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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
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Dedicon's review of: Starscream (protoform)

NAME: Starscream
Function: Second in command
Sub-Group: Movie Deluxe Preview

"One of the most dangerous creatures in the galaxy, STARSCREAM commands the DECEPTICON search for the Allspark while MEGATRON is missing. Streaking towards Earth, he reshapes his body, morphing his metal skin into a protective shell that glows and sparks as he makes his fiery descent. On Earth, he will scan a disguise and modify his PROTOFORM into an Earth fighter jet from that will allow him to achieve his goal: the total destruction of the AUTOBOTS."

Starscream: A name used from the beginning of the Transformers Universe. A fan favorite, the second in command of the Decepticons was known for his betrayals, his whiny voice and his wishes to become leader. The name was always used in some form or another in the toy line, but became mainstream again in 2002 for Armada. The name 'Starscream' was used for every main toy line since, even bracing a Masterpiece in Japan. So, Starscream was an obvious choice for the movie.

The idea of protoforms first came to the Transformer universe in Beast Wars. Protoforms were basically a spark (and some techno goo) in a humanoid form inside a stasis pod, waiting for a life form to scan. After scanning, the Transformer would awake from his stasis pod, leave his protoform state and become an animal of sorts. Unlike the idea of the spark, the stasis-pod protoform idea wasn't used after RID. Shame, really.

Movie Preview: Since bringing to Ark to the big screen will take waaaayyy too much money and time, Bay and co. decided that the Transformers will come to Earth as protoforms: A pod-like craft that will contain the robot mode, while a scanner of sorts will scan for an alternate mode. This line gives us Optimus prime and Starscream as protoforms, and thus, are called movie previews.

Oded "Dedicon" Sharon: The typing man, the inky icon, the "marvel" legend before it got sucky, the dude that was chosen to review these toys for you. Let's begin in: reviewing the previews!!

Alternate Mode:
First- since it has become some sort of a habit for me- let's start with the colors. Starscream is mostly metallic copper, with silver as the secondary color, some black and a bit of red for detailing. Yep, only 4 colors on a deluxe. Though a protoform, Screamer has a lot of jet-like traits: vents in front, 4 wings (2 on the upper front of the protoform and 2 on the lower back) and his whole front piece is triangle shaped (to show some futuristic jet reference I guess). Starscream also has that fire effect at the back of the protoform, as if it's going full speed. Nice touch. There is some robot mode kibble visible- his hands and legs are peeping through the protoform mode. Then again, it is a protoform so I guess kibble is somewhat logical.

One more note about the protoform mode before I summarize it; Starscream has 3 small wheels on the underbelly of his alt mode. If you mis-transform him even a little, the weight of the mode will change and it will lose some of its stability.

Overall, I liked this alt mode more than prime's because of the colors and a nicer front. However, though it is a novel idea, this alt mode is still rather poor because it doesn't look like anything other than a shell.

Robot mode:
First things first, this robot mode has some nice articulation. I'm not going to count, but it can move its palms 360 degrees, has ball-jointed shoulders (can't move them upwards due to shoulder pads however), it has elbow joints, knee joints and waist joints. Head can move sideways, but not up and down. And if we started talking about the head, this is probably the first time Starscream didn't look anything like his other namesakes (and no, Hellscream is not a namesake). His head is round, he has two bug eyes and a mouth that looks like he is wearing a gas-mask.
His hands are also rather alien, with three large fingers on each hand. Talk about odd proportions.

The jet traits are still there, the wings now decorate his lower legs (just a bit above the feet) and next to his neck. The colors are still the same as in the alt. mode. Not surprising, huh? Starscream gets a gun, that can either be equipped with the fire effect (that won't fire, pun is intended), or with a missile (that WILL fire!! Hasbro, you made another funny).

Final words about this mode, though not a lot can be said about it, I liked it a lot. It has articulation, Decepticon menace and the Movie's alien feel. Might not be your typical Starscream, but it is a good robot mode in it's own rights.

And well, that's about it. A below-average alt mode with a novel idea behind it, and a robot mode that looks cool and can shake his... robot parts. But if you are a Starscream fan who doesn't like changes made to their favorite character, this toy won't be for you.

Let's look at the grades, shall we?

Transformation: 4- It's a shellformer. You know, like 50% of the first BW toys? I graded it a bit higher than I meant because you have to transform him perfectly in order to keep his alt mode balanced.
Durability: 9- This toy is meant to stay for a long time. The ball-joints are a bit too stiff, but that's about it. This one is a survivor.
Fun: 7- For me, it's a nice BW gesture, but I just can't see a child having fun with a transformer that transforms into a flying coffin. Robot mode still rocks though.
Price: ?- For some reason, the prices of all the movie toys (Spider man 3, TMNT, And of course TF's) have skyrocketed. 100 Shekels(more than 20$) for a deluxe toy is an outrage. This toy's worth 10$, 15 for the non-US fans, but not 20- no way, no how.
Overall: 7.5 Better than Optimus IMO, but still- not a must have. If you buy this because it's a Starscream, you're going to regret it. If you like robot modes with articulation, like me, this is one toy you don't want to miss.

 
 
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