Cliffbee.com: ROTF Legends Starscream Toy Review

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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 light grey F-22 with a mid blue canopy, Starscream sports the black tattoo-like patterns seen in Revenge of The Fallen on his wings and on either side of the canopy. There's also a stamped black Decepticon logo on the starboard wing. The colours are similar to those on the Legends Starscream from the first film, albeit with lighter colours. This is a straight repaint of that toy, even though the larger toy has a new mould. It shares the unsightly gap in the centre of the fuselage with the original. While the tattoos are less realistic than a plain upper surface, the grey here is actually more realistic than the brown of the first Legends toy.

   There are a few problems here. 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.

   Despite the tattoos being clearly unrealistic, the colours make this both more realistic and more attractive than the original version. The mould problems haven't gone away but the better colours do help. While the original's colours aren't awful, the grey here works better than brown. This is Starscream's better mode.

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 grey robot with some black on his rhombus-shaped torso. Starscream's blue canopy peeks though a gap on his lower torso while his eyes are red. There are some tattoos on his his and thighs, but they're less prevalent here. The colours work better than the original again - specifically the arms,which don't look underdone this time. There is no Decepticon logo here.

   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. 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 transformation concept, I can deal with it at this scale.

   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). I'm really glad the arms match the rest of the toy - this aspect alone means I like this toy more than the original.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   A flawed mould with unusual tattoos added to the mix, but the colours feel more natural aside from Starscream's odd choice of decoration. 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, an improvement over the first version - 7/10

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