TRANSFORMERS: STUDIO SERIES (HASBRO)
“Autobot Jazz tries to escape Moonbase One before Unicron devours it, but he doesn’t make it and is swallowed up by the Planet Eater.”
2021 marks the 35th anniversary of Transformers: The Movie hitting theaters, and in an effort to celebrate it, Hasbro’s going totally crazy and releasing….cartoon based figures in their Studio Series line? What!?! Okay, it’s not really that crazy of a concept when you get right down to it. Studio Series is a line of figures dedicated to getting as close to screen-accurate recreations of the characters from the Transformers movies as possible; it’s honestly not that crazy a concept that they might want to devote at least a little bit of the line to the actual first theatrical Transformers movie, especially in a year where the main line, Kingdom, isn’t looking to be *quite* as G1 heavy as the main line for the last two years. So, Studio Series is effectively picking up where Earthrise left off, and giving us some more updates of classic G1 characters in this new cohesive style that Hasbro’s been working on crafting the last few years. Kicking things off is perhaps the most prominent of the original ‘bots still missing from this new style, that guy with the oh-so-hard-to-copyright-name, Jazz!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Autobot Jazz is part of the Deluxe-class component for the Transformers: The Movie-inspired selection of Studio Series figures. He is officially the first of the set, numbered 86-01 (they have re-started the numbering for these guys, and are using 86, the year the movie was released, as their prefix). Though officially slated for a March 2021 release, these guys have hit a few places on the earlier side. Of all of the figures in this 86-inspired line-up, Jazz is notable for being the only of the original Autobots present. It’s fitting, since he’s one of three of the originals to make it through the film alive, though his role is certainly not as plot relevant as some of the others included here. Of course, I’m hardly going to argue with getting a new Jazz. We haven’t gotten one since Power of the Primes, and I’d honestly rather not talk about that one. In his robot mode, this guy stands just shy of 5 1/4 inches tall and he has 20 practical points of articulation. Jazz is an all-new mold, patterned on his G1 animation design, of course. The most notable thing about that is that it means he lacks the door wing kibble that most G1-inspired Jazzes have included. I’m not really that major one way or the other on whether or not he’s got them, but it’s cool that they went specifically animation-styled for this one. Beyond that little detail, he’s just a generally nice recreation of the design on the cartoon. It’s a clean looking design to be sure, which certainly fits the character. No Siege greebliness to be found here. I wasn’t quite as bothered by that as some people, but I will admit I do really like the clean lines on this guy. In particular, I’m very fond of the head sculpt, which does quite a respectable job of getting Jazz’s signature design down. He doesn’t really get many of the 5mm ports that the main lines have been getting, which means he’s not quite as customizable, but on the flip side, it continues his overall cleaner appearance.
Jazz’s alt-mode is pretty much the same as his original G1 counterpart, where he turned into a Porsche 935 racing car. This one is essentially that, though he’s specifically based on the animation version of that car, meaning it’s not *quite* a Porshe. Presumably, this means that he didn’t require licensing, which is a slight shift for Studio Series, but not entirely unheard of, especially given that the rest of Jazz’s compatriots in this line-up have completely made up alt-modes. This one looks pretty good, and his transformation’s not quite as fiddly as Studio Series stuff tends to be, so I on the whole rather preferred it to a lot of the others I’ve messed with. I did find it a little tricky to get his chest and head properly oriented upon returning him to robot mode, but it’s not too rough. It holds together pretty well, and generally looks pretty good, too. Jazz is packed with is usual Photon Rifle, which he can either hand-wield in his robot mode, or mount to the top of of his car mode.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Jazz is definitely on my short list of favorite Transformers. He’s not quite at Soundwave or Ultra Magnus levels, or anything, but I definitely like him, and was very much waiting for him to get some sort of update in this modern era of Transformers figures. It’s been a long wait, but I was very happy to hear he’d be in this assortment, and he’s certainly the one I was most looking forward to personally. He’s a strong release, and certainly the best Jazz I own, though perhaps that’s not saying a lot. Still, he’s really cool, and that works for me.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy for review. If you’re looking for Transformers, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.