Cliffbee.com: Prime DVD Pack Starscream Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Starscream
Series: TF Prime
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: F-16 Fighter Jet



FIGHTER JET MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 15cm Width: 12.5cm

   A grey repaint of First Edition Starscream, using a lighter grey and featuring extensive purple highlights. There are three shades of purple here; a brighter one found on his underwing & canopy and a darker one found on the single thruster & undercarriage junk and a middle shade (really it's the same as the darker one, but is painted as opposed to purple plastic) as highlights on his wings and stabilisers. There's a black Decepticon logo stamped just behind the canopy. The colours work quite well since it's simple and the purples used compliment each other fairly well. I have read a few comments about how these are Skywarp's colours; but I'm not sure I agree given that the unifying colour of Starscreams down the years has always been grey and Skywarps have always been black & purple. There's also a black & purple character called Skywarp in TF:Prime.

   He's not a perfect F-16, rather inspired by that jet; the wings are narrower and there are tiny stabilisers on either side of the cockpit while the fuselage is also narrower and flatter. Still, it's a fairly close analogue. Sadly there are quite a few gaps in this jet mode, mostly for the "give" needed in ball joint sockets. He also has a fair deal of purple undercarriage junk (the robot legs), which I guess is inevitable for such a lanky jet.

   There's limited play value here. There are no wheels underneath, only three vaguely wheel like bumps (deliberately placed) he can stand on. There are soft missiles under each wing - single pieces each composed of three missiles. They can detach but only as a cluster of three missiles. Incidentally the nosecone is also composed of soft plastic.

   A nice colour scheme and a good shaped, but I'm somewhat annoyed by all the small gaps. None of them are dealbreakers like the invagination of Movie Starscream, but they're still a flaw. It's unusual for recent Transformer jets to have quite as much undercarriage junk as Starscream does, but it's still fairly inconspicuous & on a rather lanky jet so I can live with it. Overall it's a decent but not great jet mode and is the weaker mode here.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove & set aside the missileracks. Unclip the legs & swing down, rotate the groin and then the nosecone. Plug the groin in flush against the back of the canopy, forming the torso (the Decepticon logo is on his chest). Fold down the wings, pull the sides of the rear fuselage out to the sides & down to form arms. Pull out the torso, swing out the head and push the torso back again. Rotate the forearms, fold out the hands and fold away the tailwings. Attach the missileracks to the outside of his forearms (the tailwings). The tail splits and folds against his back quite cleverly - the thruster ends up as his skidplate. Swing out the kneespikes & winglets behind his shins. Open out the feet & heelspurs, position the wings behind & above his shoulders.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18.5cm Width: 11cm

   A grey robot with extensive purple aspects. The boots are entirely purple plastic (save for white toes) and that same purple is also on his hands. The light purple is present on his elbows, neck, buckle and the crest on his head. The Decepticon logo is central on his chest - which is cleverly hidden in plain sight in vehicle mode! There is some of that third purple (the darker paint) here and there. The head is dark purple plastic with light purple eyes (and that crest) while the face is silver and very stretched, in an Animated kind of way. It's a good colour scheme, and this time with a real hint of Skywarp since there's so much purple.

   This robot mode is even lankier than his vehicle mode - to the point where he's almost feminine in a TF kind of way. I say almost since there's no chest "augmentation". The legs are long and thing, the torso fairly narrow and the arms thing but somewhat boxy (as they're part of the fuselage). The wings behind his shoulders add some width although they don't stop him being thin. It's a good bodyshape overall since everything fits into the same theme and the wings add some width without interrupting that theme.

   Play value is essentially limited to poseability here. The neck, shoulders and hips are ball jointed while the waist is fixed. His elbows are hinged with rotates while there's a second hinge in the elbow joint allowing Starscream to lift his missiles and aim them forward. The knees are hinged _without_ rotators which limits the legs, but this is a good thing given how slender they are and how small his footprints are - this toy would be much harder to balance with an extra set of leg joints. The feet and heelspurs are hinged which helps for more relaxed poses, as do a set of rotators in the hips. His hands are moulded open while there are two hinges per wrist, but they only allow the hands to fold in (they're really just for the transformation). The missileracks on his forearms detaching is about the only action feature here.

   A great robot mode with good colours, a nice bodyshape and clever articulation giving him great poseability. The sculpt is fairly simple but the well thought out colour scheme of this repaint makes up for that. Some sort of handheld weapon would have been nice, although it would have been limited given where his hands end up in jet mode.

VARIATIONS

   As mentioned, he is a repaint of First Edition Starscream. He is sold in a two-pack with a repaint of First Edition Bumblebee (which includes a DVD in the US release).

OVERALL

   A good repaint of a good toy. The jet mode is decent despite some awkward gaps and a little more undercarriage junk than we usually see these days but the robot mode is great with excellent poseability, a well put together paint job and everything in the right place. I wouldn't say it's an improvement on the FE toy (partly because as I write this, I've not seen one in person) but it's a great mould and these colours work well. He comes with a decent version of Bumblebee too, so if you don't want to pay eBay prices for the FE moulds, I'd recommend this pack - 8/10

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