Deluxe G2 Universe Autobot Jazz Flamin' Hot Jazztos
Transformers Legacy Evolution Deluxe Walmart Exclusive
Item No.: Asst. F7145 No. F7510 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:3 blasters Action Feature:Transforms from car to robot Retail:$24.99 Availability: July 2023 Other: Based on an unreleased mid-1990s Generation 2 concept
Sometimes a figure is a big surprise - you can know it's coming, and you still don't believe it when you see it. G2 Universe Autobot Jazz is based on an unrealized 1990s concept where Jazz would be Fire Guts'd with little triangles for some reason. There were a bunch of nifty unreleased G2 toys - most of which were Autobots - and this was one of three that were pretty famous. Mirage and Sideswipe also surfaced as package art and painted samples, so it's nice to see the trio replicated as Walmart exclusives in 2023. If you can find them. They're in seemingly short supply, I've seen Jazz here on pegs twice so far.
This figure take Studio Series 86 Jazz [FOTD #2,299] (itself a perfectly good figure) and gives you the kind of redeco that old-school fans would never expect to get outside of an overpriced Botcon convention boxed set with dubious quality control. As far as parts go, Hasbro added a couple of Hound blasters that would have come out on a release that so far hasn't been made. (They'll show up in Detritus first, but they made their mass-release debut here!)
As an action figure, it's perfectly great. $25 gets you a 5-inch robot with rocker ankles, a rotating waist, and the kinds of articulation you take for granted in 2023 that would have blown your damn mind were this the Jazz toy you got in 1996 or 1997. The joints are nice and tight and the colors break down pretty nicey when compared to the original toy. Sure, it's not perfect - no wing doors - but those triangles are still tucked in the backpack kibble. The legs have the silver feet and the wheel wells rotate in place. Everything about it is in that sweet spot we call "good enough." Sure, Jazz' face and visor being the same color doesn't pop out much, but it's still great. The, uh, high beams on his chest being painted yellow also look pretty great for a detail they could have left off that you likely would not have missed. It's like they melted a box of crayons over your favorite toy and you're just going to love it. I got this one as part of an early Walmart pre-order so as I'm sitting here playing with it (way back in July 2023) I am dying to find the other ones, to the point where I was driving to one or more Walmarts each and every day. Sometimes twice a day. I haven't done that in ages - that's the kind of fervor doing something familiar-yet-different instills in the certain kind of toy fiend who are guys my age who are me.
It felt a little more fragile in its original release, here I had no problem changing him up without instructions. I think. If something snaps, I'll be angry - but at least it was easy to convert compared to the tri-level chess transformations Hasbro seems to insist fans demand. It's not a big hassle.
Like most cars, it doesn't do much - but it's charming. The wheels look fine, but the only place to interact with it is a 5mm port on the hood. You can plug one blaster in there - or there, if you connect them in an amusing way. It's a nice looking car with triangles on the wing and doors, plus a nice orange fade on the bumper and hood fading away as it goes back. The clear orange windows are nice, but the subtle yellow G2 Autobot face is a real nice touch
"Who is this for?" you might ask. I assume 40-year-old fans who are obsessed with artbooks and the TFwiki site. This is the sort of thing that keeps me on board, because after a dozen Optimus toys and multiple Jazz toys as Jazz, you need something different and new molds like Origin Jazz [FOTD #2,561] are expensive. Wacky G2 deco variants are relatively cheap to do and make something fresh and exciting in 2023 that, in all honesty, a lot of us would have turned our noses up at in 1996. I like bright colors and this is about as bright as it gets - if and when you see one at Walmart, but yourself one. It's weird, but sometimes weird is precisely what you need to avoid getting bored collecting the same toy line on the doorstep of its fourth decade.
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