Armada Toy Reviews: Jetfire (Powerlinx)

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Armada, Autobot

Armada

General Information:
Price Point: Giga-con
Retailer: General (K-Mart, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart etc.)
Release Date: September 2003
Transformation Difficulty Level: 4 (Expert)
Accessories: Comettor Mini-Con figure, Missiles x 2, Gun

Pictures:

Sounds (in mp3 format):

Towards the end of the Armada line, Hasbro gave new decos to several Transformers and rereleased them as "Powerlinx" variants, the idea being that they represented "powered up" versions of the characters. Several of these appeared on the television program including Powerlinx Hot Shot and Starscream in the colors used for the Thundercracker toy. One of the
redecos not used for the series was Jetfire's. However, the toy was released as part of the Powerlinx wave.

This review will focus on the changes made to the toy for this release. For a more detailed review of Jetfire, check out his original review.

Comettor Review

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode, Commettor is mostly white. The main body of the vehicle and his cannon are white. The rear radar dish section is red, but a different shade than the original's. Instead of a bright red, this is a very dark shade, almost a maroon. His wheels are blue, but not the same shade of blue as the original's. Rather, these are a more muted shade of blue (sort of a blue gray). While the darker red and blue certainly make Commettor look less "shiny" than his original version, the white really stands out against the two colors - so much so that he winds up looking brighter than his predecessor. While I like the blue and red colors, the white is a bit too plain for my tastes.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, we get a bit more color on the white parts. Commettor's eyes and chest have silver paint on them, breaking the monotony of the blue and red. As plain as I felt he looked in vehicle mode, he looks much better in robot mode. The silver on the chest really brings out the sculpted details there, which is always good to see.

This "new" Commettor looks nice, but I still prefer the original. It is important to keep mind that the colors are largely decided upon by finding colors that will match Jetfire, so the color combination makes perfect sense in that context.

Jetfire Review

Vehicle Mode:
The goal of Jetfire's new color scheme was not so much to pay homage to any classic Transformers character, but rather to create a color scheme that would look like another ship in a "fleet" of Jetfires (despite being the same character). The overall impression I get of Jetfire in these new colors is that he is a lot cleander looking than the previous one. While he is mostly white, the white used is a bright, clean one instead of the darker, more "yellowed" white used on the first Armada Jetfire. Also, at the nosecone there are no burn marks indicating the stress of re-entry into an atmosphere. On the one hand, I really like this detail and miss it, but on the other, it is nice to have a ship that looks like it would if it came right out of the shipyards.

A very muted blue gray is used for much of the coloring and detail in this mode. The rear thrusters, the ends of the wings and the striped patterns running along the white parts of the ship are all blue gray. Kudos to the designers for not using the same stripe pattern, but rather developing a new one for this form that goes from the nosecone to the mid section. The Autobot symbol on the top of the cockpit is painted red, but only the raised parts are painted, with the blue gray filling in the gaps. This really helps bring the red on the symbol out and it looks fantastic.

The translucent plastic used on the rear thrusters (and consequently, the barrel of Powerlinx Jetfire's gun) has been changed from red to orange. This actually looks nice as the orange is a bit more understated like the rest of the new colors on the toy.

Jetfire's wings remain gray with black, but like the blue gray stripes, the pattern is different. Also, the red lines have been replaced with yellow. The same yellow can also be found on the top of the rear thrusters. A dash of silver is found on the thrusters as well.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, Jetfire carries over a lot of the colors from the vehicle mode. The blue gray color now appears as parts of the arms and legs. The central body is a mix of white and gray. Of course, plenty of additional colors work their way in to the mix to make this toy look good.

The robot head is half blue gray plastic and half white. The upper part (with the crest and visor over the eyes) is translucent orange. The mouthplate has been painted dark blue.

The chest section is dark gray, with the two barrels on either side painted yellow. The panels that flip out to the sides from the chest are orange and silver inside, a really nice looking combination.

The arms are mostly blue gray, but the outer half of the shoulders are painted white, and the "X" patterns on the arms are painted golden yellow. White is also used for the "U" shaped area on the lower arms.

Jetfire's legs are mostly blue gray. The knee pads are black and the feet are dark gray. Whereas the vehicle mode did not have any "scorching" patterns on them, the robot feet do. Around the edges of the feet are black spray ops that look like they were burned.

On an interesting note, the designers did take the time to change the sound effects embedded in Jetfire's gun. The countdown sound effect has been replaced with a sound effect that
seems to follow a progression of events. First beeping, then launching, then firing. The other sound effect the gun makes is a simple laser fire noise. Powerlink a Mini-Con to the gun and you get a third laser sound effect that is much slower than the first. It was nice to see the designers took the time to change the chip, making this toy a tiny bit more than just a redeco.

Jet Convoy/Optimus:
Powerlinx Jetfire's colors were clearly designed to fit with Final Battle Optimus Prime's. Just as the first pairing emphasized bright blues and reds, this one emphasizes much more subdued colors. In particular, the blue gray on Jetfire works very well with the blue gray on Final Battle Prime.

While I do think that Hasbro pushed the envelope a bit with the myriad Powerlinx redecos, Jetfire is definitely one of the nicer ones in the bunch. He is bolstered by two primary things: 1) The introduction of a new sound chip and 2) His color matching with Final Battle Optimus Prime. Recommended if you are into redecos or if you're a completist. If you have the first Jetfire already, that will do just fine.