Transformers Animated Freeway Jazz Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: November 2009
Price Point: $10.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Nunchaku x 2

Images:

*Images and text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
"Yo, check me out!" With DECEPTICON activity at its peak near the galactic rim, rumors begin to circulate that Earth may be getting more evil visitors as well. In anticipation of incoming DECEPTICONS, AUTOBOT JAZZ goes undercover, immersing himself in Earth culture. From where he hides in plain sight, he can enjoy the sights and sounds of Earth while planning the perfect moment to strike.

Speed into excitement with this awesome FREEWAY JAZZ figure! In robot mode, this fighter is a real force to be reckoned with. Then, convert him into sports car mode and convert the “exhaust pipes” into energy chunk accessories to show his enemies an action-packed battle like they’ve never seen!
Ages 5 and up.

When the original Transformers line was released, several of the figures were the same base design given new colors to represent different characters such as the Seekers. Two such Autobots were Prowl and Bluestreak, who used the same base sculpt with some minor retooling and deco changes to create two separate characters. In the case of "Animated", the newest additions to the line give us a redeco of a previously released Autobot car as the same character, but in a deco inspired by another. This figure is "Freeway Jazz", a new version of the character that was originally meant to be released months ago but was delayed. This review will cover the changes made to the figure for this release, check out my original Jazz review for more details on the figure.

Vehicle Mode:
When I first heard about "Freeway Jazz" he was just text on a catalog. I wondered what kind of deco they would give Jazz, and when I first saw the figure in person it finally made sense - Freeway Jazz is a homage to G1 Bluestreak, known nowadays as "Silverstreak" due to trademark issues. The homage leaps out at any fan familiar with G1 and I think that speaks to the success of the color scheme.

The base colors are two shades of silver, black and translucent yellow. A dark silver color replaces the white on Jazz. The lighter silver replaces the metallic blue parts and in this form the black wheels remain the same color. The translucent yellow is used for the headlights. His windshield is black as well, but it is more reflective than the plastic used on the wheels. The silver and black colors are carry overs from the original G1 Bluestreak who also used these as his base colors.

Paint decos are done up in black, gold, silver and red - all colors that have appeared on previous incarnations of the character. Black is the most prominant color, found on his windows and the covers over his headlights. Gold is used on the sides of the wheels, contrasting very strongly and looking fantastic. The metallic silver color is used to paint the sideview mirrors and the mounts that you attach the exhaust pipes to. You'll also find silver on the rear section, where the rear lights extend back. The red is used for an Autobot symbol on the front of the vehicle. It's also used for the cone shaped lights in the rear.

While the first Animated Jazz's color scheme was a wonderful homage to the original G1 incarnation of the character with its colorful racing stripes and striking white/black contrast, this color scheme is a lot more subtle in its coolness. The silver colors are striking in their own way but it's a much cleaner color scheme that you could imagine being used on a vehicle you see driving down the street. It makes sense that as he learns more about Earth culture, Jazz would take on colors that make him stand out a bit less against other "real world" vehicles, so I like the way these colors act as a homage and also relate to his profile.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the exhaust pipes from either side and split them in the middle.
  2. Flip the car over and extend the robot arms forward.
  3. Swing back the rear section of the car.
  4. Swing out the robot feet from the car's rear sections.
  5. Swing the robot arms out to the sides at angles.
  6. Swing up the small, triangular black panel below the robot head.
  7. Swing down the robot chest.
  8. Rotate the arms around so they face the right direction.
  9. Rotate the door panels around.
  10. Swing the robot hands out.
  11. Place the chucks into each hand by sliding the narrow parts in first, and then sliding them in to lock them in place.

Robot Mode:
Whereas the first Animated Jazz figure is a very bright looking robot being mostly white, Freeway Jazz has a much darker color palette. Most of the newly revealed parts are cast in black plastic. That includes his arms, waist, thighs and feet. Grey paint is used on the face where it is used for the top of his head and the face, but instead of leaving his eyes translucent, the eyes have been painted light blue. A dark silver color like the one used for most of the vehicle mode is found on his shoulders, giving some color variety to the upper body. A lighter silver is used for the waist, and the arrow and rectangle details on the same area are painted red.

Like the vehicle mode, this mode is a fantastic homage to Bluestreak. While the color deco is not dramatically different from the first version, the colors are so different that even subtle color changes make a dramatic difference in the figures' appearance. The red and silver colors help brighten up the figure beyond what would have been a one-note "dark" figure.

Final Thoughts:
Truth be told, instead of "Freeway Jazz" I would have loved to have seen this figure be released as "Animated" Bluestreak/Silverstreak. Heck, in my mind that's pretty much what this figure is, and I think that definitely shows how great of a homage/redeco this figure is. Highly recommended!