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2007 – Transformers (Movie)

Review – Transformers – Movie – Jazz

There have been a lot of rehashed Transformers characters since G1.  Prime, Megatron, Starscream, Ironhide, Mirage, Prowl, they all top a list of popular G1 characters that have seen their share of remakes over the years.  Some of these made sense such as pretty much any of the Starscreams.  Others were kind of odd such as Energon’s formula car Prowl. 

Still, there are those characters that were both popular and important to the show that haven’t had such a treatment.  Soundwave comes to mind.  He was Megatron’s right hand man.  He’s gotten what?  That Cybertron stealth bomber?  Then there’s one of Prime’s close advisors, Jazz.  Heck, the only main character important enough to deserve a remake is Bumblebee.  Technically speaking, we haven’t gotten a new Jazz since G1.  Due to copyright issues the Alternators version of “Jazz” was named “Meister”.  Granted Meister is Jazz’s Japanese name but it’s not quite the same.

Thankfully, Hasbro has gotten several of their old trademarks back (or use a loophole such as “Autobot Jazz”).  And they are pushing them out in force with the movie.  Not only are we getting a new Bumblebee but a new Jazz as well.  While Bumblebee doesn’t much resemble his G1 self, Jazz isn’t too much of a stretch.  The original Jazz was a sporty Porsche 935.  This new Jazz is the slick new Pontiac Solstice.  While it would have been nice if the movie version was a Mazda RX-8 like his Alternators counterpart, the Solstice has a body style that’s not too far off from either the 935 or the RX-8.  The sleek stylish curves work well for the stylish urban character of Jazz.  Rumors has it there’s a G1 styles repaint in the pipeline as well and it looks really good on this car.  The parent company of Porsche and Volkswagen (the same company BTW) won’t let their vehicles be used for “war machines” and in this case, Hasbro has compensated well (Bumblebee less so but that’s for another day).

Like his G1 counterpart, and like many of the toys in the movie line, Jazz’s transformation involves the hood forming the chest of the robot with the rear forming the feet.  I’ve always felt that this visual style works well for Transformers but almost every toy in the line, especially the deluxe class, use it and it actually comes off as a bit boring.  Jazz is one that deserves it the most though of the entire line and he pulls it off the best.  It’s pretty much the only visual cue that matches him to his G1 counterpart however.  The head, arms, legs are all alien movie designs.  The irregular and rather odd style takes a bit of getting used to, especially after the more streamlined designs of Cybertron but it actually works pretty well.  The arms are the worst part of this toy.  His hands are these tiny claw things that just sort of jut out from between two flat panels.  The forearms have no real solid substance to it and he doesn’t even actually hold his weapon.

The weapon is a bit of an oddity.  It’s clearly designed to be a sniper rifle of some sort but it’s labeled as a sword.  Yeah, sword.  There’s nothing sword-like about a long tube with a sight marker on the end of it.  The way it attaches to his arm however it could be either.  Perhaps it’s meant to represent some sort of light saber type weapon but if that’s the case I can’t imagine why they didn’t make it out of colored plastic.  We’ll never know the truth until the movie is released.  The weapon is also designed to attach to the spoiler in vehicle mode as some sort of huge cannon/jet thing but the effect is nothing short of ridiculous.

To help support the sword theory, the trunk detaches and becomes a shield.  The robot looks much better with it simply attached to his back however.

Of all of the movie toys, I have anticipated getting this one the most and it actually ended up meeting most of my expectations.  The arms and hands could use some work but they fit with the movie design style.  I really like Jazz a lot and recommend him quite a bit.  If you’re collecting movie toys he’s worth picking up.  If you’re unsure on the designs you might consider Jazz for testing the waters a bit.