Transformers Car Robots Trainbots / JRX Toy Review

in 2000, Action Figure Review, Car Robots, Cybertron, Mega, Trainbots

Car Robots

One type of Transformer toy that has always been of great interest to fans is the combiner (or gestalt as some refer to it). The idea of having several Transformers who can combine into a larger robot is fantastic, and fairly rare in the post-Transformers Generation 2 era. Transformers: Car Robots introduced a few combiners, the \first of which was JRX, a Transformer made of three robots. The JRX team members were sold as a boxed set and individual carded. This review will first cover the three individual robots and then the combined giant.

J-4 Review

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, J-4 is a E-4 Max Bullet Train. His primary colors are white and blue. Yellow peeks through here and there from robot parts. Yellow is also used for detailing such as the stripe running right through the middle of the train. Translucent yellow plastic is used for the motorman?s compartment and the passenger windows. Etched along the sides of the train are details around the windows and the doors of the train. Towards the rear on the side are the words "Max" and "Cybertron".

Being a train, J-4 has no posability to speak of, but he still has play value. Eight wheels on the bottom of the train allow it to roll along. In the front of the train is a hole and in the rear is a peg. These allow the other JRX team members to hook up to the front and back of the train.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin J-4?s transformation by lifting the two top panels. The rear one will reveal a piece of the weapon. Remove that piece. Slide out the rear weapon piece (it?s the one with the peg that allows the train to hook onto the other JRX team members). Now swing down the train's wheels. Pull out the rear and front of the train, then extend the front and rear halves of the train out completely. Swing the train halves back and then down. Swing the feet around so the train wheels are in the rear. Now pull down the legs so the waist area extends. Flip down the flap in the middle of the body down. Fold out the robot arms. Flip the panel on the middle of the top of the train to reveal the robot head. Straighten out the robot head. Take the square weapon piece and fold down the yellow handle. Attach the white part and then plug in the missile. Place the weapon into J-4's hand and J-4 is now in robot mode!

Robot Mode:
J-4's color scheme from his train mode carries over into the robot mode, but dark grey and black join the colors on the main body, upper legs, arms and robot head. The robot eyes are bright pink. A recurring theme in Transformers in the past year has been robot heads that in some way resemble the alternate mode. J-4's head is no exception. In one way, the head looks like a robot head in a sleek helmet. In another the head looks like the front of the train mode. Other great details include mechanical details on his upper legs and waist area. His weapon also has a nice detail. The piece which would normally connect to the other JRX team members in train mode looks like a gun viewfinder in this form. A great touch.

In robot mode J-4 has fourteen points of articulation. Perhaps the oddest part of this toy are the proportions of his body. His upper body and arms look fine, but then you get to his legs and they look like they are much bigger than they should be. I must admit that this odd appearance took a while to get used to, but once you play with the toy a few times, it does not seem that bad. J-4's weapon can fire the yellow missile in the barrel by pushing the tirgger mechanism near the handle.

J-4 is an odd looking toy, but he is fun to play with. Recommended. B+

J-5 Review

Vehicle Mode:
J-5 is a Series 500 Nozomi Bullet Train. He is primarily white, but black and blue are used for detailing along the passenger windows and the top of the train. A lot of translucent plastic is used for this toy. The passenger windows are translucent as well as the area that would be the driver's area. The words "500 Cybertron" are painted near the front of the train on both sides.

The train can roll on eight wheels, four in the front, four in the back. The panels that cover the wheels are detailed to look like a real train's wheel assemblies. The rear of the train has a piece which allows it to link to the other JRX team members. Overall, a cool train mode.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin by removing the rear connector piece. Swing the translucent green barrel up and fold down the blue handle. Set the weapon aside for now. At the rear of the train, straighten out the robot feet and fold down the rear train wheels. Separate the halves of the rear of the train. Pull the halves down, and then turn them around. These are the lower robot legs. Now fold out the front halves of the train the sides. Fold down the translucent oval section to form the robot chest. The robot head is visible at this point, turn it around. Turn the robot arms downward and swing out the robot arms. You will notice a panel on either side of the upper legs (the hip area), you an pull those outwards a bit to allow movement of the legs. Place the weapon into his hand and J-5 is now in robot mode!

Robot Mode:
J-5 has the best looking robot mode out of all the three JRX team members. His primary colors are white and blue. The chest piece (which is really the robot head of JRX) is a dark translucent piece on top of solid blue plastic and looks great. The robot head is shaped like the front of a bullet train, including a small blue oval on the top which looks like the cockpit area of a train. The robot eyes are red.

J-5 is a very nicely detailed robot. Aside from the aforementioned robot head, the shoulders look like shoulder arm with missile launchers at the ends (which the character does use in the series). The arms and the sides of the lower legs all have mechanical details in the form of triangles, rectangles and vent like patterns. J-5's proportions are well made, giving him a very dynamic look. His weapon looks great as well. The translucent barrel can be lit up by pressing the blue button on the main section of the gun. This has a very bright red light which looks great. The blue piece which serves as the hook to connect to the other JRX team members in train mode looks like a targeting reticle, a very nice touch.

In robot mode, J-5 has fifteen points of articulation. J-5 is a great looking toy in both modes. He looks dynamic and sleek in robot mode. Highly recommended. A

J-7 Review

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, J-7 is a Rail Star bullet train. His primary color is dark grey. Black is used to line the sides and the oval area around the driver's compartment. Underneath the black strip running down the side is a yellow line, offering a great contrast. The black strip has translucent windows in it. One of the nicer details towards the back is a door on both sides with a translucent window.

This is the most distinctive looking train out of the entire JRX team since it doesn't rely on blue and white as its primary colors. The dark grey is a good solid color, but not overwhelming.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Begin the transformation by removing the black piece which allows the train to connect the trail to another member of the team. On either side you will notice a small tab on the yellow stripe. Lift those tabs up and separate that piece from the train. Set these pieces aside for now. Flip up the robot feet at the back of the train and then pull them back, then flip them up all the way. Fold down the rear wheels. Extend the robot legs. Twist around the forward section of the train. Swing out the sdies towards the front. Fold the nose of the train down, and then fold the panels you just swung out forward. Straighten out the robot arms. Press the black section of the black oval to reveal the robot hand. Take the black connector piece and place it into one hand, and use the handle on the other piece to give J-7 a shield. The robot mode is now complete.

Robot Mode:
Along with the colors carried over from the vehicle mode, J-7 has translucent blue plastic on his shoulder area and lower legs. The robot head is mostly yellow with green eyes and grey on the top of the head and the face plate.

There is lot of detail added on by the translucent parts in the form of angled details, circles and squares. The robot head does resemble the front of a train in that it is sleek and sweeps forward. However, the sharp angles of the face make it almost look like a mechanical bird.

In this form, J-7 has eleven points of articulation. Another nice touch is that the rifle can be connected to the shield as a missile. Since the handle on the shield can move up and down, the shield piece can be held like a missile launcher.

J-7 is a cool robot. Aside from his detailing, the ability to use the shield and rifle together as a weapon adds a level of play value. Recommended. B+

JRX Review

The following review of JRX assumes that all your JRX team members are in robot mode.

Transformation to JRX:
Take all the weapons out of the JRX team member's hands. Straighten out J-5's gun and fold the handle in. Fold down the yellow targeting reticle on J-4's gun and then connect the end of J-4's gun to J-5's by fitting the ridged section near the barrel of J-5's gun to the groove at the end of J-4's gun. Plug in J-7's rifle into the launcher section of the shield piece. Set these two items aside for now.

J-4: Swing up J-4's arms into the shoulder armor sections. Fold the robot head in and flip the piece around so the robot head is out of view.

J-5: Swing the robot arms up so they are back in the position they would be in for train mode. Turn the robot head around and then lift the robot chest up to reveal JRX?s robot head. Bring the two halves of the train's nosecone togoether. Fold out the halves of the rear section of the train. Each half is one of JRX's robot arms. Swing back each robot heel (the parts with the wheels on them). Slide out JRX?s hands and fold the thumbs up on each hand.

J-7: Fold in J-7's robot head. Slide down the front section of the train. Fold down the nosecone section of the train. Fold back the robot arms and fold down the waist section. Move down the robot legs so they look like flight thrusters pointing downwards.

Combination: Connect the translucent blue tabs on J-7 to the openings on either side of the panel where J-4's robot head is hidden. Now use the blue tabs on the underside of J-5 and connect them to the openings on J-7's mid section. Move his hands into fist positions and then attach the shield and gun pieces to the hands. JRX is now fully combined.

JRX is the combined form of the JRX team members. The primary colors carried over from the team members are yellow, blue and white. One of the best looking parts of this toy is the combined effect created by the solid colors and the variety of translucent plastic colors. Having three similar vehicles combine into one robot works out well because nothing looks odd or out of place. Everything from the shoulder armor to the chest to the hip guards look like they belong on the toy. Also, all the parts are fairly thin and sleek. The robot head is a great example of this. Oval shaped and a combination of solid colored and translucent plastics, the head looks modern and sleek.

As practical detailing goes, a nice touch are J-7's legs acting as a flight pack on his back. The shield is a good size for JRX and the gun allows you to utilize both mechanisms: the light up feature and the missile firing feature. JRX has fifteen points of articulation. This is very good considering combined characters do not always have great articulation.

JRX is a great toy package. Each individual robot has good play value and the combined form looks cool and is fun to play with. Highly recommended. A