There was a table in the Botcon dealer room, to which, I kept going back. They had very reasonable prices on domestic hasbro releases and some third party items that were not outrageous. One of the third party items I kept eyeing were a couple recently released headmaster figures in the likeness of Soundwave and Optimus Prime. Not only did these figures become heads for headmaster-compatible figures, but they also had an alternate mode.

Robot mode. Alternate Mode. Headmaster Mode. But wait, there is more! These figures come with a small plate that allows one to form the head of the other figure’s robot mode. Its a pretty crazy and neat concept, but does it work well?

Read on to find out!


Right now, there are four figures in all:
JB-01 Justice Leader,
JB-02 Tactical Officer,
JB-01B Evil Commander and
JB-02B Tactical Officer Hyper Mode

Justice Leader is essentially Optimus Prime, while Tactical Officer is essentially Soundwave. The other two are repaints of the first two; a black Optimus Prime and a dark purple Soundwave.


They come in pretty nice packaging for third party products. It consists of a small cardboard box of firm material with art on all faces. Inside the box is a plastic tray holding the figure in place. Beneath the figure is a small plastic plate. Be careful of this piece because I almost lost it as soon as I took the figure out. I did not realize it was included and it was small enough to easily miss.


Robot Mode
The robot modes are are quite small, but that is to be expected considering their purpose. The details in the sculpt are easily noticed as there is a fair amount for such small figures. All the details are well defined by some well placed paint applications. Its actually pretty impressive how small some of the areas are that received some paint, particularly the eyes, but it was well worth it. The way these small paint apps make these figures pop, it just furthers my opinion that a little more paint on Legends class figures would really go a long way.


The articulation in the figure is mostly in the legs with ball joints at the hips and knees. The only articulation in the arms is at the shoulder simply allowing the arms to rotate forward. I was rather underwhelmed by the arms considering that is basically the same design used in the 1980’s. I would have thought with the ball joints in the legs that something more would be attempted with the arms.


Alternate Mode
As I mentioned before, one the novelties of these figures is that they have a third alternate mode. Tactical Officer (Soundwave) transforms into his traditional boombox mode, while Justice Leader (Optimus Prime) transforms into something that is supposed to be like a truck. The boombox looks close enough to tell that it is supposed to be a boombox. The truck, on the other hand, is a tough sell. If you turn it sideways so that you can see the wheels, it helps a little, but not terribly much. It may have helped if the chest folded down to show a facade more similar to the front of a truck instead of having those hips visible. The hips completely detract from the intention of the alternate mode for Justice Leader.


Headmaster Mode
I feel the headmaster modes continue the divergence of quality for these two figures. The Tactical Officer head look pretty great compared to Soundwave. The vertical slats across his visor really sold the mode. The paint apps on the lower half of the face do the likeness great justice. I think the top half could have used some silver, maybe, somewhere on the crest of the forehead to really make it pop.


Justice Leader does have some paint on the crest on his forehead. Unfortunately, there are two giant gaps on either side of it that show those hips again. Looking at the head straight-on, all I can see are the ball joints of the hips because they are so distracting to the rest of the face. Tactical Officer doesn’t have this problem because the piece that folds up to form the upper half of his head goes all the way across. I really do not understand why this piece was not extended all the way across for Justice Leader.


Both of these headmodes are compatible with classic Headmaster figures.


As an added and final bonus, each figure can become the other figure’s Headmaster. This is where that easily-lost, tiny plate comes in. First, you need to push the robot head down/in on both figures. The tiny plate acts as the connector for the two figures. So how well does this configuration work? Not that well. Unfortunately, the head causes the figure to be incredibly top heavy and the weight is not exactly centered on the shoulder of the figure. This causes the figure to continually want to topple backward unless the legs are positioned just so. Once you have it standing, though, it is strangely adorable to have such a small figure with such a gigantic head.

If you could only buy one of these, I’d highly recommend the Tactical Officer figure over the Justice Leader, but if you can get both, it certainly adds more play value.