Cliffbee.com: War Within Jetfire (6" Titanium) Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Jetfire
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 7cm Length: 18cm Width: 16cm

   An off white and red jet with more than a passing semblance to the original Valkyrie. The white fuselage is long and thin with a black canopy at the nose, a red booster-pack tail with two white tailfins and some red paint on the long nose. There are red boosters at the base of his wings while the wings themselves are swept back and white with red detailing. For some reason - most likely misassembly - there are stamped Autobot logos on the undersides of his wings. The undercarriage is a little bulky, but not overly kibbly. It's more or less a built in rolling wheelbase, complete with red leg armour. While the elements from the G1 Valkyrie are more or carried over to this mode, this colour scheme does it's part to make this mode work as Jetfire.

   I make no secret of the fact that I disliked the design style of G1 Jetfire - and there's a clear homage here. That said, this design still has Hasbro/Takara's handiwork on it, so I don't mind the look. Considering the license issues surrounding Jetfire, this is probably as close as we're going to see to a reissue of the original anyway, and it's not a bad tribute. As with a lot of Titaniums, the design is actually taken from the War Within comic, and there is a comic book feel to his jet mode.

   There are two ways you can deal with the Autobot logos (aside from just ignoring the issue). You can disassemble the toy and swap them over, or take the lazy option and flip the wings they sweep forward. The latter will result in the logos facing backwards. but it's a lot easier and the forward swept wings look okay anyway, and give him a similar shape to the Ultra Jetstorm from Beast Machines. For now I've gone for the lazy option, because I don't have my jewellers screwdriver set here with me.

   There's some play value here, more than on some of the other Titaniums. The single front wheel folds back, the twin wheels on either side retract sideways. He carries two detachable silver missiles underwing, composed of a soft plastic - which also makes up his wings and tailfins actually. The nose tends to unclip and droop at times, since the die-cast metal is too heavy for the clip holding it. It will stay in place on display, but if you play with him you might find it unclips and hangs down a little. This is my only real complaint in this mode - the Autobot logo thing doesn't really hurt the toy.

   I'll cover the die-cast roll call in this mode. The nose section, top of the fuselage, tail and wing boosters and rear wheel blocks are all die cast metal, along with the smaller block that supports the front wheel - although only the rear wheel supports are metal, the front one attaches to a plastic leg.

   A nice jet mode, and while it's not spectacular, it does a good job of tributing the Valkyrie. As I've mentioned, we'll probably never see the original reissued, and while it's a lot smaller and simpler, this is a good, accessible alternative jet mode for the character. The colours work and the play value is respectable for a Titanium. I do wish the nose was a little more stable, but this isn't a deal breaker.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove his missiles and set aside, stow the landing gear if it's out. Unclip the blocks underneath, fold them down to form his legs, flip up the feet and heelspurs. At this point Jetfire's in a gerwalk mode of sorts - which is an intermediate mode for Valkyries. Anyway, rotate the waist, extend the tail section and fold down to form his left arm. Unclip the nose and fold down to form the right arm. You'll need to actually detach the tail itself to reveal his left fist - there's a little gap underneath in which it stows. This isn't actually mentioned in the instructions, mind you. The tail actually looks better plugged in the other way. In theory, you rotate the mid fuselage (with wings) and fold them onto his back, but they'll fall, so just detach them, lift up the chest panel, pull out his head and reattach the wingplate on his back. The wings fold back, the boosters are meant to sit flat against his back, but I'd recommend tipping them forward - it help them stay on. Lastly, you have the choice of either combining the missiles into a compound gun in his left hand or placing one in either hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 11.5cm

   Jetfire is again off white and red, with white far more prevalent that red now. The black is largely limited to his feet and details on his chest. There's a stamped Autobot logo on the right side of his chest and a square pattern of yellow circles on the left. Jetfire's face is a simple silver mouthplate and red eyestrip - akin to the face of the original. Unlike the original, there's no canopy on the torso - instead the front wheel sits on his groin, pointing up. As with the original, the red portions are peripheral and many pieces form armour - a deliberate design choice. There are leg armour pieces, a cover on the outside of his left forearm and the two boosters on his back (or over the shoulder if you realign them for stability). Again it's a a decent colour scheme which pays tribute to the original.

   The backpack falls off far too easily, partly because there's not much clearance, partly because the joint attaching it really needed to extend - but mostly because there's nothing anchoring the post that plugs into his back (no lip or notch). It won't fall off when you look at him, but posing him or picking him up will risk it popping off. With the boosters on the angle suggested there's clearance for his shoulders, at least. The backpack is at least visually pleasing kibble. The cover on his left forearm also falls into this category. Sadly the jet nose on his right forearm is unwelcome kibble - not so much because it can't pass off as armour but because there's no clearance for his fist. I would have liked to see this piece lift out, although it's already a little unstable in jet mode and another joint might have exacerbated that problem, so I'll let that go.

   While Jetfire's robot mode isn't without its flaws there are still some cool aspects here. The armour on his left forearm carries the tailfins, which make a great melee weapon. You wouldn't want a backhand from Jetfire! The nose is shield-like, so it's not a total write off. The detailing on his chest is pretty cool, and there's black paint in the grooves which looks really nice. The twin gun is cool also - and thoughtful of the designer.

   Poseability here is pretty good, although the loose backpack can be frustrating, falling off while you pose. Anyway, the head turns, his shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while his elbows are hinged. the wrists rotate, although the jet bits on his forearms limit the usefulness of this - the right hand is half hidden anyway and the left can only hold a gun is certain poses. His waist turns while the hips swing and lift out to the sides on ratcheting joints. His knees are ball joints which move about 30 in any given direction, and the feet and heelspurs can fold in. The knees don't really limit poseability since he's too top heavy for most running poses anyway - they actually anchor the top heavy robot by allowing you to make subtle shifts in the centre of gravity. While he's too fiddly to play with, there are some cool available poses.

   Sadly the loose backpack stands out as a major flaw, and it's one that should have been fixed - and would have been easy to address. Jetfire looks nice for the most part, and the semblance to the original toy is strong, despite the vastly different transformation - which I appreciate. The articulation is great and while there are limitations on the range of stable poses, the designer has made some choices to help Jetfire out, such as the ball joints in his knees.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   Two decent modes both strongly resemble the G1 toy, despite the fact that his transformation is nothing like the original. The jet mode is probably the better mode, even accounting for the slightly loose nose section. The robot mode looks great but the backpack detaches far too easily. I do still like this figure despite it's flaws - Jetfire's detailing and visual design are good. Recommended for fans of the character, since the tribute is so well done, although he's not as good as some of the other Titaniums in terms of engineering - 6/10

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