Transformers Review: Jetfire (ROTF Leader)


Intro:
            As promised earlier in the ROTF Leader-class Optimus Prime review, I would be reviewing his partner-in-crime, Jetfire, and so here I am.
            The name Jetfire first appeared in the lore during the first season of the original G1 series, where his back-story revealed he was once a close friend of the Decepticon Aerial Commander Starscream, and during an ill-fated science exploration, he was trapped in a suspended animation for eons until he was eventually rediscovered by Starscream. He joined the Decepticon cause briefly after he was tricked by his former friend, and eventually joined the Autobots.
            He was depicted as one of the larger Autobots within their ranks.
            Jetfire (or Skyfire) have been frequently depicted as either transforming into a jet, huge aircrafts or space shuttle. During the run of the Armada series back in the early Noughties, Jetfire was depicted as having the honor of being able to combine with that series’ Optimus Prime, as a form of power-up for the latter. The concept was subsequently abandoned in the latter series that followed, although he did retained his ability to combine with another in the Energon/Superlink series, partnering Ironhide (Roadbuster in the Superlink series).
            Optimus Prime (along with some major Autobot leaders) from various continuities, as various points, displayed abilities to combine with other figures as well, such as Star Saber combining with Victory Leo (Victory); God Ginrai combining with God Bomber (Masterforce); Fire Convoy & Ultra Magnus (Car Robots); Optimus & Omega Supreme (Energon) & many more!!!
            Somehow, Michael Bay must have been informed of the fact that Optimus Prime used to combine with Jetfire before (and of his original back-story), thus chose the character Jetfire for ROTF).
            So without further ado, let’s get on with the review. But before that, I wanna make a shout-out to TeenCom for reserving Jetfire for me 2 years ago, especially when I couldn’t find Jetfire anywhere else…  To all you Cybertronians out there, who happens to be toys/ action figures/ anime collectors, trust me, you can find a lotta things at TeenCom. Just drop by their store at Gajah Berang, Malacca, or visit their website at www.teencom.com.my.

Alternate Mode:
            Despite the fact that Jetfire is supposed to be an old guy, I’m quite surprised that he turns into a SR-71 Blackbird (Trivial: On the record, if some of you thought that this jet looks familiar, that’s because the X-Men uses the same aircraft in their operations). 
            To me, the choice of a Blackbird as an alternate mode may be a bit awkward, or at least it doesn’t make sense to me. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t a SR-71 Blackbird supposed to be one of those state-of-the-arts, stealth jet aircraft? In fact, the SR-71 Blackbird still holds the current world record for the (quoted from Wikipedia) – the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft to date, although the Blackbird last served the US Air Force in 1998. 
How can a robot that old, turn in to a high tech contraption like that?! 
Size Comparison between ROTF Leader-class Optimus & Jetfire
            Logics aside, having an SR-71 Blackbird as an alternate mode is soooo cool. Jetfire looks simply amazing, not to mention that he is so huge that he literally dwarfs Optimus Prime in truck mode! It’s worth to note that even though he labeled as an Autobot, he doesn’t have any Autobot insignia on him, except for 2 huge Decepticon insignia on the both wings. 
            He also has the number 17972 etched on his wings and also the name Lt Col Brawley, whoever the guy is. Also, all of the supposedly sharp edges of the aircraft are made from soft rubber, so there are no worries about people getting hurt while transforming them. 
 
 
 
            Gimmick-wise, as you press on the button and the tail end of the jet, you’ll get a flyby sound of a jet, which is neat. 
            Overall, it’s a nice alternate mode, but depending on from which angle you look at him, he may or may not score high marks. Viewing from the top or the sides is okay, but when it comes to from the bottom, he is horribly kibble-ridden. He looks nothing more than just a folded up robot underneath. But I guess that was well expected from most Jet-based transformers.

Robot Mode:
As far as I’m concerned, Jetfire has one of the best robot modes in the entire ROTF line, if not the best. Forget Optimus Prime, forget Megatron, Jetfire is THE MAN!!! This time around, Jetfire is portrayed as a grouchy old robot in the movie, who can’t even stand up straight. I think the transition from movie to figure has been done brilliantly. 
Despite being an old dawg, he still packs quite a punch. He has a blaster which can be attached onto his left arm, and also has two missile-like protrusion on his shoulder (use your imagination). It may not be an actual missile launcher, but with a little bit of imagination, it may as well be. He also has what appears to be moustache on his face (which I wished they were longer) and whiskers on the side of the face. As with other Decepticons (and ex-Decepticon), he has chicken-legs that can never be straighten up. He is also predominantly black with a little of blue here and there. 
Gimmick-wise, when you push down the button on his chest, Jetfire will say “Jetfire’s my name” in Australian accent, and his eyes & an LED on his left chest would light up. I don’t know why they chose to only put an LED on his left chest alone, because obviously it would’ve made more sense to put it on both sides of the chest.  

Articulation-wise, he’s quite good: head shakes left and right; 2 points at the shoulder (rolls around and moves up and down); 1 point above elbow; 1 point at elbow; 1 at wrist & thumb each and the 4 other fingers moves together; 2 points at hip; 2 points at knee; 1 point at lower knee; and1 at ankle. Overall, I love Jetfire. He is easily the best looking robot in the entire series in my opinion. 
Gimmicks (Optimus Prime-Jetfire Combo):
            I don’t know about you guys, but truth be told, this is the reason why I wanted to buy both of these guys. Anyway, the result of the combination is nothing short of amazing. Although the combination itself would reduce the overall articulation of the entire figure (totally no leg articulation), the Jetfire-Prime combo is so huge, and is almost as tall as Supreme Devastator. He could almost passed as the latter’s sparring partner.
 
           Gimmick-wise, by pressing Jetfire’s button would activate the sound of robotic movement, and nothing more.
Overall:
            Like I said before, the main reason that I bought both of these figures was because of the combination mode. Jetfire has become one of the most difficult-to-get figures in Malaysia, due to the lack of shipment from both Hasbro & Takara-Tomy and also due to the sheer popularity of the character in the movie itself. Jetfire itself is simply awesome.
            At the end of the day, the combination mode is even better!!! Their combination mode maybe 90% accurate, but in my book, that’s good!.
            My advice to other collectors out there, you have to get Jetfire, he is simply the best in the line, period. You may afford to skip Optimus, but do not let go of the opportunity to get Jetfire. However, once you have Jetfire in you possession, you’ll definitely be tempted to grab Optimus Prime as well due to the awesome combination mode.  

            Final verdict:
(Jetfire) 9/10
(Optimus and Jetfire combo) 9.5/10

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