Cliffbee.com: FAB Jazz Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Jazz
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Pontiac Solstice Sports Car

Thanks to Tiby for loaning me Jazz for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A primer grey Pontiac with a cutesy shape, Jazz has metallic blue windows and headlights, black plastic tyres, black grilles, red taillights and painted sports lights at the front. There's also a small red badge on the hood, rounding out a colour scheme which is remarkably similar to regular version, although that version has transparent windows. Both fail to achieve true silver plastic colour, which bugs me less here since this figure is geared more towards a younger audience and less towards fans looking for realism. Still, a true silver would have been nice.

   The sculpt here is good, with vents on the front fenders, well formed side mirrors, doorhandles, a boot handle at the back and a gap underneath the spoiler. As with the other car FABs the robot feet are visible at the back - which is consistently annoying. Otherwise this is a pretty good car mode. There aren't many blemishes - just the feet and a rather obvious hatch in the hood for his head (which is just distracting). On the whole I'm fairly happy with the car, despite the slightly cute proportions. There's no really play value, although you can flip up the head if you have fingernails, which is an amusing effect. Curiously, while the rear wheels roll as you'd expect, the front wheels are actually fixed and only his tyres roll, which looks odd when he's rolling along. He doesn't too well anyway.

   A reasonable car mode with a few flaws, but nothing that ruins it. I'm not going to hold the primer colour against this toy as much as I did with the (supposedly) more accurate regular toy, though it does still bug me. The feet at the back are a regular shortcoming in this line, as are the slightly skewed proportions. So in context there's nothing glaring about this car. The play value could be better, but at least we have the flip top head to keep us amused.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold down the rear to form his legs, split the boots. as the groin folds down the head will flip out and the grille pushes out slightly. Pull out the front wheels to form his shoulders and swing the doors down to form his arms. Fold the roof down to form a backplate, unclip the missile from within his right boot and plug it into his left hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   A silver robot with black shoulders, a black mouth, a blue eyestrip and the front of a Pontiac on his chest. While this character has little in common with his G1 namesake, the chest and shoulders on this version really remind me of the G1 character, which is more a by-product of the simplified transformation than anything else. The colour scheme here is generally simple, with the car details on his chest and painted face only joined by some bronze pistons on his boots. The colour scheme is slightly simpler than that of the original but both are pretty much based on primer grey. The simple colour scheme and obviously simplified transformation make this robot look very kiddie, which isn't so good.

   Considering how bad the arms of the original are, this Jazz's arms are pretty good in comparison, although they're shoved inside the doors rather awkwardly. The right hand is a very diminutive claw while the left hand is a missile launcher - sadly they didn't even bother moulding digits on it. The transparent blue missile looks vaguely like a stream of water. What bugs me is that the designer bothered to give him transparent blue plastic for the missile but didn't do so for the windows. Now I can deal with the solid windows, but if we can't use transparent plastic for costs reasons, then it makes no sense on the missile. On the upside, his face is pretty well sculpted, other than the fact there's a panel behind it. The face is quite similar to that of the regular version, as is the stamped black Autobot logo on his groin.

   The play value is unimpressive for a toy which has been simplified to this extent. The shoulders swing up to about 75, and that's it for the arm articulation. His head is fixed while the waist can drag around to the right and snaps back to the left when you let go - even though he wields only a missile. I really fail to understand why the designer of the FABs prefers this gimmick to actual articulation on toys which lack weapons that make it worthwhile. His hips are ball jointed but the knees are hinged and only swing back about 45, while the feet are fixed. He does have big footprints but there's not that much movement in the legs. To be honest his poseability is awful - even for a FAB. The missile launcher gimmick works, but it's not that exciting and not enough to make up for the bad poseability here - especially with the limited arm poseability (not) supporting it.

   While the arms look better than the awful attempt at arms of the regular toy, the simple robot mode looks more like a Legends toy that one selling at deluxe price. The missile launcher is probably the strongest feature, since the colour scheme is simple and this doesn't work well on such a straightforward robot. The poseability is awful and it actually hurts the gimmick. I actually prefer the robot mode of the regular version - atrocious arms and all.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. FAB Smokescreen is a repaint of Jazz.

OVERALL

   You know, considering that the regular toy has a glaring flaw, you'd expect this figure to outshine the more mature toy. The vehicle mode is almost as good, and is good as FAB vehicles go, but his robot mode is just awful. For the price you'd pay, you're getting a robot mode that's simpler than some Legends figures - and about as poseable. Yes the arms are better, but they hardly move and the gimmick is nowhere enough to really make a case for the robot mode. Recommended for kids under the age of four, maybe - 4/10

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