Release Year: September 2003
Retailer: Kay Bee Toys Exclusive.
Transformation Difficulty Level: 3 (Advanced)
Accessories: Missiles x 2
Jhiaxus was one of the most intriguing characters introduced to Transformers fans in the Generation 2 comic book series. He was a Decepticon by origin, but was a commander in an army dedicated to cyberforming planets all over the universe into Cybertron type worlds, with no regard for other forms of life. The name itself was a joke, based upon fears that the comic would be cancelled as its predecessor was. Jhiaxus sounded out actually started as "Gee, Axe us".
The folks over at Hasbro have been trying to scoop up Transformers names from the past as much as they can and apply them to Transformers toys. In this case, we get a jet named Jhiaxus. The jet is a redeco of Beast Machines Jetstorm, but in fact he is closer in design to Robots in Disguise Storm Jet mostly due to his Spark Crystal having been replaced with a solid red ball. Jetstorm and his Beast Machines redeco Sonic Attack Jet were more similar since both sported Vehicon Spark Crystals. This review will cover the changes made to this toy since it's last release as Storm Jet.
Jhiaxus' backing card is the "Unicron battles" modified Armada card style. On the back the toy is pictured along with his fellow Kay Bee exclusive toy Megabolt and Transformers Universe toys (Reptilion, Snarl and Silverbolt). The packaging notes that you can "Open the canopy!" on Jhiaxus, which you really can't without popping the piece off with a small screwdriver or something.
The packaging promises that you get two stickers, and you do. The Transformers Robots in Disguise logo is one sticker, and the character art is the other. The character art is actually incorrect. If you look carefully, Jhiaxus is drawn with an Autobot symbol instead of a Decepticon one.
In jet mode, Jhiaxus retains the same black pattern as Storm Jet, where the color is primarily used to color the sections that provide mechanical detailing. The cockpit is also black. Gray and orange fill out the rest of the colors for this form. An interesting color change choice involves the missiles, which are now solid gray. On all three previous releases of this toy, the missiles were some shade of red set in translucent plastic. While this does help the missiles blend in with the rest of the body more, I would have liked to see translucent plastic used again, it added a nice bright touch to the color schemes.
On the nosecone and the rear of the jet are two Decepticon symbols heat stamped onto the jet. These look really cool, especially when you consider that none of the previous incarnations of this toy had such a detail. This somewhat makes up for the lack of a real Spark Crystal. Like Storm Jet, this toy's Spark Crystal is just a solid red ball in the place of the original crystal. It would have been nice if they at least made it purple or stamped a Decepticon logo over it.
Because of the way Jhiaxus is packaged (with twisty ties holding his wings and main body down), his wings may be at an odd angle once you get him out. I played around with mine and they straightened out a bit, but it would have been a better idea to package the toy properly transformed to keep this warping from going on, but it's not a major issue.
One of the inevitable consequences of using a mold over and over again is mold degradation. Eventually, some parts will become looser than their predecessors, and unfortunately that has happened to this mold.
While transforming this toy, both the left leg and left arm popped off. They snapped back on easily enough, but even after that the legs are rather loose. Not so much though Jhiaxus can't stand, but enough that you'll notice a difference between previous releases of this mold and this one.
The robot mode shows a lot more black on the arms and legs. More gray appears as well. The robot head has orange plastic used for light piping on the head, a feature that is not seen often in Transformers nowadays, so it's nice to see again (albeit on a redeco). The color contrast between the black, orange and gray is nice - but as a byproduct of the toys' release date, the color scheme is reminiscent of some type of Halloween pumpkin decoration. This isn't a really bad thing as the colors are kind of cool. It's just an interesting (and amusing) coincidence.
It's hard for me to recommend Jhiaxus fully since there has been some mold degradation and since he's been released three times already in previous years. Half my thrill of getting this toy was the name, to be honest. It's really cool to finally have an official Hasbro Transformer named Jhiaxus. For completists, this will be a must have. For anyone else who already owns any of the previous three incarnations of this toy, it may not be worth it. Decide for yourself fellow fans.