Cliffbee.com: Actionmaster Starscream Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Starscream
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Ground Assault
Alt Mode: None (was an F-15 fighter jet)

Thanks to Griffin for loaning me the Attack Jet component for this review.



ROBOT MODE
Height: 9.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   You know, this guy switched from being the Air Commander who turned into a jet to a Ground Assault type with a jet. Like he got sick of flying under his own power or something...

   Anyway, Starscream has a red torso with grey canopy in the middle, grey thighs and head, blue upper arms, groin and boots, black feet, fists, canopy windows and face. His eyes are pink while there is some yellow on his chest. There's a Decepticon logo on his left shoulder, rounding out a colour scheme that does a poor job of matching the original considering the colour are essentially the same. While the colours map out quite nicely on this toy, the arms and legs have pretty much changed all their colours, while the head has changed (and is the reverse of his cartoon version to boot!). The blue groin looks good and while it's again a colour change, this is one aspect I like.

   There's not all that much jet left here, other than the canopy on his chest. The wings are relegated to winglets on the outsides of his shoulders (pointing back) while the jets and tailfins on the back of his boots have disappeared. The air intakes are now small tabs behind his head, and while they still work as signature features for this robot, they don't really look like air intakes. The canopy does nail this toy as a plane, but the model is no longer obvious.

   Starscream's poseability is the same as every other Actionmaster - his head turns, arms rotate and legs have G.I. Joe poseability (fully poseable hips, knees bend 90 degrees). The silver gun of his Attack Jet can be held as a handgun, and while the silver doesn't really match Starscream himself, it works well. The engine cover can detach to form a handheld shield, but I wouldn't bother - it looks spectacularly stupid.

Attack Jet

   A charcoal jet with baby blue wings, twotone blue seat and silver guns, missiles and handlebars. There's some orange on the wings along with VOTL fans, while the tailfins have grey stickers on them that sport Decepticon logos. This is a small open jet, which Starscream rides on like a motorbike. The choice of a jet is ironic since Starscream was himself a jet.

   There are three wheels underneath allowing this jet to roll. The gun, underneath the nose of the plane, while there are two moulded blue missiles and two detachable silver missiles under the wings. There's no launching mechanism, but I can believe these could be bombs. While this play value isn't great, I don't expect too much more of a fixed wing plane as simple as this, although firing missiles would have been a nice bonus.

   The jet mode isn't all that inspiring, partly because the idea of a ride on attack jet is weak, partly because it's being ridden by a guy who used to form a much better jet. It's not bad for what it is, but just can't live up to the history of the character.

   Transformation to gun emplacement is fairly simple - remove the front wheel assembly and the gun from underneath the nose. Fold the nosetip underneath, swing down the sides and fold the wings forward. Reattach the gun to the front and the wheel assembly underneath, detach the silver missiles, plug them into the back of the jet. Lastly, pressing a button will cause the back to pop up forming a missile launcher.

   This a rather disjointed gun emplacement, which looks like a seat with guns all around. The missile rack overhead is a nice feature, but it's a shame that the missiles can't fire - there's enough room inside the engine block for a launcher and the missiles are angled up. For some reason Hasbro decided to go instead with a detachable enginecover, which can double as a handheld shield - and it's one of the worst I've seen. The gun can again swivel at the front, while the wheels are close to the ground but not at the right angles for this thing to roll. The gun can detach as a handheld gun, which is far better than the shield.

   This accessory really underwhelms me, and not just because Starscream himself used to be a jet. The jet mode isn't great but the emplacement is a real disappointment, with wheels that don't work and a missile launcher that should _really_ have a firing mechanism. The colours line up to those of Starscream, which is probably the strongest aspect of this jet.

VARIATIONS

   None that I know of. Actionmaster Thundercracker is a repaint of Starscream, with a different vehicle.

OVERALL

   While a poseable Starscream should be a good thing, the robot itself isn't very well coloured - the colours do match the classic colours of Starscream, but the mapping is bad. Add to this an uninspiring Attack-Jet and Starscream comes out disappointing. While he's not a bad Actionmaster, most homage Actionmasters are done better, and the vehicle brings nothing - 5/10

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