Transformers G1: Jetfire

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Back in 1985 when I was a little child, Transformers and Robotech were the premier cartoons featuring huge transforming robots from/in space. Most of Hasbro's Transformers line of toys and characters were designed by Takara for their diaclone line. However Hasbro wanted to capitalize on the popularity so they bought licenses for toys from other manufacturers such as Shockwave and Sky Lynx from ToyCo. One such toy of interest is Jetfire who comes from Takatoku's Macross VF-1 design.

Unfortunately Takatoku went under soon after producing the VF-1 so the VF-1 design got bought up by Bandai. Bandai was a competitor to Takara so this caused a problem with the Jetfire character so he was only sold outside of Japan.

For me, I didn't know any of that when I was young but I saw a great looking big shiny red and white robot in the Transformers toy brochure. And I wanted it. Unfortunately he was fairly hard to find in stores and carried a high price tag.

So almost 25 years after Jetfire came out, I bought a used one from eBay - new ones go for over $300. I got mine for $23. It is a second run so it was produced by Bandai.

Find out if G1 Jetfire was worth buying for me.

A sleek F-14 Tomcat-like profile:

The back shows the hands. The engines/legs sag when you lift the toy from the ground since they aren't held in place by pegs:

Jetfire features a similar head to the Macross VF-1S - which is my favorite:

Too bad mine has a saggy backpack that can't be tightened since the screws aren't exposed:

A clean back, unlike many Transformers such as Masterpiece Starscream:

Jetfire is lovingly referred to as "Chunky Monkey" so its boxy design compared the the Macross VF-1 cartoon lineart. It features an impressive number of articulation points - far exceeding any Transformers toy of the time. I have a soft spot for the original Jetfire since I first laid eyes on it so I just had to pick this one up. Mine had minor yellowing problems, missing the super packs, and wear tear but I got it for a fair price.

With the licensing issues still existing, it's doubtful we'll ever see another Jetfire based on the Macross VF-1. If you still like the original Jetfire but want a new take on it, I definitely recommend you take a look at Yamato's VF-1S 1/60 scale V2.0 line of toys - I'll be posting a few pictures of one in the future.

Eric Toy Score: 3.5 out of 5

Publisher: Hasbro/Bandai
Year: 1985
Price: $19.99 MSRP


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