Cliffbee.com: ROTF Jetfire Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Jetfire
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: SR-71 Blackbird Spyplane

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Jetfire for this review



PLANE MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 46.5cm Width: 24cm

   A charcoal SR-71 Blackbird spyplane. Jetfire has some red lines on the fuselage and red text underneath his cockpit windows. Jetfire has silver painted cockpit windows and deliberately scratched silver Decepticon logos on his wings. There are while skunk logos and red Decepticon badges on his tailfins. It's a simple colour scheme but it's essentially accurate aside from the Decepticon logos and various other markings. While I wouldn't call it an exciting colour scheme, it makes sense.

   The most obvious aspect of this jet mode is his sheer size. At over 40cm long, Jetfire easily beats the dimensions of most Transformers, The SR-71 has a long nose, and this makes up half of his length, but it's impressive all the same. There's a fairly complex sculpt on this jet mode, which is straightforward but detailed like his colour scheme. Jetfire does carry some visible underside kibble, which is mainly navy but also has some grey - both colours are subtle and the kibble doesn't stick out anyway.

   There's a couple of play value features here. A small button at the back of his fuselage activates a swooshing sound, which is fairly generic but still works fairly well. A missile launcher underneath the cockpit fires a single navy blue missile, although it does so fairly gently. The tip of his nose is soft plastic, but the colour & sheen match the rest of the toy perfectly so you can only pick this by touch. He rolls on three retractable sets of wheels - two at the back and one at the front, which all roll. Jetfire can't even come close to standing upright while resting on his belly, so I don't recommend folding away the wheels.

   Am impressive alt mode due to the sheer size, but Jetfire's alt mode is also realistic and detailed. It's understated but also realistic, making this a good alt mode. The play value is a little less than I'd hope for at this level - even considering the relative lack of play value across movie toy's alt modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   A mess of panels & twists, along with pieces that don't move since they're involved in his combination with Optimus Prime. I'll summarise things. The front splits and folds up onto the forearms hidden below, while the legs swing out from underneath the wings. The main body of the jet sort of collapses to form his chest & reveal his head. The wings end up hanging from his shoulders as part of his backpack while the front landing gear becomes a walking stick held in his right arm. The missile launcher clips onto his left forearm. There's the now common G1 transformation sound during transformation.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 26cm Width: 22cm

   A charcoal & midnight blue robot - most of the visible elements here are navy, that is the robot-only parts. The feet, thighs, head and various kibble on his forearms and sizeable backpack is black. There's some "Hasbro" grey in his elbows and two clips on his chest. Jetfire has red painted eyes and a yellow splash on his chest. There's some silver on his arms, but overall there's not a lot of paint on this very dark colour scheme. The red eyes give him that sinister Decepticon look, which is at odds with his film persona. The dark colours mask the intricate detailing here, and I think better definition would have been good - so it's a somewhat disappointing colour scheme.

   Jetfire has a hunched over look, complete with the walking stick, which he can hold in either hand. The fingers are pointed, curly affairs (like those you'd expect on a wizard). This legs are squat while the are black whiskers composed of soft rubberised plastic sticking out from the sides of his face - and hanging down as a beard. Basically they've done all they can to make you realise that he's really, really old. It's a nice idea, even if it's very overdone. The soft whiskers look pretty good and the walking stick is an innovative accessory, if somewhat cheesy.

   The downside here is the mass of kibble hanging off Jetfire. Most of the plane hangs off his back, except the front which sits on the outsides of his firearms. It's not that visually obtrusive, mainly because it's almost black. The engines hanging behind his shoulders are massive things and while they look okay, there are few Transformers out there with kibble as massive. There are two straps within his back that don't appear to do anything - they're actually part of the mechanism which allows him to combine with Optimus Prime.

   The play value is decent, with a few nice features. The missile launcher can plug into the inside of either forearm and as mentioned either hand can use the walking stick. If you pull down the catch that is the yellow splash on his chest, a red LED will flash four times - lighting up the canopy on his head (and the eyes to a lesser extent) and he'll say "Jetfire's my name" in a Scottish accent (note that the movie character has a distinctly English accent). I don't mind this electronic gimmick (misplaced accent aside) since Jetfire's backpack is big enough to accommodate the block required without being an awkward block.

   Poseability is good, although the weight of the backpack means he has a tendency to fall in a heap. His head moves from side to side - it's naturally inhibited by the whiskers hitting the hunchback. His waist is fixed. Many of his joints are ratchets, The shoulders swing and lift out to the sides (on ratchets) while the elbows have ratcheted hinges and rotators. The hips lift swing and lift out to the sides - both of these joints are ratcheted, since they have to support his considerable upper body weight - and even then they can give way. The knees rotate but don't bend - he's dog-legged anyway so there's two sets of ankle hinges to give him similar poseability. The heelspurs are big, which helps him support his heavy backpack. Overall the poseability is good, but it's hindered by the massive upper body - I find as I pose Jetfire he has a tendency to loudly keel backwards as his hips give way.

   A good robot mode with a lot of detail and useful play value, but it's also one with significant shortcomings. The walking stick and general elderly theme are nice and the detailing is great, but that same detailing is swimming in a sea of dark. The backpack dominates his poseability - effectively making this toy a pain to pose. I don't hate this robot mode but I certainly don't love it - the instability ruins much of the fun for me.

VARIATIONS

   Sold on his own in a two pack with Optimus Prime, but I'm not aware of any actual variants.

OVERALL

   A good toy, and one that uses the size class better than most Decepticon leader class toys, Jetfire is impressed despite a few flaws. It's not a fantastic toy, but this is a very solid effort all things considered. The detailing, elderly theme, realism and play value are strong, even his the sizeable backpack literally brings down the robot mode and his realistic colours mask the excellent detailing. While I can't wholly endorse Jetfire, thanks to the massive backpack, if you like the idea I expect you'd find this a rewarding toy - and he's well above average for the leader class - 7.5/10

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