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By Thomas Wheeler

Found this toy in a box I'd stored a while back, but I also think I saw it at K*B Toys recently, too, so although this toy goes back a year or so as of this writing, I think the review is still valid.

As part of the K*B Exclusive Robots in Disguise line of Transformers, which later became Transformers Universe with wider distribution (although admittedly still had a number of store exclusives), this toy named JHIAXUS was added to the line. And therein lies one of the more notable and yet one of the more obscure names from Transformers history, that I was sincerely surprised to see turn up as a toy.

Head back to 1992 or thereabouts. Hasbro has just introduced the TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 2 line, and Marvel has started publishing a TRANSFORMERS GENERATION 2 comic book, under the master writer, Simon Furman.

Furman crafted a tale which saw the Transformers, both Autobots and Decepticons, under attack from a number of outside forces, even as they learned a number of secrets about their true origins -- not the least of which was a second race -- or "generation" of Transformers that had been conquering worlds well away from either Cybertron or Earth during the millions of years when the main Transformers were in suspended animation on Earth. These Transformers were neither Autobot nor Decepticon. They simply called themselves Cybertronians, despite having a distinctly evil tendency.

Their apparent leader was a robot named Jhiaxus. He viewed both the Autobots and Decepticons with equal contempt, as outmoded, archaic reminders of a primitive past that the modern Cybertronians didn't need to dig up. Ultimately, of course, he was defeated in the last issue of the 12-issue series.

The Jhiaxus toy doesn't especially resemble the comic book character. The comic Jhiaxus was predominently white, with red, yellow, and turquoise trim, and was a rather bulky individual in robot form. The Jhiaxus toy is mostly orange, with black and grey trim. He transforms into a complex and rather futuristic jet fighter. In fact, he's a recoloration of the Robots in Disguise general release Storm Jet toy.

As for a character profile, well -- the toys don't really come with those anymore -- unfortunately. But that doesn't mean that one doesn't exist. While it's official status may be questionable, there is a Jhiaxus profile found in "The Official Transformers Collectors' Club Magazine #1". Although published by 3H Productions, which no longer holds the Official Transformers Collectors' Club license, an honor since bestowed upon MasterCollector, which also operates the Official G.I.Joe Collectors' Club, it's still an interesting and informative magazine, with a number of character profiles of some slightly more obscure characters in it, done in the style of Dreamwave Comics' "More Than Meets The Eye" series. Here's the character profile for Jhiaxus.

JHIAXUS - Minion of Unicron

A Strategic Commander in the LIEGE MAXIMO's "evolved Decepticon" forces, responsible for mecha-forming countless worlds. JHIAXUS' rank and power were stripped away by UNICRON'S chaos-energy transformation. Reformatted and stamped again with the Decepticon brand, Jhiaxus retained some of his former self's disdain for those he sees as throwbacks, inferior beings. This attitude extends to both the Autobots and his fellow Decepticons, neither of whom Jhiaxus cares to spend much time with (outside of combat). Jhiaxus relies onle on himself, trusts no one, would rather die than admit he might need anyone's help. But the truth is, Jhiaxus is afraid. Afraid of the dark ugliness of his own Spark, desperate not to become the very thing he believes he has risen above. Self-imposed mental disciplines guard Jhiaxus against rage, jealousy, greed, and the simple lust for power... all the things he considers once clouded his judgment and limited his worldview.

WEAPONS/ABILITIES: In jet mode, Jhiaxus has a secondary stealth shielding that can frustrate themost sensitive early warning system, his powerful hyperfuel injection thrusters cutting out on final attack, allowing him to glode in. Ultrashock missiles mounted within his thruster assembly can be fired simultaneously with engine re-ignotion, this conserving fuel. In robot mode, Jhiaxus' primary transmitted array creates a 36-degree/60 square mile field of full tactical awareness, enabling him to detect the stealthiest of incoming attackers. Missile counter-measures can be released in either mode. Jhiaxus can engage a secondary hover mode, allowing for aerial observation in robot mode (thereby utilizing the full simu-tactical range of his cranial sensory apparatus).

WEAKNESSES: Jhiaxus' iron will and rigid self-control - so necessary to maintain focus and clarity - sometimes limit his capacity for instinctive, heat-of-the-battle gut reaction, the kind of improvisational thinking that makes a good warrior a great warrior. Once Jhiaxus has formulated his plan of attack, he tends to stick with it no matter what. If low on fuel, restarting engines from cold in flight mode can be problematic.

The bio is interesting. The first line is a quick but accurate summary of the character's exploits in Generation 2. But just as interesting is the paragraph about Jhiaxus' fear about losing control and becoming like the "throwback" Transformers he despises. More than a few times this aspect of his personality also appeared during the stories. Whoever it is that wrote this bio did a good job of remembering what the character was all about, while also coming up with a good explanation for the toy's radically different appearance from the comic book character.

Toywise, the plane isn't especially large, although it's a surprisingly complex transformation. I say that with the advisory that transforming Transformers is not one of my specialties. Jhiaxus is no Alternator. Neither is he a "flip the legs over and pull the arms out" Transformer. But he ultimately IS a very cool Transformer, named after a character from a nearly-forgotten aspect of Transformers history. I find it interesting that Hasbro chose to resurrect the name, and thanks should be given to the person who wrote the profile for the magazine. If only for the sake of the overall history that this character represents, I certainly recommend JHIAXUS, if you can find one at this point. And even on his own, he's a cool Transformer!