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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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

Name: Starscream
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Incessant Usurper
Sub-Group: Earth Planet

Unsurpassed in ego and ambition, STARSCREAM is the scheming second-in-command to MEGATRON. With his mastery of the sword, null-ray cannons that can disrupt the functioning of even the most hardened AUTOBOT and a vast array of scondary weapons, STARSCREAM is second only to MEGATRON and OPTIMUS PRIME in power. His speed is uncanny, often giving slower 'bots the impression that he actually teleports around the battlefield. Left stranded on Earth to battle JETFIRE - the only AUTOBOT warrior capable of even coming close to matching STARSCREAM for speed or skill in aerial combat - he plots to seize a Cyber Planet Key for himself in order to gain the power he needs to finally overthrow MEGTARON and take command of the DECEPTICON army himself. Though his battle prowess is legendary, he lacks the practical intelligence to hide his ambition from his leader, and MEGATRON is more than aware of his plotting.

After I waded through the barbed-wire twisty-tie and cardboard minefield that is the packaging, I finally got a look at this Starscream toy. It’s HUGE! And it looks even bigger than it did in the box, after you straighten his legs out. (You’d probably be slouching too but if you were stuck in a box bound to a wall of cardboard by a hundred bits of plastic.) Anyway, after I got a look at him, I realized why so many people had been raving about this figure. It’s fantastic! It is large, imposing, solid as a brick, and will make all but your biggest Transformers look like good-for-nothing midgets.

Vehicle Mode:
Have you ever had a friend or relative have a baby, and you go to visit them and they let you hold the baby? Picking up Supreme Starscream is like that, only without the smell. The robot mode is tall, heavy, domineering, and has a moderate degree of poseability. There are no ball joints here, but we have the equivalent in the hips and knees due to multiple joints in each place. This is actually a good thing, because it means he'll stay in the poses you set him in, and you won't rip his leg off transforming him like you can with Beast Wars toys. On the other hand, the articulation in the arms is pretty limited. The sheer size of the wings limits the movement somewhat, but I think it is a problem the designers could have overcome easily enough. The same goes with the head articulation, which is a case where a ball joint would have been an easy but welcome addition. The overall proportions are pretty darn good, but still, Starscream will probably be going to KAA (Kangaroo-Arms Anonymous) meetings soon with his new sponsor G1 Sandstorm. On the overall design, this toy has a few references going on. The overall look is an amazingly faithful homage to the Dreamwave comic The War Within, who was designed by none other than Don Figueroa. Because of that, he also has G1 Starscream’s head and colors. And then there is that crown, which is a clear homage to the coronation scene in Transformers: The Movie, and makes for a fantastic display. This toy just oozes Starscream’s personality in a way that none of his previous incarnations have. Too bad he can’t cross his arms and smirk condescendingly.

Gimmicks Force chips flip out the sword and gun on either side of his wings/arms. A little button to the left of Starscream’s head causes some simple lights and sounds. Small guns near the cockpit swivel up and down. And there is that crown, which looks fantastic. The simplicity of the figure is unfortunately one of its few low points. I would have liked it if the gun and sword detached and could be fitted in his hands. Actual Starscream cartoon quotes would have been really nice instead of the one mediocre shooting sound.

Robot Mode:
The jet mode has the basic shape of a Star Destroyer and the colors of an A-Wing, and if I didn’t know better I’d say George Lucas is gonna sue somebody. But, the fact is the design originates with Don Figueroa, as mentioned above. The alternate mode is just as striking as the robot form, and (have I said this before?) its HUGE! Good luck finding room to display it in this mode. As good as the artistic design is, it is amazing how few features the creators managed to give it. There is room all over this thing for moving guns or exposable missile panels, but sadly we get nada.

Gimmicks Nearly identical to the Vehicle mode, except the sword doesn’t make much sense. It’s a shame that a figure this large and well executed has so little variety.

Transformation: 6 – Basic, but not quite as simple as it at first looks.
Durability: 9 – A brick. The only issue is the soft plastic of the sword.
Fun: 9 – Large and in charge, with a great look in both modes.
Price: 7 – A bit steep for being so simple. Not nearly as many features as Armada Unicron, for instance.
Summary: 9 – The sleek design and massive size makes up for the relative simplicity.

 
 
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