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Published on February 7th, 2011 | by Sharp-O


Mint in Box #12 – RtS Special Ops Jazz

Two Transformers reviews in as many weeks? Well, do they know its post-Christmas time! More and more of the frankly awesome Reveal the Shield toys are showing up in stores and I couldn’t be happier. In keeping with my fleeting upbeat attitude, let’s take a look at Special Ops Jazz. Now while that name may conjure up images of repaints or gimmicky toys with massive missile launchers, there’s actually a reason for it. One of the problems Hasbro has with the Transformers brands is that they can’t hold a name trademark to save their lives. This often happens with common place names so Hasbro come up with prefixes and suffixes to hold on to certain character names, such as ‘Autobot Cosmos‘, ‘Turbo Tracks’ and the ludicrously named (and misspelled) ‘Solar Storm Grappel‘. They even have to prefix the names they misspell! And so we have Special Ops Jazz instead of just plain old Jazz, but at least the name works because Jazz is head of Special Operations in the Autobot army.

Okay, I’m rambling so I’ll cut to the chase, I like Jazz. He’s a very competent figure with a lot of fun quirks and little homages to previous incarnations. That said, there are elements of this figure that annoy the hell out of me, but I’ll get to those later. For now, check out this sweet alt-mode! They’ve done a great job of making it not look like a Porsche while evoking the same feel. The paint applications, for what they are, are crisp and look great, really selling the ‘street rally’ aspect of the alt-mode with lovely blue and red stripes and a big ol’ number four on the hood and doors. The problem is that there aren’t enough paint apps, everything is just white plastic on the back end and there’s some nice details that could’ve been picked out with no trouble, and his wheels are solid black plastic with no silver paint for the hubcaps. His windows are also blue transparent plastic.

The transformation is where I start voicing my gripes. There are a few instances of auto-morph in the toy and it really grinds my gears, figuratively and metaphorically. There’s a gearing mechanism in his chest that means as the hood is pull over the abdomen, Jazz’s head will simultaneously rise up via the hole in the hood. While this is pretty cool, it doesn’t feel sturdy, the hood doesn’t peg in anywhere so it’s just kinda sitting there. Apart from that, his transformation is very reminiscent of both the Prowl/Silverstreak/Smokescreen and Sunstreaker/Sideswipe moulds of the 2008 Universe line.

His robot mode is flawless. It’s Jazz. That is the quintessential Jazz. In keeping with modern Transformers figures, Jazz has a pair of sculpted open hands, giving a more natural look while idle but can still accommodate 5mm weapon pegs. On my copy of the toy, the ball-joints that they’re on are very loose, though this may not be a recurring problem with the mould as a whole. His legs remind me of Drift but are far more streamlined. He can pull some pretty impressive shapes though, with ball-jointed shoulders and hips, double- jointed elbows and knees, and thigh and bicep swivels. His head sculpt is delicious, I could drink a gallon of Jazz’s face. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a head sculpt on an action figure this much before but it really is glorious. The figure comes with three accessories, a blaster that folds up and stores under the hood and some speakers on C-Joints (the new name for the 3mm weapon clips). They’re pretty fun to mess around with and the speakers even clip onto the blaster to form a bigger rifle type weapon.

I really like this figure, and highly recommend him. It’s an absolute delight to mess around with and looks great. In the words of the ‘bot himself: “Do it with style or don’t bother doing it.”

– Richard Sharpe

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