"Authentics" Starscream (4.5 Inch) Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Authentics, Decepticon, Generation One, Seeker

Authentics

Optimus Prime General Information:
Release Date: March 2018
Price Point: $4.99
Retailer: Alternative Channels (Family Dollar, 5 Below etc.)
Accessories: Null Rays x 2

Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro.com:
Transformers Authentics figures feature popular Transformers characters at a 4.5-inch scale. Experience the excitement of Transformers conversion play with this Transformers Authentics Starscream figure. It changes from robot mode to jet mode and back in just 6 easy steps. Choose a side and collect other Transformers Authentics figures to stage epic Autobot vs. Decepticon battles (each sold separately. Subject to availability).

Starscream is the treacherous Decepticon second-in-command. He believes himself to be the only bot in the universe capable of leading the Decepticons to victory over the Autobots. Starscream is thus always looking to remove Megatron from his throne.

Transformers Authentics figures bring the exciting conversion play you can come to expect from a Transformers figure. Transformers Authentics figures are a great way to start any Transformers collection.

  • Includes 1 figure.
  • Transformers Authentics figure
  • Choose your side: the heroic Autobots or the evil Decepticons
  • Awesome Transformers converting action
  • Convert from robot mode to jet mode in 6 steps
  • Take to the skies with the scheming Decepticon Air Commander Starscream
  • Figure scale: 4.5 inches
  • Ages 6 and up

In 2017 word came through the online grapevine that a line of Transformers was being released known as the "Authentics". These figures are simpler, lower priced figures aimed at the "alternative channel" stores such as Family Dollar. In early 2018, the "Authentics" were released in "Family Dollar" stores. As of March 2018, these figures have only been found at "Family Dollar" stores but it is possible they will find their way to other stores as the year progresses.

"Authentics" are separated into two sub-lines of figures. One is a 4.5 inch (about 11.43 centimeters) size and the other is a 7 inch (about 17.78 centimeters). This Starscream figure is the 4.5 inch segment. Size-wise this places it somewhere between a Legends and a Deluxe Class figure from "Generations".

Packaging:
"Authentics" figures come on a bubble card. The bubble is shaped like the figure and the insert. Each figure is packaged in robot mode with the insert showing its alt-mode. The card has a vertical Transformers logo on the right and the character's artwork towards the top to the middle. Overlapping the character art is a circle with numbers around it. The artwork used appears to be from the "evergreen" designs which feature classic characters in forms that are not unique to any particular toy line.

The back of the packaging is interesting because it illustrates some of the low cost philosophy of the "Authentics" line. Like many Transformers toy lines the figure is pictured on the back in both modes with a multi-lingual description of him as a "Scheming Decepticon Air Commander". It also mentions he transforms in six steps. The interesting thing is that the back is entirely black and white, which I am guessing saved on the costs of printing it in color.

Robot Mode:
Like the other "Authentics" figures, Starscream takes many design cues from previous Starscream figures. The ones that immediately come to mind are the "Generations" Legends Class Starscream and "Combiner Wars" Starscream. A lot of the design elements look like modern day interpretations of classic G1 details. This includes the turbines on his chest, the front of the jet forming the middle of the torso and the shape of the knee armor and thrusters on the lower legs. Of course, he also has the iconic wings mounted on the back. Even his weapons look like bulked up versions of his G1 "Null Ray" weapons. His head has details from the G1 Seeker head design such as "vents" on the sides and a crest in the middle but the helmet section has been heavily streamlined. Overall I really dig this sculpt. It calls back to G1 Starscream while having modern touches at the same time.

Starscream is cast in light grey plastic and that's it. All his other details are painted on. This includes red lines on the wings, purple on the Decepticon symbol and red on his torso and waist area. The helmet section is painted black and his eyes are red. The cockpit detail on his chest is painted gold and the feet are painted blue. All these details are inspired by previous version of Starscream. If there had been more budget, I'm sure the designers would have also painted the forearms and some of the details on the lower legs, but he still looks great.

There are nine points of articulation in this mode. This includes the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and head. All of these articulation points are ball joints, allowing for a range of movement that exceeds other figures in the wave. Unlike the other figures in this wave, Starscream includes two weapons: his Null Rays. These can attach to the sides of his forearms "G1 style". His fists have 5mm ports in them, allowing him to hold weapons from other figures.

While other "Authentics" figures had hollow parts exposed, Starscream does not. The only "hollow" parts I could see exposed are the upper arms, which have some openings on the inside, and you have to move the arm out to see them. From an appearance standpoint this makes the figure look much more solid than other figures in the wave.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  3. Push the head down.
  4. Swing the nosecone section up.
  5. Push the legs together.
  6. Swing the wings on the back down, then connect them to the tabs on the back of the legs.
  7. Push each arm down.
  8. Attach the Null Rays to the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's vehicle mode is one of the more iconic alt-modes in Transformers history. In general so long as he is a fighter jet with wings that sweep back with stabilizer fins in the back it is easy to recognize the form as Starscream or one of his "Seekers". This figure has all of those design elements.

Of course, being an "Authentics" figure there are some compromises made in the design to keep costs down. One involves the robot feet, which stick out pretty prominently in the back. Also, the robot shoulders are very obvious in the front of the vehicle. Also, the cockpit section is flat so it looks a little odd.

This mode mostly shows off grey plastic. The details on the cockpit and wings were all visible in robot mode. I do wish there was more deco on other parts such as the stabilizer fins.

Final Thoughts:
Of the three "Authentics" that I picked up Starscream is the best of the three. He has the most articulation and weapons and G1 based styling. If you only want to get one of these figures, this is the one to go for.

Pros:

  • Low price makes for an easy entry into the Transformers toy line.
  • Size gives the figure a more substantial appearance than Legion Class figures.
  • Very cool G1 inspired details in both forms.
  • Best articulation out of first wave of "Authentics" 4.5 inch figures.
  • Includes accessories (while other "Authentics" do not).

Cons:

  • There are some robot mode bits sticking out in vehicle mode.
  • Oddly "squished" cockpit.
  • Limited deco in vehicle mode.