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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Ganon578's review: Starscream 2.0

Name: Starscream
Function: Air Commander
Allegiance: Decepticon
Group: Universe Generation 1 Series

"Conquest is made of the ashes of one's enemies."

Starscream is one of the deadliest warriors ever to emerge from the early battles of the civil war. He allied himself early on with Megatron, realizing that the Decepticon way was the easiest path to absolute power. He takes joy in destruction, his shrill laughter echoing across any battlefield over which he flies. Despite his power, he is a coward at heart, a bully more than a tyrant. He lives to lord his strength over those weaker than him, but he lives in fear of anyone stronger.

Information/History:

Starscream is definitely my favorite character in Transformers lore. His Classics version got me back into collecting after years of being dormant, and it still holds a special place in my heart. When I heard Hasbro was making a new Starscream, I was initially confused, seeing as they just released him a couple years back. However, it seems that with the Henkei version getting a more cartoon accurate deco, the Hasbro faithful cried out in pain at being slighted with a not-so-common deco for the US release. Hasbro answered this cry, and delivered a cartoon accurate color scheme using the same mould (while allowing them to milk more money out of their Classics/Universe cash cow Seeker mould). I, personally, own several versions of this mould already (Classics Starscream, Skywarp, Ramjet, and Acid Storm), and was initially going to pass on this version. However, I saw him in the store and became weak in the knees. I purchased him, and I must say that Iím pleased with my decision. There are, however, positives and negatives to this new color palette. Review time!!!

Alternate Mode:

Based on an F-15 fighter jet and highly reminiscent of the Generation 1 Seeker mould, Starscreamís alternate mode is great. It is widely considered to be one of the best Seeker moulds in years, and itís arguably the best one ever. Previously I told myself to not buy this figure, seeing as I already own Classics Starscream. But when I saw Starscream in the store, the new light grey plastic really caught my eye. Thereís not much that can be said about the mould itself that hasnít been said before, so Iíll focus on the deco and point out a couple of minor complaints I have with the mould.

There are major deco differences between this version and the Classics version, aside from the aforementioned light grey plastic. Thereís a lot less red on the wings, and the designs are definitely straight from the cartoon. Also, gone is the rub sign of old, and replacing it are two purple Decepticon logos on the wings. I like the change, and it gives a little more to the alternate mode, while giving Starscream a more G1 feel. The red used in the color scheme is definitely more eye-popping than the old version, and a little touch of silver on the main wings and tail wings round out the details. The mould itself has decent detail, small panels are noticeable, and make it look more realistic. The only problem with the mould is the underside of the jet, which doesnít hide robot parts too well. The chest definitely stands out, and the spot in robot mode where the cockpit rests is little more than a cavernous hole on the bottom. The alternate mode is quite durable, and it seems as though dropping it wouldnít matter too much (sure the missile launchers would fall off, but they can be easily reattached). Other than firing missile launchers, there are no gimmicks to be seen, and thatís a good thing. Starscream has a good alternate mode, and gimmicks would just detract from the sleek and powerful look and feel it portrays.

Robot Mode:

Ah yes, the robot mode. Starscreamís robot mode is great, and itís a great representation of the G1 Seekers. The color deco really stands out in this mode, and differences between this and the Classics version are very apparent. This version sticks to the light grey, red, and blue of the cartoon. One really nice addition to this version is the newly painted face, which is a pewter color that mimics his G1 cartoon appearances, and is far better than the unpainted Classics face. However, Iím really kind of torn between this deco version and the Classics version in some respects. The Classics version had more paint detail to go around especially in the robot mode; this time the shoulders are left blank, thereís no other color than red on the intakes that sandwich his head. His knees are no longer gold either, and the deco can be somewhat dull at times without anything to break up the standard colors. Granted, he was projected to be more cartoon-accurate, but I feel like Hasbro just kind of slapped him together to appease rabid fanboys. The red on his chest, while brighter and more eye-catching, looks kind of cheap, and in some aspects he almost looks like a knock-off. Some detailing on the landing gear would have been nice too, but apparently small dabs of paint are too much to ask for.

Starscream is decently durable in this mode, but itís really noticeable that the quality of the mould has deteriorated. Iíve noticed from my Classics ĎScreamer and Ramjet to Acid Storm and now this Starscream that the joints are getting looser as I write this, and Iím sure the mould will just crumble into dust if they use it again. Quality issues aside, the balance of this figure is pretty good, and you can get him into some cool positions due to good articulation. Heís a great toy for play or display, and thereís a lot of fun to be had here, regardless of the paint apps. Heís got two firing missiles, a decent amount of articulation, and heís a great representation of the legend that is Starscream. If you want a cartoon accurate Starscream, or missed out on the Classics version, this oneís for you. However, if you already own the mould (as phenomenal as it is), and donít really care for Starscream, save your money. Otherwise, buy him! Heís a great toy!

Marks out of 10:

Transformation: 8. Itís not tricky at all, but it gets high marks since itís fun. You can transform him multiple times, and it doesnít get old.
Durability: 8. Heís durable, but I think the mouldís quality has definitely decreased over time. The joints seem to get looser with each recreation.
Fun: 10. Heís Starscream! The deco is good, the mould itself is great, and he comes with two firing weapons. Articulation makes him a great display/play piece. And you can practically hear him saying to Classics Megatron ďOh, how it pains me to do this!Ē
Price: 9. At retail, heís only $10 US. Thatís not bad at all considering heís a great mould and a lot of fun, with a cartoon accurate deco.
Overall: 8. Ah, I hate to do that to ĎScreamer (Iím a huge fan), but he goes down a couple points for the decrease in quality, and the fact that heís already been released using this mould in Classics and Henkei. If you donít have a good Starscream, get him. If you have the Classics or Henkei, itís a tough sell based on a new deco alone. However, if you do pick him up, youíll get a great toy for a relatively inexpensive price.
 
 
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