A coveted toy, yes a toy that was cherished by all who could, or could not afford it. The latter was me. As an eight-year-old, I recall drooling over this stunning G1 Jetfire at Toy"R"Us when it proudly sat on those beige colored gondola shelves back in 1985. It wasn't until I was 12, that a well timed trade with a neighborhood friend, finally gave me the opportunity to own this beautiful example of 80's robot goodness!
I still have my original Jetfire, so I figured I'd pull him out for some photos and to look back at the captivating history of Hasbro's successful giant robot.
Jetfire, AKA SkyFire, debuted in season one of Transformers cartoon series, (Fire in the Sky) and is easily one of my favorite episodes. The backstory of Jetfire was different from many of the other characters of the show. Autobot or Decepticon, good or evil, they were warriors. Here you have this overwhelming massive beast of a robot, yet he is not a warrior. His strengths lie in his intelligence. As a scientist, Jetfire was intrigued more about the origin of life rather than to conquer it.
His introduction to the show was short lived as he sacrificed himself for the Autobots, which had him trapped in ice, only to return in later episodes.
The history of this particular toy is somewhat interesting. There is a noticeable difference between the toy, and the original character from the show. This was no mistake. The toy maker Hasbro/Takara, although quite handy at producing nifty transforming robots, did not have a hand in Jetfire's development. Most are aware that this toy was produced by the other major Japanese toy manufacturer, Bandai. Yes, Jetfire had his roots with a completely different toy manufacture, and although that seems unusual, it was a win-win situation for both competing companies.
Bandai who was responsible for the construction of Macross/Robotech had owned the impressive VF-1 toy for the Macross series. This is the main reason why there was a difference between the cartoon and the toy. It was a legal issue that still allowed Hasbro to profit from the toy, but it stopped there. The cartoon as well as the Comics shared a different look as well as name, Skyfire.
Bandai sold their Macross/Robotech variant in Japan as the Valkyrie VF and is identical to Hasbro's version except for the color scheme.
Jetfire is a fantastic toy that brings back memories and looks stunning while displayed. He is well built and surprisingly has held up just fine through the years. Diecast landing gear, great articulation are just some of the great features this toy has going for it. I would have to say that this 1985 trasformer surpasses much of what is on the shelves for kids today.
Things to look for if interested in getting...
• Make sure to get all the armor pieces
• Check for yellowing as the plastic is known for oxidation
• The hard part to get is the Gunclip. This little piece of plastic is not necessary for overall display, but if you're a completest, you'll need it.
Enjoy the Pics!