Cliffbee.com: ROTF Jolt Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Jolt
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Chevrolet Volt Car



CAR MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 13.5cm Width: 6cm

   A dark blue sports car with a matte black roof and transparent blue windows, Jolt has silver headlights, hubcaps and side mirrors along with a silver grille. His tyres are black plastic while the taillights are red. Between the taillights he sports the car's name, "VOLT", in silver text. It's a nice colour scheme with some finer elements such as a gold Chevrolet badge on the grille and yellow indicators at the front, but the black roof breaks it up a little. To be honest the black roof makes him look poor in packaging, but Jolt looks good once he's free.

   A little history on the name. Jolt was first used in G2 for a Purple Decepticon Laser Rod. In the same line was Volt, who was a red Autobot. There's a repaint from late in the original movie's line, called Jolt - a purple Decepticon. So now we have Jolt, who's no relation to the Jolt from the last film's toyline. Jolt turns into a Volt, but isn't tributing either G2 toy. Confused? Basically, through persistent name reuse this toy is overlapping with many previous toys, but the character doesn't have a direct relationship with any of them. And the name of the car model used here is unfortunate. I would have rather this toy been given a new name, to be honest.

   Anyway, it's a nice if understated vehicle mode. Unusually for a Transformer, he's a passenger car with four doors, not a sports car. He's a small family car - think Toyota Corolla, and while the Volt is currently a hybrid in development, it's refreshing to see a run-of-the-mill car as a Transformer. Personally, I like the idea of a Transformer turning into a car I might own one day. Okay, I do quite like the idea of owning a Lamborghini (or even an F-15!), but the Volt is much more achievable for most people - myself included. The style is a late 2000s sedan, and it's quite unremarkable, which I like a lot - to me Jolt stands out amongst Transformers in that he's a regular everyday car without any special paint job or a ridiculous price tag.

   I should disclose that as a kid, one of my parents drove a Mazda 323. But I think my chances of driving around a yellow 1980s 323 are done for (although I'm sure I could afford one if I really wanted it).

   The play value is minimal as is to be expected of licensed vehicles from the movie line - Jolt focuses on realism rather than gimmicks. The wheels roll and that's it. But everything holds together nicely and looks quite realistic, which is the point here.

   Jolt has a simple vehicle mode, but it's remarkable for being so unremarkable. In a line that's seen countless top-end sports cars down the years, a boring old passenger car is a nice change. The colours are sensible and understated, and while I would have preferred the black roof left out, I'm not unhappy with it since it beats a mismatched blue paint over the roof (which is composed of transparent plastic). If this car makes it to the Australian roads, I'd seriously consider a dark blue one myself!

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull out the sides, split the roof and pull the halves out to the sides to form arms. Split the rear, pull out the rear bumper halves to form feet. Pivot his heelspurs down. Split the front bumper, fold back the front of the car to reveal the robot head, position the arms and the back kibble. There are various ways you can position this kibble (the side panels, hood and front bumper), I've used the layout least visible from the front for my photograph.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 10cm

   A blue robot with some black in places, Jolt is actually a mix of three different blues now. His chest, shins and shoulder panels are transparent blue while the feet, thighs, head and much of the backpack is dark blue. There's some "Allspark" light blue introduced in this mode as well, on various struts like the shoulder struts. The lighter blue is more of a highlight, Jolt is still largely dark blue. His face is silver with transparent blue eyes, but they look black since there's a silver block behind his head which utterly kills the lightpipe. His upper arms are silver while his forearms are black. There's a red Autobot logo stamped onto his chest. I should point out that the chest, while composed of transparent plastic, isn't transparent, since there's silver plastic behind it. The colours are again understated and while the silver and black arms are a little out of place, it works fairly well overall.

   Jolt is a panelforming in many ways, and much of the car ends up on the fringes of the robot mode. The feet are his rear bumper and the shins are the rear window - making sure that at least part of this robot mode is car parts. The roof ends up as forearm armour while the windshield is now a pair of shoulderpads. Much of this robot mode does end up looking generic despite a good level of detailing. Apparently, Jolt was added to the film's cast fairly late on at GM's request, which would explain why this robot mode has panelformer aspects. The awkward look of his legs would also suggest a rush job,

   Jolt's poseability is hampered by his shellformer nature. His head is on a ball joint but can only wiggle a little. His shoulders are ball jointed while his elbows are hinges and there are rotators in his upper arms. The panelling on his arms looks like it'll get in the way, but it's the backpack which can get in the way. Overall, the arm poseability is good. There are light blue "electro-whips" which can deploy from underneath the forearm guards, giving Jolt weapons that wont be lost. The waist rotates while the hips are restricted ball joints. His knees are hinged with all-but-useless rotators while his feet can twist in a way that offers little help. Thankfully he has rather useful heelspurs. The legs poseability is very limited.

   With awkward legs, limitations on his poseability and a whole bunch of panelformer issues, Jolt feels like the rush job he's said to be. The vehicle mode is good but the robot mode suffers the limitations. This mode is not without merit mind you - the weapons are clever and the panels on his arms are designed well since they stay out of the way. It's a robot mode which needed more work, however.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A good vehicle mode that actually represents an everyday passenger car makes Jolt memorable, but the rushed robot mode holds him back. With problems caused by his panelformer nature, awkward legs and a dud lightpipe, it's quite limited. I hope they get the chance to reconceive Jolt as a Legends toy, because the idea deserves better. He's not without merit by any means, but Jolt is a disappointing toy with a badly slapped-on name and rushed robot mode - 5.5/10

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