Toy Collecting
I’ve Got My United Jazz Action Figure!
By Hervé St-Louis
September 16, 2013 - 15:18

I had been hunting for the other variant of this Transformers’ action figure a few months ago, but decided to opt out at the last minute from the Buy Now! button on that auction site. It wasn’t necessary to my existence.  Action figure collectors know the feeling. If you stop collecting even a few months, suddenly buying loads of plastic toys that will survive the rest of us when we’re far ahead in Adventure Time territory, is not easy to justify.  The action figure was the Special Ops Generation Jazz action figure. Now, I’ve got the United Autobot Jazz version. You know. The one from Japan!

I’ve been hunting for a Jazz action figure for years. The United version that I found at a local comic book convention is the best one I believe I have. I own the alternator version and the Generation Two variant that was modeled after the Generation One toy. The Generation Two Jazz action figure came with gaudy toy accessories and weird stickers different than the Generation One toy. The Alternator Jazz action figure, while a great toy is from a line that is no longer supported from Hasbro or Takara, and lacks proper decals (which I believe I can buy online from some enterprising fan). There has not been a shortage of Jazz Transformers’ toys, but very few that have the iconic cartoon look from Generation One and a decent alternative mode as a Porsche. Now, Porsche doesn’t want to license the likeness of its cars to Hasbro so that it can make Transformers, so toy designers have to be very creative when reinventing Transformer cars.

Jazz here is almost like a Porsche but the back of his car mode is not. That’s the part of the toy that lets me down as it’s not as aerodynamic as the rest of the car. The labels and paint job on the United variant are of course, much better than the bland Hasbro version. As has been noticed by many collectors, the plastic of the Hasbro version is not as white as the Japanese version from Takara. One criticism is that the soundblasters attached to Jazz’s door frames would have looked more cartoon accurate if they sprung from is feet instead.

Transforming this action figure was very easy and I didn’t need to follow the instructions. However, the car mode had a problem with Jazz’s head popping out and stopping the front wheels from touching the ground. Jazz’s head just doesn’t fit well. After transforming him back and forth a few times, I discovered that there is a way to make his head fit better in the little cockpit when he is transformed. When well fitted, the front wheels can touch the ground and the car can roll. You have to make sure the doors and the soundblasters are well lifted up leaving enough space for the head to fit snugly into the cockpit in car mode. The fact that my toy was badly transformed from the start is not a good sign on Takara’s product packaging team.

Jazz’s hands have a more dynamic shape than other Transformers of his size who seem to be glorified peg holes for toy guns. The figure looks dynamic and will fit well with several older toys such as Hound, Prowl, Sunstreaker and newer ones like Wheeljack and Cliffjumper. Jazz seems a bit taller than the other but it’s fine. Jazz has multiple thigh, knee, shoulder and elbow articulations. The cockpit where his head floats when transformed into a robot doesn’t stick anywhere solid so it feel unstable and loose. At any given moment, his front bumper can be raised.

This action figure comes from Japan and can be bought from specialty stores that order Takara toys. They tend to be more expensive although comparing the price I paid with what I saw on auction sites, I got a good deal. I paid the same price as what the Hasbro costs.

Rating: 9/10

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