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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:

ganon578's Review: Robots in Disguise Starscream (Warrior Class)

Name: Starscream
Function: Decepticon Air Commander
Subgroup: Robots in Disguise
Size Class: Warrior

Ah, Starscream. One of my favorite characters out of Transformers lore – I now own four different Starscream figures. My traditional liking of aesthetics errs on the side of Classics, making this figure an oddity in my collection. In truth, I had a few bucks to spare and came across this one on sale. Having never owned a Robots in Disguise figure, nor even seen more than the first two episodes in the series, I took a chance on this one. In the packaging, Starscream’s detailed robot mode was enough for me to bite.

Alternate Mode:

Starscream’s alternate mode is, as you would guess, a jet. The Decepticon air commander features some front-swept wings this time around, which is something of a rarity. The cockpit/fuselage takes up a fair bit of space in the front, and the wings take up a majority of the back, leaving the body of the jet to take up a rather small portion of the overall look. It’s an interesting design choice, and something new to my collection. The top part of the body is quite blocky, and would look like it destroys any aerodynamics. In the middle by the cockpit there are some ‘intake’ parts made of Starscream’s knees (and upper chest). Oddly, Starscream does not have any Decepticon logos anywhere in jet mode, which is a sad omission. Overall though, the jet aesthetic works well when viewed from the top.

From the bottom… that’s a different story. Robot parts are not well hidden. Due to the sleek look of the robot mode, there really isn’t any place for the parts to go, so Starscream’s shoulders are pegged right on the front bottom of the wings. This gives the jet a blocky look instead of a sleek and fast jet that you should expect from Starscream. It’s almost like a barge sailing through the sky. On the underside of the jet, you will also find ZERO wheels of any sort. Apparently, this version of Starscream is such a good flyer that he can land on tiny pegs. Sadly, there also aren’t any jets on the back end, just some folded feet. At least you can peg his guns under the wings for good storage and jet armament.

There are some obvious issues with Starscream’s jet mode, and the bland grey color used for the plastic does not help at all. From the top, the jet looks good enough for a bit of a pass.

Robot Mode:

This… this is what I bought Starscream for! Getting Starscream to robot from jet mode isn’t tricky in any shape or form. There are a couple interesting motions though, like his shoulders swinging up from the back end of the jet, and the whole wing assembly does a similar motion, just from a different angle. To me, it feels a bit fresh, if a bit on the basic side.

With Starscream in robot mode, you will notice how sleek he looks. Starscream has thin arms and legs, a thin waist, and a broad chest with some chunky shoulders. Starscream looks svelte, but not to the point of looking sickly. He’s sleek, but looks powerful at the same time. To me he looks really speedy with the ability to kick some major butt as well.

There is much more red and blue in robot mode, breaking up the bland grey featured in most of the jet mode. This time around, Starscream has a scannable Decepticon symbol on his shoulder. The symbol’s function allows you to scan the symbol via a camera on a smart device – this apparently unlocks Starscream as a playable character in the Robots in Disguise mobile game. It’s a neat feature, but one that I have not utilized, nor do I plan to. Starscream doesn’t have too many paint apps – rather most of it is molded plastic. The only real paint around is on the head – which is molded with fantastic detail. Starscream’s head and face are done excellently, giving him a scheming look, almost with a smirk - like he's going to stab you in the back at the first chance. I like it quite well; the only downside is the movement is hampered by his collar – something that could have been mitigated by putting it on a ball joint.

Articulation is otherwise quite good on Starscream. You’ll find a decent mixture of ball joints and swivel joints around, and you can get him into some dynamic poses (with a caveat, see below). Aside from his hampered neck, Starscream’s wrists are sadly locked in place. Luckily the arms have enough joints to semi-accommodate this, but I really wish he had a bit more freedom there. The biggest issue I have is the loose hips – they have a great range of movement, but they aren’t tight enough to help those wide poses without a good bit of finesse.

Starscream comes with two guns – a nice departure from his traditional arm cannons/missile launchers found on most toys. These can be pegged into his forearms or wielded in his hands. If you want, you can even store them on his wings on his back, but hey, who would honestly do that?

Overall I think Starscream is a decent toy. There’s a lot of promise here, but there are some glaring issues that really hold this one back (like his hips). He looks good and features a bit of fun (I enjoy him quite a bit), I can’t give a full recommendation on this one.

Marks Out of Ten for the Following:

Transformation Design: 6/10 The whole deal is pretty simple, but there are some interesting bits like the wing section and how it moves. It’s pretty basic, and a lot of robot parts don’t hide well.

Durability: 8/10 The plastic feels flimsy, but Starscream is so incredibly light that I don’t think anything will break anytime soon.

Fun: 7/10 He’s really poseable and has a couple good weapons. His look is really good, and the jet mode is neat, but misses the mark a bit.

Aesthetics: 8/10 Starscream looks really good in robot mode (and I’m not typically a fan of animation-style Transformers), and the top of the jet mode looks good too. The underside of the jet is terrible and blocky.

Articulation: 7/10 Pretty good all around, but his wrists are dead. His head is also hampered by his collar, and the hips on mine are quite loose.

Value/Price: 6/10 With costs rising, I only made this purchase because A) it is Starscream, and B) it was on sale for $10 USD. If it waspriced at the current Warrior/Deluxe rate of $15, I would be much less pleased.

Overall: 6.5/10 I honestly think this one comes down to you A) liking the show, B) liking Starscream, or C) both. Starscream’s a pretty good toy, but not great. He’s got a fantastic Robot mode, with an average (or slightly below) jet mode. The downside is he is (at least for now) a Toys R Us exclusive, so that puts a damper on finding him, and he’s overpriced at normal MSRP in my opinion.
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