Cliffbee.com: Animated Jazz Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Jazz
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Sports Car

Thanks to Pulse for loaning me Jazz for this review



CAR MODE
Height: 3.5cm Length: 12.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A white sports car with glossy black windows, Jazz sports grey bumpers, exhausts on the sides and rear vision mirrors. There's a red and blue stripe on his hood with an Autobot symbol on front - this one is only vaguely similar to that on the original G1 Jazz, but it's enough for the tribute to be obvious. The headlights and front indicators are transparent blue while his taillights are red. The colour map is pretty good here, with everything where it should be. His tyres are black with silver painted mag wheels - the silver is also on the grille underneath the front bumper. While the idea is simple, it is well executed.

   While I've got nothing but praise for the colour scheme, I don't really like the shape of the car much. As with a lot of Animated toys, it's very much a stylised vehicle, and there's not really any Porsche style here - instead we have a very curved car with giant rear fenders. There are odd black covers at the top of his headlights which I suspect are meant to suggest pop-up lights, but they look like eyelids. With the round lines and eyelids, Jazz looks like something from the film Cars, not a real sports car. To be fair, the seams are well done - so the shape works as intended. There's not a lot of actual detail here outside the well done hubcaps - doorhandles and the grille are (relative) highlights.

   There's no play value here aside from the rolling wheels, although his ground (okay, table) clearance is minimal, so he has trouble rolling properly. There are no gimmicks here, nor any opening doors. Not that I expect anything along those lines at this size.

   A decent car for what it is, and the colours clearly define this as a Jazz toy. The paint job is focussed although the sculpt is a little simple in places. The car mould itself is just too comic for my liking - and doesn't really befit Jazz, so I don't especially like this mode. Despite my own misgivings, this car mode is well executed. If you're wanting G1 Jazz in this mode, you'll be disappointed, but the designer did a good job of what he was trying to do.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Pull the doors out to the sides to form the arms. Lift up the centre of the rear bumper, fold out the roof and rear as his boots. Flip out his feet and split the legs. Fold down the front to form his chest and reveal the head, fold down his collar. Position the arms, rotate the door panels and detach the exhausts as hand-held weapons, if desired.

   While this is a fairly simple transformation, it's elegant and is clearly inspired by that of G1 Jazz. The reverse isn't quite as good - there's not much clearance for the legs underneath the windshield, and you have to be careful you don't place too much pressure on the windshield. Ironically, this also harks back to G1 Jazz - in a bad way.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15cm Width: 10cm

   A white robot with black on his collar, upper arms and groin, Jazz's head is also black while his face is grey and his eyestrip is transparent blue and the top of his head is white. The chest is the front of the car, complete with Autobot logo, while the roof becomes his shins. The Jazz character concept is readily apparent in these colours, especially with the chest as it is. There's not much silver, but the colours are still very close to those of G1. Again the colours work fairly well, although I would have preferred a little more black.

   As with most Animated toys, Jazz has rather unusual proportions. His head is very narrow, which really bugs me - moreso that the characteristic ridiculously large chin. The waist is also very narrow, and this carries over to his thighs which are close together. While he doesn't suffer from out of balance stylised proportions like some Animated toys, I can't really say this is a very robotic shape.

   Jazz's poseability is impressive, albeit with a few minor issues. The head turns on a restricted ball joint, but the chin guides it into unnatural positions if you try and turn it. The shoulders are hinges with rotators below them to assist the double hinges in the elbows. His wrists are ball jointed and his waist turns, even though it doesn't look like it can, at a glance. His hips are hinged while his knees are hinged with rotators just above them while his ankles are hinged and there are well designed heelspurs which really anchor this toy well. The rotators above his knees suffer from a similar problem to the neck - you can't turn them very far before it just looks unnatural - this isn't helped by the narrow gap between them since you struggle to move the boots into positions that keep them out of each other's way.

   There are no gimmicks here, but Jazz's weapons are really clever. The twin pipes of his exhausts unplug and form nunchucks! There's a white cord holding them together, so you can place one pipe in his hand and let the other dangle. It looks really good, although the cord is too loose for action poses - Jazz can hold them ready to strike, but not in a mid-move pose. Well, you can place the pipes from a single nunchuck in either hand, but that's about it. The nunchucks are both really unusual and so simple it's amazing. They work so well that I'd expect to see more in the future.

   This is a very playable robot mode, even if the design style won't suit everyone. I hate the look, thanks to the robot shape - but I do appreciate that his weird shape is at least in proportion with itself. The colours are distinctly Jazz and the chest as the front of a sports car helps nail down the concept. The nunchucks are 15 shades of awesome, and prove that you don't need silly electronic gimmicks or missile launchers to make a robot mode fun.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. BotCon Dead End is a repaint of Jazz.

OVERALL

   With a generic sports car mode that reminds em too much of Cars and a well designed if unusual robot mode, Jazz won't please those who want a G1 style Jazz. The paint job is pretty good and the robot mode's play value is great while the transformation is elegant. As much as I love his weaponry, I find this toy ugly and not very robotic, so as a mech this isn't much of a display piece, but I can't deny that the play value here is great - 8/10 (despite my own dislike of everything except his weapons)

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