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Old 2018-01-23, 08:58 PM   #1
ganon578
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Default PotP Starscream ***Proofed by skyquake87***

Name: Starscream
Function: Air Commander
Subgroup: Power of the Primes
Size Class: Voyager

How will the scheming Decepticon air commander wield the Power of the Primes?

Wow, what a bio! Not even a description, it’s a simple question. YOU get to fill in the blanks on this one. Something like this doesn’t give you much confidence in your purchase. Where’s the backstory? A glimpse into Starscream’s powers? His possible motivations? Nope. You’ve just purchased yourself $25 USD worth of a clean slate! In all fairness, the 'bio' does align with the theme of the line, which is mixing and matching with PotP or CW limbs, Prime Masters, and Headmasters, so from that point of view it's spot on.

Having been a fan of Starscream for quite some time (seriously, I realized I’ve reviewed him several times before), I’ve been waiting for a Classic-styled yet Voyager-sized version of the old schemer for a while. This hole in my collection has now been filled by Hasbro and is now complete… except that it isn’t. This figure leaves so much to be desired that PotP Starscream will be a stop-gap measure until another Starscream is made in this size class. Alas, the waiting continues…

Alternate Mode:

Starscream’s alternate mode is a fighter jet (of some sort). Not an F-22 Raptor like the movie version, or a near-F-22 like the CW Leader class figure, or an F-15 like the G1/Classics versions, or even a Cybertronic jet like the Armada version. PotP Starscream has the distinction of ‘Generic Fighter Jet’. There are some design elements taken from previous versions of the character, and on the whole, the jet design isn’t too bad. Mind you, I’m not talking about the blatant robot-on-bottom visuals, just the jet design itself.

IF (that’s a big if) you’ve managed to get everything to tab in correctly, the jet mode looks rather sleek and fighter-y from the top. It’s a chore to get everything snug, though, as the legs/engines like to pull apart and the arms have to be aligned perfectly to get it all to tab correctly. To this day, mine still has a gap between the engines, as there simply isn’t enough clearance for it all to fit tightly. That aside, there are some good aesthetics here, with sharp angles on the wings, plenty of molded panel details, and colors that pop. The major detractions in my opinion are A) the jet design reminds me a little of Silverbolt instead of Starscream, B) the jet mode boils down to Starscream tacked under a big wing panel, C) the front landing gear is way too far out on the nose and there isn't any rear landing gear, and D) the stickers are just plain awful. The chrome look of the stickers is off-putting, and there are several edges that are already pulling up. This is only days/weeks after purchase, and it honestly came that way straight out of the box. I don’t feel that these will last long for a collector, and that time will be significantly shortened in a kid’s hands.

Speaking of kids hands, Starscream comes with a few accessories: two null rays, two ‘Prime Armor’ pieces (read: feet), and a Seeker Enigma. The null rays are straightforward, and have pegs on the bottom and back ends for various attachment options. What I find frustrating about them, is while they can be pegged snugly into the holes on Starscream’s arms, if you try to peg them directly under the wings, they are horribly loose. Alternatively, you can peg the aforementioned armor pieces there, so now you can have your jet fly around with giant feet on the sides! On the upside, the feet could double for the missing rear landing gear. Good luck making some landings without scuffing some paint off the chest! The last accessory should be more exciting than it is: the Seeker Enigma! It’s essentially a plastic block fashioned to fit in places like a folded Headmaster. This works well in combined mode (more on that later) but falls flat in both robot and jet mode. The cockpit opens to house the enigma, but it looks rather silly in jet mode - I wish the designers had fashioned the cockpit to accommodate a sitting Headmaster as a way to entice backward compatibility with the Titans Return line. Thankfully(?) the enigma can be pegged into one of the feet armor for storage. Why they made this thing pink and red is anyone’s guess - at least Grimlock’s enigma is a cool silver and red.

Robot Mode:

Starscream features a rather simple transformation that I won’t detail here. I figured it out in less than 10 minutes without looking at the instructions. The more irritating part is tabbing it all together nicely to get to the jet mode, so unfolding it all for robot mode is a breeze. Once you’re there, you’re treated to what several collectors have termed ‘Swole-scream’, namely because he’s got absolutely massive forearms and lower legs, looking like he came straight from the 24-hour gym. This is a wholly accurate nickname. Previous incarnations designed Starscream with more of a lithe build, something that fits with a scheming character. This design, to me, is more for a bruiser. Sure, the upper legs are slender, but that’s about it. As it is, his torso seems a tad too small as does the head. I still personally like the look, but the proportions make Starscream seem like more of a caricature than anything intimidating.

Aesthetically (sans the bulky proportions), Starscream has colors that jump right off the shelf, and nicely molded details. Starscream also has some nice jet intakes next to his head and round intakes on his chest to give him that ‘evergreen’ look. Here again, though, the stickers on the figure are awful - tampographs would have been a significantly better option. I’m also disappointed he wasn’t given a smirk on his face for a bit more flair, but I suppose it’s easier for the inevitable Thundercracker and Skywarp repaints - and at least it is molded/detailed well. A faux cockpit adorns his chest, just like the CW Leader incarnation; again, something that’s just easier to use if you plan on retooling this guy for someone else entirely.

Starscream has a decent range of movement, with fairly standard articulation for modern TF toys. Sadly, he suffers from immovable wrists (which may have been challenging to include given that they double for the combiner mode) as well as zero ankle or foot tilting. The latter isn’t typically a problem, but I have found that with the small wings on the outside of his feet, he doesn’t have much to balance on in dynamic poses. Another issue lies with the lack of range when the null rays are pegged in. The wings block a large portion of movement, which becomes worse if you attempt to use the feet armor pieces as well. Some of this can be mitigated by folding the wings back slightly, but it doesn’t solve the problem. At any rate, I prefer to use the null rays themselves and leave the armor pieces on the shelf.

Torso Mode:

This might be the only mode that the figure is worth paying for (if you’re into combiners, that is). While the other modes suffer from many design flaws, the torso mode is straightforward, solid, and well put together. Another simple (not frustrating) transformation will get you here, and everything tabs in nicely and stays that way. The torso mode is appropriately wide, but doesn’t come off as bulky like the robot mode does.

Aesthetically the colors still pop, and the stickers aren’t as appalling in this mode. Starcream’s crown makes a repeat appearance in his combined mode, and it’s well done. The head mold is fantastic here, save that it doesn’t have any character to it. The range of movement in the neck is great, and he can look fully upwards. Everything that would look like jumbled robot parts is covered well by the large folding wings - it’s simply a good design.

Combiner limbs click in nicely, and Starscream can accommodate the Deluxe figures from the Power of the Primes line as well as any Deluxes from Combiner Wars. The instructions show Starscream with the Wave 1 set of Swoop, Slag, Jazz, and Dreadwind, but since Starscream doesn’t have a combiner designation, it’s really up to you who goes where. With any luck, there will be some Deluxe class Seeker/Conehead figures that are released, just so a true Seeker Combiner can be made. *Fingers crossed* For now, I'll be pairing him with Dreadwind and the soon-to-be-released Darkwing, while hoping for a couple more 'Con jets to add to the mix.

One last 'accessory' to note is the art card. I love these things! The artwork is fantastic, and I feel that over the course of the 'trilogy' (CW, TR, PotP) these have improved in 'function'. The CW cards were strictly art with a Transformers symbol on the back. The TR cards showed the Tech Specs with added bonuses provided by the Headmaster. The PotP cards give a short blurb explaining what happens when paired with a particular Prime Master; in this case that's Liege Maximo. Starscream's reads: "Twists the words of those around him.". This is quite fitting! Fun fact: all of the figures that include cards in this line (Leaders, Voyagers, Deluxes, and Legends Class) are paired with random cards that connect them with various Primes, thus changing their little blurb accordingly. So while I have Liege Maximo, others will be out there in the wild like Quintus, Vector Prime, etc., depending on which box you buy. Good luck completionists!!!

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: It's simple, that's for sure. At least it isn't frustrating to boot. No marvels of engineering will be found here. 5/10.

Durability: The plastic is pretty solid, and things that might pop off can be reattached. The stickers will be goners for sure. 7/10.

Fun: Starscream has three modes to fiddle between, and they're kind of fun even for as bad as they can be. There's more potential here that was missed. 7/10.

Aesthetics: Bad jet mode and a hulking robot mode. The colors are great, but that's where it ends. 3/10.

Articulation: Average, but definitely hindered in spots. The wings get in the way a lot, and he isn't terribly balanced. 6/10.

Value/Price: Not worth retail pricing. Wait for clearance. There are three modes though, so that's a bonus point. 3/10.

Overall: Here's the deal: Starscream is not a good toy. There is so much missed potential and so many things that are not well designed that I would not recommend going out to get him. Had I paid $10-15, I think I would be happier. Oddly, I've fiddled with him quite a bit, and find myself enjoying him despite his flaws. In the end though, he's just not that good of a toy. 4/10.
 


Last edited by ganon578; 2018-02-06 at 10:51 PM. Reason: proofing
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Old 2018-01-23, 08:59 PM   #2
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Photos as well
 
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Last edited by ganon578; 2018-01-24 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 2018-01-24, 02:44 AM   #3
Tantrum
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Good review. I found 1 thing ambiguous. In Alt mode, after listing his accessories, the next sentence starts, "The first two...". From the rest of the paragraph, this refers to the null rays. But when I first read it, I though it meant the first two list items, null rays and feet. Maybe just change that to "The null rays..."

Volcanicus can attach the extra two hand/Prime armor pieces to his torso. Can Starscream do the same, or do they just make bigger feet?

Deluxes have pictures on the side indicating which torso they use. Slag and Swoop have Volcanicus, I believe Jazz has Elita-1, and would guess Darkwing has Starscream.

The blank slate bio kind of fits with the play pattern. You can't even see which Prime Master is in the Leaders, so it really doesn't matter which one you have in there unless you use your imagination.

Have you tried using the Enigma to give Repugnus a colorful belly? Grim's has these weird tabs so it doesn't quite fit, but still looks pretty good. And it frees up a Titan Master.


Would it make sense to just have the toy review section be part of the forum, instead of having to upload all the revews individually? Each line (PotP, RiD15, TM, etc) could have its own subforum, and the threads themselves would be the review pages.
 

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Old 2018-01-24, 03:04 PM   #4
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And a couple more
 
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Old 2018-01-24, 03:31 PM   #5
ganon578
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
Good review. I found 1 thing ambiguous. In Alt mode, after listing his accessories, the next sentence starts, "The first two...". From the rest of the paragraph, this refers to the null rays. But when I first read it, I though it meant the first two list items, null rays and feet. Maybe just change that to "The null rays..."
Thanks! You're right on, that was confusing. Changed for clarity. Also added in a short bit about the art card, which I had forgotten to write about. Fancy little things, and I think the 'random' cards in the Deluxes is kind of neat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
Volcanicus can attach the extra two hand/Prime armor pieces to his torso. Can Starscream do the same, or do they just make bigger feet?
I gave Starscream a once-over in torso mode, and there doesn't appear to be any obvious spots to stick the extra hands. There's possibly some random tabs that I missed, for those little tabs on the 'thumbs'. Otherwise, I just keep them as big feet - that's what the instructions mention as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
Deluxes have pictures on the side indicating which torso they use. Slag and Swoop have Volcanicus, I believe Jazz has Elita-1, and would guess Darkwing has Starscream.
Well damn. I had thrown my Dreadwind packaging away, so that's of no help. EDIT: And apparently, neither is Google!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
The blank slate bio kind of fits with the play pattern. You can't even see which Prime Master is in the Leaders, so it really doesn't matter which one you have in there unless you use your imagination.
Very true, and something I hadn't considered. Honestly, cross-line compatibility it is something that nice to have these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
Have you tried using the Enigma to give Repugnus a colorful belly? Grim's has these weird tabs so it doesn't quite fit, but still looks pretty good. And it frees up a Titan Master.
I haven't tried that with Repugnus! (Though I would have to own him first). Been waiting for a sale, as they have like 6 of them at my local grocery store. Periodically they drop to $2.99. I could try it on Shuffler, but it wouldn't have the same pizzazz.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantrum View Post
Would it make sense to just have the toy review section be part of the forum, instead of having to upload all the revews individually? Each line (PotP, RiD15, TM, etc) could have its own subforum, and the threads themselves would be the review pages.
To that end, I don't know. I don't do any of the uploading, but I believe it's a slight chore. I've seen that type of a system on other sites, and it may work.
 

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Old 2018-01-26, 10:45 PM   #6
Tantrum
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I checked Dreadwind's packaging at Walmart today. It shows Tsarscream with Dreadwind as right arm, Sinnertwin as left leg, maybe Rippersnapper as right leg, and no view of the left arm.
 

Alleged "poems"
that don't follow a rhyme scheme
are not poetry

Last edited by Tantrum; 2018-01-26 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 2018-01-28, 11:42 AM   #7
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Good review. Whant an ugly looking toy Starscream is. That's an easy pass for me, not that I'm a big Starscream fan anyway. I do like the hand/ foot things - much nicer looking than the CW hand/foot guns.
 
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