I have a hard time saying no to deluxe Starscream toys. Well, the ones that aren't from the movie, anyway. For years Hasbro has been approaching the tetra fighter seen on Cybertron from the very first episode of the very first cartoon, and they got pretty close with the Cybertron/Galaxy Force incarnation around 2005. This new release builds on that (and other) concepts, giving us a pretty impressive toy which mixes modern Transformers-iness with a little G1 mixed in for good measure. For $10, you would punch your own grandmother in the jaw to get this toy. Unfortunately it's $16, so maybe you'd just punch a friend you don't much care for.
At a hair over 5 1/2-inches tall at the shoulder spikes, this is a decent figure. It feels about as beefy as his Classics/Universe siblings and cousins, giving Hasbro yet another mold to repaint 32 times if they're so inclined. Japan's already getting a Skywarp redeco. Will we? I have no idea. The figure is about on par with the aforementioned faux-G1 Starscream in terms of fun, and the face seems to be a mix of Prime styling along with G1. Recent headsculpts in Generations seem to be eschewing flat panels and straight lines, introducing more curves than I would personally care to have. Since his helmet is boxy and his eyes are striking, you might not notice the odd chin or the extra lines coming out of the nose. It's a quality sculpt, don't get me wrong, but it lacks the simplicity/crappiness of his forerunners.
Deco is good. He's similar to the 2006 Classics Starscream, with dark grey and an orange canopy on his chest. The rotating triple-barrelled weapons are an interesting twist on his usual null ray cannons, and as toys they're loads of fun. You can connect them together and a geared mechanism makes them spin in tandem, plus there are pegs as well as a hole to mount other stuff to them. It's like a neat outgrowth of the whole MechTech thing from a couple years back. I miss the traditional guns, and these do look a little funky when mounted to his arms. Still, he can hold them in his hands just fine and were they sold as separate accessory packs, I'd buy them to arm my other toys. They're nice, fun guns even if they don't seem to fit what I as an old fart view as appropriate weapons for the character.
Articulation is good. Roughly 17 points of articulation await you, depending on how you count the double-elbow joints and extra hip movement. Hasbro and Takara-Tomy did a bang-up job engineering this guy to feel solid and have lots of moving parts. He's like the opposite of last year's light and flimsy-feeling Jazz figure. Starscream is covered in at least 6 5mm ports on which to place guns, not counting his fists. If you've been collecting Mini-Con weapons, Energon weapons, or other gear, he can make good use of it. As one of two all-new molds in his wave, you really feel that Hasbro put the money into this guy. He's not $7 cooler than a $10 deluxe from a few years ago, but he's definitely a better-feeling figure than the bulk of his 2012 peers.
Based on the video games, he turns into a swell space jet. It's not as triangular or outlandish as some other Cybertronian modes, but it's still good and does a decent job recalling those other designs. Guns mount under the wings, and the toy effectively does nothing in this mode. There's no landing gear, there are no wheels. It just looks cool and you can make "whoosh" noises while running around with it in your home when the wife is out. It's fun, I suggest you try it.
Starscream and G1 fans should probably track this one down. It's by no means a great amazing figure, but it's very good and a lot of fun. Hasbro tweak and improve this figure, for example outlining the Decepticon symbols on the wings so they're more visible, but that's probably not going to happen. It is what it is, and what it is... is pretty good. I was insanely excited to get Starscream and Ultra Magnus, and while the amount of gas and running around I did may not be worth it, I can say both figures were worth the asking price. Get this one if you see it, especially if it's on sale.
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