Robot Powered Machines Autobot Jazz versus Decepticon Brawl Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Movie (2007), Robot Powered Machines

Robot Powered Machines

General Information:
Release Date: July 2009
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
The only workable tactic against an opponent as heavily armed as DECEPTICON BRAWL is hit-and-run. Lucky for AUTOBOT JAZZ, that’s his specialty. While the huge DECEPTICON lays waste to the city around him, AUTOBOT JAZZ races in to deliver a punishing blow.

Roll into action with these detailed vehicles and prepare for high-speed battle excitement! Flip them over to reveal AUTOBOT JAZZ and DECEPTICON BRAWL characters etched on the bottom!

Detailed vehicles feature character images etched on the bottom! Vehicles do not convert. Ages 3 and up.

RPM stands for "Robot Powered Machine", a new sub-line of Transformers. The concept introduces Hot Wheels/Matchbox sized cars that have super smooth axles that allow the vehicles to roll really well, especially around race tracks made for small toy cars. The concept harkens back to Generation 2, when a small line of Transformers known as "Gobots" were created. Like the RPM's, the Gobots were also made to resemble Hot Wheels/Matchbox style vehicles in size and function. While the Gobots had relatively simple transformations, the RPM's are primarily toy cars. Acknowledgement of their robot modes is done by having a raised, sculpted interpretation of the character's robot mode on the underside of the vehicle. The vehicles do not "transform" per se, but instead you stand the vehicle up and reveal the robot mode underneath.

Jazz is packaged with Brawl in the "Battle Series" line of RPMs. This pairing is a reference to the scene in the first Transformers film where Jazz takes on Brawl on the streets of Mission City. Interestingly, there are two packaging variants for this set. One has the "reveal" of the robot on the bottom of the packaging, the other has it on the back. Most stores seem to be carrying the one where the robot sculptures appear on the bottom, not the back.

Autobot Jazz

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Vehicle Mode:
Jazz's presence in this toy line indicates that the line is intended to stretch beyond just "Revenge of the Fallen" in scope. I'm glad to see this vehicle in the line as it fits the theme of "Hot Wheels" type cars with its sleek vehicle form. Jazz generally gets some nice looking vehicle modes and the Solstice is no exception. The designers decided to base this vehicle mode on the vehicle seen in the first Transformers movie, so it's basic proportions and shape match up well to the real life vehicle. The general shape of the car is oval shaped, with the curve being such a critical part of the design that even the spoiler curves forward rather than back as they do on most vehicles. There is a deep indent on the back leading to the cabin area which then angles down to the hood and curved front end.

Among the smaller details carried over from the real life vehicle are:

  • Distinct vent lines within a curved shape on either side of the hood.
  • Tear drop shaped headlights.
  • The distinctive split grille in front with its honeycomb mesh inside.
  • The distinctive, curved shapes of the rear lights.
  • Small indentations on either side of the vehicle behind the front wheels.
  • Both the side view mirrors and the door handles are represented with sculpted detail.

Out of all these details, I really love the look of the front of the vehicle. The distinctive headlights, honeycomb grille and the round lights under the headlights really create a distinctive look, and it's nice to see the look duplicated so well in a small vehicle.

Jazz is cast in three plastic colors: silver, brown and translcuent blue. The silver makes up a bulk of the vehicle mode from front to back. The brown section is on the underside, but in this form it is most visible in the back where the tailpipes can be found. The translucent blue plastic is used for the windows, and looks really beautiful against the silver color. Black plastic is used for the wheels, and there is a really nice looking circle of vacuum metallized silver around the hubcaps. Paint applications are done up in red, metallic light blue and a dark yellow color. All three of these colors are applied to the various lights, with red in the rear and the light blue and yellow in the front. A tiny bit of black is used in the front to color the split grille, helping it stand out nicely against the silver.

Jazz rolls along on his wheels at pretty high speed, and given his sleek, aerodynamic shape I trust he'll be one of the faster vehicles going around the Devastator RPM track when I unbox it!

Robot Mode:
Jazz's robot mode is sculpted into the underside of the vehicle. The sculpt is quite intricate. The overall shape is a bit bulkier than you would expect of a sleek vehicle like the Solstice, however it is true to the CGI model. He has the front of the vehicle mode as his upper body, his arms are relatively thin while his legs are rather thick and strong looking., The chest piece has the honeycomb grille in front while the arms and legs have a lot of mechanical detail sculpted into the figure.

I really love the detail work on the sculpt. Some of the car parts still peek through including the wheels on his ankle area and even a small triangle where the Pontiac logo would be on his chest. His face is set with the battle mask up and his antennae are also detailed and not simplified in any way. I also love the small tubes and wires on the interior of his body underneath the armor pieces.

Like most of the RPMs in this line, Jazz is cast against a metallic brown plastic. An Autobot symbol is cast in red above the robot. His name is on the bottom simply stamped as "Jazz" instead of "Autobot Jazz", which is a nice little touch for this old skool fan to see. The main figure itself is colored silver with a bit of gunmetal in some joints and yellow on his chest where the headlights are.

Jazz has a really nice looking robot sculpt. The intricacy of the sculpt is most impressive and I like the way the darker gunmetal color was used on smaller parts to give contrast against the silver.

Decepticon Brawl

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Vehicle Mode:
Based on a heavily modified Abrams tank, Brawl was an interesting choice for this line since he doesn't exactly have a vehicle mode that screams "Race Car". Of course, neither does RPM Optimus Prime. By having this figure in the line it adds to the "battle" aspect of the line while also offering a fairly unique vehicle into a line with sleeker and high speed vehicles.

While tanks are generally seen as boxy vehicles, Brawl's vehicle mode actually has some rather sleek looking details. In the front of the vehicle there are angled pieces hanging off the edge, giving the vehicle a somewhat sleek looking front end. There are alternating angled patterns alternating along the sides of the tank and his turrets are wide in the front but then angle inward towards the back. These aren't modifications to the design, but rather true designs from the actual vehicle itself as shown in the film.

Many of the smaller details have been kept intact including the circles on the turrets showing where a person would enter and exit the tank. The barrels of the tank are also designed with the appropriate sections and grooves found on the real life prop vehicle.

Brawl is cast in two types of plastic. Dark green makes up most of the vehicle, including the turrets and the main body of the vehicle. His actual barrels are a softer plastic and cast in a very dark shade of grey. The soft plastic is of course for safety reasons, and unlike other soft plastic sections on the RPM line these are not so soft that they bend and stay in one place easily. Dark grey is also used for camoflage details running along the vehicle. It is also used for a Decepticon symbol on the front of the vehicle.

Like other versions of this character, Brawl's turrets can move independent of each other. The joint that holds the smaller turret to the larger one is very tight but not prohibitively so. Brawl rolls on four large wheels on the underside of the vehicle. The tread details are only for show.

I really like Brawl's vehicle mode. The design is movie accurate and the colors look great. I was very happy to see the turrets could move independent of each other instead of just being one solid molded plastic piece.

Robot Mode:
Brawl's robot sculpt is really interesting and a bit off. While the designers kept his overall design intact including missle launchers on either side of his shoulders and his tri-clawed hands. The designers wound up shrinking down his bulk significantly to fit him into the underside of the vehicle. Indeed, I think this is the thinnest portrayal of the character I've ever seen. Still he is well detailed with armor panels on top of wires, tubes and other mechanical details.

Brawl is cast against metalic brown plastic. Above the robot is a purple Decepticon symbol. His colors alternate between dark grey and dark green while he has a tiny bit of gold on the eyes and missile launchers. He has a Decepticon symbol cast in purple above the robot sculpture and his name is written simply as "Brawl" in white text underneath his feet.

The only weird bit is his chest, which looks a bit mangled. Details kind of just overlap a bit haphazardly and it looks like the designers just did their best to cram in every detail they could manage in there so it does look a bit off.

Final Thoughts:
I think individually I would have recommended both of these toys (Jazz more than Brawl to be honest) but together they are definitely a nice two pack to have together. Recommended.