Release Date: September 2014
Price Point: $14.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2; Missiles x 2
*Images above with asterisks(*) and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Jhiaxus longs to end the conflict between the Autobots and Decepticons. Not for peace, but because he views their battle as a stain upon the universe. To him, they're a bunch of obsolete models who should be replaced by superior beings able to rise above the urges of war. Convert, arm and attack with all the Transformers action you can handle. This Jhiaxus figure is fierce in robot mode, and he carries a double-fisted blaster attack into battle against Decepticon foes. When he needs to take the battle to the skies, he can convert to jet mode. Whatever mode your Jhiaxus figure is in, his enemies will think twice before taking him on. Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
The name Jhiaxus was originally a bit of an in-joke. Following the cancellation of the original "Transformers" Marvel Comics title, the writers were inspired to make up a character playing on the words "gee axe us" and such a character was introduced in the "Generation 2" comic book (also published by Marvel). Jhiaxus has since appeared in the current IDW Publishing comic book series more as a mad scientist type than a General as he was in "Generation 2". There was also a Jhiaxus figure in the "Robots in Disguise" toy line, which is part of what this figure is based on.
Jhiaxus is a redeco and retool of Armada Starscream. Like Starscream, he represents the character's appearance in the IDW Publishing comic book series, specifically in an issue where he wore a "reactive armor" that adjusted itself to mimic Starscream's form. Check out that review for my thoughts on that sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.
Most of the time, a redeco/retool means "new colors, new head" such as the awesome Nightbeat figure. However in this case a lot more was changed. Here's what's been done:
Jhiaxus features a new head sculpt. The original design for this comes from the "Generation 2" comic book, where it's basically an advanced version of a standard Seeker head down to the vents on the sides of the head and crests on top. He also has a "rebreather" piece near the mouth with tubes leading out to the sides. This same design was later carried over into the IDW comic books.
The top of the chest and the nosecone that forms moset of his torso is quite different than Starscream's, missing the small stabilizer fins on the nosecone and the air intakes on the chest. It's a bit more streamlined with additional line detailing on the cockpit window and nosecone.
The wings on his back are different than Starscream's, with a shape vaguely resembling a bat. This too is a carry over from his "Generation 2" design.
The stabilizer fins attached to his lower legs have a different design than Starscream's. They are larger and hint at the "bat" like design of the wings on his back.
Instead of two swords as his weapons, Jhiaxus includes two blasters that are really nicely detailed. They include a scope on top, a long barrel at the bottom and a curved clip on the bottom.
In general, I'm very impressed how far the designers went to make this design different than Starscream. While a new head sculpt and deco would've been okay, the choice to replace this many parts helps make the figure more distinctive and offers more value for a redeco/retool.
Where Jhiaxus takes inspiration from his "Robots in Disguise" namesake is his color scheme. His primary plastic colors are silver, orange, gunmetal and clear plastic. The orange makes up a lot of his body including the top of the chest, wings, nosecone, lower legs, forearms and head. The gunmetal grey and silver colors are used for smaller parts like his shoulders and feet. The clear plastic is found on the ends of the missile launchers that can swing up from his back. The blasters included with the figure are cast in gunmetal grey. The color scheme is definitely eye catching and the two tones of grey/silver and orange contrast well against each other, but I can't help but wish he had his "Generation 2" colors (which included red, yellow and green).
The paint colors used on this figure include two shades of grey (light and dark), metallic blue and black. The greys are found all over the figure such as the face which is light grey while the vents on either side of the head are dark grey. The metallic blue is used on the cockpit (and looks great) while there are dark grey stripes on his chest. The black is used for the fins on his lower legs. The wings on his back have additional details including dark grey on the edges, light grey on top and Decepticon symbols in the center. Again the grey acts as a nice contrast to the orange and it helps make him a bit less "loud" looking so it's a nice balance. There is one very tiny bit of yellow used for the eyes, and it's kind of amazing that they can get such finely tuned paint details done nowadays.
All the joints on Jhiaxus are nice and tight, no issues with floppy joints here. The missile firing mechanism still works the same as it did on Starscream. Swing the launchers up and then push the translucent parts forward to fire the missiles. Since the forearms and the missile launchers are the same molds from the Starscream figure you can still attach Energon weapons and Mini-Cons to those areas. There are small pegs on the sides of his weapons that allow them to attach to the wings, but they won't attach to the small holes on his Mini-Con ports.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the blasters, then set them aside for now.
- Swing the fists into the forearms.
- Swing the two halves of the feet together.
- On each lower leg pull the stabilizer fins out.
- Swing the cockpit on the torso section up, unfolding the nosecone as you do so.
- Rotate the wings so they are horizontal.
- Push the robot head down and cover it with the panel under it.
- Rotate each leg around, then swing it up and tuck them into the underside of the vehicle.
- Swing each arm back, connecting it to the wings using the tab on the back of each forearm and the corresponding slot on the wings.
- Attach each blaster to the underside of one of the wings.
In jet mode Jhiaxus benefits a lot from the retooled parts. Almost all the main jet mode pieces are different than Starscream's including the wings, the nosecone, cockpit and the rear stabilizer fins. His vehicle mode winds up looking more condensed and centered than Starscream's, which sweeps outward at dramatic angles. Other smaller details such as the bat like ridge structures on the top of the wings and stabilizers further separate this figure form its source sculpt. There are of course similarities, the biggest one (literally) being the missile launchers on top.
This mode shows winds up concentrating a lot of the orange color but the grey parts still offer a good contrast thanks to the missile launchers and bits in the front of the wings. The black on the nosecone and rear stabilizer wings further keep Jhiaxus from looking too garish. The metallic blue on the cockpit was a really nice touch as it offers a splash of color in the front that helps draw the eye. In this mode you also get a good look at the grey details on his wings including the Decepticon symbols.
Jhiaxus is one awesome redeco and retool. He's not just a "head swap". I was impressed with just how much was changed. I agree with many fans that he would've been better with his actual "G2 comic book" color scheme, but I get the "Robots in Disguise" reference and it's a fun if not obscure one. Highly recommended!