This is a very interesting one from 3rd party company Mastermind Creations. From their successful and well-loved Reformatted series, R-15 Jaegertron is their spin on the bounty hunting loner who first appeared in Transformers Animated, then in IDW comics sporting his Revenge Of The Fallen looks, and most recently in the fourth feature film, Age Of Extinction. What makes it interesting is that Jaegertron does not tie itself specifically to any one of those influences, but rather mixes them all together for what is a properly divisive release.
Weighing in at modern day voyager class scale, Jaegertron comes with a great number of parts. He has those two blasters, the two hands which are removable, five melee weapons which can replace the hands in the wrist slots, two black guns that attach to the wings, two green swords, an extra robot head with adjustable green mask (from AoE), ‘gunface’ head with attachable cannon (AoE), circular black shield *deep breath* and finally, a trophy cabinet that doubles up as weapons storage. Oh crud, I forgot he also comes with replacement faces for all five main Feralcons, and they look pretty damn good actually.
You can see that in terms of colour and aesthetic, he shares much more with the Animated and ROTF versions of the original character, very black and green with sharply contrasting flashes of translucent red about the place. The spikes and hook, as well as his normal face sculpt, put me most in mind of the ROTF toy, but he has that same hunched look that the early inspiration made famous. Animated always had a dab of comedy about it that wouldn’t allow it to take itself too seriously (while being tremendously well written and consistent fiction, with proper character development) but MMC have gone for the much more dark IDW/AOE interpretation for Jaegertron.
Personally, I think he looks great, very much in keeping with how this character should, in my opinion, be represented. People have complained a great deal about the fact that his shoulders rotate freely and they have no defined click-in or tabbing connection, but honestly this has never bothered me on Jaegertron or mould-mate R-18 Anubis. I can rotate the forearms and the elbows, as well as the shoulders repeatedly and the flat grey part that connects the arm to the body does not rotate out of place. What bothers me is that you can’t really turn his head to the side without it being at a strange angle highly reminiscent of the ROTF deluxe’s oddly-angled neck. Unfortunately Jaegertron does not have the interesting articulation of that deluxe’s neck section.
He does not have a huge amount of movement available to the ankles, but you can get expressive with the posing quite quickly. The enormous amount of weapon combinations also helps in keeping the figure interesting for display. The shield on his back, though, can only really live there and mine is already covered in small scratches (mainly from alt mode). Double-jointed elbows and knees aid posability, as does his rotating waist, wrist and bicep swivels. His backpack can be pointed downwards to give the appearance of a cape, or angled up to support the transformed jet look.
Kneeling is no problem for this figure, but you do really start to notice the mass of kibble he sports in robot mode. As you can see, he’s plenty dynamic and balanced enough to pull off the most taxing of poses – in other words – THE RUN. So no problems in getting some serious expression and action out of Jaegertron, his considerable arsenal and gimmick shack providing variety and durability to his play value as well. Visually I like what I see and would happily display this figure, but he’s such a mix of influences, it’s almost as if he loses the main features of each influence in the soup of bounty hunter history. It’s like a Greatest Hits of You Know Who. That said, I love me some bright green panel lining amongst black panels. Speaking of that black, another criticism levelled at the Jaeger-bomb here is that the appearance of the black plastic and painted sections is cheap. I just don’t get that vibe from it, he’s just fine to me with the exception of the easily-scratched shield. The grey spikes can chip paint easily too, I have noticed it happening on the tip of a few of mine already.
All of Jaegertron’s heads are cool, and I am happy with his face sculpt as it’s well within expectations for this character. I always liked the green mask used by the Age Of Extinction villain version, and it’s melded in nicely with his more traditional look for MMC’s bad boy. Being able to flip it up gives one some great display options. Gunface remains as ridiculous as ever, but I always thought it showed a bit of imagination that took us out of the same old Transformers accessory cycles, even if it was tremendously silly. I’m glad it’s included, I’ve had my fun with it here! It does however mean that Jaegertron suddenly has a different coloured head, though.
A closer look at the trophy cabinet and you can see the Feralcon heads, their clear casing and how they are attached to the central wall of the cabinet. You can actually tab Jaegertron’s extra heads (and Anubis’s) to the holes in the same wall for varied display options. So there are holes in the wall for the Jagertron/Anubis heads, and pegs on the same wall for the clear Feralcon head trays. I won’t lie, I got an AFA vibe from those clear trays for the Ferlacon heads! It’s a shame you can only attach 4 of the 5 melee weapons to the doors of the cabinet, and I have had to improvise with the attaching of the rifles and storing of the swords. It’s a quality accessory set, though, and the cabinet is fantastic fun. The legs that fold out have one last click that secures them.
More divisiveness here. I adore his jet mode, to the point where I would actually have him displayed this way in my collection permanently. I know this mode exists because the mould is intended for their Cyclonus, and has therefore been re-purposed as pre-tools Anubis and Jaegertron, but it’s breathtakingly sexy. He has all the right features for a mean, futuristic space fighter right down to the green knees acting as afterburners, and the elbows do the same job from under the wings. I just love the shape of this thing, and getting here from robot mode is actually very simple as far as MMC transformations go.
Add the Gunface in between the two nose parts and add the cannon for an armed look. He rests on his leg spikes and shield, which is where the scratches and paint wear originate from. It’s disappointing that he has no landing gear or undercarriage (they’ve included it for their Cyclonus). There are issues in getting the wing parts to tab together, getting the red canopy to tab to the jet front and getting the feet to tab down either side of the canopy. For a transformation this simple that does not require high levels of contortion (see Azalea), MMC should absolutely have nailed the tolerances and alignments of those tabs to give no issues whatsoever.
I did find that if I took extra care during what is a short transformation, made sure the thighs were always straight and never swivelled outwards at the hip (very easy to allow this to happen, check under the spiked thigh guard regularly), ensured that the elbow joints were always fully bent at 90 degrees and got enough clicks out of the knee ratchets then things tabbed better and more securely. If you can tab the forearms to the shoulders tightly and as flush as they will go, then the wings will tab more securely into the arms. The bit I find hardest to nail is the tabbing of the feet around the cockpit, I did manage it once though so it’s possible. Some of the tabs need a bit of massaging with pressure to stay in place. You can see above that by removing the hands and flipping the wrist around, you can attach melee weapons in jet mode as well.
This is tremendous. The trophy cabinet can also close up (with the weapons and heads still inside it) and attach to the back of Jaegertron in fighter mode. It completely destroys the sleek, aerodynamic look of the futuristic jet, turning it into something of a space truck, but it is one significant (and secure) chunk of toy once the whole thing is tabbed together. Quite a spectacle. There’s even a switch on the bottom of the cabinet in alt mode that allows you to turn on a red LED for the booster at the back. A Titans Return/Legends Highbrow has been included for you to get some idea of the length of this mental vehicle.
Both Anubis and Jaegertron have this lovely alternate mode to add to their considerable array of accessories and their controversial overall look. Both robot mode and fighter mode for Anubis and Jaegertron have garnered criticism not just for the tabbing issues that some struggle with, but also because these two characters have a very specific look, they have significant parts in Transformers lore and loyal followings. It was very easy for MMC to alienate the core audience for these toys by not being highly faithful to the original inspiration. I guess some may never come to terms with Jaegertron’s alt mode being a space ship instead of a spiky muscle car. That is where I think some of the loss of enthusiasm in the community for Jaegertron comes from, and the rest of it comes from the issues (tabbing, head popping off, paint wear, lack of much ankle tilt, shoulders).
In my case, though, I am a fan of both these figures, actually much moreso than what I see of the originally intended mould recipient, Cyclonus! Jaegertron’s jet black and green colours, killer alt mode, swathes of accessories and options in addition to that bonus trophy cabinet mark this out as a toy I can enjoy and go back to. I must be lucky in that I have not suffered greatly with its tabbing and shoulders. I have absolutely no idea where it would fit into my collection though. These days I have a significant CHUG scale display, and I still would struggle to replace the ROTF figure with this release. It would be a standalone interpretation of a favourite character, but not my favourite iteration of it. That’s good enough for some, but not all. Despite (but with due attention to) the above caveats, I’d still recommend Jaegertron to anyone who asks.