Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Autobot Jazz Action FigureHasbro, 2017
Day #1,883: January 22, 2018
Autobot Jazz Well, it's not the best
Transformers Generations Power of the Primes Deluxe
Item No.: Asst. E0595 No. E1125 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Rifle, blaster, combiner hand, 1 of 12 random cards Action Feature:Transforms from Car to Robot to leg/hand Retail:$17.99 Availability: November 2017 Other: A Mutant Relative of Combiner Wars
There are good toys, and then there are toys like Autobot Jazz. Immediately upon release this toy became a lightning rod for controversy thanks to a hidden message on the toy, but things got even weirder because the toy itself isn't exactly a gem. This is, to say the least, a bizarre and out-of-place release - on a variety of levels. It's not the worst thing you'll ever buy, but as of my writing this it seems to be the potentially most fragile "Combiner Wars"-compatible limb with more than a few form fit problems thanks to someone engineering it poorly.
I'm not saying you should skip it, but just be prepared to have problems with it.
The car looks good - mostly. It's not quite the original Porsche, but the racing marks are close to the classic 1984 release... with a significant change. The problem is how it all fits together - the transformation is simple enough, but the problems start with the toy's materials. Jazz is mostly molded in clear colorless plastic, painted white in spots. The bulk of Combiner Wars toys had no clear pieces, so this means that the tab/slot form fit can have problems - a bare plastic slot/tab would fit. Once it's painted white, it's just a little too thick to hold together well, resulting in a gappy car that doesn't hold together particularly well. The white paint fairly closely matches the white plastic, but I'd be lying to you if I said I liked this car mode better than Special Ops Jazz [FOTD #58] from a few years ago. While it may not be perfect, it's a better toy.
In addition to rolling wheels, the toy has 3 5mm pegs on top and 4 smaller foot pegs for Prime Masters and Titan Masters. There are also two slots near the back which plug in to tabs for making his leg mode.
Construction issues aside, this toy courted controversy with a hidden message, in very small characters, under the Autobot symbol and just above the word "Energon." It reads as "MAGA," which is - to say the least - a politically charged message which has inspired many a fan to purchase this toy and some paint thinner, and a few others to just wait for a running change. Hasbro says they're investigating this and it would not be a surprise to see Jazz ship again later - but as to if the toy will actually have a running change remains to be seen, given Hasbro's spotty record on altering toys for later shipments. Given Hasbro has been putting hidden messages on Star Wars toys for years - often character names or words like "Liberty" - this is the first time that something politically charged has been included. Out-of-universe messages to fans have been incorporated on toys in the past, but this is certainly something new.
Transformation is easy, but the clear plastic is thin and I worry that, with time, it will be brittle and crack. Or yellow. Perhaps you won't want to use this toy to support a combiner over the long-run. The car hood becomes the chest, the back of the car is legs, and the doors are arms - it's pretty simple, but a wildly different transformation compared to the very samey builds of the other combining limb toys. Were it not for the paint/plastic form fit issues, this might be one of my favorite transformations.
The figure has a nice range of movement and looks Jazz-y. The fists are white - I don't care for that - and the racing marks are largely out of view thanks to their placement on the back of the arms. You don't see the clear plastic in robot mode, although a lot of clear bits need to be fit in other clear bits for either mode to work. The head looks like classic Jazz, but the detail is a little softer than some of the other Jazz toys from recent years. I guess what I'm saying is if you're happy with your current Jazz, you should keep it.
If you want a Jazz to combine with your other G1 Combiners, this is a good one - also the only one. The arm is a little wonky and won't clear Optimus Prime's shoulder easily - it looks like the car was cracked in half and extended. The leg mode looks like a car mode was cracked in half and folded over itself. They both work, but their value is improved with the proper torso being selected. I think it's very OK - it's not terrible, and it's a better leg or arm than it is a car.
It is rare that a toy expresses opinions of political natures, but here we are. That aside, it's an adequate figure - but it doesn't feel as chunky or durable as the other toys in Power of the Primes or Combiner Wars. I certainly don't think it's the best effort in the line, but if you need a limb to fill a robot or just want a Jazz it's certainly acceptable. Were the toy made of different materials and/or fit together better, I'd be fond of the relatively simple Autobot. But it's not, so I wouldn't make it a priority purchase.
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