Jetfire Leader Series 01 #001 / Thrilling 30 #21 of 30
Transformers Generations Leader
Item No.: No. A7297 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:1 rocket, 1 rocket launcher, 1 battle mask, 4 red cannons Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Jet Retail:$44.99 Availability: September 2014 Other: First Real Classic/Generations "Leader" In Main Line
I feel a little silly saying I was considering not buying Jetfire since I had the Voyager-class one from 2006, which I was quite happy with. The "Classics" Jetfire is a smaller, denser experience while the Generations Leader-class one - foil-wrapped guns aside - is the more satisfying toy. The robot figure mode is quite good, and the transformation is a bit frustrating in parts. But at roughly 9-inches tall, it's almost the same size as Hasbro's original 1980s Jetfire toy while giving us the kind of more durable, more poseable, and less yellowed look we all expect. (Now put it in a dark closet before the Sun ruins it.)
There are technically two robot modes, but it's really just a geared-up thing. A clip-on face mask snaps on easily and gives the figure a look closer to that of the original toy, while the default face is closer to that of Skyfire on the cartoon. 2 red guns can clamp over his lower legs, while the other 2 were designed to be plugged in to his too-hollow forearms. (You probably won't notice this too much.) His articulation is more in line with the collector-level 6- and 7-inch figures out of Mattel or Hasbro, with thigh swivels and lateral arm movement - but oddly, no wrists were included among the 21 points of articulation. The figure is a little more hollowed-out than his predecessors, but he looks good - that has to stand for something. Speaking of standing, each foot has a pair of joints allowing him to be posed in more action-oriented stances if you're in to that sort of thing. I handed him BMOG and a Robolinks gun, he has no problems holding either.
His own Photon Missile weapon fits snuggly in his hand, and the red chrome is already beginning to flake off. Tiny little bits of it are visible under the guns, and bits of the guns have silver visible from where the red used to reside. (Rob Roberts made this video showing that each gun is silver chrome with red paint, and how to remove it to show bare red plastic.) The gun fires nicely, and if you look at the first leaked images of the toy or instruction booklet, the guns changed a bit. They were originally red with black-tipped cannons, plus the toy lost some red striping on his chest and ankles in an effort to shave a few pennies off production pricing. (If you've ever been involved in making a toy, this can really add up.) I should also note, the current press photos of the Takara toy resemble this earlier incarnation.
I should also note that his chrome Turbo Thrusters are pretty nice, easily clipping on the back and removing without too much fuss. You can also flip them upside-down to mount them to look somewhat like the over-the-shoulder cannons of the 2006 version, but they can't bend or move so it doesn't ultimately add much to it.
Transformation is not terribly complicated, but there are some thin panels that feel like they may snap during transformation. There are lots of clever folding clips and panels to help keep things in the right form, but sometimes a bit of pressure is required that leaves me wondering how many of these will be snapped open when I visit Goodwill in late 2015. Things largely mount nicely and fold away easily, but the robot chest - a fake cockpit section - sort of sticks out on the bottom of the jet. It's not too unpleasant, but I don't know if this is going to be one of my go-to toys for transforming when I'm feeling fidgety.
The not-Veritech mode is quite nice. You get stable landing gear with rolling wheels that actually roll quite well - even the cars can't always boast that! The guns mount in a number of places, and you can leave all of them save for the Photon Blaster in place from robot mode if you like. The blaster mounts under the nose cone easily. Like other versions of the toy, the wings can move a little bit. Unlike other ones, it's a little bland - mostly white, with a little red and a lone Autobrand on the nosecone. It's in a silver-backed paint so it looks gorgeous, but it's hard to look at this toy and not say "I could use some Reprolabels."
It's rare - very rare - that I have the urge to pick up a toy and "whoosh" it around the office. With this one, I did - that means it's good fun and, as I mentioned, pretty satisfying.
If this figure were a $90 RoboTech toy, people would eat it up. If it were a $200 third-party "Transformers" toy, a lot of people would adore it. However, it's a $50 Hasbro toy and for some reason we hold them to a higher standard. I like it, I fear flaking of the chrome, and I'll be keeping it out of the sun in a dark closet in my basement to hope it stays white longer. I hope it fares well, it is fun to futz with and has a wonderful, chunky toylike feeling that doesn't make you worry a piece might fall off. And if you're an old fart, you may notice that the opening vehicle cockpit perfectly fits the little pilot figures from Zoids - in a photo below, you can see two of my Brutox RoboStrux pilots in the cockpit. Wonderful stuff.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.