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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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browncoat2814's review: Starscream (G1 deco)

Name: Starscream (G1 repaint – Target exclusive)
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Air Commander
Sub-Group: Voyager Class

Quote: "I live to serve you, Lord Megatron."

Sole survivor of the catastrophic battle that destroyed the other Decepticon, Starscream fled into the vast and cloudy skies of Earth, away from the searching eyes of the Autobots. His alien skin totally transparent to the primitive sensing technologies of humanity's armies, it was easy for him to find a place to hide. Altering his exterior was a simple matter, and made it even easier to hide from his enemies. With Megatron gone, and the AllSpark lost, he waits, and plots, and plans for a future in which he rises at the head of a mighty Decepticon army to reclaim all that his former leader lost.

Starscream has always been a big favorite, even amongst the most diehard Autobots fans, myself included. He's dangerous. He can't be trusted. Something about his disloyalty to Megatron makes him very cool.

However… While I enjoyed the movie and warmed up to nearly all the changes made appearance-wise, Starscream really left me disappointed. The body is way too bulky and the chicken legs don't cut it for me. At least some of the other robots had some similarities to their classic appearances. Starscream had none. Still, I really wanted a Starscream toy, and while the G1 repaint (a Target exclusive) doesn't make me love movie Starscream, it does soften the blow.


Alternate Mode:

Movie Starscream is a F-22 Raptor jet. In this mode, he actually does resemble the G1 design. He's got the grey body, the red stripes, a bit of blue here and there. It's very close. The canopy is still the golden brown of the original mode, and I would have liked to have seen a lighter color, closer to the yellow of the old Starscream. Other than that, the only thing missing is the blue stripe down the middle, replaced by a slot used in transformation (the automorph feature, in fact). Overall, the jet mode is what makes this repaint so cool, since it really does look like a bigger, more realistic version of the classic Starscream.

I should go over the other points of interest that apply to both the repaint and the original. The big feature of Starscream's jet mode are the guns. Underneath the jet, he's got two huge guns, loaded with 3 missiles in each. The wheel located near the guns cause the guns to turn, firing off the missiles. It's pretty cool when it works (and when you're on the carpet, that’s not so often!). I should warn readers; You're going to get shot! This toy fires missiles with the lightest of touch. Given Starscream's history of treachery, it's appropriate, but it gets annoying.


Robot Mode:

Starscream is in jet mode straight out of the box. Getting him into robot mode is, for the most part, easy. The problem is that there are so many pieces packed into a small space – especially around the shoulders. Really, it's easier to take the fins off and put them back on in the final position. To make matters worse, the instructions for the shoulders are terrible (and believe me, I've seen bad instructions... Movie Voyager Ironhide for example). I really can't tell what's going on in them, particularly when it comes to the large fins. It just becomes guess work. The instructions don't mention that there are three shafts in the guns that can come out (it's depicted in the finished picture, but there's no step for it). Again, you're going to get shot. Probably in the face this time.

Robot mode is pretty ugly. It could just be me. As I stated before, I'm not thrilled with the body for movie Starscream. But the G1 repaint helps. Instead of a solid, somewhat monotonous bronze color, you get the grey, red and blue. The head is painted grey and black, similar to the old Starscream. The head also has light piping. However, it's the same color as the canopy, and since it's so dark, it really doesn't do much of anything.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 7 – The pieces are crammed into this guy, and they get in the way of each other. The instructions are iffy when it comes to the shoulders, but the automorph is quite fun.
Durability: 8 – He's pretty solid. The fins like to pop off during the transformation, but they're on ball joints and are easy to get back on. I'm only worried about the automorph function. I could see where it could cause some damage.
Fun: 7 – He doesn't move very much, but the guns are cool (even if they do shoot too easily). Besides, it's Starscream. His treacherous nature makes him fun by default!
Price: 7 – He's a Voyager, but I can't help but feel I've gotten more bang for my 20 bucks in the past.
Overall: 8 – I like this toy, even if the robot mode isn't as cool as the classic Starscream. The repaint is cool, more so in jet mode. If you haven't picked up a movie Starscream, you might prefer this one over the original. If you already have one, it all comes down to what you thought the first time around and just how much you like Starscream.
 
 
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