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Series: Revenge of the Fallen
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Leader
Year: 2009

Jetfire grew tired of war a long time ago. The reckless ambition of the Decepticons, and the senseless violence of their war sickened him, and so he left Cybertron to go into hiding. The form he eventually chose on Earth seemed appropriate for one who wished to remain unseen. He slumbered in peace for years. Now, reawakened by the arrival of the war on Earth, he decided once again to enter the fight - this time on the side of the Autobots, and this time to end it for good, whatever the cost.

Robot Mode: When I first heard that Jetfire, as seen in the second movie, was to be an old-man robot who walked with a cane, I was rather skeptical of the idea. We've seen old robots before (G1 Kup and Animated Ratchet come to mind), but never one who needed a cane to walk. Jetfire managed to dispell my doubts quite nicely, though. He's a big robot who walks with a cane. And he makes it look good.

Jetfire's entire body shape mirrors his old-man-image. He's not particularly tall (at least compared to other ROTF Leader class figures), but very wide and the design of his torso makes him seem hunched over. To answer a question I got the other day: Yes, he can stand without his cane. But he looks better with it. Anyway, Jetfire has very long, highly detailed arms, while his legs appear much shorter, but that is mostly because of the chicken-leg design. The arms are fully posable, while the legs are somewhat restricted in that they can't straighten, but again: That's the old man image Jetfire has going and it works pretty well.

Jetfire's head is a work of art. It combines the look of a bearded face with that of an old-school steam locomotive and the result looks fabulous. Sadly it's on a loose hinge, so it doesn't stay turned to the side, but apart from that: Great. His hands also look pretty good, he's got individually sculpted fingers (or claws, rather) which can easily hold his walking stick. He has a bit of a problem holding his big weapon (see below), but that one's more for use in the combined mode than anything else, so it's not a big thing.

Speaking of weapons, Jetfire can fasten a minigun to either of his arms, which launches a blue projectile. His other weapon is made from the big plate on his back (a big part of the jet's rear section), which folds and combines with his walking stick into a really big gun. Like I said, though, this one's more for the combined mode. Finally Jetfire can also wield his walking stick like a big club, if he so fancies.

If this robot mode has one problem, it's that the parts for combining with Optimus Prime look a bit out of place. Jetfire has those two clamps on his chest, which serve absolutely no purpose here or in jet mode; they're just for combining. Would have been nice if they'd fold away somehow. Also, there is the belt (of sorts) that goes around Prime's waist in combined mode. It doesn't really have a good place anywhere here, so I just stuffed it onto his back.

All in all, though, Jetfire's robot mode is very, very good. It succeeds fully in what it set out to do and looks great in the process.

Alternate Mode: Jetfire transforms into one of my all-time favorite aircraft, the Lockheed Martin SR-71 Blackbird. Comic geeks might recognize it as the transport-of-choice of the X-Men (and later Excalibur), cartoon geeks might note the resemblance to the Cobra Night Raven from the 80s GI Joe cartoon series. The Blackbird is a pretty huge aircraft and Jetfire certainly pays homage to that, as the jet seems to be three times as big as his robot mode. That's because the entire front section of the Blackbird is just Jetfire's arms, raised above his head (so to speak), so he gets a lot of extra length.

A few words on the transformation: It's not terribly complicated as such. It only takes a few steps to get Jetfire more or less into jet-shape. The hard part, though, is to get all the parts properly aligned, all the various plates klicked into place, and everything straightened out. I'm not going to transform him too often, let me tell you. Also, the edges of Jetfire's jet mode are such that I wonder how they got it past the safety inspection. If you hold the jet tightly while trying to get all the plates into their proper place, the edges dig pretty deep into your finger tips. They're not sharp enough to cut you, but not far from it, either. I would worry if I saw a little kid trying to work this thing.

Safety concerns aside, Jetfire's jet mode is a beauty to behold. Everything forms up into a sleek black shape and there isn't a hint of bulkiness to be found. Okay, Jetfire has some undercarriage, which was inevitable. But unlike some other jet Transformers (I'm looking at you, Silverbolt!) it doesn't seem terribly out of place. The only true hint of the robot mode you see is Jetfire's hands, which are underneath the cockpit holding his walking stick (which becomes the front landing gear). It's not a big thing, though, and easily ignored. The only true out-of-place parts here are once again those grey clamps Jetfire had on his chest in robot mode. They stick out to the sides (or down, but then you don't need a landing gear). Could have done without those.

Apart from that very tiny flaw, though, Jetfire gives us one of the finest jet modes I've ever seen. It helps, of course, that I really like the aircraft he's modelled on, but even without that: Great job.

Combined Mode: As we've seen quite a few times before, this Jetfire here, too, can combine with Optimus Prime. And unlike what we saw in the movie, Jetfire doesn't need to kill himself and be torn into pieces in order for it to work. Basically Jetfire transforms into a big backpack for Optimus Prime, giving him flight capability. Jetfire's legs fasten onto Prime's, who's now standing on his tip toes, so to speak, and Prime can utilize both Jetfire's minigun and his bigger cannon. Which also solves the question why Prime needed those fist-with-hole hands.

The combination looks very impressive, but that's pretty much it. It's for looking at. Jetfire/Optimus combined is about as posable as Armada Jet-Optimus was. He can still move his arms freely, but his legs are pretty much stuck in position. So while visually impressive, it's not among the better two-bot-combinations out there. Please note, though: This is the 'official' combination, as depicted in the instruction sheet. I've read of other ways these two bots can combine, dreamed up by fans, and those apparently work better. Haven't tried those myself yet. If they work better, I'll add more pictures later on.

Remarks: "BEHOLD THE GLORY OF JETFIRE!" One of the few good things about the "Revenge of the Fallen" movie was this guy here, Jetfire. One of the oldest Transformers in existence, he was originally created a Seeker, whose job was to seek out stars the Primes could harvest in order to repower the AllSpark Cube. When the war between Autobots and Decepticons began Jetfire went into hiding, eventually ending up on Earth (or Planet Dirt, as he called it) and slumbering in the shape of an SR-71 Blackbird. He was awakened by Sam, Mikaela and company in order to help them defeat the Fallen. Jetfire eventually gave his life (and parts) to Optimus Prime in order to do just that. Sadly his sacrifice went completely unlamented before the movie closed.

As a figure Jetfire works out beautifully. I feared he'd be just an add-on to Optimus Prime, but interestingly enough that's the one mode where he doesn't work out quite so well. Both robot and jet modes are very nicely done. Jetfire perfectly captures the image he was going for and makes it work. Not too long ago I wrote that Animated Ratchet was the best 'old-man' Transformer out there. Well, Ratchet, you just got serious competition. As a Leader-class figure Jetfire does come with a healthy price tag (especially here in Europe), but in my opinion he's worth it. One of the best ROTF figures so far.

Rating: A

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