Cliffbee.com: Autojetter Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Autojetter
Series: Beast Wars Second
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Aerial Guard
Alternate Mode: F18 Jet Fighter



JET MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 18.5cm Width: 13cm

   A silver F-187 with some royal blue along the edges of his tailfins and tailwings, as well as on the sidewinders permanently moulded onto the outsides of his wings. Autojetter has a transparent green canopy, a soft black plastic nose and hard black plastic thrusters at the back. There are six black missiles which can stow under the wings, rounding out a good colour scheme that's quite believable. There are distinct shades of G2 Skydive in this colour scheme, sans the awful G2 stickering.

   Essentially this is a G2 mould, albeit one that was never used during G2 - Autojetter was released as part of the Beast Wars Second line in Japan (and Korea, where mine came from). The colour scheme keeps right away from G2 colours, which I'm happy about, while the sculpt is of a better quality than you'd usually associate with G2. There are plane seams all over the fuselage and wings, and while there aren't any allegiance markings, Autojetter looks good anyway. The only aspects breaking up a good jet mode are two blue sliders on his wings, which are used to fire the missiles. The shape if the plane is slightly off - he's flatter than he should be - but all this means is that the F-18 isn't quite as recognisable as it should be - Autojetter looks like a real plane, which is more than can be said of many other Transformer fighter jets.

   The main gimmick of the toy is obviously the autotransformation, which I'll come to shortly. The sliders on his wings provide a rapid-fire system - as it passes the missiles the slider will fire them, and the two sliders operate independently. The missiles will fire around a foot, which is impressive for a launching mechanism which doesn't use a linear launching mechanism. The wheels underneath can roll, and he'll actually roll very well. You'll need to set the sliding switch underneath the thrusters to its centre position (to neuter the autotransformation), but once you've done so, the retractable wheel under the nose rolls and the two wheels under the engines roll well.

   A surprisingly good jet mode really, considering how simple Autojetter actually is. They've kept him quite realistic and given him great colours, which does an awful lot for this jet mode. The play value is quite good, considering there's an autotransformation that's always going to dominate the engineering. Sure, this is far from the best Transformer fighter jet - but it's still impressive for what it actually is.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold away the front landing gear before doing anything else. Move the slider below the thrusters to his starboard side to transform him to robot (and then to port to go back to plane). You need only roll him maybe 50cm, and then bring the switch back to the middle to lock him. This will cause the fuselage to rise up, becoming the body of the robot, while the nose folds down to become his chest, revealing the head. You'll need to pivot the shoulders up into place and the unfurl the arms.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 11.5cm Width: 9.5cm

   Still largely silver, although Autojetter now has a lot more blue - mainly on his arms and head, with some gunmetal on his feet, shins and elbows. The mouth apparatus is painted silver while his eyes are transparent green with a working lightpipe. The eyes match the canopy on his chest nicely, and the theme is consistent with that of the jet mode, even with the addition of the gunmetal. The colour scheme actually has a G1 feel to it, although with so much metallic plastic this guy is clearly not a G1 toy.

   As with all of the Autorollers, Autojetter's robot mode is somewhat limited by the autotransformation - the legs and torso are fixed while his boots are a single piece containing the wheelblack. The arms end in missile launchers rather than hands - another common theme amongst the Autorollers. The weapons in place of hands do okay, although I don't see why he couldn't have moulded hands as well as the launchers.

   The shoulders, when rotated during the transformation, don't actually clip onto anything - they sort of float on either side of the torso. While they'll stay in place on mine (which is new), I'm surprised there aren't even any notches to guide the shoulder - at the very least. Thankfully the joints are tight enough to support the weight of the missile launchers.

   As you might expect of an Autoroller, the arms are quite poseable. Autojetter's shoulders rotate (actual rotators, not the transformation joints) and lift out to the sides, while the elbows are ball jointed. This makes aiming his missile launchers quite easy, and the launchers still able to fire in this mode - if anything they're more useful now that they can be aimed properly. The head turns - a nice bonus really, although it doesn't really allow for dynamic posing since the legs are stuck in one pose.

   While he's not as dynamic as you might hope, I can deal with that on a toy with a wheel-based gimmick like this. The robot mode _is_ clearly limited by that gimmick, but Autojetter does a pretty good job of looking past his limitations (one only has to compare to the Battlechargers). The colours are nice and his missile launchers work despite the fact that they deny him hands. The loose shoulders bother me even if they don't cause a lot of problems - simply because they represent a lazy design flaw - but aren't enough to really sabotage this robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   With good colours and nifty missile launchers, Autojetter is the only Autoroller that has ever really appealed to me. While I only own one, I think he's better than the others - which I have fidgeted with down the years. The jet mode is surprisingly good, with much better colours than many Transformer jets end up with, and while the robot mode is flawed, it's about as good as I'd realistically hope for - 6.5/10

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