JetfireJETFIRE. Such a unique toy and character in Transformers history. The first Autobot jet. Scientist and air guardian. The only toy licensed from the Robotech line and — when initially released — the tallest Transformer thus far. The whole thing with the licensing issues that morphed the character's cartoon name into Skyfire and genericized his animation model... Jetfire!

But in truth, whenever I think of Jetfire my first thoughts are of my grandfather. I only had the toy a year or two when I somehow broke the ratcheting in his right arm. Gun in hand, you could raise his arm to fire on the enemy in the sky, but as soon as you let go it would fall, briefly swinging pendulum-like before resting limply at his side. At my grandfather's workbench, he and I dissected and reassembled the injured shoulder, and though we could not fix the ratcheting for lack of the right parts, we were able to give it enough traction so that the Autobot scientist could keep the limb aloft.

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They may be on different sides of the war, but their similarities are striking. Both Shockwave (right) and Jetfire (left) were distinct in appearance because they were one-offs licensed from other toy companies for inclusion in the Transformers line. Both characters have minimalist heads, characterized only by a single eye and flanked by antennae. However illogical it may be for most Transformers to have mouths, noses and two eyes, these features lend a relatable humanism to them that Shockwave and Jetfire lack. These two have other distinctly non-anthropomorphic features as well, like Shockwave's laser hand, and Jetfire's stilted platform feet. It's not surprising, then, that both characters were described as highly intelligent and technologically futuristic in design and ability.

Because they're freaks. And freaks are generally super-smart and into technology and stuff. Right?

The improved Shockwave art comes courtesy of Jeremy Barlow. I like how he maintained the glow around Shockwave's laser hand! The improved Jetfire art was submitted by Vito Adesso. Thanks to you both!

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Posted 10.31.2010 14:23:02
6 comments (last comment by Ben Rumbold)

I shall now review the entire Transformers: Classics Deluxe and Voyager collection, per toy, in the order in which they were obtained, via haiku.

cautious g-one fan
dollface spies him at target
triple-changer love

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Posted 2.07.2007 8:46:28
5 comments (last comment by Curis)

Botch, that is I/we, would like to apologize to the ever-vigilant and faithful online Transfan community for the ridiculous paucity of updates to this site since November (namely none). Where has Botch been? What does Botch do? Well, he spends the majority of his time with his cabaret/metal band, Brompton's Cocktail. Or he's spending 4-5 hours a day commuting to his HTML development job. Or he's trying to spend time with his girlfriend, who does not currently live nearby. Botch is tired. Always tired. As he typically needs only 5 or 6 hours of sleep, but is still tired, this should tell you how busy Botch is.

But Botch apologizes, and hope everyone forgive him.

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Posted 5.01.2000