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

Name: Starscream
Allegiance: Destron
Function: Aerial something, incompetent backstabber
Sub-Group: NA

When I was little, I inherited some of my cousin's transformers. From what I can remember, I believe I had the three original seekers with one wing and fist among them. I remember Starscream distinctly: I (or something) had chewed on the nose of the plane. A bit later on, I had a G2 Starscream, and my thoughts were along the lines of, "Wow... I have a Starscream". Anyway, they went out with the trash about ten years ago, and that was that.

Fastforwarding to the present day, Takara has chucked out an all-new mold based on the original diaclone-era planes. The transformation scheme is the same, but this time they thought they'd make all the parts attached to the toy itself instead of making a funny-looking lego kit. And for the most part, it works. Still no knees, though.

Vehicle Mode:
There's almost no point in describing something this familiar. The jet mode is virtually identical to the orginal F-14 toy, except it's slightly smaller. The colors, though unrealistic, are that of the cartoon model and not the toy itself. It even has and opening cockpit and a forward landing gear that can fold up instead of being detachable. Go Takara! The profile is very sleek, which is not something that's immediately obvious, but it does make it more like a real jet rather than a poorly disguised robot. The last point to make is that the two little ornamental missle packs that snap on to either side of the robot chest can stay on for the vehicle mode. However, it's not the most solid connection, so they've made it into my "Bag of Missles" anyway.

Robot Mode:
Again, Starscream is something of an icon, so more information can be given by simply comparing it to the original than describing the new toy from scatch. The big thing is he no longer needs a "some assembly required" sticker. He has tiny fold up hands, and the wings are now mounted on an extra joint so that the arms can swing out freely. The only difference in the transformation from the original is that the legs have to be pulled down. He has four points of articulation in each arm, quadrupling the total of the original. However, he cannot hold his arms out to make a tee. His hips are mounted on ball joints with rotational joints slightly below them, but again, no knees yet. The face struck me as a little different at first, but I guess I've grown used to it. He still looks like Starscream, though.

The hands have little holes in them for holding the big blue gun Megatron comes with. The laser things from the jet mode can be attached to similar holes in his upper arms, but they restrict the movement. Also, the little missle packs can attach to the chest and stay reasonably well connected. If I had toy of the toys, I would consider gluing one set on.

Transformation: 8 - It's nice to see how more articulation can be put into an existing design. If you've handled the original toy, it's a piece of cake.
Durability: 8 - Pretty darn sturdy, and the lack of surplus parts helps a lot. I was going to call him the least durable of the four new Robot Master molds thus far, but, literally, as I was typing that the cat stepped on the wing. The wing gave way, the cat moved on, and the toy's fine. Instantaneously improved his durability score, too.
Fun: 10 - Duh. It's a G1 Starscream that can move a little more than the original! Also, Starscream is still the coolest transformer name ever.
Price: 6 - Around $25-$30 seems to be going rate here in the US. Expensive for a toy this size, but still a better value than the reissue of the original.
Summary: 7.5 - He would've scored higher if he could bend at the knees. Still, what we haven't gotten in limitless posability we've made up for in simplified accessories. Maybe, one day, there'll be a Masterpiece Starscream. Until then, here's your man... er... robot... toy... thing. At any rate, if you're a nostalgic, this guy's for you. If not, go with some cyberjets instead or wait until when/if he's released domestically to wherever you are.

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