So I didn't know this, but I guess it turns out Jazz is my favorite Autobot. Because why else would I be so excited to find this toy?
Autobot Jazz is gifted with a flair for flexible
thinking and improvisation, making him the ideal special operations commander for the Autobots. Optimus Prime entrusts him with the most sensitive missions, counting on his keen mind and natural leadership to accomplish even the most dangerous objectives, no matter what.
Jazz hasn't exactly been a central character in the various TF stories over the past few years. He was disposable cannon fodder in the movie, was vaguely present in Animated, and that was about it. Maybe the upcoming Fall of Cybertron game is going to turn that around, because he's one of the first three toys based on the game's designs, putting him in the same company as Optimus Prime and Shockwave.
The War for Cybertron figures had a definite design aesthetic, and it appears that Fall of Cybertron is carrying that forward. Compare FOC Jazz to WFC Bumblebee and they look like they come
from the same place. Jazz has a very bulky upper body, comparatively thin legs, and bulbous forearms. The body is sculpted with lots of panel lines, making him look "rougher" than the usual Transformers we see, and yet not as piecemeal as the Michael Bay movies. The game renders all these seams with black outlines that the toy lacks, but the game also gives him glowing red lights on his chest and abdomen, so it's not like they're the only app that's been done away with.
Most of the WFC characters (or whatever you want the over-arching
name for toys based on this videogame series to be) have heads based on their G1 counterparts, but Jazz's is jacked up. There's a black helmet, blue visor and silver face, but that's as far as it goes. The "horns" on his helmet bend inward, rather than sticking straight out, and his robot cheeks are sunken, giving him the overall impression of one of those guys in the anti-tobacco commercials who lost their mandible to oral cancer. Not good.
Jazz has good articulation. He gets swivels
and hinges at the knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips and wrists, hinged elbows, swivel biceps, balljointed shoulders and a balljointed head. His feet are sculpted at a slight angle, so his legs don't have to be ramrod straight. There are fake wheels sculpted at his ankles, too, since apparently there was no way to get the real things down there. The way his upper body converts makes the chest look a bit hollow from above, but it's nothing as bad as Leadfoot's torso gap.
Converting Jazz to his altmode is easy, but it's a bit tougher going back to robot mode until you get the hang of how his back kibble is supposed to line up. Plus, there's a completely superfluous step in his arms - like, "do X, then undo X immediately after." That can be confusing, and skipping
it will just make things easier. In the game, his trasnformation looks like breakdancing, but here, not so much.
Once you change Jazz to a car, you'll really see why the FOC toys are packaged in robot mode: he, like his fellows, is remarkably small. You can tell because we're remarking on it. The car is 4¼" long, 2¼" wide and 1½" tall. That might not be so bad, if the prices weren't on the rise as well. All those sculpted seams are still visible here, and there are a few spots where internal mechanics seem to be visible through the outer shell.
From the side, Jazz has a curved profile
with a rear spoiler that suggests the "Moby Dick" body kit of Jazz's original Porsche altmode. He's still mainly white with blue stripes, but there's also a bit of black here on the back end. The wheels are grey with red Tron stripes, and six exhaust pipes poke up through the top of the car, suggesting that he's speedy!
Jazz is armed with a blaster pistol (really, that's what it's called - they don't bother giving it a fancy name on the packaging) despite the fact that he's a sniper in the game. It's a nice, minorly complex piece, and can be mounted on the roof of the car in vehicle mode.
The packaging brings back Tech Specs, sort of. No, you don't need a decoder to read them, but it's still the old style power ranking chart. That's a fun little throwback! Which is actually a decent way of summing up this toy as a whole. Fun? Definitely. Throwback? Sure. Little? Almost disappointingly so. We wish his chest were engineered a bit more solidly, but overall he's pretty good. We do recommend waiting for a sale, to get the best value, but Fall of Cybertron Jazz is one cool cat.