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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Sir Auros' review of: Starscream

Name: Starscream
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Token of fan appreciation from Hasbro
Sub-Group: Earth Planet

Unsurpassed in ego and ambition, STARSCREAM is the scheming second-in-command to MEGATRON. With his mastery of the sword, null-ray cannons that can disrupt the functioning of even the most hardened AUTOBOT and a vast array of scondary weapons, STARSCREAM is second only to MEGATRON and OPTIMUS PRIME in power. His speed is uncanny, often giving slower 'bots the impression that he actually teleports around the battlefield.

Left stranded on Earth to battle JETFIRE - the only AUTOBOT warrior capable of even coming close to matching STARSCREAM for speed or skill in aerial combat - he plots to seize a Cyber Planet Key for himself in order to gain the power he needs to finally overthrow MEGTARON and take command of the DECEPTICON army himself. Though his battle prowess is legendary, he lacks the practical intelligence to hide his ambition from his leader, and MEGATRON is more than aware of his plotting.

Oh man, I was not going to buy this figure. I said to myself, "Unicron was enough, no more $50 Transformers." Then I saw the thing in the store. I'd say it was a moment of weakness/insanity/whatnot, and have Alternators Swerve as evidence. However, the truth is that the day before I bought the figure I had confirmed what I thought I heard before about the smaller version of Starscream being released as a Toys R Us exclusive packed with a Vector Prime. Since I already have a Vector Prime, I knew I wouldn't want to buy the two-pack and just sprung for the Supreme version anyway. The figure really doesn't disappoint.

You may wonder about the function I've assigned Starscream. This figure is very clearly influenced by the character's design in the (IMO) enjoyable The War Within series by the late Dreamwave comic company. Don Figueroa came up with some truly amazing designs and I think it's wonderful to see one of them make it into a new toyline.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream is very, very similar to the pyramid designs used for the G1 jets in their Cybertronian modes, only updated and made a little more feasible. The colors are great, the sculpting is perfect, and the design is perfect. There aren't many action features in this mode though and the electronic sounds are kind of a letdown. You can use the planet keys to cause his sword and missile launcher to flip out, but both look goofy in this mode. The guns on the sides of the cockpit do move a bit, but that's about the most action you can get out of this mode other than rolling it on its wheels. I'm guessing this mode is more fun for a kid because it's so big and that would make up for the lack of features. I think it's nice to display, but not exceptionally fun. Still, apart from not going above and beyond including stuff to do with this mode, I can only think of a single problem. The robot mode's head is quite apparent on the topside of the figure. It's the same thing that the Armada jets had a problem with and I wish there was some way the head could have folded down or something to stay hidden.

Robot Mode:
I prefer to display my Starscream in the robot mode mainly because it saves space, but it also has a few things over the jet mode. The sword and missile launcher look normal in this mode and the robot sculpt is superb. It's practically the spitting image of The War Within's Starscream and even includes another fan bonus - the crown from the coronation scene in Transformers The Movie. It looks good on him, but I wonder how it could be explained in Cybertron. This mode has a fair amount of articulation and can make some great poses (see the pics Zisteau took?), but the arms are a deficient area for me. They don't have a very wide range of movement and the forearms seem stubby to me. It's nice to have so many built-in weapons, but I was hoping there would be something for the figure to hold in its hands.

The key gimmick that Cybetron has is very similar to Armada's annoying use of Minicons to be able to launch a missile/make a sound effect/etc. and I hate that it's used and is the only way to unlock the weapons on Starscream. This figure at least has places built-in to store its keys, which is more than I can say for the other Cybertron figures I have. It's nice to see Minicons return, but they could have left their stupid little gimmick at home.

Transformation: 8 - Simple, yet elegant...but you can still see the robot head in vehicle mode!
Durability: 8 - The figure is pretty solid, but the weapons on its arms are made of a softer plastic being used in Cybertron that has a problem with bending and staying bent.
Fun: 9 - Loads of fun and a spectacular display piece.
Price: 6 - It's a fair buy for a Supreme sized figure, but couldn't we have gotten a regular release Deluxe or Mega?
Summary: 9 - Really a very nice figure, especially if you're a fan of the newer comics or just Starscream in general.

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