For many Transformers fans there are a handful of characters that are immediately recognizable. There are the leaders Optimus Prime and Megatron, and other iconic figures like Starscream and amongst the Autobots, Jazz. Like the original toy’s motto said, “do it with style, or don’t bother doing it,” fits Jazz being rebuilt into the very modern Mazda RX-8. In the original Transformers animated series Jazz was reformatted from his original Cybertronian form into a Martini Porsche 935. Many drivers drove the original Martini Porsche 935 in winning races. One of the most notable 935’s was the 935/78 “Moby Dick” car. It earned this nickname due to the Le Mans Group 5 rules that allowed the car to be lowered ten millimeters and have various body (aerodynamic) changes made to the car giving it a rather large appearance. This same car had the stock engine enlarged to 3.2 liters and equipped with water-cooled four-cylinder heads. This pushed the car to an amazing 750 horsepower. When looking to make the Binaltech line, the designers originally approached Porsche with a prototype of Jazz based off of a modern Porsche. Many have seen this prototype figure in various sources. According to now infamous reports, Porsche vehemently said “NO.” The company had no interest being involved with war toys, considering their illustrious history. Professor Ferdinand Porsche Sr. originally developed the original Porsche, the 356, in 1948 as a sports car. That same car is now a collector’s item. What many don’t realize is Adolf Hilter personally selected Ferdinand Porsche Sr. to develop his “family car line” or was we commonly know it, Volkswagen. Ferdinand Porsche Sr. was the chief designer behind the original Volkswagen Beetle, and received input directly from Adolf Hitler over various aspects of the car. Now, to complicate matters, Volkswagen has a majority ownership over Porsche so the likely hood of a “war toy” from either company is unlikely. Instead of trying to bring old history back up, Takara made a smart choice by going to an equally interesting company, Mazda, for its new revolutionary car the RX-8. The RX-8 uses Mazda’s rotary engine (Wankel engine) that they first introduced in the 1967 Mazda Cosmo. The rotary engine is known for its smoothness that is equivalent in many respects to that of an electric engine. The problems, though, are numerous. Even the new “Renesis” engine Mazda uses in the RX-8 isn’t very fuel-efficient and is rated at almost truck-like mileage of 18 miles-per-gallon city and 25 miles-per gallon highway as equipped with an automatic transmission. For a mid-sized V6 truck this would be expected, but not from a 1.3 liter rotary engine. Like most trucks, and worthwhile sports cars, the RX-8 has rear-wheel drive. Despite the mileage concerns, the RX-8 is a marvelous car. It has radical rear-opening suicide style doors allowing a fantastic level of ease-of-entry into the back seat. The RX-8 also has a perfect 50/50 balance front to back, accomplished by placing the small rotary engine behind the front axle. It is a great handling, highly stylized car, that fits the Autobot it was chosen for. I honestly couldn’t see Jazz being any other car. The toy RX-8, particularly the Alternators version, of Jazz has a few discrepancies from the real life car. The mirrors lack any sort of matching paint application, or reflective surface. The rear-window defroster is also distracting, as the actual mechanism is part of the rear glass and not as noticeable. Now, I’ve been referring to the character as Jazz so far, since that is who he is known as, but on the toy his license plate has his name as Meister. This is because Hasbro could not legally put Jazz on the RX-8 due to the fact of an upcoming vehicle by Honda that was to have that name. For some reason though, Honda named that vehicle the Fit upon its release this year in the United States. It does have the name Jazz overseas, though. The Meister name, though, isn't just some arbitrarily picked name. In Japan, who we knew as Jazz was named Meister. His Alternators name is a great homage to that fact. The transformation of the RX-8 mold is straightforward and not very difficult. The arms fold down from under the hood, and the seats and front floorboard together form Jazz’ (Meister’s) torso, like they do with Silverstreak and Smokescreen. His legs are formed by a couple of folds and twists of the rear of the car, and look very reminiscent of the original Generation One form. In fact his head looks dead-on like the original show version, and his thighs have a similar light blue detail like on the original Porsche toy. Jazz isn’t a towering robot and stands, in height, under Side Swipe yet he isn’t the shortest of the bunch either. The discouraging parts of Jazz’s robot mode is he lacks any outward (turning) arm articulation. His shoulders can move outwards, but his arm articulation is somewhat limited. His ability to stand is also effected by the tires from car mode. Some stances can be hard to obtain, and he can be a bit tipsy. Overall, Jazz is a pretty good character. He gets some “points” knocked off for some of his paint applications that easily come off. The “defroster” on his rear window, the Mazda logo on the front, and the printing on his license plate area all come off easily under constant pressure and unintentional rubbing. Also, the doorsill area’s white paint comes off easily as well. He isn’t a fragile character, but care needs to be taken when transforming him and “playing” with the toy. Final Score: B+ (Points taken off for paint applications that rub off, and vehicle mode inaccuracy).