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D-19 AUTOJETTER

Series: Beast Wars II
Allegiance: Destron
Categories: Autoroller
Year: 1998


An aerial guard, Autojetter preserves air supremecy at Galvatron's side when the latter flies in dragon mode. His personality is somewhat problematic, as he has a habit of enjoying war for his own pleasure. In machine mode, he's crashed after getting dragonflies sucked into his intakes, and since then has had a serious hatred of insects. The triple rockets on his arms are outstandingly powerful, and can be used on both land and sea.


Robot Mode: The Auto-Rollers are boxy-looking robots that automatically transform into boxy-looking vehicles by rolling across the floor. Which doesn't really sound like the kind of gimmick you can easily design a Transformer with a jet alternate mode around, right? Well, no. Because here we have Autojetter, a member of the Auto-Rollers, who is a jet Transformer. He certainly can't deny his basic nature, as his lower body is, in fact, rather boxy-looking, but his upper body more than makes up for it. He has a very cool head design, a great paint job, and he does the whole missile-launchers-instead-of-hands things a lot better than the Movie Seekers did it a decade later.

In terms of posability Autojetter is a mixed blessing. His arms are fully posable and he can turn his head, but the rest of his body is pretty much a statue. No leg movement at all due to the auto-transformation gimmick. Still, for a figure designed around a (at least potentially) rather cumbersome gimmick, Autojetter looks surprisingly lean and slim to me. And while the absence of proper hands usually bothers me, I don't have any problems with his missile launcher hands, either. Autojetter just looks cool in robot mode and the fact that you can transform him just by rolling him across the floor is a very nice bonus.

Vehicle Mode: Autojetter transforms into a fighter jet somewhat reminiscent of an F-15, I believe. The auto-transformation gimmick makes use of the most basic jet-Transformer design (cockpit becomes chest) and handily folds the robot down into its alternate mode, at least if you position the arms correctly before you begin. The jet itself looks very nice, though the aerodynamics are somewhat suspect considering the large missile launchers under his wings. No landing gear here, rather some wheels that are, of course, part of the gimmick and with the right lever position it takes no more than rolling it across the floor to make the jet flip up into robot form again. Nicely done, a superb vehicle mode, especially considering the potentially restrictive gimmick it was built around.

Remarks: Autojetter appeared in the Japanese-exclusive Beast Wars II cartoon series, where he serves as bodyguard to Destron leader Galvatron. Seeing as Galvatron was the most powerful Transformer in the series and didn't really need much guarding, Autojetter didn't have that much to do and didn't feature very prominently. His origins go back to the days of Generation 2, though. Four Transformers were designed for the G2 Auto-Roller subgroup, but only two were released (Roadblock and Dirtbag) before the series was cancelled. When Takara dug up old G2 designs for use in the Beast Wars II series, though, it was decided to use all four designs, so Autojetter finally saw the light of day.

While the Auto-Rollers weren't the first Transformers to feature automatic transformations (I believe that honor goes to Twin Twist and Top Spin), to me they did it best. Granted, the figures are somewhat blocky and with the exception of their arms feature almost no articulation, but I really like the lot of them and Autojetter is the best, at least in my mind. A cool alternate mode, a very cool robot mode, and a well-done gimmick all combine to make a very nice figure that still works very nicely today, despite its design being 15 years old. He might not be a classic for the ages, but he certainly stands tall in my book.

Rating: A-



 


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Published 23.12.2010
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