"Robots in Disguise (2015" Warrior Class Autobot Jazz Toy Review
Release Date: May 2015
Price Point: $15.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Lance weapon
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Decepticons beware, because this Warriors Class Autobot Jazz figure converts in a heartbeat from robot mode to sports car mode, and he’s got a mighty sword that will make his foes think twice about taking him on! Convert him in 9 steps to either mode, and keep converting him back and forth to keep the adventure going. When the battle is over for the day, you can scan your figures’ badges into the Transformers Robots in Disguise app (device not included) and unlock the characters for awesome virtual combat. Take on the Decepticons with your Autobot Jazz figure! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The Warrior Class is the segment of the "Robots in Disguise" toy line that is closest in spirit to the figures in the "Generations" toy line. They feature multi-step transformations and generally have sculpting comparable to some "Generations" figures. The third assortment of these figures in 2015 features the release of Jazz, an Autobot introduced on the television show in the U.S. roughly around the same time the toy began to hit shelves. Contrary to some early rumors, this figure is not a retool or redeco of any previous figure (such as "Prime" Bumblebee. It is a completely new sculpt.
Jazz is packaged in a blister card with artwork of the character in the background (with an almost scary smile on his face). The back features the toy and the transformation instructions on top. The bottom focuses on legal information in several languages along with information on scanning the toy into the mobile game. There are no traditional tech specs (or even a truncated write up) to speak of, which is unfortunate. Even a small tech spec or paragraph would have been nice to see on the packaging. Of course, most folks buying this figure will just toss the packaging anyhow so how much of an issue this is largely depends on your perspective.
Since the days of "Generation One" the character of Jazz has had a very iconic look based on the way many of the first Autobot toys transformed. Generally this involved the front of the car becoming the chest, the rear of the car becoming the legs and the doors of the car forming wing-like structures on the back. This iconic form carries over into this toy. Indeed, even other minor details from the old Autobot forms such as the front wheels winding up on the back of the shoulders and the top of the car's cabin section winding up on his back. He has a very wide outline thanks in part to how wide the wheel wells on his shoulders are. Even his lower legs and feet are kind of wide. This winds up giving him a very strong looking body, a look that was mirrored in the television show (where he was shown as quite a powerful warrior in his own right).
Speaking of the TV show, this figure has many of the details of the animation model. This includes the head sculpt which features his "regular eyes" instead of the more G1 oriented visor eyes (in the TV show they slid down during battle). He also has other details from the show including rectangular shapes on his waist area and layers of armor set over the middle of the torso right under the chest plate with vertical grooves in them.
Of course, there are very few figures that are 100% show accurate. There are some differences between the figure and the animation model. This includes the chest panel. In the show there is a groove in the middle, here there is no such groove. Also, the lower legs show the wheel wells prominently, but on the TV show they are barely visible. Also his proportions are quite different with his forearms set much wider than the ones on the figure. In al honesty, I had to kind of stare at a screen capture of the animation model and the figure side by side to pick up on these details. They're hardly deal breakers by any means.
Jazz is cast in black and white plastic. White makes up most of the figure, with black used for smaller parts like his hands and head. Blue is used on the chest panel with one thick line painted on either side of the head. His knee armor is also painted blue. Silver is used on the face and crest, with blue filling in the eyes. Red is used on the edge of his chest panel and the lower half of the shoulders. You'll also find some in the center of the torso, but there is a scannable Autobot symbol overlaid on top of it. Black paint is used on the waist section and the area right above each foot. For the most part, this deco is fairly show accurate, but there are missing details. For instance the TV show model has blue paint on the top of the shoulders and parts of the forearms. Also, the entire waist is painted black, not just the middle. That said, this is right about the amount of deco you can expect from the Warrior Class of figures. Jazz is hardly unique in that respect and the figure looks good, but not spectacular.
There are nineteen points of articulation on this figure. That includes five in each arm and four in each leg. I'm counting the ability of his hands to swing in even though that's technically part of the transformation. Jazz's weapon is a lance with a long point at the front and a four sided back end. There are two handles on the weapon. There is one at the bottom so it can be held almost like a blaster, then there is a vertical handle allowing it to be held more like a melee weapon. The weapon is cast in white plastic with no paint applications.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing each fist into the forearms.
- Push up each robot foot.
- Push the lower legs together.
- Swing the top of the vehicle mode down and push it against the back of the lower legs.
- Swing each robot arms up.
- Swing the chest piece up.
- Swing the doors back.
- Push each shoulder piece back.
- Swing the forearms together and connect them to the chest panel.
- The weapon can be attached to the top of the vehicle.
The best look at Jazz's vehicle mode is a still from the official Transformers Facebook page so that's what I'm using as comparison. The vehicle form is extremely aggressive looking with a wide, tall front end that narrows in the middle and then extends out to the sides again. The back slopes upward to two spoiler sections. The wheels are thick and large, making him look like a sports car on steroids. It's a form befitting the warrior and I like the sculpt a lot. It also includes a lot of the smaller details you'll see on the animation model. this includes round headlights, angled lines on the front end, three rows of lines on the top of the hood section and vent lines in the front of the rear wheel wells.
The problem with this form comes with the deco. Quite frankly the toy looks unfinished, as if it was meant to go through one more pass of deco applications but fell off the assembly line before they could be applied. Let's start with what he has. The vehicle mode is mostly white, which helps it act like a canvas for the colors that are there. This includes blue stripes on the hood and doors, red stripes on the edge of the front end and a red stripe on top of the blue detail on the doors. The windows are painted black (except for the back). The top of the spoiler sections have red on the edges and...that's it. Shockingly nothing else is painted. The headlights are unpainted, as is the front end. In the animation model, the blue stripes continue on the top of the vehicle and the blue lines on the doors extend to the rear wheel well. None of that is present here. What compounds this issue is the white plastic. In the end the figure just looks plain, and given how good decos on other figures have been this was very disappointing.
Jazz rolls nicely on all four wheels and you can attach his weapon to the top of the cabin section.
I'm really torn on this figure because I like the robot mode quite a bit, and the vehicle mode sculpt is fantastic but the lack of deco is really bad. I also like the transformation. It's solid, intuitive and calls back to G1 Jazz in some ways. Should you avoid this figure? No, but I do advise trying to get it on discount or sale if possible. I don't hate the figure, I'm just disappointed because it could have been so much more.