Okey now we’re talking. It’s IDW Jazz, or as Generation Toy has dubbed this third-party adaptation, the GT-04 J4ZZ figure. The alt mode is a street legal Porsche 911 as in the latest IDW incarnation.
As you’ve probably heard, the car doors are held in place with magnet, meaning that the first thing you’re guaranteed to do is open and close them because it’s so satisfying to do this without untabbing anything else in the toy. The car looks good from every angle (except from underneath as all car transformers). The clear windows are a little too revealing of parts. I’d go for darker or foggy plastic here.
Yes, I miss the old Porsche 935 racing car alt mode. I know that version of Jazz does exist nowadays with Make Toys Downbeat and Toy World Coolsville but each of them have their tradeoffs. My hope of a masterpiece version of Jazz by Takara and/or Hasbro are fading away. To give Generation Toy credit, they nailed the Porsche 911.
And now, the robot mode which let’s be honest is the shape in which the toy will spend most of its shelf life. To get there, the transformation is very Jazz-like and unlike what I’ve heard from other third party versions, this one is pretty much a piece of cake in comparison. The finished robot mode is pretty stunning.
Yes, it is a very posable and articulated figure. There are a few tradeoffs, some minimal and some that I got used to.
First one, which you will notice during the transformation, is the nature of those shoulder launchers or mini cannons. You can turn them in, out and hide behind the arms but you will have to fiddle with them whenever you’re moving the arms. That also means dealing with the wheels and to an extent the doors.
The doors cannot be tucked away like in other models. Not that I mind because I want the winged look, but they’re also only hinged to open to the sides so you can’t arch them up. The arms can be rotated on every position, but you’ll have to move all pieces out of the way. Going straight up is a bit of a stretch due to the wheels.
One very welcomed effort was made on the chest. The sides would’ve end with a vacuum but these little hinged panels fill in those gaps. It makes for a very solid figure, although you can easily untab the front of the car from the chest. The extra flap that locks the head tab in place (a folding tab tucked underneath) can lock onto the hood to secure the head firmly in place. That helps a lot to prevent accidental untabbing.
The legs have a little more tradeoff. There’s gaps left behind on the inside of the legs almost at the bottom. I can see that one being a big deal to some since the more you pose him, the more obvious they can become. That being said, I’ve either get used to them or they just don’t matter since in pictures they are mostly shadowed by the rest of the leg. On certain poses you can see them more than others.
You’ll notice I prefer to angle the chest downwards. That’s just my esthetic preference, I am not trying to cover anything. Since the doors are always at the same angle than the hood, that allows me to have the door-wings pointing somewhat up.
I do have some concerns for the plastic windows that turn into the legs. I feel that if anybody careless handles those (and that includes myself) they could snap or break. The magnets end up in his side skirts, but facing inwards. You’d have to swing them up to make them hold up something metallic. The gun is a basic black plastic piece, no metal to make it holster into the magnets, in case you were going to ask.
For the nostalgic note, let’s have him on an action pose with Skywarp. I know they only have ever gone one on one in the G1 intro, but it still appeases my inner child to see them in a battle scene.
Is he a worthwhile IDW Jazz? Yes! Yes, of course! He’s got the articulation to pose along a Masterpiece (at least with a Seeker) without looking cheap. I am a bit of a Jazz fan that never managed to get the actual G1 Jazz, but I’ve always liked his character.
In most incarnations, he’s very good at improvising on the spot and a much more lighter, fun-loving autobot that most of the ultra-serious crew. He was one of Optimus most reliable second-in-command bots until he shot a human being in IDW continuity. Very much after that, he’s tried to keep his head above water but has ended up on his own, alienated from humankind although drawn to their culture. I believe he’s going to be in the road to self-discovery and redemption for a while.
Recommended for all Jazz fans, specially IDW comic book readers. I would say, see if you can find a version at a comic con you can handle or watch the videos closely to see if you’re willing to accept the tradeoffs. I find only the leg gaps the only thing you need to get used to but if you really want the G1 look and feel, I’d probably wait to see if there’s another Jazz in the market in the future. For IDW, I believe this might be your best option available.
That will do for now.