|Jetfire Review Capsule|
|Jetfire is the first US-released toy in quite some time that's more than "Jetfire in name only." At a handsome $20 price point, this toy is loaded with features like snap-on cannons, moving wings, a battle helmet, and more. It's a solid toy at a fair price. Recommended. |
Nobody really expected it, but Hasbro finally cranked out a modernized version of the classic Jetfire toy. After years of reusing the names in Beast Machines, Generation 2, and in other lines, the classic red-and-white quasi-Macross toy has been modernized for your pleasure.
He turns from a spaceship to a robot, but there's a little more to it than that. Each mode has a "super" mode of sorts, with extra snap-on weapons and armor... and in the case of the robot, an added helmet. There's more parts to lose and variety in configuration with Jetfire than with any other toy in the Classics line. While it may be a while before it receives any sort of legendary status like the original, there's a lot to like here.
Supposedly designed in tandem with/as/whatever the character's appearance in the comic series Stormbringer, Jetfire has a lot to offer kids and fans of all ages. Unless you're one of those sour schmucks who hates absolutely everything at this point.
One of Jetfire's flaws is there are far too many ways to configure the toy. The instructions say you should pose him with his wings up-- but I think it looks a little too much like a butterfly/fairy/angel/brownie/winged fantasy being of your choice. As you can clearly see, the wings are articulated so you may choose how they look.
With articulated wrists, elbows, knees, er... second knees, and much more, this is one of the best designed and most nicely posable figures in the Classics range, and of course, it's even better than other recent similarly priced toys from Cybertron, Energon, and Armada. Most toys are left wanting when it comes to articulation, but Jetfire even has a ball jointed neck. He can look up, or to the sides, which is a real improvement from most figures who have "look straight ahead action." His eyes have the light-up window on the back of his head, which I had initially missed because it doesn't look as awkward as some of those tend to do.
The figure is covered in points to connect other bits of armor, like the "jet pack" and some guns. And of course, the helmet. Which you can see below.
The extra armor doesn't hinder articulation, but it does change the overall aesthetic of the toy pretty quickly. For those who like variety, or for those who play with their toys, the added bits and pieces are a fantastic bonus feature that pushes this toy ahead of the pack in Classics. Optimus doesn't have his trailer anymore, and Megatron is, well, Megatron... but Jetfire begs you to play with him. He has a gun that splits into two smaller guns, firing rockets, flip-out guns, and just so much junk he's hard to put down.
To convert to this specially armored mode, you snap on the jet boosters on the back, fold down the cannons, pull back the... well, I guess they're restraints, and then you pop on the forearm cannons. Slap on the helmet, and you're done.
While your mileage may vary, I prefer a hybrid mode-- the Super Mode, without the helmet. It looks really good, and isn't pictured here due to deadlines of trying to get this article online quickly.
It comes packaged in the "super" mode, but let's start with the not-so-super mode. If you pull off the cannons and boosters, this is what you get.
The toy looks like it flew out of the 1980s. Just like the robot, it has articulated wings, but adds fun features like retractable landing gear and... well, that's about it really. The jet mode is quite solid and holds together nicely-- there's no loose bits flopping around to ruin the fun. The illusion of it being a giant space ship gets destroyed if you notice there's arms hanging off the undercarriage area, and as you can see by the bottom of the ship it's a very simplistic transformation. Pull down the legs, fold up the arms, fold down the nose, and you're pretty much done.
...and if you want a really cool space jet, tack on the boosters, slap on the arm cannons, and, uh, put the guns in his hands. (That's what the instructions say to do.) It kinda works, it doesn't look as hokey as I expected.
If check the image above, you can get a good idea of how the boosters work. Basically, there's a piece on each one that slides back and the black gun barrel springs out. (This works in either mode.) Aside from that, there really aren't all that many action features in the vehicle mode. What you see is what you get, and thankfully, what you see is pretty cool. It's also worth noting the coloring of this toy happens to be very similar to that of the upcoming Ramjet toy.
Jetfire makes the rest of the line look bad. Real bad. Not shown: Battle Helmet.
He has two removable projectile launchers. He has flip-out guns in his boosters. He has a double-barrelled cannon that splits apart into two smaller, arguably more useful weapons. All Optimus Prime had was a couple of guns-- thus making this a superior toy in terms of accessories and parts to lose.
So how big is this guy? Take a look.
From left to right: Classics Bumblebee, Jetfire, Rodimus.
Packaging, Tech Specs, & Co-Sells
This toy came packaged in the first wave style TransFormers Classics Voyager packaging with a few twist-ties. Finding the word "Classic" is a bit like a scavenger hunt-- look on the top of the box for the phrase "Classic Voyager."
Co-sells on the box include Starscream, Megatron, Grimlock, Mirage, and Optimus Prime. Jetfire shipped at 1 per case, but a future revision has him pegged at 2 per case.
While it, too, has no real ability to interact with the upcoming Mini-Cons, Jetfire is a real rarity-- it's a legit toy. It does stuff, it has play features that are fun and that collectors will enjoy. He's big, but not too big, fleshed out, but not too expensive. It's a great toy for kids of all ages, if you can find one it's worth adding to your toy box/collection.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased at Entertainment Earth in November 2006
Reviewed on November 20, 2006.