Cliffbee.com: Star Saber Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Star Saber
Series: Victory
Allegiance: Cybertron
Function: Supreme Commander
Alternate Mode: Space Cruiser



Thanks to Pulse for loaning me Star Saber for this review

SPACE CRUISER MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 34.5cm Width: 28.5cm

   A roughly triangular space ship with a red front featuring a transparent blue canopy and white sides, Star Saber has small blue wings at the back along with small blue tailfins. There's a noticeable gap behind the blue fuselage. There are various black and yellow aspects here and there, and a few black, red or white stickers around. On the wings are stickers bearing Autobot logos while there are white stickers with his name on them on either side. The colour scheme is fairly straightforward, and while it clearly defines Star Saber as an Autobot (well, Cybertron), it's a little uneven. The colour layout is really designed with the robot mode in mind, mind you. There are some red painted portions around his canopy, which are a poor match for the surrounding red plastic, but otherwise the colour scheme is well executed, if uneven.

   This isn't a terribly convincing vehicle - the cockpit and wings tell us that Star Saber is flying vehicle, however he's not at all aerodynamic and there are some messy features here. The wings of the smaller plane mode (which I'll cover shortly) stick up, looking like they have nowhere else to go - which they don't. The blade of his sword sticks out on the starboard side, it's the only chrome on this vehicle and there's no matching feature on the other side, making it a poorly concealed weapon. The giant red helmet on top is a sloppy feature - it's clearly kibble. The robot mode handgun plugs in on the portside of the helmet, and looks good there, but I would have liked another on the starboard.

   There's some play value here, but not much considering how big Star Saber is. The canopy opens to reveal a seat for the small red and white Brainmaster figure, there are four grey plastic wheels underneath and there's a white button on top of the fuselage allowing you to deploy the plane rapidly - a nice feature.

   Star Saber's most impressive aspect is his size - this is a large toy. This space cruiser mode isn't terribly convincing or inspiring, although it's not a bad mode as such. The colours are standard, the aerodynamics are poor and he has too much kibble. There's not much play value here, but Star Saber's play value is based on the number of modes that he has - not what they each do.

PLANE MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 23cm Width: 126cm

   Pressing that white button releases the plane, once it's free you'll need to fold the wings down, lift up the tailfins and deploy the front wheel.

   A red fighter jet with white tailwings, grey thrusters and some white and blue stickers on the wings sporting Autobot logos. The cockpit and nose are the same as on the combined mode. The colours are more focused here, despite the mismatched red paint around the canopy.

   This plane is the inner robot, the "standard" form of Star Saber according to the cartoon, and since it's doing a lot less, this one looks like it could be based on a real fighter jet. It's obviously not a real fighter, but there are clearly realistic elements here in various locations.

   The play value is again minimal. You can seat the Brainmaster in the cockpit while the front wheel can fold up. This vehicle also has rolling grey wheels - three this time.

   While it's a very simple jet for the size, this is Star Saber's most convincing vehicle mode. There's more realism here than in the V-Star or the combined mode, and less kibble too. It's mediocre, but still counts as the best of the bunch.

V-STAR
Height: 12cm Length: 24.5cm Width: 28.5cm

   The V-Star, as its called in the Victory! cartoon, is the rump part of the space cruiser once you take out the smaller red jet. There's no modification - it's the blue and white rear two thirds, complete with a gap underneath the front where the plane clips in. The kibble is still present and without the canopy there's even less realism here - if anything the helmet becomes more prominent. The cartoon portrays this one as a remote controlled transport, and that's pretty much what it looks like.

   The play value is almost non-existant - the V-Star rolls on its four wheels.

   Very much the afterthought mode, the V-Star isn't compelling at all. The best thing going for it is the fact that it features in the cartoon, and is accurate to that portrayal.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Press a yellow button on the fuselage of the jet, releasing the rear section. Extend the rear to form his legs, swing up the tailwings and wings. Unclip the nose and set aside. Lift out the arms, flip out his hands. Open the chest up, place the Brainmaster into the gap and close the chest panel, which causes the robot face to slide into place. Attach the nose on either shoulder as a shield, give Star Saber his handgun.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 19.5cm Width: 11cm (13.5 with shield)

   For all the red of the plane mode, there's not a lot of red here. His torso and head are blue while the face is silver. His arms and thighs are grey while the boots and shield are red. As on the combined space cruiser vehicle, the colours are a little uneven, while looking fairly heroic. There's a light grey sticker on his chest sporting a red Autobot logo and a decent facial sculpt.

   The bodyshape here is disappointing. The boots are a single piece with small feet, the face sits further back than I'd like and the shield is very much kibble. While he's not awful, the shape and colours conspire to make this robot mode look rather cheap - almost like a knock off.

   There's not a lot of play value, although the arm poseability is nice. His shoulders swing and lift out to the sides while he can wield the gun in either hand. The Brainmaster gimmick is silly and somewhat pointless, but it's visually impressive and does add to his play value quite nicely.

   Another mediocre mode with a dicey shape, slightly off colours and limited play value. Again, Star Saber is very simple for his size.

TRANSFORMATION TO LARGE ROBOT MODE

   Fold the legs up and fold the arms away, Split the white sides of V-Star and pull the rear sections back and in to form legs, flip out the feet and stand it up. Swing back the wings, extend the arms and fold down the wheelpanels on the shoulders. Plug the smaller robot into the chest cavity. Swing the helmet up and forward over the smaller robot's head, which should case the mouthplate to swing down into position. Rotate the antennae up, plug the nosepiece into the blade, draw the sword out and place in his hand.

LARGE ROBOT MODE
Height: 30.5cm Width: 20.51cm

   A red and while robot with some blue and grey highlights, Star Saber's colour scheme finally comes together now. His head, chest, feet and shoulderpanels are red while the boots and arms are white and his hands are grey and the thighs blue. Star Saber has a silver mouthplate, blue eyes and large grey antennae. There are some gold chrome patches on his chest, flanked by wings (the tainfins of the plane, actually) and Autobot logos on the shoulderpanels. This is a good colour scheme with a lovely colour map - the other modes are compromising for this colour scheme.

   The bodyshape is pretty good now, although he's a very stocky and blocky robot. Which isn't unusual in G1, especially the Japanese line, and while by modern standards it's a bad robot, at the time it was decent. The chest, with it's wings and gold chrome, looks nice, as does the head. The chrome sword is a highlight, thanks to the extensive chrome on it's 15cm long blade.

   As you'd pretty expect by now, there's not much poseability here. The shoulders wing and the elbows lift up to about 85 while the legs and head are fixed. I like the dipping-hilt-into-back to reveal the sword's blade, and there's a button on the hilt you can press when stowing to release the blade again. While this gimmick leaves the blade just sitting there in view when Star Saber is in vehicle mode, the way the sword stows & deploys is awesome. I find the faceplate on Pulse's flips up too easily, leaving a deformed Star Saber.

   Big and bulky with good colours, this combined robot mode is easily the star of the show. It's not perfect, and there's a lot of G1 Brick in this mode, but it _is_ visually impressive and the sword is really well executed. This is my favourite of Star Saber's modes.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of - they'd be worth a fortune. There is a Robotmasters version, which is much simpler and lacks the Brainmaster. He combines with Victory Leo to form Victory Saber.

OVERALL

   A fairly involved playset in the end, but Star Saber's various modes largely fail to inspire. The vehicle modes feel like an afterthought - even the red plane mode which is the best of the bunch - while the smaller robot isn't so good. The large robot is Star Saber's highlight, but it's not quite enough to make the overall set worthwhile. At the prices you're likely to pay on the secondary market, I can't recommend this toy - I'd recommend the much cheap Robotmasters version (which is actually trickier to find). One for the fans of Victory! with the funds available - 6/10

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