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HotShot81's Review: Prime RID Voyager Class Starscream

Name: Starscream
Allegiance: Decepticon/Himself
Class Size: Voyager
Function: Air Commander
Accessories: 2 X Missiles, and Null Cannon
Quote: "Only though treachery can victory be achieved"

As a collector, Starscream is a recent love interest of mine, maybe it's because my now ex-girlfriend gave me one for my birthday and the rest just started to gather around him? Maybe it was that line that Smokescreen said calling him a stiletto-heeled freak on Cybertron? All that is not really relevant, what is is that Starscream the Great joined my collection and his struggle must be told!

Starscream starts season #2 of Transformers Prime on the outside looking in so to speak, and trying to figure where he fits in the Autobot Decepticon war. Does he want to join a side? Does he want to take over one? Or maybe he wants to work closer with humans to achieve his ends? He spends a lot of it questioning and probing things. It's fair to say that to Starscream at least season 2 of Transformers Prime was an extended run of Starscream's Brigade, the G1 episode.

In some ways Starscream stays true to himself. He's a coward, he's a manipulator, but he is also a sentient being who realized his strengths, weakness, failures, success, and by the end of season #2 makes a character change which is very human. He realizes that it is in his best interests to be a loyal 2nd in command over a dead traitor.

To quote his bio off the box, "Starscream hasn't survived this long simply by running away every time he might lose a fight. Every retreat is a calculated risk, designed to fulfill a greater purpose. It is often when his enemies believe they are winning that Starscream turns and finished them off."

Robot Mode

It's almost certain that if a character appears on a show that people are going to look at that image, and then compare it to the action figure made of that character. For the most part Starscream looks accurate to the show, and given how this is an established character, why shouldn't he be. The only real flaw I can find in the action figure when comparing to how he looks in the show is that the engine & tail section appear on his legs when they don't appear at all on him in the show. Otherwise, this is dead on Starscream.

Let's do a work up of Starscream. He has five points of contact between the ground and him, which means that he's going to be stable. We've all had bots who if you sneeze at them, they fall over. It doesn't happen with him. The knees are pretty solid, only 90 degrees of articulation, but they have some double screws on the inside thighs which tells me someone wasn't taking any chances of him losing a lower leg due to insufficient contact between the two parts. Yes the extensions of the knees are made of rubber, safety reasons I totally dig it.

The hips aren't the normal ball joints, with a 360 waist. You have the
screw type of joint which means each leg can twists about 180 degrees latterly, while Starscream can get those high in the sky kicks with 360 degrees of articulation with a weird kind of ball joint variant of a hip joint. The waist actually allows him to bow, something most
Transformers can't do. Down side is that it gives the illusion that he can't stand up straight.

He has a complete range of motion the shoulders, and arms. The elbow sadly only allows up to do 180 degrees of motion, and because it's not a ball joint, which ironically enough his hands are on. As much as I hate skinny arms on Transformers, it fits the character model. He does actually have a neck, which is rare among transformers, and is a nice little touch to his humanoid side. Something which gives Starscream more credit as a character as a Transformer is the fact that when I look at him, I can't figure out how he transformers which means he earns some points in overall design.

Every Transformer in my collection has taken a while to find his/her spot. It explains why some of my Transformers are still sealed in a box awaiting the day their place is found. Starscream found his place in a rather poetic place as many a Megatron would say. He's held up by his own weight between Fortress Maximus's chest guns. I can see some people saying big deal, he's holding his pose. However the fact is he's held that position for 9-10 months now, which tells me that besides the standard ability to hold a pose, he's got the strength to suppose his entire weight and not lose the pose. This is something I honestly I don't expect from a Voyager class sized action figure.

Vehicle Mode

We want to turn the bad bot into the bad jet no? Turn the jet nozzles, knee spikes, and feet down. Because his chest does split in two it's easy to move them up. Where his shoulders are you are going to want to flip it so his hands go in there, and the wings on the end of each arm connect to form his dorsal wing. Please do remove the missiles at this point and time as you close it all up and work out all the tab issues.

Remember those legs? Turn them inward until you only see the sides of the legs facing you, then use the waist joint to flip them towards the arms, you need to connect the tabs and holes around the jet engine. It even has its own larger slot meets tab to firm up the connection. Flip the wings down along with the extenders on then before flipping the nose down to complete the jet. Feel free to place the missiles under the wings.

What do we now have here? Starscream now looks like a General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon jet. While it's not a state of the art war machine, it's still a jet found in militaries around the world, which explains why it serves as a good disguise for a robot looking to fly around unnoticed around the world. I wouldn't put it above old Starscream to be able to change his IFF at will, or speak every language known to man.

Let's look him over so to speak. For the most part Starscream's paint job matches the real McCoy's one. However he does have a few problems. Despite every effort on my part, I couldn't close the back of the fuselage 100%, so there is a bit of an opening where the arms meet. The other problem is the red highlights along the wings, and the fuselage. The red parts right after the wings is kind of creepy given how they look like a pair of eyes due to some black in them. If you flip him over there is no hiding the fact that he is there smiling at you from between his own legs. As much as I want to judge him for lacking any real attempt to hide the robot side of him underneath the jet, in all fairness this is just a Voyager class figure. It took me looking at him from a different angle to see how they did try to incorporate landing gear into him, even if it is hidden and not the best example of it.

Final Call

Transformer Design 9/10: Hasbro gives Starscream an Intermediate rating for difficulty to transformer. While I think he might be a bit harder than that to transform, I'll agree with it. For the most part Starscream is challenging enough I don't see anyone picking up and transforming him at first shot without a manual.

Durability 8/10: Starscream has two flaws, he has thin limbs, and he doesn't have many ball joints meaning if something breaks, well time to break out the glue. I did drop tests, I did throw tests, heck I did hang tests. Starscream took them like a champ.

Fun 9/10: As a collector, I have a hard time calling fun in my reviews, since sometimes a Transformer doesn't say fun. However with his show accuracy, his many points of articulation, I can definitely see him as fun.

Aesthetics 9/10: Yes, Starscream doesn't look perfect in vehicle mode, and some artistic license was taken with his humanoid form, mostly around the feet. However in the end he looks great in both forms.

Articulation 8/10: In many ways Starscream has the standard points of articulation for a Voyager class sized Transformer. However, I am always willing to give design guys their dues, with giving him a waist that allows him to bow (all the better to grovel with), and the fact he has a neck that does more that turn his head around.

Value 8/10: Starscream retailed at the time I bought him at $30 CND. Strangely enough he's gone up in value since then on the retail side. As a collector, he's par for the course, yes he's got loads of details, he's got some new tricks, and he's fun to play with.

Overall 7/10: I can hear Starscream screaming "WHAT" in protest. Only a 7/10, and then proceeding to babble/beg for higher score. If I was judging Starscream alone as an action figure, the score would be higher. However, the problem is like all Robot In Disguise Voyager class figures, he has a light up weapon. Honestly, it looks terrible on him. It's out of scale, it's a near clone of Optimus Prime's one. While Starscream does have some mounting points for it, none of them really work well with the weapon from an aesthetics perspective.

I'll put it this way Transformer fans. Starscream is a great standalone figure with his missiles. He can re-enact scenes from the show. I can see kids having fun with him for hours, and Hasbro did put some extra work to make sure he could take some punishment. I think he belongs in the toy box, or collector's case any day, just leave the Null Cannon at home.
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