Cliffbee.com: Movie Legends Starscream Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Starscream
Series: Movie Tie-Ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: F-22 Raptor Fighter Jet



FIGHTER MODE
Height: 3cm Length: 8.5cm Width: 6cm

   A small metallic grey/brown F-22 with grey tailfins and stabilisers, Starscream has a mustard yellow painted canopy and silver paint along the front edges of his wings, around the fringe of the canopy and the nose. The paint mask is close to that of the larger toy, although without the paint spray on the wings. This version lacks the huge Gatling guns under the wings, which in my opinion makes it _more_ realistic than the larger version - even if it shares the unsightly gap in the centre of the fuselage.

   There are a few problems here, however. The plane wont sit flat on the table, rather it slopes forward - the feet underneath protrude further than anything under the nose. Frankly I don't see why the designer didn't add something in the way of a leveller. Sure it would end up on the outside of his hips, but would have been a positive. The robot hands hang out the back - there's nowhere for them to stow. The instructions suggest the stabilisers swing back to cover them, while the photo on the card suggests you leave them exposed. You can fold them up with the elbow joints facing down, which means they're mostly out of the way. Lastly, the shoulder joints are visible on his wingtips - although this is a minor blemish compared to the sloping jet with fingers hanging out the back.

   For all of its flaws, I still prefer this jet to the larger one - which says a lot about the other toy really. I'm annoyed about the two bigger flaws, since a little rejigging of the arms and hips would have solved them without significantly adding to the cost. I'm impressed with the colour scheme here, which follows the larger toy quite closely - and while his sculpt is fairly simple, it serves its purpose well enough.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the front of the jet up and _on top of_ the fuselage, turn him over. Swing the legs out, fold down the arms, swing the stabilisers down behind his torso.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 7.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A brown/grey robot with grey arms and some darker metallic brown on his rhombus-shaped torso. Starscream's yellow canopy peeks though a gap on his lower torso while his mouth is yellow and his eyes red. Again the colours are lined up quite well to the larger toy, although the mouth should be dark brown rather than yellow. The forearms are actual forearms, akin to those on the Fast Action Battler version, unlike the black missile launching claws of the full sized version. The arms are unpainted and feel somewhat awkward, but otherwise this is a decent colour scheme.

   There's a great sculpt on the front of the torso, which is the underside of the wings & fuselage. The legs are similarly well sculpted and there's quite a bit of detailing in the forearms, which is lost amongst the grey plastic, sadly. I'm not a huge fan of the location of the canopy, which is clearly behind the rest of the torso rather than in front - and it's lower than it should be, but considering the complexity of the larger toy's transformation, I can deal with it.

   The articulation is all incidental here. The shoulders and elbows are ball jointed, but only the shoulders really offer much, since the long forearms are on a strange angle, meaning you only get a couple of angles that look any good. Considering how much trouble they cause in jet mode, you have to wonder why the forearms are so long. There's some wiggle in his hips but the legs are single pieces. The waist is fixed and the head is effectively part of his torso.

   An awkward robot mode, but then that's how Starscream has been configured from the start. The arms are worse than they should be, thanks to long forearms on bad angles. The legs and torso look nice even if they're quite static. I do wish the canopy was somewhere else on the toy - or even replaced here by a false canopy (which would have been better for the jet mode anyway).

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although the ROTF Legend Starscream is a repaint of this toy.

OVERALL

   Sadly this toy suffers from similar problems to the larger toy, despite having a greatly revised transformation. The arms are awful and cause problems in jet mode - fixing the arms would have helped in both modes. The gap on the fuselage is annoying and the plane leans forward for no good reason. The sculpt of the robot mode and paint job in both modes are impressive, but the designer really needed to exhibit the same level of care on this toy's engineering. A flawed toy, but he still represents better value for money than the far more expensive mega version - 6/10

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