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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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numbat's review of: WST GTF-03 Starscream

Name: WST GTF-03 Starscream
Allegiance: Decepticon / Destron
Function: Air Commander

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

Seeks to replace Megatron as leader. Ruthless, cold-blooded, cruel... considers himself the most sophisticated and handsome of Decepticons. Believes Decepticons should rely more on guile and speed rather than brute force to defeat Autobots. Fastest flyer of group, can reach Mach 2.8 and an altitude of 52 miles. Shoots cluster bombs and null-rays which disrupts the flow of electricity. Very good at what he does, but sometimes overrates himself. (Original US bio.)

Ah, Starscream… Love him or hate him, he is without a doubt one of the greatest G1 characters. I did have the original toy when I was small, and remember being really excited by him, and he was always involved in any game. His state now reflects this, and I had to finally admit he was kaput, and chuck him just recently. As I’ve said in previous reviews, the World’s Smallest Series is largely hit and miss. Starscream is a veritable wallop.

Alternate Mode:
Starscream’s alternate mode is an F-15 fighter. He is identical to his original G1 counterpart, albeit with a 2 ½” wingspan. The detailing is truly phenomenal, and the colour scheme is spot-on. He even has retractable landing gear in the nose, as did the original. The main difference is the cockpit, which can’t open, due to the restrictions imposed by the tiny scale. Neither is it transparent, and the solid black is a little too much given the rest of the paint-job. Also, as you may expect, the wheels are all molded, but given the tiny size, you really can’t complain.

Flaws carried over from the G1 mold include being able to see the robot head on the underside, and the fact that the robot mode’s hands are detached. This was bad enough with the large version. These hands are only a quarter inch long!

Still, overall, this is a Hell of a good job, looks great on display, and you just can’t help flying him around the room.

Robot Mode:
Starscream’s transformation is identical to the G1 version. This isn’t too complicated, as we all well know, but is still quite nice. The biggest problems here are that it’s really fiddly to get the arms out (really necessitating a little nudge from the nose), and the fact that his legs always seem to fall off. Now, I have never had this problem with WST Thrust, which is essentially the same mold, so it’s possible this is a Starscream-specific problem, or that I’ve been unlucky. It’s also worth noting that, due to the tail-plane, getting the wings and fins to stay on in robot mode can be something of a nightmare. Still, when you get there, it looks great!

Again, the level of detailing is exceptional, given the scale. Very little is missing, other than the fine details provided by stickers in the G1 original. In contrast to WST Thrust, Starscream’s head looks great, thanks to very well applied paint bringing out the details. This does result in a minor difference when compared with the G1 toy – the WST toy has red eyes (in contrast to the G1 yellow). I like this, as it takes him even closer to his cartoon counterpart. The wings look good, with the large and bold Decepticon symbols being the correct way up. The only negative – and it’s slight – is that, due to the way the tail-fins are joined, the wings have to be at a slight angle, sloping forward as you move towards his feet. Still, this makes little difference to display.

Articulation is as the original, so not grand. There’s a ball joint in the arms, which does allow for some good posing, and the legs swivel at the hips on the horizontal plane. This is quite limiting, but damned good for the size, and allows for a small selection of nice poses.

The main down point to this version of Starscream is the lack of any colouration on his missiles. And they are missiles – his null-rays are not included. This is quite disappointing, and does look rather dull. WST Thrust is an improvement, though, with two colours, so we can only assume that Takara realized this as a problem, and set out to overcome it with the later toy.

All this aside, Starscream does look superb, and stands proud on the mantelpiece of my new cottage (with my fiancée actually allowing it! Along with WST Thrust, and my two G1 Bumblebees – red & yellow, but I digress…)

Transformation: 7 – It’s not a tough transformation, but the scale does make it rather fiddly…
Durability: 2 – He’s sturdy for his size, but all of those loose parts makes Starscream a worrisome fellow to have on your shelf in plane mode particularly, and the way his legs fall off during transformation is even more annoying.
Fun: 8 – He’s not only a Seeker, but he’s Starscream! And he’s miniscule!
Price: 3 – I got mine cheaply are part of a set (in fact, given the whole lot cost less than WST Soundwave tends to go for in the UK, and he was included, I kinda see Starscream as having been free.) However, usually, he goes for £7 to £15, which is extortionate.
Overall: 7 - He’s not a must-own, even if he is to me, but he is more crucial than WST Thrust (even though I prefer him to WST Starscream). Of course, Thundercracker and Skywarp are also out there if you have the cash… But, even so, neither of them had Starcream’s personality! (“I know,” you say, “that’s why I don’t want him!” But some of you will be like me… maybe…)
 
 
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