode looks so bitchin. The design borrows from both the Sunbow and the original toy designs, but I see more of the old Valkyrie style here than anything else. You get the same swept back wings, which can be positioned forward, the same dual rear fins, and even the folded feet thrusters all nod back to the old Macross style. The bulk of the toy is bare white plastic, which looks so much better than the stuff that Hasbro uses today. It’s detailed with beautiful red paintwork all very reminiscent of the G1 figure.

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From the Sunbow side of things, we get a squared off nose and a blue cockpit. Compromise isn’t always a good thing, as collectors looking for a jet design that is accurate to either the G1 toy or the G1 cartoon will both be disappointed. I’d still like to see a straight Sunbow version of him at some point, but I still think this toy has a great looking jet mode that hits all the right points.

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If you turn Jetfire over, you can see his arms and fists as clear as day. That doesn’t bother me so much as you’re almost always going to have some robo-kibble on jets in this size of toy. Plus the two missile launchers that peg onto the arms under the wings do their part to conceal it from the sides. Jetfire also features three working landing gear and a very nicely detailed cockpit.

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Jetfire’s booster rocket pack simply pegs right onto his back in one big assembly. All you need to do is fold down his rear fins. It matches the iconic look of the old Valkyrie-style jet beautifully. He looks totally bad ass, and this is my favorite way to display him when he’s parked in jet mode. By sliding back the rear of the red frame you can deploy two spring loaded cannon.

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Transforming Jetfire is fairly simple, although there are a few clever things at work. As already mentioned, the arms are practically complete even when in jet mode. You can remove his missile launchers, but it isn’t necessary for transformation as they wind up right where they should, mounted onto his arms and ready to fire at Decepticon fools. His feet and legs fold out just as I remember the old toy did. The chest and torso uses some cool new engineering, like swinging the arms up to the shoulders, and splitting the nosecone to beef out the chest.

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In robot mode, Jetfire sheds most of his G1 toy roots, and while he skews a bit more toward his Sunbow animated design, this toy’s bot mode is mostly his own.  Any disappointment I ever had about him not being more Sunbow accurate quickly washed away because he’s such a glorious looking figure, and there’s certainly no doubt who he supposed to be. He manages to still look iconic, while still representing a significant departure from the original designs.

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The cockpit looks great on his chest even if it is derivative of almost all the other jet Transformers out there. I’m old school. I think jet Transformers should have their cockpits on their chests and car transformers should have their front bumpers on their chests. Not really all the time, but it’s the quintessential look for me. No pun intended. Quintesson? Ahem… moving on. I thought I’d really miss the way old school Jetfire’s back wings crossed his back, but I do dig the way this toy’s wings sweep down his back like a cape. The missile launchers on his arms invoke the G1 Seekers weaponry, which is always a great thing in my book. He’s a nice, sturdy and fun figure to play around with.

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Jetfire’s stock head is fairly close to the Skyfire we all know and love, and he actually comes with a more G1 style head that fits over it like a helmet. I really don’t like the helmeted look and mine is rattling in the bottom of a tote somewhere anyway, but if I ever find it, I’ll have to do an update. I will note that the regular head looks a tad small, mainly because the cockpit juts pretty far out of his chest. The helmeted head seems to be scaled better, as it’s a tad bigger, but I still don’t like the way it looks as much. UPDATE… I FOUND HIS HELMET!!! My toy filing system is obviously better than I thought!

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Yep, Classics Jetfire is one of my favorite figures in the line. That’s saying a lot, because generally speaking the Classics series figures could do no wrong by me. Sure you had a couple bombs like Tankor, and Grimlock was kind of disappointing, but Jetfire is a great figure among many great figures and he looks amazing standing in the back among the rest of the re-imagined G1 Autobots. I’ll grant you that he should have been bigger, but scale issues are a common problem in Transformers toys, so I’m not going to come down too hard on him for that. As much as I adore Classics, even I have to admit some of the toys are starting to look rather dated now, but I think Jetfire holds his own. And I just realized when shooting him besides Classics Optimus, that I haven’t featured him here before either, so I’ll have to swing back and look at him sometime next week.

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