Cliffbee.com: Powerlinx Jetfire Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Jetfire
Series: Armada
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: Space Shuttle

Note: I only have the Powerlinx version of this set, so this review concentrates on that version.


SHUTTLE MODE
Height: 10.5cm Length: 26cm Width: 26cm

   A white space shuttle with grey wings, blue engines, and various black and yellow detailing, it's a very tasteful colour scheme. Fans of the North Queensland Cowboys will like it, since PL Jetfire shares his colours with that team. There are some hints of dark red near the cockpit, as well as a painted Autobot symbol on his roof. Unlike the on original, only the raised parts are painted, with the background being blue. He has three big transparent orange thrusters on the back, one on top and two on the bottom like a real space shuttle.

   Like most Armada toys, Jetfire is not based on a real vehicle, although he's designed to look like his vehicle mode could be real. It's close to a real shuttle in overall appearance, although this thing would be smaller, flatter and wider, and real shuttles don't have hardpoints on their wings. There's also one on top of the fuselage, incidentally.

   All three hardpoints are live. Clipping a Minicon onto either wing will release dark red missiles from underneath his wings. It's a little silly that he drops missiles, not bombs, I guess you have to use your imagination. If you don't want to drop the missiles when you attach Minicons, there are storage slots under his wings next to the slots linked to his hardpoints - they don't hold the missiles all that well, though. Clipping a Minicon to the hardpoint on his fuselage, just in front of the tail, causes his tailfins to pop out from within his engines. These tailfins are blue and swept forward, and to be honest I don't like the look of them all that much, but it's a cool feature and since I can easy stow them back away, I don't mind.

   There are a total of three sound gimmicks in this mode, all of which are activated by pressing on his tail. Press it backwards and you'll hear two shots being fired. Press forward and you'll hear three warning beeps, a take off sound and then some shots being fired. Pressing back while there's a Minicon attached to the central hardpoint activates a firing sound followed by an impact sound. An attached Minicon doesn't change the take off sequence at all, and the firing sounds are both fairly similar. There's an LED inside his top thruster which flashes in sync with the sound gimmicks. While it's not so relevant now, this thruster becomes the barrel of his handgun, so it lighting up when he's firing makes sense.

   The thing I like most about Jetfire's play value as a shuttle is the fact he has a cargo bay that actually opens. What's more, it's hollow inside, and the starboard side has a moulded console with radar map, stellar chart and other details on the inside. The floor of this cargo bay is formed by his robot mode arms, and you can stand a couple of Minicons inside, or stow Comettor inside. Since Comettor forms his front landing gear, you might prefer to stow Astroscope of the Space Team in there. It is possible to remove the landing Gear that is Comettor, although it leaves a gap under his nose that looks a little odd. Closing the cargo doors can be a little tricky, since they interlock. Not that I mind, it's a nice feature and is well engineered.

   There's an alternate configuration here, which involved removing his landing gear (Comettor and the chestplate piece underneath the rear) and stowing the arms inside the cargo bay. The first is easy to do, you have to half transform him to get the arms in, however - basically when transforming Jetfire from robot to shuttle, you go with either one configuration or the other.

   It's a good shuttle mode, and the colours on this version of the toy are very good - better than the original in my opinion. The play value is very good and Comettor compliments this shuttle mode well.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove Comettor and the chestplate, split the rear two thirds of the shuttle in half, remove the black central section that houses the tail and electronics, which is destined to become his handgun. Then you essentially swing the bulk of the shuttle down in two sections to become the arms, legs and wings. The nose becomes his chest, while the thrusters become his feet and the engines his legs. The wings become, well, wings, sticking up from behind his back.

   The handgun goes in his hand, one of both of the missiles will probably fall off during the transformation, but will happily reattach out of sight on the back of his wings. The chestplate isn't used in this mode - it's the chestplate for the combined robot he forms along with Optimus Prime (often called Jetpants Prime).

   Incidentally, Comettor's landing gear mode isn't quite his lunar rover mode. To achieve that, you'll have to flip him over and swing the wheels used for the landing gear around underneath him. You can clip this rover onto Jetfire's right arm as a blaster if you like.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 29cm (including 8cm of wings) Width: 21cm

   Again white blue and grey, although the white isn't as dominant now since half of it is on his back as the limbs are primarily blue, and the giant wings on his back are grey. The white plastic is now confined to his torso, head and the sides of his legs, although there is white paint on his arms. His feet are grey with orange heels (the thrusters), his forehead and crest are transparent orange, as well as his eyevisor, which covers black eyes - well they're probably blue but look black behind the orange, his mouthplate is grey. There are some orange, silver and yellow paint apps here and there, which are subtle enough to add detail without mixing too many colours in. Lastly, that dark red plastic is visible on his shoulderblades and ankles. It's a pretty tasteful colour scheme, despite the random breakouts of dark red (which doesn't seem to have any reason for being there), although the orange on his head is a little odd.

   Remember the heady days of G1 when every Transformer had distinct car/truck/plane/hedgehog bits on the robot mode? Well, Jetfire emanates this aspect of G1, despite being an Armada toy. The torso plate is the nose and cockpit of the shuttle, and the two shuttle wings rising very impressively from behind his shoulders. His handgun has an orange thruster as the muzzle and a tailfin as the sight, keeping the shuttle theme going. His head has a "space adventurer" feel about it, although it's unusual for a Transformer, not really fitting the usual Transformer head look.

   The proportions are pretty good, although there's a bit of a gap in his groin, caused by the rearranging of some nose sections. He's got nice beefy legs and a solid overall build, fitting for the senior Autobot Jetfire's portrayed as in cartoon and comic.

   Jetfire has pretty good articulation. His shoulders are ball joints, his elbows are hinged with rotators just above, and his wrists rotate - his arm poseability is excellent. There are small, purely aesthetic, panels in front of his shoulders which can get in the way of the arms, but you can easily swing them forward if you like so it's not really an issue. His hips rotate but do not swing, while his knees bend without rotating - the overall effect being these two complement each other fairly well. His footprints are quite big, so he's stable in a lot of poses. His hips can swing out to the sides about 10, the wings can rotate out to the sides and his head turns, rounding out Jetfire's articulation. There have been more poseable Transformers, but considering he has electronics, is designed to combine with other toys and turns into something that is broadly based on an actual vehicle, I'm quite happy with Jetfire's movement.

   The electronics, by the way, are in his gun - meaning he has no giant chunks housing the electronics weighing down the robot mode, and that his gun is solid and heavy. The good news is they've managed to save the gun from being a thing with a handle. it actually looks like a firearm, even if it is big and blocky. The orange muzzle helps sell this, as well as it's cylindrical shape. The tailfin on top is a little weird, but it's the trigger for the light and sounds, so it has a purpose at least. Pressing it forward, the direction intended for this mode, activates the firing sounds and lights. Pulling it back will activate the take off sequence, which is intended for the shuttle mode.

   As mentioned, you can attach Comettor as a weapon, since there's a hardpoint on his left forearm. There are two other ports on his wings, which would mean he has Minicons behind his head, so while weapon Minicons are out, Ransack of the Adventure Team would work fairly well - if you can believe a shuttle has any use for a utility truck.

   All in all, this is a pretty good robot mode. The poseability is good, and while it's not fantastic, it's as good as can be expected. It's a great looking robot, too, thanks to good colours and nice, visible, shuttle parts. Aside from a slightly unusual head, the weird choice of orange on his forehead and the disjointed groin - all minor details - there's not anything to really complain about.


Name: Comettor
Allegiance: Minicon
Alternate Mode: Lunar Rover

ROVER MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 5cm Width: 3cm

   A white rover with grey plastic wheels (that look solid rather than pneumatic) and a dark red solar panel on the back. He's very angular and mechanical, which is true to NASA's rovers which are designed for functionality and not appearance. On top is a large cannon like arm, which is fairly ambiguous - it can be a cannon, scientific instrument of drill, depending on your tastes. If it was NASA, this would be a multi-purpose arm designed for investigating Venetian rocks for signs of life.

   While he can roll fairly well on his wheels, Comettor tends to slide along smoother surfaces (lucky for him, Spirit was the one that had to drive out the side of a crater). The white front section of the arm can detach, although I'm not sure why. Oh, there's an open quasi-cockpit at front, which gives some sense of scale - Comettor's about the size of a delivery truck, which is bigger than any NASA rover.

   I'm not so keen on a white rover, in fact I prefer the dark blue original Comettor to this version. it's not a bad colour scheme, but the blue hides some of the transformation joints better. Still, it's a decent rover, and one of the more unusual Minicon alt modes.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the four rear wheels forward and up over the cockpit (past the arm), and out in front to form his legs. Unclip the solar panel and swing it down, revealing his head. Rotate the torso around the central spine of the toy, so that the cannon arm becomes his right arm and the solar panel the right arm.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 5.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   Again white with a dark red right arm and upper left arm, Comettor has a silver chest and silver eyestrip. In place of feet he has four grey wheels (the other two are behind his "hips"). This is easily the most unusual Minicon robot mode form. Combining the simple face with eyestrip and mouthblock, the silver chest, the fact he's on wheels and the arms being equipment, Comettor _really_ looks like a droid. The silver face and legs being triangular with wheels at front makes him look a lot like Number Five from Short Circuit (1980s movie with Ally Sheedy)! I'm pretty sure the droid theme was intentional, I'm not so sure about the Short Circuit semblance. At any rate, both are kinda cool, at least in theory.

   The downside is that Comettor has a solar panel in place of a lower arm. The cannon on the end of the left arm is sufficiently claw like that it's enough of an arm (for a droid) to work, but the solar panel just looks bad. Both shoulders are ball joints, and the chest can swing to either side, swivelling around his spine, giving Comettor some poseability.


VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, there's the original and the powerlinx versions. I have the powerlinx version, which has better sounds than the original, as well as a nicer colour scheme. I prefer the original Comettor to the powerlinx, although on balance this set is the better of the two.

OVERALL

   Jetfire's very good considering he's an add on to Optimus Prime. Both modes are well designed, this powerlinx version has great colours and the shuttle mode has a lot of play value. Comettor is a great partner and a must for Ally Sheedy fans, as well as being one of the more unique Minicons. The electronics are definitely worthwhile on the powerlinx version, slightly less desirable on the original, but still fun. He even has the best feature of G1 with modern engineering. I recommend you grab Jetfire - if you don't want both, grab the repaint like I did - 6.5/10 for the original, 7.5 for the powerlinx version

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