Cliffbee.com: G2 Starscream Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Starscream
Series: Generation 2
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Air Commander
Alternate Mode: F-15 Eagle Jet



JET MODE
Height: 7.5cm Length: 21cm Width: 15.5cm

   A light grey jet plane with a transparent purple black cockpit, Starscream's fuselage is notably lighter than it was in G1, although the wings, tailfins and tailwings are all a darker grey similar to G1. There are twotone grey camo stickers on his wings and some striped stickers on the tailfins. The rubberised nose is black while the air intakes are bright red. There is no blue on this toy, but it's still a fundamentally similar colour scheme to the original. This colour scheme isn't as nice as the original's, nor is it as coherent. You can add the red soundbox on top of his engines, but it only breaks things up further. The right wing sports the letters "TAC" while the left has a small Decepticon logo.

   While the original didn't have a totally realistic colour scheme, this one's even less so. Why they decided the red paint needed to be fluorescent is beyond me, and the camouflaged wings seem pointless. The red soundbox is just an eyesore. Why they didn't stick to the G1 colours is I don't know.

   Starscream has missile launchers under his wings, although they're bulbous black things that bear no resemblance to those of G1. They shoot long, thin, purple missiles, that look out of place despite the purple canopy. The soundbox has two buttons, the right side one generates a long take-off then landing sound, which gets old very fast and lasts about ten seconds. The left side button generates a much better machine gun fire sound, which will continue only as along as you press the buttons. You can't cut off the long sound by pressing the other button which is mildly annoying. Both buttons will cause two red LEDs on the front of the box to flash.

   While this colour scheme isn't horrible - especially against some of the other G2 toys out there, it's close enough to the original that it seems pointless, and at the same time it's not done all that well. The soundbox looks bad and the three posts it attaches to look bad if it's not mounted. The missile launchers aren't as nice as the originals and they don't fit the colour scheme, while the soundbox doesn't really bring a whole lot to the toy - the machine gun sound is nice but the box is clunky and the other sound is annoying.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the wings, remove the front undercarriage and place it inside the cockpit. Fold the rear tailfins down, flip back the rear wheels to form the feet. Stand him up and push the plastic bit on his chest till it swings out to form the arms. Fold the nose down, then swing it through the chest until the cockpit rests on his chest. Fold the nosecone back to reveal the head. Attach his fists, reattach the wings, insignia facing forward and attach the missile launchers to the arms. You can actually perform this transformation with the wings staying attached, though it'll take a tad longer and the attachments for the wings will eventually wear out.

   One thing that has always bothered me about this transformation is that there's nowhere for the fists in jet mode. While you can store everything else, it does make for very easily lost fists. Of course, the other detachable parts are commonly lost anyway. The soundbox can actually stay put if you like.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 15cm

   Wider than he is tall thanks to the wingspan, and quite recognisable as Starscream. The light grey is again dominant in this mode, with grey fists, wings and feet and a black head. He has a largely red chest, save for the light grey cockpit with transparent purple canopy. Again there's no blue here, but the colours work as Starscream. The black and purple launchers look really awkward, but at least the red soundbox is on the back of his legs and out of sight now. It's again a regression but his colours are better now.

   Aside from his shoulders being able to move, Starscream pretty much just stands there being very wide. His shoulders do move in pretty much every direction, however, courtesy of his transformation. The missile launchers can shoot about a foot (30cm), but they don't impress me anyway thanks to their silly colours. The air intakes form big towers on top of each shoulder, which look pretty good, although they're rather bright. The silver stickers are identical to those on G1 Starscream, helping define the character.

   Just as on the G1 Seekers, Starscream has a whole bunch of detachable pieces to lose. I'm less forgiving this time around since there have been ten years of toy technology intervening _and_ they've added another piece in the soundbox, which brings very little to this mode (and not much more to the jet mode).

   Again fairly similar to the G1 version, with some odd colour choice and bad missile launchers. The soundbox doesn't bring much here and the colours are a slight regression. Not as gaudy as the jet mode, but it's the better of two mediocre options really.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of the G1 Starscream toy with new missile launchers and a soundbox. Starscream shares the new style weapons and soundbox concept with G2 Ramjet.

OVERALL

   There have been several releases of Starscream as a seeker down the years, and this is probably the least memorable of the bunch. The colours are quite obviously meant to represent Starscream but are a poor match, while there are some gaudy g2 touches. The soundbox is unimpressively tacked on, without really offering that much. If you're after a Starscream toy, there are two better recent reissues that I'd recommend instead - 5/10

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