Posted May 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm
Apparently there were going to be more Jazzes than even I realized.
This was the second year I've attended the BotCon customization class. Last year I got to make Animated Minerva, and I had fun, so I did my best to sign up this year, too, and somehow succeeded. It's pretty difficult to get in! There are very limited seats and they basically sell out between when the prereg form goes live and its announcement on Twitter. God must be rewarding me for my general apathy towards Him.
Same as last year, we were given an unassembled toy still on the tree, with all the screws and bolts and pins necessary to put him together. What's not same as last year is the level of difficulty involved. Animated Minerva was pretty straightforward. Jazz, meanwhile, is way more complicated. He's got SPRINGS, man! And large bolts that go through the entirety of his torso, requiring a dremel. Certain things were wisely deemed too difficult for novices and were left to a small group of extremely patient helpers. The first day, I've heard, was grueling. The kits sent from Asia were constructed differently than the samples sent earlier, necessitating some reorchestrating of its assembly. By the second day, when I was there, most of these things were ironed out. I had an excellent time, despite the more difficult assembly. It took me about seven hours from start to finish. (Apparently some folks from Day One required upwards of twelve.)
Longarm began as a simple Classics Shockwave idea. He was given a new head and a gun arm, constructed at home by the class's perennial organizer, Shawn Tessman, which completed the transformation from Purple Jazz to Alternators Shockblast homage. The kit still came with the original head and hand, of course, because it's all on the original sprues, so this toy was given a secondary identity, that of Shattered Glass Longarm. If you recall from Transformers Animated, Shockwave infiltrated the Autobots under the Longarm identity, and a similar thing was happening here. There does seem to be some conflict between Shawn and the other BotCon folks on what specific Shockwave this guy represents, whether it be the Marvelverse one or Shattered Glass. The included profile strongly suggests Marvelverse, but that'll likely be decided more definitively in any future fictional appearances he might make.
My only regret is that I had to take pictures of this guy for TFwiki, meaning I couldn't use the provided orange paint to do this guy up in Action Master colors. That would have been sweet.
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