Transformers Jazz
Transformers Jazz
Transformers Jazz
Transformers Jazz

As I banged on about at some length in my Stepper review, I was never that mad about Jazz. He was a bit of a show-off in the cartoon and comic and I sort-of resented him for taking up space that could have been occupied by guys I did like such as Sunstreaker or Hound. However, over the past year or so I've warmed to him. The Movie version helped - it's amazing how much more you can empathise with a character when you spend a fair amount of time controlling him on a mediocre tie-in video game. Plus rereading of IDW's material, where he gets the same panel-time treatment at the hands of other hipper characters and was a bit less in-your-face, helped too.

Also helping me love Jazz more was his reissue as part of Takara's Encore reissue series not too long after he was reissued in their earlier Transformers Collection and Hasbro's Commemorative Series. This means the Encore doesn't cost too much at all.


Like all reissues of Jazz, the Encore version has a modified to remove all mentions of Martini - both because it's someone else's trademark (y'know, like the Porsche 935 they're probably still not paying for), and because Takara don't want to encourage kids to be pissheads. Anymore. Instead Jazz has his name written all over him - well, his Japanese name of Meister anyway. It's fairly subtle on the doors, but the rest are too much. Frankly though the vehicle mode looks best with only the factory stickers either way.

The 935 is a good looker, but Takara's rendering of it here isn't perfect. It looks a bit stumpier and more hunchbacked than the real thing (which can be seen in precision model form here ), though this might be exaggerated by the construction. Jazz is covered in join likes - the two front wheels are particularly obvious, though the roof - which more rests in place than anything - comes a very close second. The swish works Martini colour scheme looks a treat, though it emphasises the join lines on the bonnet badly. The detailing is typically committed, but only serves to emphasise the faults.


Jazz transforms in a very similar fashion to Prowl/Bluestreak/Smokescreen, but amazingly manages to blow this golden pattern. The arms have to be twiddled around due to utterly thoughtless placement of the screwholes, the car roof is designed to be even more precarious and the waist is a mess. If it isn't broke let Takara's design team have a go and it soon will be. It's something of a surprise then that Jazz actually looks alright once you get there.

The good thing about the robot mode is that it eliminates the join lines. This might seem like a very obvious observation but it allows the smooth colour scheme (ably aided by liberal areas of black) to work that bit better. Something that's always annoyed me about this mould though is the way his chrome feet/shins don't actually line up with the black plastic legs. Would it really have been that difficult? No, no it wouldn't. Sloppy. The head cast is decent, though, full of personality. Articulation? Hah. There's a little in the arms, partly negated by the layout of the shoulders, and that's it. Accessories-wise, Jazz does get a cool chromed rifle plus a missile launcher backpack that just about clips on if you're careful (though this could be down to Takara's abysmal mould preservation rather than poor design).


So, there's Jazz. He's distinctly average, even in comparison to other moulds from the same series, and would have a much worse reputation were it not for the character's exalted place in the Transformers Hall of Fame. For converts to the church of Jazz, the Encore is cheap and the robot mode displays nicely. For the rest of us, Jazz should be towards the bottom of the list priority-wise.