|Starscream Review Capsule|
|Starscream is a new mold inspired by the two decades of Starscream toys that have come before it. Despite some reservations on our sample, the toy holds together well, has excellent articulation, transforms nicely, and makes for a good toy. Recommended. |
With Hasbro making toy after toy with the name Starscream but isn't the original character, fans finally got their wish for an all-new mold of this traitorous air commander of the Decepticon forces. With a transformation that's very different from the original toy, the figure captures the essence of 20 years of toys (and other characters with the name) while trying to do something new, yet old, all at once.
He turns from a jet to robot. He has two firing missiles and removable "null ray cannons" that can be mounted to his arms, his wings, or held in his fists like guns.
Note: Our sample was incorrectly assembled in that a metal pin on the nose of the jet was not fully inserted, thus preventing transformation. Take care when transforming not to force anything. While it just might be a flaw on ours, three of our six classics toys had some sort of defect, two of which could be fixed easily. So, be careful.
While some fans were crying out for a larger sized version of the character, this one is about right-- the $10-sized-toy can make for a good robot, and Hasbro has proven you can work a lot into a small package.
The robot itself carries elements of older toys, and some new ones too. The most obvious elimination from previous "classic" Starscream toys are the absence of Decepticon logos on the wings, and of course, there's none of the "pop the fists on so you can lose them later" stuff here. The only parts that are removable are the cannons on the arms, everything else stays on nicely.
Starscream is loaded with articulation, unlike many previous versions of the character. He has ball-jointed shoulders and hips, hinges at the wrists, knees, and wrists, and he also has the ability to rotate at the knee-- so it's sort of a double-joint that lends itself to better poses for your dioramas or shelf fights.
Surprisingly, the figure has more paint than you might expect. The figure is molded in grey, but has black on the helmet, red on the eyes (and obviously, elsewhere), blue painted highlights, and some bits and pieces molded in clear yellow or matching blue. There's also some dark grey on the engines, and some gold highlights on the robot mode that are subtle and really tie the toy together. The real surprise, though, is a metallic silver paint on top of all of this-- you can see examples of it on the canopy and the cannons, but it's a real shame they left it off the face.
Due to the type of plastic used, the details on Starscream's face tend to get washed out fairly easily, and unless he's very brightly lit, his sculpted facial expressions are more than a little hard to see. But iin direct light, they're easy to make out as the light reflects off the face. The Energon Starscream toy had a black head with a painted silver face, which did wonders to bring out the detail.
As the words on the package read "Robots In Disguise" it's only sensible that Hasbro bring back something that was missing (but loved) from recent lines, and that's a vehicle that isn't covered in symbols of its affiliation. So no Decepticon logos here, folks!
Transformation from one mode is easy-- remove the cannons, fidget this, flip that, and you're done. A particularly clever bit, though, is the "air vent nipples" become the landing gear for the jet. Crafty! The vehicle mode is very sold, stable, and doesn't seem like it's going to flop and flip apart. As you can see, it's a fairly "realistic" jet without any major indications that it is, in fact, part of the Decepticon air force. It just looks like a toy jet.
Starscream includes two missiles, and the means with which to launch these missiles. The rest of the parts are part of the figure itself.
The weapons launch fairly well and work for this figure. The downside is that they're so big, they may move the wing back depending on how you pose the toy.
The weapons are also completely removable so you can have a weapons-free Starscream, or give them to other figures to use.
For your convinience, here's a look at some new and old toys.
From left to right: Titanium Series, Energon, Robot Masters, Classics.
From left to right: Classics Starscream, Megatron, Astrotrain, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Rodimus. The image is large enough to be a desktop image if you're so inclined.
Packaging, Tech Specs, & Co-Sells
This toy came packaged in the first wave style Transformers Classics deluxe packaging with a few twist-ties. Finding the word "Classic" is a bit like a scavenger hunt-- look on the lower left hand side of the carded front picture for the phrase "Classic Deluxe."
Co-sells on the cardback (and case) include Astrotrain, Bumblebee, and Rodimus.
From the cardback: Ruthless, cold-blooded, and capable, STARSCREAM makes no secret of the fact that he wants to replace MEGATRON as leader of the DECEPTICONS. The fastest flyer among the DECEPTICONS ranks and one of the most dangerous warriors ever to grace the skies of CYBERTRON, he is still something of a coward. He cares too much for his own skin to ever take the risks the overthrow of MEGATRON would require.
Vaguely "classics" Generation 1-style Starscream toys are nothing new and certainly nothing lacking in the market today. A cartoon-style one was attempted (and arguably perfected) with Robot Masters, and the Energon Energon Starscream redeco has very bright, cartoon-like colors. But we're talking about this toy, which is a good, solid toy in its own right, especially for a price of $10-$13. It's not everything you could ever want in a Starscream toy for the price, but it's damn close.
Reviewed and photographed by Adam Pawlus
Sample purchased at Entertainment Earth in September 2006
Reviewed on September 24, 2006.