Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Transformers Classics: Jetfire

Presenting the Transformers Classics: Jetfire. Please forgive the photography on this one. I was lazy and thought that I would be able to fix most of it after - and failed. Still it delivers, so I guess we'll use it.

We all remember Jetfire back when he was a rip-off of a Macross VF-1S (Super Valkyrie) back when a small company called Takatoku went belly up and the toys it designed were sold to Bandai and Takara - including the original Super Valkyrie, triggering a legal battle over Jetfire - also explaining why the original Jetfire looked nothing like his toy.

Two decades later and Hasbro & Henkei release Jetfire in a new original mold that still slightly resembles a Super Valkyrie. The changes from the original 1984 Jetfire to this new one in 2006 can almost be considered cosmetic. I'm actually glad that they didn't modify it so much and retained the spirit of the original.

Jetfire sticks to his F-14 Tomcat roots, but this time he has a huge wedge shaped nosecone instead of the original conical one. He still maintains his sweep wing, but his intakes are smaller now so when the wings are spread he starts to look less and less like an F-14
Like the Macross Super Valkyrie, he comes with snap-on accessories. In this case: two booster/missile launcher pods, two side cannons and a new head - which we'll discuss later. 

The pods and side cannons snap easily into recognizable hard points on the back and arms of Jetfire. The head fits inside the canopy - you have to open it and - like a helmet - sit in on top of Jetfire's head.

At this point, note that you can slide back the rear portion of Jetfire's missile pods. Doing so will release a spring action cannon that readily snaps into place - as shown.

Just like the Super Valkyrie, Jetfire also has a Guardian/Gerwalk mode. Now for those who don't know, the Guardian/Gerwalk mode was actually born accidentally when the Va

lkyrie developers realized the practical uses of a hybrid plane/mech form during tests to transform the Valkyrie. Jetfire can also have this hybrid mode which is also born of transforming him from plane to robot.

Here he is with his booster rockets:

Here's Jetfire in his normal robot mode. The articulation is pretty sound and solid, but yes, those wings do hinder arm movement. His main weapon is a twin barreled laser rifle. In plane mode, the rifle can be split into two so that he has one on
each wing. He can also opt not to join the two together and fight instead with two rifles, but if you do this, you'll note that the split is quite obvious and unappealing so keep them together.

Here's his Super Valkyrie mode which involves snapping on his new "Head" and accessories. I'm not really sure why they bothered creating two robot modes. He can function as is - lthough the larger head makes him kinda "stocky." Note the additional side arms and the positionable over-the-shoulder guns courtesy of the booster packs.

Overall it's a nice toy to have. The promise of the Transformers Classics line is to pay homage to the originals by creating all new, better, modern versions of them and I do believe Jetfire delivers. My only real beef with him is how stocky he gets when you add on his new head. If I remember correctly, the original Jetfire did not have such an add on, so why did this one need it?

Jetfire retails on the black market for somewhere between PhP 1,750 and PhP 2, 250.

But wait! There's more. There is an unofficial joining process between Jetfire and the Classics Optimus Prime.

The first step involves getting Jetfire stuck in mid-transformation like so:
Then pushing back Prime's head and adjusting his arms as shown:

One goes over the other, and VOILA!!! JETPRIME!!!!
He may look good here, but it's really crappy. I call him Jetprime because unlike other Prime/combos, note that Prime is not the lead here, Jetfire is. The combo is pretty unstable and there is actually a moment where you think you can latch a hook underneath Jetfire's nosecone to Prime's belt - give up, it won't happen. Also forget trying to play with the figure as is because it'll jeep falling apart. Luckily it was well behaved when I shot it. 

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