Cliffbee.com: Starscream Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Starscream
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Air Commander
Alternate Mode: F-15 Eagle Jet



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

   A grey jet plane with a transparent black cockpit, red detailing courtesy of stickers on the wings, blue tainfins and nose - which is rubberised. The tops of the air intakes are red-painted metal, but there's silver stickers which conceal this. Like all seekers, he's got big Decepticon stickers on the wings and a smaller one on the nose. Also, just behind the left air intake there's a rubsign.

   There's a lot of good to be said about Diaclone toys. You can criticise their poseability until you're blue in the face, but the fact remains this is probably the sweetest real jet plane mould the Transformers line has ever used. The lines on the wings & fuselage match those of a real F-15 Eagle, and the proportions are perfect. The engines even have turbine tips moulded inside. Starscream's the most realistically coloured of the seeker jets, too.

   As mentioned, the Diaclone toys aren't really poseable. But in this mode that's OK - F-15s are fixed wing aircraft. The front undercarriage _can_ actually turn, and he does roll. The missiles in his missile launchers can be either short or long, with short more realistic for this mode, since the launchers then look bomb-like, but I personally prefer the long ones, mainly because I don't have to swap the missiles to have a show-accurate robot mode.

   It's really quite hard for me to fault this vehicle mode. The only real fault is that the wing posts are slightly too long, making the wings stick out too far, but you can easily file them down (as I have on all my seekers), to make them flush with the fuselage. There's also a gap between the engines at the rear of the aircraft.

   A very good vehicle mode. Basically, the designer of the Diaclone-based Transformers sat down with realistic scale models of real things and worked from there, and you can see this with Starscream.

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.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 15cm

   Yes, he's wider that he is tall, thanks to the wingspan. Starscream's mainly grey again in this mode, with blue fists and feet and a black head. He has a largely red chest, save for the grey cockpit with transparent black plastic. Unlike his cartoon incarnation, he has a black face - it's grey on the show. The blue is darker than on the show, but he's closer to his show colours than either Skywarp or Thundercracker.

   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 all of 2cm. The air intakes form big towers on top of each shoulder, which look pretty good. If you look at the toy of Starscream and compare it to the show, the toy appears to be missing thighs. Basically, the proportions are the same, but in the toy the legs are one piece and the show added thighs that the toy simply doesn't have.

   Assuming you have all the bits, it's a very nice looking robot mode. The poseability was reasonably good for 1984, too. The missile launchers on the arms leave Starscream well armed and he looks suitably menacing with either the long or short missiles, ready to shoot Megatron when he's not looking...

VARIATIONS

   Shares his mould with Thundercracker & Skywarp, as well as sharing the basic mould with Dirge, Ramjet & Thrust. Recently reissued (twice) by Takara, the second with a show accurate lighter blue, his Decepticon logos painted on and a Megatron-like handgun. There were also limited edition eHobby exclusive Ghost & Black Starscream variants. The recent Hasbro reissue is in the standard blue, with greatly extended missiles, that look like crutches).

   The first set of seekers all had tailfins that joined via either larger or smaller pegs.

OVERALL

   For Diaclone-based Transformer fans, Starscream is a great toy. He's detailed, pleasing to the eye and had good shoulder poseability for the time. Of course, the sheer number of detachable bits you can loose work against him somewhat, but the complete toy is good. The colour scheme is the most realistic of the 1984 seekers. Show-accuracy types will find Starscream's blue dark, but he's close. Being such a pivotal character in the cartoon and comics, he's pretty much a must have for G1 fans, but I still recommend him - 7.5/10, and he only loses half a point because Thundercracker has a slightly better colour scheme

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