Thursday 22 December 2022



As I’ve mentioned before, my collecting journey nowadays pretty much consists of upgrading or replacing. My collection as an entity was pretty much locked down some years ago now. I’d been more than happy with Maketoys Downbeat, although there was something missing from it overall, which I could never quite put my finger on. Anyway, Fans Toys announced their take on Jazz so it was to the sales pile with Downbeat, a pre-order for FT-48 Jive was placed and all I had to do was sit back and wait.

Back in the spring of 1985, Jazz was my first Autobot car, purchased from Argos whilst on holiday in Cornwall. I say first, he was and wasn’t really. Bumblebee was my first Transformer way back in the September of 1984 but as he’s a Mini-Bot I don’t technically class him as an “Autobot car” in the terms of this review. Jazz is and has been my favourite of the “Autobot cars”, a no brainer really as he’s a cool dude with an even cooler vehicle mode. Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, most young boys were infatuated by sports cars, I was no exception. But anyway, enough with the intro, lets get down to why we’re here shall we.

Box & Accessories

Box quality is Fans Toys standard, it’s sturdy, glossy and printed well. As ever, the figure is presented inside a tomb of polystyrene, which I adore as it gives off an air of prestige. Along with the figure are the accessories which include; a blaster, shoulder mounted rocket, grappling hook assembly, two speakers and two swap out faces. Also included is the almost obsolete instruction booklet and a collectors card.

Vehicle Mode

The words “sleek, sexy import with turbo handling” spring to mind when looking at Jive in his alt mode. This is a really good representation of a Porsche 935 Turbo. It manages to look like a real world car but also retain a call back to the animation model. The sparce external decoration looks good but I for one will be investing in a sticker set to pimp him out in his Martini Racing livery, once one becomes available. Paint application is very nice, a mixture of gloss, matt and metallics really make him stand out. Rubber tyres, it’s a must have but those wheel rims are a little bland, I know, animation ….. However I am hopeful that the said sticker set will include an option to have spoked wheels. Translucent plastic for the windows is nice but it does show off the internal gubbins which is not unsightly but may put some off, those that are heavy on the ‘toon accuracy. My example in hand is a solid mode with no panel gaps or mis-alignments, and as I said, almost every inch of this figure is painted and has zero blemishes or bad spots. Jive rolls well on his wheels and the doors open for effect, but this is more to do with transformational sequence than actual play or design feature.


Transformation is not bad, but can be a little fiddley in places, a little too tight also. But this is something that Fans Toys does from time to time with their releases. At no point did I feel an apprehension or concern that anything would break or stress. I have a gentle but deliberate touch anyway so breakages aren’t something I experience very often, if at all. Those who have him will note the very much G1 toy inspired transformation sequence, a call back to those who appreciate that kind of thing, myself included. As I would assume most people do by now, I’d stay clear of the transformation steps as shown in the instruction booklet and go with an online video walk through sequence. There are many out there so choose the one that best fits for you. However, I have included below the links to Fans Toys own transformation video's.

Robot to Vehicle: Here

Vehicle to Robot: Here

Robot Mode

In robot mode Jive looks sublime, almost as if he’s jumped out from the T.V. and into your hands. Okay, a slight exaggeration but it’s not far off I tell you. There’s just the right balance of detailing to satisfy those who want the G1 toy aesthetic whilst pleasing those of a more cartoon slant. Just to repeat a point from earlier, this figure is painted excellently. No one blemish or bad spot, just about every inch is covered. Fans Toys have done a bang on job of getting all the key elements from his cartoon look to translate well on this figure. However in robot mode I have two quibbles, the tight shoulder joints compromise the structural integrity of the upper torso, meaning when you rotate them the chest disassembles itself

Secondly, I feel the head articulation is unsatisfactory, rotation and up just does not cut it these days. I’m sure a ball joint could’ve been made to work. The articulation is good, most action poses are achievable and without need of external support. No double joints here but it does not compromise the figure as a whole, the addition of an ab-crunch helps. The doors fold out and with the rocket launcher attached he’s looking more like his old toy version. Jive scales well with his contemporary's, whether they are other 3rd Party figures or official Takara releases. Although, I personally feel that the Takara Autobot cars are starting to look a little dated now, in their robot modes that is. So maybe there’s an opportunity for some other to update those for the collecting community?

Closing Thoughts

What can I say, it’s another belter of a release from Fans Toys. I’m no fanboy for them, I collect what I like or catches my eye regardless of the manufacturer, but I cannot deny the quality of their product or that passion that goes into their designs and Jive is again no exception. A solid figure with quality materials, great paint job and good articulation which also bridges the G1 toy / cartoon aesthetic well. My minor points aside I’m very happy with this figure, more so when I get that Martini Livery onto him. So, what if you have Downbeat? what should you do? Well, I’m certainly not one to tell you what you should do but I would suggest maybe consider looking into Jive. I had Downbeat (Bounceback too), and for the time they did what I needed them to. However, were I given the choice now then I’d pass on Downbeat. He’s still a good figure but just lacks something that I can’t quite put my finger on, I just know that Jive has it, whatever it is. 

Okay, being objective I have to say that Jive is a better rendition of Jazz than Downbeat. The materials used and paint application alone outperform the latter, not to mention the sturdiness of it all, although the articulation is maybe on a par. Also Jive goes more in for that animation feel rather than Downbeats more stylised approach. It’s your call and I’m sure that you’ll decide what’s best for you and your collection as a whole.

Right, I’m out of here. When I started to write this review I thought it would be my last of 2022, aside from prepping my 2022 collecting overview. However moments ago the door bell went and the kind gent from DPD brought me MMC’s RMX-11 Tempo from Kapow Toys…. no rest for the wicked.

Fans Toys FT-48 Jive was purchased from Omegalock, the link to which can be found in our 'Recommended Sites' section.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and catch you all soon.

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