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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Stryderk's review: Jetfire

Name: Jetfire
Function: Seeker

Jetfire grew tired of the war a long time ago. The reckless ambition of the Decepticons and the senseless violence of their war sickend him, and so he left Cybertron to go into hiding. The form he eventually chose on Earth seemed appropriate for one who wished to remain unseen. He slumbered in peace for years. Now, reawakened by the arrival of the war on Earth, he decided to once again to enter the fight - This time, on the side of the Autobots, and this time, to end it for good, whatever the cost!

Anyways...with that aside, as many of you know, this was supposed to be the name in the original cartoons...But of course due to the little bruhaha with Robotech/Macross (I think), Hasbro/Takara can not use that name (also, Jetfire can not "half-transform" or face an lawsuit) so "Skyfire" was born. What is it with people and lawsuits? (Worst is Rachet can not wear his red crosses on his shoulders cause red cross is a trade-marked symbol! DUMB ASSES I tell you! I mean, free marketing...hello...you got a brain in there?)

Anyway, Jetfire appears in the film as one of the oldest Transformer alive, like the original G1 cartoon, he was once a part of the Decepticon. But since seeing how destructive they can be, he decided to switch sides and later appeared as an Autobot. Same thing in the movie.

What DID cause controversy, was the fact this guy is a geriatric with rusty parts, a beard and uses a cane (the nose landing gear of the SR-71). If you don't know what I mean, just hop on deviantart and type in "lil formers" and see what Matt Moyan think about an "older" Jetfire....

But anyway, once the film came out, I think the writers did treat Jetfire well. Yes, his old, but he is funny and played an important role in the proceedings. In the end, Jetfire sacrificed his life for the greater good by giving his spark to Optimus, causing him to use his parts to combine into the ultimate version of OP.

Primary Mode An old geriatric robot who knows it all.

Well, Jetfire in this mode look well...how do i say this...half good...half not good! He does look like the movie version...But his body just looks weird....Perhaps it's a little too straight compared to the movie version due to the fact his body needs to hide underneath the plane after transformation. Also, the two big jet intake hang on his back look like afterthoughts, causing him to be really weird cause if you look at his knees, you can see the jet turbines form part of his kneecaps! Ohhh.....I only thought SR-71 have two engines here...Somebody correct me if I'm wrong...Overall a lot of kitbits goes here and there, making the figure "pops" in an unnatural way.

Otherwise though, the figure looks good! He has complexity and details just like the movie. His lower body especially look good. As the Legend Jetfire review stated, due to the complexity of the transformation in the movie, the designer of this fig has to maneuver around a lot of issues. With a bigger sized figure, things are easier....but there are things that just can't go over...Not unless you make the figure so hard to transform or so flimsy it's basically worthless....(The original Leader OP from the original movie. hehe) like how do you hide the big SR-71 jet intakes....So I can forgive them. For what we get, Jetfire still look a lot like his movie counterpart.

Alternate Mode Lockheed (Now Lockheed Martin)'s Skunk Work SR-71 Blackbird

The SR-71 Blackbird was developed by the legendary designer Kelly Johnson (who also created the entire Skunk Work, now a registered trademark of Lockheed) as a replacement for the U-2. It's STILL the world's highest and fastest airplane (or if you believe rumors and conspiracies, the Aurora is now the fastest). The shape of the "Habu" is very distinctive with it's nose "chine" and jet intake shock cones. The perfect vehicle for Jetfire!

Once transformed, trust me, like the leader class OP, there are A LOT of steps....But unlike OP, all the pieces go where ever they want to go, there is no mess like "removing the windshield out of their sockets and put them in a slot on the arm(that part had me throwing kittens up against the wall the first time). The only part that had me going was the tail piece. What made this worse was this piece comes off to form the rail cannon that attaches to the OP's arm when you combine Jetfire with him....But this piece needs to attach to the rest of the airplane too! The end result on mine, was that, if you want to attach it to the plane, it comes off. If you don't want it to come off, it JUST...WILL...NOT...ATTACH...TO....THE....PLANE!!! I think mine has a bit of quality issue...It shouldn't be this hard....Hope on yours, you don't run into the same problem as mine!

That's the general weakness for the whole fig...Because of the complex transformation needed, the fuselage is divided to no less seven different sections minus the two intakes, which need to attach to the rear fuselage (that's another problem with my tail section. If you don't get it to sit right and attach to its plugs, the intakes WILL NOT attach to the fuselage!). The end result was the first time, you gonna need a lot of fiddling to get all the parts/section into their slots/plugs/or attachment points, keep them together until everything comes together and finally, can stay together without popping off all over the place!

Overall, from the top, this thing looks almost exactly like a 1/72 scale SR-71! Well, minus the distinctive pitot tube (damn toy safety law!) and the chine (there are two distinctive grooves in the nose). And also, (this is nitpicking here hehe). There is an open slot on the top, just behind the second pilot seat (the RIO, Reconessance Intercept Officer). This is the in flight refueling hole....It should not be open, it should be closed. But anyway, from the top, this is an very accurate representation of the SR-71!

It's from the side that and bottom that things go awry...Again, due to the complexity of the robot, all the parts can not be hidden away in the airplane....So the designer did the best compromise by hidden the robot kitbits underneath the plane. The worst are the arms and feet. The arms is directly beneath the cockpit, hand outstretched, holding the nose landing gear/cane. Talk about a shock to the system when you go from the top to the side. The feet is swung out underneath the aircraft, directly beneath the jet intakes. You can't really see it mostly...But you will recognize it instantly when you DO see it. The problem I'm having is, if there is an option we we can "slice" off the robot kibbles completely, then we can have a PERFECT SR-71! I wonder why this option isn't included.....Come on, we are grown ups! We won't loose the other half!

Combined Form (With Leader Class OP)

As you know, this fig can be combined with Leader Class OP (look carefully at OP, the obvious point is the slot underneath the hip). This requires some fiddling with both figures.

With Jetfire, start in SR-71 mode, pull out the legs, the the arms (forward fuselage), pull them apart, raise the jet intakes. And then detach the tail piece and transform it into the rail shock cannon that attaches to OP's right arm.

OP: lower the rear wheels covers, splay out the fuel tanks, open the rear foot covers (truck engine grills), and then attach Jetfire to OP (foot plates to foot plates, hip pieces to bottom of OP, and then the "belt" attaches to OP's front). Afterward, attach the cannon to the right arm, Jetfire's Gatling gun to the left. Anyway, this look really cool and just like the movie...Except it's exceptionally heavy, especially at the top. Recommend display only, not meant to be played with.

Micellaneous

1. Jetfire comes with a Gatling gun....Obvious cause of its six barrels. Now the thing in SR mode is supposedly attached to the nose! I never did...That just ruins the Blackbird's line...SR-71 is a recon platform...Not a fighter....Also, it comes with a missile...That really irked me! Come on! It's a Gatling gun...! Do we need a "Missile Launching Gimmick" in every figure? The way this guy transforms, the way every Leader Class transform, these figures are not meant for kids!

2. In SR-71 mode, there is a button in the rear that if pressed, make an airplane "Swoosh" noise...The problem is, this button is so close to the tail, that when you go fiddle with the tail sections during transformation (especially attaching the jet intakes), you finger FOR SURE, will hit this button more than once, and once you do, each time, the thing makes the stupid, "WWWWHHHIIIIRRRLLLL" noise. This can get on your nerves after awhile.....Wonder why they couldn't locate the button in the middle....

3. This thing, again, like the F-22 Raptor has the official license from Lockheed-Martin! Now there are some nice and smart people working there....I mean, putting your blessing on Transformers....Have Hasbro do free marketing of your product for you! Transformers fans happy, you are happy! This is especially true since the SR-71 sports the famous Lockheed Skunk Work "Skunk" symbol on the tail, alongside the Decepticon symbol! (The skunk is of course, "Flower" from the Disney movie, Bambi!)

4. Notice the nose and the jet intake shock cones are made out of soft plastics....Again, damn the stupid child safety toy law.....Same reason the entire pitot tube is eliminated!

Review Scores out of ten:

Primary Mode: 8.5 Look a lot like the movie version...Except the two massive jet intakes on the back....and other unhidable kibbles. But still....What you get is very good for all the compromises they need to make
Secondary Mode: 8.0 From the top, this thing look EXACTLY like an SR-71 Blackbird....Well, almost since the pitot tube and chines are missing....But the rest.....Man, look at the details! It look almost exactly like the real thing! I wonder if Lockheed allowed Hasbro a close look at a real SR!

The problem is the side and bottom...Where the robot part has to be hidden but can't due to the fact the plane can't contain them all! The end result you got Jetfires arms, with the landing gear/cane in hand for all to see!

Combined Form: 8.0 Again, looks cool, just like the movie, but the weight is a serious turn off!
Transformation: Going to Plane: 8.7. The only reason why it's a bit high is because of the stupid tail section! Hope that's just my figure.....
To Robot: 8:0 Much easier. But the fiddling still don't stop. You need to fold a lot of stuff and get all to it's correct position.
Combine: 1. Easy! Just be sure everything is locked in place.
Durability: 9 It should stay pretty good for awhile. It's made out of tough plastic. Still, watch it. Some parts can break if you twist too much. Also watch the nose landing gear and the Gatling gun...If you have kids....The missile might become their lunch if you are not careful!
Overall: 8.5 A really nice figure. Transformation and compromises aside, it still look cool. The SR-71 is good enough for display...if you can ignore the robot pieces underneath!

Anyway, a pretty fun figure...Problems not withstanding.....
 
 
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