Transformers Movie (2007) Autobot Jazz Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007)

Transformers Live Action<br />

General Information:
Release Year: May 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $10.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Weapon, Shield


Tech Specs:
If it's worth doing it's worth doing with style, thinks AUTOBOT JAZZ. The coolest of the AUTOBOTS, he rolls into battle against the DECEPTICONS with slick moves and a banging sound system. There's no limit to his courage, and nothing he won't do in defense of Earth and the AllSpark. Drawing his blade, he prepares to bring the fight up close and personal with MEGATRON and his evil metal soldiers.

Strength: 6  Intelligence:Speed:Endurance: 7
Rank: 8  Courage: 9  Firepower: 6  Skill: 5

Autobot Jazz is packaged in a bubble on a card. The top and bottom of the bubble is sealed to the card but the sides fold over to the back, allowing for a limited type of repackaging. This type of packaging was recently used on the Star Wars Transformers figures, albeit with a different shape. Along the top of the bubble is a curves cardboard insert with tech details printed on it. Along that curve is the text "Automorph Technology". The lower right hand corner has Jazz's box art, a picture of his head. On the back, his cosells are Bumblebee, Wreckage, Brawl, Scorponok and Barricade - basically the entire first wave of deluxe figures. The GM logo is on the back as well and his alternate mode is listed specifically as his "Pontiac Solstice Mode". Such branding is to be expected since like the Alternators this is a licensed toy.

Vehicle Mode:
Let's be clear from the get go, as a modern Transformers fan who has collected Transformers since 1984, I am completely spoiled. I remember a time when non-articulated bricky Transformers were considered the best thing since sliced bread. More recently however, fans have seen the strong potential of Transformers engineering in the Binaltech and Alternators lines. These real life licensed vehicles becoming well articulated robots in disguise have set the bar for Transformers in many ways. When the Transformers movie line was announced, it was assumed there would be licensed vehicles becoming Transformers so the toys would be movie accurate. However, it is unfair to judge a deluxe sized figure set at a $10 price point by the same standards as an Alternators figure, so that is how I decided to approach the vehicle review with only a touch of how I judge Alternators.

Jazz transforms into a Pontiac Solstice GXP in the Transformers movie. This sporty vehicle is compact but sleek. This sculpt retains the curved shape that does remind me a tiny bit of his G1 predecessor's Porche mode. Both vehicles had curved front ends with curved back ends that included high spoilers. However, the Solstice is clearly a class of vehicle by itself with its unique details. All the key details of the Solstice are present here including the oval shaped headlights, the honeycomb like grid on the front grille and side dimples. On the very front of the hood is the arrow shaped Pontiac symbol. On the sides of the hood are vent lines just like the real life vehicle's. Smaller details such as the gas cap cover, license plate opening and the two distinct raised curves in the back. Even the wheels are accurate, representing the factor installed wheel design rather than the dealer installed one.

Jazz is mostly cast in silver plastic. His windows are translucent blue and the wheels are cast in black. Early photos of the windows on the car seem to show a blue tint to them, so this color may not be so far off from the real thing. Smaller details are painted in red and black. The honeycomb sections are black, and the Pontiac symbol along with the rear lights are painted red. The black wheels and tires have a silver trim around the edges, matching the color pattern of the real life vehicle. A bit of yellow shows on the lights underneath the headlights. This is a nice way of representing the lights there which sometimes have dual colors.

While Jazz's weapon does not store away anywhere on the vehicle, it can connect to the spoiler to act as a weapon in vehicle mode. The spoiler can actually move up and down, allowing the weapon to "aim". The weapon barrel is silver, matching the color of the vehicle. The telescoping sword inside is cast in black.

Overall the designers did a great job replicating the real life Solstice. The colors are a perfect way to help add details and the vehicle mode suits the character well.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon if attached.
  2. Swing up the rear section with the spoiler and detach it. Set it aside for now.
  3. Pull the rear halves of the car back.
  4. Turn the rear sections so the wheels face up.
  5. Swing out the black foot pieces and swing the heel pieces out.
  6. Flip the car over and you'll see the robot waist section connected to the legs. Swing that forward to connect to the mid-body.
  7. Swing the robot legs down.
  8. Pull the sides of the front car section out to the sides.
  9. Swing down the car cabin section to reveal the robot head.
  10. Swing the panel behind the black honeycomb section on each arm and swing them forward.
  11. Swing each hood piece back and flip out the robot claws.
  12. Swing each panel over and then swing the arms forward.

Robot Mode:
The design aesthetic of the movie is quite different than what most fans are used to seeing from the Transformers toy line, and it is fair to say many of the movie characters do not look a whole lot like their G1 incarnations. However in the case of Jazz, it is interesting just how well his new form looks like his original. He uses the very standard "hood on chest" design that many of the G1 Autobots shared. The rear section of the car becomes his legs and his head sculpt is clearly a homage to the G1 designs with its combination of "ears" and the pointed visor for his eyes. Jazz does not have a mouth in this figure, but some early leaked photos of the character show a mouth, so presumably the mouthplate here is representative of his "battle mode" head.

One of the key elements of the movie designs is the "armor plated" look, where armor is placed over complex looking machinery. This aesthetic is present here. The plate his head rests on has a group of wire details and the sections on the top of the chest have a lot of tech detail sculpted into the plastic. His waist is very sleek and angled, leading to the legs which alternate sections between the outer armor plates and the underlying machinery. This look is nowhere near as jumbled as it seems. In fact, some parts look really nice such as the lower legs, where tubes form a V shape with an arrow shaped piece of armor going up to the knees. Perhaps the oddest bit of design are his hands, which are actually three claws sculpted into one piece. I also find it interesting that "fake" wheels are sculpted on the sides of his legs, perhaps to mirror the look in the movie where sometimes parts wind up in different places than they do on the toys themselves. While Jazz's legs are rather thick looking for a robot who transforms into a sports car. However it works with the look of the character and I will be very interested to see how this translates into CGI form on the big screen.

Jazz's "Automorph" feature affects how he looks in this form. When you swing back the cabin section, the robot head folds up and the middle of the chest comes out a little, adding to the layered look of armor plates on the robot mode.

In this form Jazz's eyes are revealed as translucent blue plastic. Because his eyes are so big, the light piping effect is rather dramatic. Black makes up a lot more of this form than the vehicle mode. The section on top of the chest is all black. The underlying sections of the legs along with the feet are black. Gold paint is used to color parts on the legs such as the aforementioned V shaped tubes. This color scheme really helps add to the complex look of the onscreen robot carry over to the figure. A bit of red is used on the legs where there are circles on each leg. His waist has an Autobot symbol painted silver in the center.

The weapon attaches to either arm by folding out the lower panel on the arm and attaching the weapon's peg to the hole in the arm. The weapon telescopes out and is described on the packaging as a sword, but with a small triangular piece at the end it looks more like an energy weapon of some sort. His shield can mount onto his shoulder by connecting to the center of the wheels on his arms.

Autobot Jazz has seventeen points of articulation in this form. This includes four points in each arm. Truthfully the main point I miss is waist articulation, which isn't possible due to his transformation scheme.

Final Thoughts:
Autobot Jazz is a very nicely done take on the real life Solstice in vehicle mode. In robot form he definitely shows how the movie aesthetic can still emulate some of the G1 aesthetic and make a cool looking robot. I do wish his arms were a bit more solid than just being panels, but that hardly makes him a bad toy. Recommended!