Revenge of the Fallen Legends Class Jetfire Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: May 2009
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Detailed JETFIRE figure is a quick-change artist that converts from robot mode to SR-71 Blackbird jet mode in a flash! No matter which mode you choose for battle, this DECEPTICON warrior is ready for action!

It's kind of weird writing a toy review for a "new" character before I get to see him on the big screen. I must also warn that there are some spoiler-ish elements in this review regarding this character, so take that as you will.

The name Jetfire has been synonymous with "Transformers" since the days of G1. While he was not introduced until 1985, the character's large size and his role as one of the few aerial Autobots of the time made him very distinctive. There have been many Jetfire figures since G1, and usually he is some type of advanced aircraft on the Autobot side of the Cybertronian wars. Given this, I was surprised that his character in the film is very different than previous incarnations, with only one link: he still transforms into a sleek looking aircraft.

Robot Mode:
Jetfire looks weird. I have two Jetfire toys right now, the Fast Action Battler and this one - and both of them just have a really odd appearance. When I see his weird, grille mouth I think "It's The Maxx!" and when I look at the rest of him I think "It's some weird Anime Gerwalk thing!". The thing is, I think I'm finding my old skool fan-self automatically biased since this Jetfire isn't some red/white sleek robot thing with advanced technology. Instead, this Jetfire is an old geezer of a Transformer who even uses part of his body as a cane to get around. This is definitely a different take on the character, which really makes him Jetfire in "name only" rather than being in the spirit of the original character. This sounds like a complaint, but it really isn't, indeed it explains a lot about his design.

Jetfire's leg design is bent forward at the knees and he has several bird like features. His feet are broken up into three segments, two on the side, one pointed in front giving him the appearance of having feet like a goose or a duck. His "chicken walker" type legs reinforce this bird-like symbolism and his head has an oval shape with his mouthplate looking very much like a beak in the front. On either side of his head are layers of panels coming out horizontally, and they look a lot like the feathers on a bird's head. Add to that the neck and nosecone of the jet on his back, and the imagery of a bird-like Transformer is complete. The grille-like mouthplate also gives another look: a beard. Combine that look with some other details including spikes on the side of his torso and the cockpit like details on his robot head and you have a creature that looks like some mythical ancient knight melded with the design sensibilities of a bird and while different, it's an admitedly fascinating Transformers design.

Aside from the aforementioned details, Jetfire has really nicely sculpted arms, with thin metal pieces on top of tube like shapes leading down to coil shaped wrists and clenched fists. On his left arm the landing gear from the vehicle mode has been sculpted under the forearm, a detail which refers to his use of that piece as a cane. I also love the head design element that looks like the cockpit from the vehicle mode, and while it is a funky looking face, Jetfire has a very well detailed head.

Jetfire is cast in black and silver plastic. Black makes up most of the toy including the torso, upper legs and lower legs. His arms, knee joints and the thrusters in vehicle form are cast in silver. Paint details are done in gunmetal and red. The gunmetal can be found on the area on top of his head and on his feet. Red stripes from the vehicle mode are found on top of the gunmetal on the top of the robot and red is used for his eye detailing as well.

Jetfire has eight points of articulation, which is quite a bit for a Legends Class figure. A lot of this is due to the way his legs transform, which allow for three points of articulation on each.The upper legs and shoulders are ball joints, so he has a fair range of motion as well.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the neck of the jet up.
  2. Raise each leg up.
  3. Swing back and tuck each lower leg into the upper leg.
  4. Swing the robot arms forward and tuck them together under the neck of the jet.
  5. Swing down each thruster unit to the sides, and then swing each thruster up to connect the slits in them to the tabs on the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Jetfire's vehicle mode is based on the SR-71 "Blackbird" vehicle. Assuming he took on this form when the vehicles were in active military use, this would place Jetfire's taking on this alternate mode somewhere between the 1960's and the 1990's (the real life vehicle was retired in 1998). Most of the real life Blackbirds are in museums throughout the world, and it makes perfect sense that a Transformer who took on an antiquated vehicle form would wind up in a museum.

Since there are licensing issues with using real life vehicles, so some key features of the vehicle have been changed from the Blackbird. The most notable is the design of the nosecone and neck of the jet. Here it looks like a tube that leads to parts flattening out on the sides. The real life Blackbird has much flatter edges and the tube in the middle was nowhere near as high. Another design difference can be found on the thrusters. On the real life vehicle, the front of the thrusters came out to a very fine point. Here they are blunted, though I confess that may not be a licensing issue so much as a design issue with having small points on such a small figure (and the fear of them breaking off).

Where Jetfire's vehicle mode resembles the real life jet is the overall design. The long neck leading to small wings on the back which connect to thrusters is the signature profile of the Blackbird. Add to that both horizontal and vertical stabilizers on the thrusters and the differences really don't take away from the figure's resemblance to the Blackbird all that much.

Jetfire has a great bit of detailing in this form. I love the way the entire length of the jet has lines cut into it to indicate panels of armor. The front of the thrusters have a nice, layered look and the cockpit even has tiny window details on it. It's a super cool looking jet, and at least in that respect he reminds me of G1 Jetfire, old or not.

The primary color you see in this form is black, with some silver under the main body of the jet and on the front of the thrusters. Red is used for line detail that resemble similar details on the real life Blackbird.

Final Thoughts:
I still think Jetfire is a weird design, but he is a fascinating one at the same time. This is a fun little toy that looks a lot like his on screen incarnation. Recommended!