Alternate Mode: Space Cruiser
SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 11cm Length: 23.5cm Width: 20cm
A somewhat disjointed grey, white and maroon space ship with some transparent orange. Jetfire's upper half is grey and white while the lower half is mainly maroon with a spattering of grey. There's an orange missile launcher underneath the bridge (at the very front), which holds a single white missile. The wraparound window of the bridge is also orange. There's a gold panel portside which incorporates a spark crystal. There are blue some intake panels immediately in front of the tailfin, which has a red Autobot logo stamped portside and gold combiner cog thing on the starboard. There are quite a few minor paint apps on the wings and fuselage, which keep things interesting without making much of a dent on the colour scheme itself. The colours used are okay, but the fact that half the toy is maroon and the other half is white & grey means this is a pretty badly executed colour scheme.
Jetfire looks like a grey & white spaceship that's carrying around a maroon payload underneath. The top half actually makes for a rather convincing space ship, with nice detailing, credible wings (at 45°) and tail. The lower half doesn't fit into this at all, and there's a huge gap underneath the bridge which frankly looks awful. Granted, the missile launcher fits into this space, but there's still enough room to drive the proverbial bus through there. Oh, and as credible as the top half is, the transparent orange launcher just doesn't work with it.
There's not too much play value here. The missile fires, thanks to a small maroon button on top of the fuselage. The missile travels about a metre and the launcher is fairly powerful. Jetfire has four independently positionable white thrusters on the back. I like the fact that all four attach via ball points, but I'm annoyed by the fact that the two larger ones are on the maroon undercarriage. Lastly, there are four white wheels underneath allowing Jetfire to roll.
The top half of this vehicle mode is a really nice space ship, but the lower half is perhaps the worst kibble I've seen. The white wingtips and thrusters might attach to the maroon section, but otherwise there's nothing especially aeronautical about it. You really have to wonder what the designer was aiming for here.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the launcher and set aside. Swing the sides of the maroon section out to the sides and back to form legs. Fold away the winglets and wingtips, swing down the thrusters. Fold up the ankleguards and collapse the ankles. Fold down the head (which will cause a transformation sound to play, if you've installed batteries), lift out the shoulders, rotate the shoulderpads, fold down the halves of the tailfin and the nose of the jet (the latter onto his back). Swing down the arms and swap out the smaller thrusters for his fists. Give Jetfire his missile launcher as a handheld weapon. You'll now have to go retrieve the missile, since the poor positioning of the trigger in this mode makes it virtually impossible to put the launcher in his hand without firing the missile.
Height: 19cm Width: 22.5cm
A more blended mix of the same three colours, Jetfire's boots and head are maroon while the chest and fists are white and groin, shoulderpads and forearms are grey. The face is silver although the eyes are covered by a transparent orange visor (which can actually lift up slightly). Again there are quite a few minor paint applications, and while the red Autobot logo is no longer visible, the spark crystal now sits on his left shoulderpad.
While the vehicle mode had more potential, the robot mode is better simply because it doesn't have a ridiculous shortcoming. Mind you this is a fairly unambitious robot mode. The huge grey shoulderpads are a nice feature, but aren't that unique. There's a white claw mechanism built into his chestplate with makes for an interesting pattern. On the downside, his boots are _huge_ (a side effect of the powerlinx combination thing) while the torso is also wide. Perhaps the most annoying aspects of Jetfire's robot mode is the fact that the panel which contains his head doesn't clip into place - rather it floats just above the torso, and you can clearly see white junk in the gap. This wouldn't have been too difficult to avoid, but it seems the designer was more worried about the combination than Jetfire himself - the white junk is a series of connectors for attaching Jetfire to his partner. The combining gimmick is also responsible for the giant boots - and this impacts on just how much undercarriage kibble the jet carries.
The play value is pretty pathetic for a mega sized toy, since so much of Jetfire is geared towards combining with the equally stunted Ironhide. The missile launcher is again powerful, but the hard-to-see trigger sets off too easily. The claw on his chest opens and clicks into place, waiting for you to press a button between the prongs which causes it to snap shut. While the idea is good, it's only works in robot mode, which is self defeating. If you like the idea, go and find yourself the cheaper (and much nicer) Skyblast toy. The poseability is mixed. The head doesn't move, but the shoulders can swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows are ball jointed. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees are hinged with rotators. The feet don't really move in a meaningful way however the footprint is huge - a good thing considering how bulky Jetfire is. This is probably the only flow-on benefit from the combination gimmick.
Jetfire's robot mode is unambitious but it works _because_ of this. The poseability does allow for some nice poses and there are some nice visual aspects here. It's not without flaws, but at least none of them ruin this mode. I'm really not sure why they bothered putting in the claw gimmick when it's available in this mode only, but hey at least the designer gave Jetfire that much.
None that I know of, although Overcast is a (more unified) repaint of Jetfire.
I'm happy that I got Jetfire at 1/4 of his regular price, because frankly he's only worth what I paid. Sure, the basic idea of the space cruiser mode is really nice, but the huge chunk of kibble on the bottom does a lot of damage, and the stupid paint map finishes the job. The robot mode is okay - but then it doesn't really try that much. The play value is okay, but nothing really stands out. The truth is that Jetfire focuses too much of himself on combining with other Energon toys, so there's not too much left for Jetfire himself. I don't hate this toy, and while the transformation is decent, neither mode is really inspiring. Take out the combination and shrink him down to basic sized (or price, in my case) and Jetfire's worthwhile. Otherwise this is one for the completists - 4.5/10