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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Detective Barricade's review: Voyager class Starscream

Name: Starscream
Function: Decepticon leader, until Megs comes back. Then backstabbing 2IC.
Sub-Group: ROTF Voyager class

ďI live to serve you, Lord Megatron...Ē - yeah, right. Starscream, Transformers.

The moment his sensor net registered Megatron going offline, Starscream knew the battle was over, and the AllSpark lost. He converted to vehicle mode and boosted for outer space, hoping to buy enough time to rally the Decepticon survivors. Returning from Cybertron bearing the marks won during his reign over the Decepticon army, he is focused on conquest. With a new army behind him, he has the strength to pursue his own goals, and perhaps, when the time is right, bring Megatron back.

The first Live-action Transformers movie was a huge summer blockbuster. It had a toy line that in manyís opinion outstayed itís welcome by the time the AllSpark Power sub-line rolled in, delaying both Universe and Animated. But thatís neither here nor there. With the upcoming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie, itís toy line has just started popping up now. And as one of the first waves of Voyagers, who should be making a return? Thatís right, itís Starscream! And boy did Hasbro do it right this time!

Vehicle mode:

Like his first movie counterpart, Starscream turns into a Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The first one had pretty much the arms, legs, and head, all not really even trying to hide. ROTF Starscream on the other hand, the jet is nearly perfect. Other than his hands poking out the back due to cost (they were originally designed to fold up along his forearms), and the chest panels underneath the tail stabilizers, thereís nothing to suggest this vehicle transforms. The black markings/tattoos really help break up all that beige, which is a shade or so darker than the original.. The missiles can store underneath the wings, but real F-22's donít do that. Heís got fold out landing gear. It doesnít roll, but itís there.

Robot mode:

After a complex but easy to follow transformation, you have Starscream in robot mode. He looks just like his CG model. The first one looked quite two-dimensional and broad. This time, heís more filled out depth wise and more in proportion to himself. The new thing for ROTF is Mech Alive. Whenever one part is moved, some gears or such move with it. In this case, turning his rather menacing head causes the gears in his chest to move, provided everything is hooked up right. Itís small and out of the way, which is always a good gimmick. Heís about a head shorter than his predecessor, but thatís okay. No light-piping due to the painted eyes. The biggest difference is that he now has hands, instead of Gatling launchers! He still has launchers mounted on his forearms, though due to cost theyíre molded in as opposed to popping forward. He features about 23 points of articulation, four more than the original due to having hands and the transformation joint for his lower leg.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation: 8 More complex than the original, but relatively easy to follow. Five year olds may have trouble.
Durability: 9 I havenít broken anything off on him, but the potential is still there.
Fun: 10 Fun and clever, for something that should have been impossible.
Price: 7 A tiny bit more expensive than the Universe or Animated Voyagers, but worth it.
Overall: 9 Itís truly amazing how much Hasbro improved Starscream between the movies once they had the final CG model to base the toy on. Pick him up, or one of his eventual repaints.

Zeeks' review

Name: Starscream
Function: Decepticon Sub-Commander, constant conniving heir to the Throne

The moment his sensor net registered MEGATRON going offline, STARSCREAM knew the battle was over, and the AllSpark lost. He converted to vehicle mode and boosted for outer space, hoping to buy enough time to rally the DECEPTICON survivors. Returning from CYBERTRON bearing the marks won during his reign over the DECEPTICON army, he is focused on conquest. With a new army behind him, he has the strength to pursue his own goals, and perhaps, when the time is right, bring MEGATRON back.

Poor Starscream. If for nothing, the guy tries so hard, but constantly falls short in everything. Well, he finally has something to be proud of- a great new toy from the latest movie, Revenge of The Fallen. As a character, Starscream had very little screen time in the first movie, but ultimately had the last word (read: scene) as he jetted off to space which was explained by IDW comics. Fortunately, he played a much bigger role in the second installment, fully illustrating both verbally and physically that contention for leadership he has with Megatron. As I watched the movie, I honestly didnít notice much difference in the visual portrayal of my favorite Screamer aside from some new markings, but the toy, which I bought on a whim, completely surprised me inasmuch as that it surpasses its predecessor.

Alternate Mode :

The alternate mode is an F-22 Raptor jet fighter, under license from Lockheed Martin, the main manufacturer. Still sporting the same basic tan tint as before, Screamerís body design was slightly updated with some pretty radical markings, including the Decepticon Insignia and one of the Fallenís glyphs. Much like the G1 original, the nose seems to be made of some kind of hard rubber, but reversibly, no opening cockpit. Boo. The landing gear is basically fake; it only assists in standing the plane level to the ground, but not traversing the ground. In regards to the rear landing wheels, I have already had one pop out twice without barely touching it. The rear wheels are also not that sturdy; they crumple back inwards to the arms as soon as the slightest pressure is put on them. As for the main body of the plane, not much initially changed looks-wise or function-wise. Still have the rear rudders and flaps, wing configuration is the same, and it still tends to be a bit bulky in the mid-section, which really comes into play on the robot mode. I think the one real significant change was the placement of under-wing missiles and hands- the hands kind of seem very out of place, just randomly fitting at the tailpipes, which tends to screw up the whole flow of the design. Lastly, the missiles are now singular, as compared to the round hand launchers that were previously in place. I tend to like the single missile theory a bit better, because the first version had so many random fire mishaps that it drove me nuts.

Robot Mode:

Out of the two modes, this one is definitely my favorite due to many new features- mainly, Screamer is not a porker anymore. The very first time I ever saw the Michael Bay version of Starscream, it reminded me of Ralph from The Simpsons- a big body with useless appendages that needed a weight watchers diet. He was so out of proportion that it could have been a 10 year old dead fad. It seems that Screamer took my suggestion and did the weight watchers- heís much more lean in the body section now, and his limbs are more defined and separated from the body. The biggest improvement to me is definitely the hands- I utterly could not stand the round missile shooters with awkward singular fingers bending outwards- we finally have some very defined, ďhand-yĒ looking hands. Equally, the legs are much better, too. One of the main features that Hasbro did right by me on Screamer is the ďmech aliveĒ feature- I was really disappointed with Mixmaster because it was a total sham, but on Screamer, when you turn his head, you see the inner gears rotating in the wing sections. Looks pretty damn cool to me. Overall, the transformation is easier on this version as well- there were a lot of little nooks and crannies that you had to get just perfect to achieve transformation either way on the first version; this update has been streamlined in operation. Not that itís easy as pie, but that it provides less frustration.

The body has minimal point loss, mainly the feet arenít all that stable, and the stabilizing flaps behind the feet fall short in durability. Very loose joints on both features.

Transformation: 7- not tough at all, but things definitely flow better than the original version from the first movie.
Durability: 8- Very solid aside from the rear landing gears that pop out.
Fun: 10- I love this guy, and Iím not one thatís really crazy for airplanes, but very happy to have him alongside my other Movie guys.
Price: 8-$18 bucks on sale at WalMart. Typical for the Voyager class.
Overall: 9-Normally, I have specific reasons for picking out the transformers that I buy, but for this guy, I give you thumbs up to go buy it just for the sake of having something cool.
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