Transformers Robot Heroes Review: Jazz & Thundercracker

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There’s one thing I never understood about Transformer toys: the frequency that figures got repainted and were called a brand new character. As someone who grew up on Ninja Turtles where all four of the main characters were essentially identical from a toy stand point, I see the irony in this. Another thing that disappoints me is the fact that a whole generation of children will think of Jazz as being the robot who died in Transformers.

The Robot Heroes line focused primarily on characters from Transformers the Animated Movie. In that movie, Jazz had pretty much no role since he was busy monitoring Moonbase One and was then devoured by Unicron (though he was saved at the end of the day).

Head of the Autobots special ops division, Jazz is a master at picking up on local cultures and is able to assimilate into them. Sadly, this makes him often remembered as “the black Autobot.” Jazz transforms into a Martini Porsche 935 Turbo racing car.

In his robot mode, Jazz is black and white with a few colors throw in for details. Like all the Robot Heroes, Jazz is based off his animated look with some additional details thrown in to make him look more like a robot and less like a guy made out of boxes.

Jazz’s legs make up the rear of the car and are remarkably intricate. His legs are mostly white with some black detailing and light blue kneecaps. His body is made up of the hood of the car which shows the headlights and grill along with the Autobot insignia. Jazz’s back also looks like a pair of wings made up from the roof of the car and the doors.

Like many Transformers, Jazz’s arms are the pattern of big block, smaller block, big block, hand. His right hand is in a grip while his left is giving a thumbs up. Jazz’s helmeted head is sporting a blue visor and a smirk. Jazz only moves at the shoulders.

A member of the Seekers – a group of Decepticons that transformed into F-15 Eagle jets, that consisted of Starscream, Skywarp, the Conehead triplets and Thundercracker. As a toy, Thundercracker was nothing more than a repaint of Starscream, even their personalities were similar. While Starscream was constantly trying to undermine Megatron, Thundercracker worked to undermine Starscream.

Like his original toy, Thundercracker is a repaint of Robot Heroes Starscream. He’s just got a different coat of paint to set him apart. Mostly blue, Thundercracker is a decent but unexciting repaint. Most of the figure is cast in blue plastic to minimize paint applications and leaves the toy looking really toy-y. The pose is still decent but was unique enough that it’s obvious he’s a repaint.

The painted details on Thundercracker’s wings look great with red and silver lines that match his heels. Oddly though, his Decepticon logo is on his back. Another odd piece of paint is the cloud he’s standing on: it’s a pale periwinkle blue. You’d think a jet taking off would make gray or black smoke.

After his near death, Thundercracker was converted into Scourge by Unicron to be one of Galvatron’s new warriors. He then became the leader of the Sweeps, a group just like the Seekers and allowed the toy company to release the same figure with different paint jobs.

On one hand, I don’t really care for the repaint of Starscream in just the second wave as Thundercracker. On the other hand, it’s accurate to the toys and does have a decent dash of nostalgia to it. Jazz is a decent figure but I wish he had some sort of weapon, like his blaster. Still it’s a decent set and I’d rather get a repaint as a new character over a new sculpt of an existing character.

Transformers Robot Heroes Wave 2
Bumblebee & SoundwaveUltra Magnus & Megatron
Jazz & ThundercrackerOptimus Prime with the Matrix of Leadership & Unicron

Written by jestergoblin

May 15th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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