#2090: Ultra Magnus

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS: COMBINER WARS (HASBRO)

The legend of Ultra Magnus is exceeded only by the legend of Optimus Prime. When Ultra Magnus was lost, the forces of justice would not let a warrior of his caliber fall. Minimus Ambus, using the power of his rare loadbearer spark, enables Ultra Magnus to fight on.”

As I am doing my very best to become a respectable Transformers fan, I’m working on doing what a respectable fan must do: picking out favorites.  There was no denying that Soundwave was my undisputed favorite Decepticon, because, I mean, look at him.  I mean, that dude’s just pretty cool, right?  But what of the Autobots?  There were a few potential choices, but I just can’t help but really dig Ultra Magnus.  He appeals to my ingrained dislike of main characters by checking off a lot of the boxes that Optimus does, while at the same time *not* being the actual main character.  He also has a tendency to get some pretty darn cool toys, even if they often start off as Optimus reworks.  Additionally, his Siege figure was really the one that sold me on the line as a whole, so I’m definitely developing a somewhat sentimental beat for the guy.  And what does Ethan do with characters he likes?  That’s right, he buys all of the toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus was the Wave 3 Leader Class release from Tranformers: Combiner Wars.  Combiner Wars, the first part of the “Prime Wars” trilogy, was unsurprisingly built around a combining gimmick.  That said, the Leader Class figures actually weren’t designed around said gimmick, so Magnus is really a stand-alone release.  Though clearly G1-inspired, Magnus takes more direct inspiration from his design from IDW’s retelling of the G1-verse.  In his robot mode, Magnus stands about 8 1/4 inches tall and he has 25 points of articulation.  He’s got more points of articulation than his Siege counterpart, but I ultimately found him to be slightly stiffer than that figure, largely due to his lack of movement at the waist and wrists.  Additionally, while the articulated fingers are cool, they don’t work out quite as well as you’d hope; getting them to grip his included weapons is rather difficult, and definitely not going to be a long-term thing, unless you find some way to affix them.  At the very least, some pegs on the insides of the hands to hold things in place would have been a nice fix.  While Magnus’s original figure (and his Siege update) had his main look as the result of armor clipped overtop of an all white Optimus-style bot, this figure instead just streamlines it into a single bot-mode…mostly.  I’ll get to that in a second.  The bot mode is a little sleeker than the Siege figure, mostly because it’s not the result of a lot of clip on parts.  Though not as boxy, he’s still quite boxy, though, as you would expect for the character.  He’s directly based on Nick Roche’s design for the character, which is itself drawing more directly from Magnus’s animated appearance.  For instance, his “eyes” are lenses, something not present on the Siege figure.  It’s a different look, and I definitely can dig it.  This figure ends up being about an inch taller than the Siege figure, but in order to facilitate this, he has to cheat some plastic use, resulting in some hollow spots.  The most notable ones are in the legs.  The backs are exposed, but otherwise not a huge issue.  The lower legs fold up to hide the hollowness, but have a tendency to pop apart, which can be a little frustrating.  I definitely prefer Siege‘s solid construction.  That being said, there’s one area where this figure’s hollow nature plays to his favor.  In the IDW series, they referenced Magnus’s inner-robot mode by revealing that the real Magnus had died some time back, and his name was subsequently carried on by a number of other bots, wearing Magnus armor.  The longest-serving replacement was Minimus Ambus, and this figure rounds out the IDW-reference by including a small Minimus Ambus figure, who stands 2 1/2 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  He can be placed in the empty chest cavity of the figure for the full effect, which is actually pretty cool.

Magnus’s alt-mode is a truck and trailer, a fairly classic choice for the character.  The transformation between the two modes is actually not too complicated, and I didn’t even have to consult any instructions to get him to the end result, so I’d say that’s a pretty good design implementation.  The final product isn’t a bad looking vehicle, though if you want to get into the relative scaling of everything, it’s worth noting that the trailer portion of the vehicle would stand roughly seven stories tall were it a real life vehicle.  I’m not sure how inconspicuous that would be, but then again, he’s a bright red, white, and blue truck with missile pods and two guns mounted on the back.  He may not be the best infiltrator just in general.  Minimus (who can’t remain in the main bot during the transformation) has an alt-mode as well, which is an even simpler transformation than the main bot.  He turns into a small car, which has a definite sci-fi bend to it, and is actually pretty cool.  In addition to the smaller Minimus figure, Magnus includes two blasters and two missile pods, which can also be combined into a pretty sweet looking hammer for Magnus to hold.  Additionally, thanks to the way his armor is implemented on his wrists, he can also hold the hammer a little more securely than he can the guns individually, making it by far the superior weapon choice.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’m less and less able to blame Max for my Transformers purchases.  I tried with this one, but he’s put in an official bid to reject it, so I guess he gets a pass.  In all of my research when I was reviewing the Siege Magnus, I came across this guy and thought he was pretty cool, and that I might like to track him down eventually.  Well, instead, he tracked me down.  Two large Transformers collections were traded into All Time Toys, and this Magnus was contained in one of them, so home with me he came.  As purely an action figure, the Siege version’s definitely superior, but there’s a lot I dig about this guy, and there’s enough to differentiate the two versions that I don’t feel so bad having them both in my collection.  Of course, now I want even more Ultra Magnuses, so that’s probably going to become my new thing.

As noted above, Magnus was purchased from my sponsors at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

Advertisements

#2076: Cog

COG

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Siege‘s (admittedly lax) gimmick of cross compatible pieces from one figure to the next is best manifested in the line’s “Weaponizer” figures, who are figures designed to be broken down and used to augment the other figures in the line.  I took a look at the second Weaponizer, Six-Gun, back at the beginning of May, and I’ll be following up with the third, Brunt, soon enough, but in-between the two I’m playing a catch-up and looking at the first of the Weaponizers, Cog!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cog was another piece of the first deluxe assortment of Siege, and is the second to last figure contained therein.  The original Cog was included as an accessory with the large-scale Fortress Maximus figure, but he was absent from Fort Max’s update in 2016.  This one is designed to make up for that.  In his robot mode, Cog stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  Cog’s original bot-mode was certainly more refined than Six-Gun’s, meaning that there’s a little bit less reworking necessary to make him into a standalone figure.  So, he’s a more straightforward recreation of the vintage figure.  Like Six-Gun, Cog is more robotic and inhuman than you tend to see for an Autobot, which is certainly a different set-up.  I was a little bit disappointed to find out how much of Cog’s construction was hollowed out, especially when compared to the other Deluxes I’ve looked at from this assortment.  It’s mostly confined to the back of the figure, so it’s not terrible, but I guess after Six-Gun, I just wasn’t expecting it to be that expansive.  The original Cog’s transformation split him into two different vehicles, Grommet and Gasket, and this update follows suit, although it also gives the two separate vehicles one combined form as an option.  As with Six-Gun the transformation is a fair bit different from your average Transformer conversion.  It’s more a reconfiguration, which counts on the figure being disassembled and put back together in a brand new form.  Additionally, in that disassembling, you have the option to use Cog to weaponize his fellow Autobots.  While I didn’t fall in love with any of Cog’s configurations the same way I did Six-Gun’s giant fighting fist, there are still a lot of fun layouts to mess with, and his color scheme pairs well with both Optimus and Ultra Magnus.  Generally, though, I find Cog works best in figure mode.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Hound, Cog is a figure that I passed on a number of times, and didn’t really know I wanted until he was gone.  But, just like Hound, Cog was traded into All Time loose, as part of the same collection, in fact.  Mostly, I picked him up because I had Six-Gun and was already planning to pick up Brunt, so I sort of wanted the full set.  He’s okay, but I don’t like him as much as I thought I would.  He’s still cool, but he’s the weakest Siege figure I’ve picked up to date.

#2075: Autobot Hound

AUTOBOT HOUND

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

It’s possible that most of my readers know this, but in addition to being super into action figures, I’m also quite into Jeeps.  I mean, as much as I can be into any car, really.  It all kind of stems back to my parents getting a Jeep Cheroke back in 1995, a car which was passed onto me when I graduated high school, and which I still drive several times a week.  I have a definite attachment to that car, and I’ve subsequently found myself drawn to all manner of toy Jeeps.  So, it kind of goes without saying that a Transformer that turns into a Jeep is kind of up my alley.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Hound was released in the first deluxe assortment of War For Cybertron: Siege, alongside the previously reviewed Sideswipe.  He follows that figure’s lead of being rather G1-inspired in design, though it’s worth noting that Hound usually tends to be.  In robot mode, the figure stands about 5 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation.  In contrast to the sleek and smooth Sideswipe, Hound is comparatively blocky and bricky, as one would expect from a robot that turns into a Jeep.  He’s still a very cleanly sculpted figure, even if he’s not sleek, and his design is well-rendered here.  Despite being a lower-price-point figure, there’s not actually much hollowness in Hound’s construction, which is certainly something that I appreciate.  He’s also pretty decently articulated, and has less of the limitations on his movements that Sideswipe had (and even Sideswipe wasn’t really that bad).  Hound’s got minimal back kibble, likely due to the blocky nature of the design making it easier to hide.  Whatever the case, it works out in his favor.  Hound’s alt-mode, is…well, it’s not strictly a Jeep, but it’s certainly Jeep-inspired.  His original alt-mode was a straight Jeep J59.  As canonically a pre-Earth version of the character, the Jeep takes on a number of more Cybertronian traits.  It’s close enough to the standard Jeep stylings to be identifiable as such, but is removed enough that it makes sense as an alien design.  It’s also, like the figure, really solid.  Like, packed in there. Great for home defense.  The transformation between the two is actually not too bad, and my novice-level understanding was enough to get me through it even without the instructions.  Hound is packed with a “W-5 Holo-Beam Refraction Blaster,” “RT-10 IR Electro-Scope Launcher,” and ammo clip all of which combine to form the “HD Vector-Beam Mega-Blaster.”  It’s a nice assortment of parts, and I definitely like the fully assembled gun, and I really appreciate how well it integrates into the alt-mode.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hound is the figure I just kept passing on.  I’m not really sure why.  I looked at him countless times while at All Time Toys, and just never pulled the trigger.  When I finally decided I wanted one, the last one sold, so I figured he just wasn’t meant for me.  As luck would have it, a loose one was traded into the store, and I was able to grab him for even less than the original retail, which worked out pretty well for me.  I like this guy a lot, and he’s a nice cross-section of two things I like.

#2030: Autobot Sixgun

AUTOBOT SIXGUN

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

While the Transformers brand as a whole is, admittedly, based on a gimmick from the start, Hasbro likes to introduce additional gimmicks as the line continues.  Each entry in the Prime Wars Trilogy had a gimmick, be it Combiners, Titan Masters, or Prime Cores.  This new War For Cybertron trilogy is starting up with a slightly more relaxed gimmick of accross the board compatibility of parts.  While a lot of this is tied in with effects parts and more accessories, there is also a subset of figures, dubbed “Weaponizers,” designed with interchangeability and cross compatibility in mind.  I’m looking at my first of those, Sixgun, today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Sixgun is the last figure in the second deluxe wave of the War for Cybertron: Siege line.  He’s the second Weaponizer in the line, following Autobot Cog from the first assortment.  Like Cog, Sixgun also began his life as an accessory to a large-scale Transformer, in this case Metroplex.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 20 points of articulation.  Sixgun’s original figure was rather rudimentary in his bot-mode, so this one starts with that and builds it into something a little more worthy of a proper figure release.  For instance, now he has actual hands! Sixgun’s design is notably more robotic than his assortment-mates, and generally feels a little more inhuman than we tend to see with an Autobot, but it’s a cool design nonetheless.  He’s also got a sturdy build, and lacks any real hollowness like we saw on some of the others in this set. Sixgun’s alt-mode is listed as a tank, but looks a bit more like an aircraft of some sort.  It’s a rather different design than the other alt-modes I’ve looked at, partly because you arrive at it in a rather different fashion.  Instead of a solid transition from one form to the other, Sixgun’s transformation is reliant on actually breaking him down into a number of smaller parts, and then re-assembling them in his vehicle mode.   It’s more akin to building a Lego set than to actually transforming.  It does mean that there’s a lot less guessing and skill to transforming him than the average Transformer, but on the flip side, it means he’s not one that you’ll want to swap back and forth so much, since every transformation is another chance to potentially lose pieces.  As a weaponizer, Sixgun’s sculpt is also pulling triple duty, since he’s not just a robot that transforms into a vehicle, he’s also meant to accent and augment the other figures in the line.  Via the same disassembly process that comes into play for his main transformation, Sixgun can be reconfigured into assorted armor set-ups for his fellow Autobots.  By far, my favorite set-up is the one that results in a giant fighting fist, but hey, I’m easy to please like that.  And, while the colors aren’t exact matches for each other I personally found Sixgun to pair best with his assortment-mate Ironhide.  He actually transitions well to an assortment of accessories for something that works as well as he does as a figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I didn’t quite get pulled in by Cog, something about Sixgun just really spoke to me, especially when I found out about that giant hand configuration (from Max, so this one’s his fault again). He’s definitely a different style of figure than the rest of the assortment, but he’s still very fun.  Now I just have to decide if I want to keep him as a robot or as an accessory.

I picked up Sixgun from All Time Toys, where he is still currently in stock, here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2029: Prowl

PROWL

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

When I say “horrific,” you say “death!”  Ah, yes, what better way to start out a Prowl review than by putting all of the potential Prowl fans reading up in arms immediately?  You know, by reminding them of the horrifying, fire out of the eye-sockets, death that befalls him in Transformers: The Movie‘s opening minutes?  Man, didn’t that suck?  It’s okay, I think people may have gotten over it.  They’ve had 33 years.  Well, I mean, I haven’t.  I’ve had a few months, because that’s when I finally saw the movie.  Of course, since the movie is also my only real exposure to Prowl in media, I guess it’s a bit of a wash.  Whatever the case, I’m reviewing a Prowl figure today.  So there.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Prowl is the third figure in the second deluxe wave of War for Cybertron: Siege figures, joining fellow ’84-er Ironhide.  Prowl is another classically inspired design, though he does sport the most signs of Cybertronian design work peeking through.  In robot mode, Prowl stands 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 22 practical points of articulation.  When I initially saw photos of Prowl’s robot mode, I thought it looked a little bit lacking.  Something about it seemed a little slapdash and unfinished, especially those lower legs.  Certainly he seemed like he’d be a step down from his comrades.  Well, hang on there guys, because I was actually quite wrong.  Prowl’s sculpt is definitely one of those that needs to be seen in motion to truly appreciate.  It’s actually  pretty clean, sleek design, that holds together nicely.  Sure, the legs do seem a little hollow, and if you catch the torso at the wrong angle, it’s not going to look so great, but when this guy is posed well, he looks really, really nice. And speaking of posing?  Yeah, for my money, Prowl is rivaled only by the Voyager Optimus in terms of range of motion.  There’s a lot of poses to be had with Prowl, and they only help to further improve the look of his sculpt.  Prowl’s traditional alt-mode is a police car, and this figure experiments with that.  Like Sideswipe, Prow has to somewhat tweak things and get a more sci-fi influenced version of his classic alt-mode, something that maintains the spirit of his original design, but doesn’t feel out of place with the new setting.  I actually really dig the alt-mode here, and I think it’s really one of the ones to best capture the Cybertronian feel. I particularly dig those translucent wheels! Also, this marks the easiest transformation I’ve dealt with on these guys.  I didn’t need to consult the instructions at all, and it feels nice and smooth the whole way.  He’s definitely one I can see myself swapping back and forth pretty frequently.  Prowl is packed with a W-45 Acid Pellet Strikeblaster…which is a gun with the light bar from his alt-mode strapped to it.  It’s goofy as hell, but a fun piece nonetheless.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Okay, Max got off the hook yesterday, but he most certainly does *not* today.  See, I was on the fence with Prowl, because of the slightly odd look in the promo shots.  But then Max got his early, and let me mess around with the figure a for a little bit.  It was really, really nice, and I absolutely couldn’t turn him down when I finally had my chance to get one.  I gotta say, I don’t have a huge attachment to the character, nor was I expecting much out of this figure, but he’s kind of my favorite figure from this assortment.  He’s just so much fun.

Prowl came from All Time Toys, where he is still currently in stock, here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2028: Chromia

CHROMIA

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

Hey, remember how I’m looking at a bunch of Transformers this week?  Yep, well, let’s do some more with that.  For the first two years of Transformers, it was decidedly a masculine-driven line (not exactly uncommon for the time, and, admittedly, none of the Transformers *technically* had genders, at least initially).  It wasn’t until well into the cartoon’s second season that we got our first decidedly female robots in disguise in the episode “Search for Alpha Trion.”  The very first of the fem-bots to appear on screen was today’s focus, Chromia!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Chromia is the second figure in the second deluxe assortment of War for Cybertron: Siege.  Despite her early appearance in the franchise, Chromia didn’t receive any figures for two decades, and this one is only her fifth figure since her creation.  In robot form, the figure stands 5 1/4 inches tall and has 21 practical points of articulation.  Chromia is heavily influenced by the various members of Elita-One’s crew released during the Power of the Primes line, though she is actually a distinct sculpt, and notably lacks the combiner feature of those figures.  This has been somewhat to the ire of some longer-term collectors, but for a newbie like me, I don’t mind a fresh start so much.  Of all the Siege figures I’ve looked at so far, this is the one with the most compromised robot mode in the effort to facilitate the transformation.  There’s a lot more kibble this time around, there’s no getting around it.  In Hasbro’s defense, Chromia’s smaller, and curvier design means that there are less opportunities afforded for easy places to hide vehicle elements.  I suppose it’s possible they could have streamlined her a little further, but I don’t think the end result looks *too* bad.  Really, if it weren’t for that huge honking backpack, she wouldn’t look all that bad.  In fact, I’m quite impressed by the movement on some of her joints, particularly the neck joint, which allows for quite a bit of expressiveness with the figure.  Chromia’s alt-mode is sort of a Cybertronian sports car/minivan thing.   The transformation is overall pretty simple, though I did have a few slight hangups with mine that made her more difficult to shift back and forth.  I don’t foresee myself swapping her back and forth all that much, due to these difficulties.  Chromia is packed with an RT-5 Anti-thermo Blaster, SR Hushfuze, and 2 EMP-Grenades, which pretty much translates to a blaster and a whole bunch of attachments that can configure into all sorts of differently shaped guns.  Quite frankly, this is probably my favorite part of this whole figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I have a tendency in my Transformers reviews to discuss how they are, very frequently, decidedly Max’s fault.  That’s not the case with Chromia.  In fact, Max even attempted to dissuade me from getting Chromia at all, when I announced my plans to grab the set of Wave 2 Deluxes.  I, however, was not to be deterred, mostly because I kinda wanted a fem-bot of some sort, and also because I don’t hate Chromia’s design.  Ultimately, yes, she’s the weakest of these figures, and there’s a good chance she may well be the weakest of the line.  And while I can’t exactly sing her praises, I do still kinda dig her, and I think she goes well with the rest of the set.

Chromia came from All Time Toys, where she is still currently in stock here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2027: Ironhide

IRONHIDE

TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: SIEGE (HASBRO)

If I’m gonna do this whole up and coming Transformers fan thing, I’m gonna need to actually stay on top of all these Transformers I’m buying, don’t I?  Indeed I do, so let’s just go ahead and do a whole freaking week of Transformers, shall we?  Fasten your seatbelts, guys!  …and then verify that the seatbelts that you’ve fastened are in a real car, and not one that’s actually a robot in disguise…because Transformers, right?  Anyway, I’m kicking off this week of Transformers with one of the earliest Autobots, Ironhide!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ironhide kicks off the second Deluxe assortment of the War for Cybertron: Siege line.  He continues the line’s heavy G1 influence, and is in fact one of Ironhide’s most show/comic accurate figures ever (I mean, hey, this one actually has a head, which is more than can be said of his original release).  In robot mode, the figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 22 functioning points of articulation.  As you may have noted on the height, Ironhide stands a half-inch taller than Sideswipe, and by extension, the rest of the Deluxe offerings for the line so far.  Since Ironhide’s typically not depicted as being small, it makes sense, and its an interesting exploration of what can be done within the set “scales.”  Of course, there do have to be some trade-offs to get him up to that larger size, so Ironhide has a few more hollow spots than some of the others.  The legs and forearms are the primary spots of said hollow-ness.  For the legs, he’s got panels that fold into place to hide this, so that works well enough.  The arms have no such coverage, so there’s just a big opening at the back of each forearm.  It’s a little obvious, but careful posing is enough to make it look alright.  The rest of the sculpt is a solid offering.  He’s boxier and more war-torn than the likes of Sideswipe, befitting the nature of the character.  He’s also suitably bulky, which I definitely dig.  On the flip-side, I don’t so much dig the panels that flip down on the outer sides.  They look a bit extraneous, and right out of the box, they actually don’t properly fit in the hinge they’re attached to, which means they stick out even further, and slightly warp the upper leg.  They can easily be removed, though, so it’s really only as much of an issue as you let it be.  Classically, Ironhide turns into a van, and this figure follows suit, more or less.  As with others in the line, his alt-mode is tweaked to have a Cybertronian flair to it.  The transformation for Ironhide is pretty straight-forward and easy, and for my first time I didn’t actually have to consult the instructions, which is pretty good for a novice like me.  The end result is effectively a brick with wheels attached.  It’s not complicated, but I feel it.  Ironhide is packed with the W-35 LR Doomblast Forge Launcher, which is a big gun that also turns into a big hammer.  I can’t stress how much I love this extra.  It’s really, really cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After branching into the Siege line with Optimus and the two Leaders, I started scoping out upcoming releases, and Ironhide quickly found his way to the top of my list.  The final figure has some small flaws, but for the most part, I’m quite happy with the final product.  He’s high on my list of favorites for a line of figures that I’m already thoroughly enjoying.

II picked this guy up from my friends at All Time Toys, where he is still currently in stock here.  If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2007: Autobot Jazz

AUTOBOT JAZZ

TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)

Autobot Jazz brings all he’s got to defeat the Decepticons”

Sometimes, the time is really right.  For review #2007, I’m jumping back to the year 2007.  2007 was a weird time.  We had two Marvel movies, which isn’t that odd these days, but they were neither one an MCU entry (because the MCU didn’t exist yet).  But before Marvel could re-brand their film franchises, another one was just starting up.  That July saw the release of the first of the oft-reviled Michael Bay Transformers films.  I was never a huge Transformers fan, but I was still in the audience opening weekend, and I still came out…less than satisfied.  In fact, I think a good argument could be made that the film scared me off the franchise for a bit.  Needless to say, I generally avoid Bay-inspired figures, though I’ve made my first exception for the subject of today’s review, one of my personal favorite Autobots, the aptly named Autobot Jazz!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Autobot Jazz is a Deluxe Class offering from Hasbro’s Transformers: Studio Series, where he is numbered figure 10, and hit shelves in July of last year.  Given his demise during the first film, Jazz has been less lucky with releases since the original 2007 line.  This figure marks his first domestic release since all the way back in 2010, which is a pretty big deal.  In his Robot mode, the figure stands a little over 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 19 practical points of articulation.  Size-wise, he’s just a little bit taller than Bumblebee.  Given the scaling and price-point, Jazz is a fairly respectable recreation of his robot mode from the movie.  Not all of the details match up 100%, but the general proportions are there, and the robot specific parts are pretty much spot on.  It’s really the remaining elements of the car form that are slightly throwing off the look, and mostly limited to the arms.  Ultimately, it’s just down to needing a little bit of compromise to actually make things work at this scale and in order to maintain transformability.  While Jazz’s original alt mode was a Porsche, for the 2007 movie, it was changed to a Pontiac Solstice, which is still a reasonably sporty model, though it’s decidedly less distinctive.  Whatever the case, this figure maintains its accuracy by giving him the proper alt mode.  The transformation between the two forms is a little less tricky than the Bumblebee, but still a little more fiddly than the Siege figures I’ve been getting.  Overall, though, it was less frustrating than I was anticipating.  The end result is a pretty decent little car, though, like Bumblebee, he’s got a tendency to pop apart at the seams from time to time.  But, as is the usual case, I was more in this one for the robot mode.  Jazz is packed with his crescent cannon, which he can either hold in his left hand, or his hands can flip into the forearm to allow it to attach directly to the wrist.  It’s a nice little feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Jazz was an impulse buy.  Well, he was as close to an impulse buy as I ever really get.  I saw him at Walmart on my way home from work and passed.  Later that same evening, I was out to dinner with Super Awesome Fiancee, and passed by the Walmart again, at which point I caved and went back for him.  Though I’ve never really cared for most of the Bay film designs, Jazz is one of the few I didn’t hate, and his death in the film was perhaps one of my biggest complaints about it.  This guy makes for a pretty decent toy, and I’m glad I went back for him.

#1489: Cybertron Advisor Meister

CYBERTRON ADVISOR MEISTER

TRANSFORMERS: ENCORE (TOMY)

“08 Cybertron Advisor Meister

Function: Cybertron Advisor Assistant to Convoy

Transformation: Racing Car

Ability: Has a high performance stereo speaker system and is able to confuse enemies with light and sound displays.

Character: A skilled Cybertron warrior who loves Earth’s culture; knowledgeable and competent at undertaking dangerous missions.”

And behold, my stock of Transformers reviews grows exponentially!  Now I’ll have reviewed *three* of them!  As I’ve mentioned once or twice before on this site, Transformers generally aren’t on my collecting radar, and never really have been.  I’m moderately familiar with some parts of the franchise, though, and I do have a few characters that I’ll buy in toy form.  My all time favorite is Soundwave, but on the Autobots side of things, I’m also a pretty big fan of Jazz.  But wait…doesn’t the title say Cybertron Advisor Meister?  It does.  I’ll get to that in a second.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Cybertron Advisor Meister was released in 2008 as part of TOMY’s Transformers: Encore line.  In case you hadn’t yet caught on, Meister is Jazz’s name in Japan, and this is a Japanese release.  In fact, it’s a re-release, or a slight retooling anyway, of the original Jazz/Meister from the ‘80s.  In his robotic form, Meister stands about 5 inches tall and has 8 workable points of articulation, all in his arms.  His sculpt is okay for what it is, which is an old style Transformer.  This is back in the days when the priority was placed on the vehicle form, and less on the robot form, so he looks a little goofy to be sure.  There are a lot of cool little details, though, especially on the car parts of the sculpt.  I also quite like the head, which was the newest piece of the figure.  In his car form, Meister’s a race car, and he’s about 4 inches long and two inches wide, with four moving wheels.  My figure is missing his doors, but otherwise it’s a rather convincing transformation.  The paint work is actually pretty decent.  Mostly basic blacks, whites, and silvers, with a helping of vac metalicizing thrown in for good measure.  There’s some tampography on the fine details of the car, such as his number, Autobots symbol and the like.  It’s all quite clean, and a definite step above the decals seen on other releases.  Meister included a silver blaster, as well as shoulder mountable cannon (missing from mine).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always rather liked Jazz, but I’ve never had a proper toy of him.  I found this one at a 2nd Avenue of all places, in a bag with a bunch of die cast cars, for like $2.  I figured he was one of the Hasbro re-releases and was a little surprised to find out he was a foreign release.  It’s odd to me that something like this ended up at a 2nd Avenue, and I have the wonder what the story is behind that.  He’s missing a few pieces, but looks good enough in robot mode and I’m happy to have a Jazz for the shelf.

*I realized while writing this review that I’m a total dingus who left the foot pieces down for all of the photos.  Silly Ethan.  I’ll try to reshoot those when I can.