"Studio Series" 1986 Autobot Jazz Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: December 2020
Price Point: $22.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Blaster

Official images and product description in italics below are from BigBadToyStore and Amazon:
Reach past the big screen and build the ultimate Transformers collection with Studio Series figures (each sold separately), inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe. Now including The Transformers: The Movie!

This Transformers Studio Series Jazz action figure converts from robot to racecar mode in 20 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Autobot Jazz in the Moonbase One Destruction scene. In the Moonbase One Destruction scene from The Transformers: The Movie, Autobot Jazz tries to escape Moonbase One before Unicron devours it, but he doesn't make it and is swallowed up by the Planet Eater. Pose the figure out with the included blaster accessory and imagine recreating this classic movie moment!

  • STUDIO SERIES DELUXE CLASS: Deluxe Class figures are 4.5-inch collectible action figures inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with specs and details to reflect the Transformers movie universe, now including The Transformers: The Movie!
  • 4.5-INCH SCALE AUTOBOT JAZZ: Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco, is highly articulated for posability and comes with a blaster accessory
  • BIG SCREEN INSPIRED: Figure scale reflects the character’s size in the world of The Transformers: The Movie. Figure and packaging are inspired by the iconic Moonbase One Destruction scene
  • 2 ICONIC MODES: Figure features classic conversion between robot and racecar modes in 20 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up
  • REMOVABLE BACKDROP: Removable backdrop displays Autobot Jazz figure in the Moonbase One Destruction scene

This Studio Series 86-01 Deluxe Class The Transformers: The Movie-inspired Autobot Jazz figure converts from robot to racecar mode in 20 steps. Remove backdrop to showcase Autobot Jazz in the Moonbase One Destruction scene. In the Moonbase One Destruction scene from The Transformers: The Movie, Autobot Jazz tries to escape Moonbase One before Unicron devours it, but he doesn't make it and is swallowed up by the Planet Eater. Pose the figure out with the included blaster accessory and imagine recreating this classic movie moment!

The 1986 Transformers: The Movie introduced a large cast of new characters who would become maintstays in Transformers animation for years to come. It also carried over key characters from the original series including the Autobot, Jazz. Known for his distinctive style of talking and cool Porsche-based vehicle mode, Jazz was a very popular character among G1 fans. There have been a lot of Jazz figures over the years including:

This figure is a brand new sculpt and perhaps the most "show accurate" version released in this class. This sculpt would later go on to be given a new head and deco as Jackpot so you may want to check out that review too.

Jazz is packaged in the standard, rectangular Studio Series window box. The front features beautiful artwork for Jazz in robot mode holding his blaster. The 1986 "Transformers: The Movie" logo is found on the lower right and a large window shows off the figure inside. The back of the box shows the figure off in both modes calling out a 20 step transformation. The figure description mentions "Moonbase One Destruction" over the figure in vehicle form. The cardboard insert inside continues the tradition of giving Studio Series figures a backdrop that relates to a key scene in the film. In this case the backdrop is based on Jazz's computer console on Moonbase One.

Jazz includes an updated version of his G1 Photon Blaster. This weapon features an angled section from the middle to the back and a barrel in the front that sidens in the middle then narrows to towards the front. This piece is made of white plastic with silver paint on most of the weapon. There are three pegs: one on the bottom and two on the sides that are left unpainted. The end of the weapon barrel allows you to attach a Blast Effect which is a nice bit of backwards compatability to the War for Cybertron era.

Given that this is a "show accurate" version of the character, I would have liked to see Jazz include his wrist mounted "grapple hook" and speakers as accessories. I'm guessing they were not considered due to cost and that's a shame.

Robot Mode:
When taking photos of this figure I wound up having it stand side by side with many previous Jazz figures (almost all of which I really like). This really gave me a kind of evolutionary look at Jazz's design until now. I would say that Reveal the Shield Special Ops Jazz is probably still held up as the best overall Jazz figure released til now. But wow, Studio Series Jazz gives Special Ops Jazz a run for his money! For fans who have been wanting a more G1 cartoon accurate Jazz, this is the figure for you. Among the cartoon inspired details we have:

  • Head: The head sculpt features classic Jazz design elements including the "horns" sticking out on top at angles, a small crest in the middle, visor eyes and vent-like details on either side of the face. Many other Jazz toys have these key features, but this is the only one where the proportions are much more like the animation model than previous Generations releases.
  • Torso: Much of the torso is made up of the front of the vehicle mode, with a curved grille/headlight section and round headlights. Unlike the original G1 toy, the animation model did not feature the car doors on the back as "wings", so they are absent here (instead they are folded into the back pack).
  • Arms: Each arm features a raised circle on the sides of the shoulders and two lines etched into the forearms. Both these details appeared on the animation model for Jazz in the G1 cartoon.
  • Back: The top of the car mode's cabin section forms a curved "back pack" on Jazz, similar to the back of the animation model.
  • Legs: Each of Jazz's lower legs features a panel in front with vent-like details and feet with an indentation on top. These details call back to similar details on the animation model, though the "indentation" on the animation model's feet were more like regular trapezoid shapes. On top of all that, the sides of the lower legs each have the curved, rear wheel wells from the vehicle mode on them.

Overall this sculpt is amazing. I love how much it looks like the animation model. While I have a lot of love for previous Jazz sculpts, I feel like they were all leading up to this one.

Jazz is made up of white, black and translucent blue plastic. The translucent blue plastic has been the subject of much discussion amongst fans because the back pack uses the translucent blue on sections with hinges. This can be a problem because translucent plastic is not great at holding up to repeated swings on hinges. Some fans did report breakage of these parts early on. That said, I've transformed my copy of this figure at least ten times and so far there are no cracks or breaks, but your mileage may vary.

Paint colors on Jazz include two shades of blue, red, silver and white. These colors all match up nicely to how the character was painted in the cartoon. Among my favorite details are the light blue headlights, the red trim on his chest and the Autobot symbol on his chest. The deco is not terribly complex, but it doesn't need to be. In G1 Jazz had a very straight forward deco just like this figure.

There are twenty points of articulation on this figure. That includes four on each arm and six on each leg. Each fist has a 5mm port and you can attach additional accessories on 5mm ports on the bottom of his feet and a port on his back. While many figures nowadays have 5mm ports built into the forearms, I'm glad Jazz doesn't have these so the forearms can look nice and solid.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the blaster and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing each fist into the forearms.
  4. Swing the back pack up, swing the doors out and then pull out the rear window.
  5. Swing the rear wheel wells on the lower legs up.
  6. Point the front of each foot down.
  7. Swing the chest up.
  8. Push the robot head down, then swing up the middle panel under the chest that will fill in the gap where the head was located.
  9. Rotate the lower body around.
  10. Rotate the chest around.
  11. Swing each lower leg up over the thighs, then push the two lower legs together to form the rear of the vehicle.
  12. Swing the robot arms back, then swing them in so they wind up under the front of the car.
  13. Rotate the forearms so the small tabs on them face outward.
  14. Push the windshield/cabin cover section down and swing the doors in, connecting them to the tabs on the forearms.
  15. The blaster can be attached to the top of the car.

Vehicle Mode:
The original G1 Jazz action figure transformed into a Martini Racing Porsche 935/76. Back in those days, Takara and Hasbro played it pretty fast and loose with licensing but things have changed and nowadays if you wanted to create a toy of a trademarked vehicle you would need to obtain a license. Fortunately there's no such issue here because the designers based this vehicle mode on the animation model used in the G1 series. The G1 series featured a vehicle mode for Jazz that was very much inspired by the Porsche, but key details were changed to prevent any potential licensing issues.

This vehicle mode features several of the key details from the animation model including:

  • The overall silhouette of the car is similar to the animation model featuring a curved front end, sides that sink inward a bit before flaring out at the rear wheel wells.
  • The front section features round headlights flanking the grille in the middle. This is different from the real life Porsche since that vehicle has the headlights set higher on the hood section.
  • The rear section features wide and high wheel wells that curve all the way to the back.
  • The spoiler is high and angles upward and back with gaps in the middle.


The deco on this mode is mostly based on the animation model with a large blue and red racing stripe running from the front to the middle of the car. The number "14" is found on the doors, itself a reference to the number "4" that was used on the original Jazz figure. The sides of the wheels are painted silver and the headlights are light blue. The grille is painted silver. Overall the vehicle mode looks fantastic and I'm very happy with it.

Final Thoughts:
I absolutely love this figure. The aesthetics are spot on and it's fun to play with. The transformation is intuitive and the backdrop is perfect for Jazz. All that said, this set isn't perfect. He could have used at least one more accessory and while my copy of this figure has held together well the translucent plastic on hinges does concern me. Recommended!


  • Excellent sculpt in both modes.
  • Good deco.
  • Good articulation.
  • Fun and intuitive transformation.


  • I really wish Jazz had at least one more accessory such as his grappling hook arm attachment.
  • The translucent hinges are a concern.

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