It’s more Fall of Cybertron love from Hasbro and this time we’re taking a look at everyone’s favorite traitorous Air Commander… Starscream. Unlike yesterday’s entry, Starscream actually played a pretty major part in the game. While he didn’t quite rise to the levels of hip-thrusting outrageousness as he has in TF: Prime, he did ham it up pretty good with some memorable moments. I was super disappointed that we didn’t get a figure of him out of War for Cybertron, so I was particularly excited to get this release into my collection. Let’s see how he turned out.
Yep, there’s the Generations packaging… again. The card has some pretty good character art and while his bio is a little bland, I do like that Hasbro make the connection between Starscream isolating himself on his orbital platform and him becoming a total nutter. While G1 purists may scoff, I think Fall of Cybertron came up with some clever retconned explanations for some of the characters we all know and love. I also dig the fact that one of the game’s achievements was destroying all of Starscream’s self-aggrandizing idols and statues. Fun!
Starscream’s jet mode may not be the sexiest aircraft out there, but the design does seem to feature a little something for everyone. There’s a tiny bit of the old tetra-jet design in him, but most of what’s here looks like a cross between Energon Starscream and a dash of War Within. The sculpt itself is kind of plain with more than a few smooth, featureless surfaces. I guess the guy that does the panel lining was off this day. It locks together very well, although he’s so simple, you only have to look at him for a moment to deconstruct all there is about how he will transform. In theory, the deco is good and I like the use of the G1 colors, but I don’t find the grey plastic and matte red and blue paint all that appealing. The toy just looks unintentionally dark and bland. I think Hasbro would have done well to use a plastic more similar to WFC Megatron and used some glossy paint to make the figure pop more. Still, when all is said and done he’s a pretty good representation of the in-game jet.
As I’ve already hinted, transforming Starscream is frightfully simple, but that seems to be par for the course with the Fall of Cybertron figures. I can think of any number of jets that Hasbro put out over the last 10 years in the Basic/Scout assortment that are more complicated than this Deluxe. On the plus side, he avoids a lot of the fiddly nonsense that came with Jazz and Sideswipe. Sometimes simple isn’t a bad thing, especially if you’re a kid playing with him and want to be able to get him from mode to mode with relative ease.
Overall, I dig the configuration of Starscream’s robot mode. It’s pretty close to the in-game model, and while The Seekers were probably my least favorite of the High Moon Studio designs, I still like them well enough. I think it may be the underdeveloped feet that bug me the most. Still, I consider it a plus that he retains a lot more of his traditional G1 design than many of the other characters. The angled wings look cool, as does the re-imagining of his shoulder intakes. The hollow torso is a bit of a turn off when viewed from certain angles, but his silhouette from the front is pretty solid. I’m extremely pleased with the way the head sculpt turned out and the light piping is the eyes is exceptionally effective. The deco is also very G1 inspired, although as with the jet mode, I’m still rather unhappy about the bare grey plastic and the drab, matte paint.
While Starscream still suffers from the slightly diminished size of the other Fall of Cybertron Deluxes, I’m glad to see he does scale quite well alongside WFC Megatron and the other Decepticons. Just don’t stand him next to Bumblebee or Cliffjumper.
Starscream comes with a large double minigun that can split apart into two weapons. They look rather reminiscent of the missile launchers used by the Bayformer Starscream toys. He can hold the combined weapon in either hand, or you can split it and have him dual wield it, or you could mount them on his arms in traditional null-ray fashion. Options are good.
Starscream is a fairly solid effort, but he’s very simple for a Deluxe Transformer and that's likely to bother a lot of collectors. While you could certainly argue that fifteen bucks should net you more complex engineering, Starscream’s simplicity isn’t really a sticking point for me. The deco on the other hand is. So much so that this may be the first time I seriously consider importing the Takara version. The grey plastic looks about the same, but the glossy paint used on the import makes a big difference. Either way, after finally having this figure in hand, I can’t help but wonder about the Starscream we might have got if he were released in conjunction with the previous game, when Hasbro's standards were a little higher.
And that’s another week in the bag. I've got more Fall of Cybertron stuff for next week, but in the interest of variety, I'll save those for the end of the week and we'll start out on Monday by taking a look at an action figure line that I haven't featured around these parts before. Virgin territory! How exciting!!!