"Cyberverse" Scout Class Starscream Toy Review

Cyberverse

General Information:
Release Date: July 2018
Price Point: $7.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
Accessories: None

Starscream

*Images and text below from BigBadToyStore.com and Amazon.com:
"Picture this: me, on Earth, still cooler than everyone this side of Optimus Prime, but I’ve got zero memories. Now I’m on a mission to recover my memories and discover all of my awesome powers. I’ll have to battle Decepticons, outrun an explosion or two, and be heroic- basically, I’m in for one epic ride across the Cyberverse." -Bumblebee

Starscream conducts air attacks as the scheming second-in-command for the evil Decepticon army. Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from robot to vehicle mode in 6 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Starscream figure’s signature Wing Slice Action Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps. Look for other Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite Cyberverse characters! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

In late 2017 it was revealed that a new Transformers cartoon would be replacing "Robots in Disguise". The series focuses on Bumblebee with partial amnesia attempting to regain his memories. A blend of G1 and modern characters combined with a more kid-friendly animation style results in a show that leans more towards a younger audience than even "Robots in Disguise", something which is reflected in the toy line. The toy line was released in countries outside the United States such as Australia around late June 2018. A few weeks later it would be released in North America.

Among the first waves of figures released were the Scout Class figures. Unlike Scout figures of the past such as Firetrap or Arcee these figures are smaller (in general taller than a Legion Class figure but shorter than a One Step Changer). These figures have a robot mode, but do not fully transform into a vehicle form. Instead, they become a part vehicle/part robot "attack" mode.

Packaging:
Scout Class "Cyberverse" figures are packaged on bubble cards. The cards have a new design which takes cues from more recent Transformers packaging. There is still a vertical "Transformers" logo on the right side, above it is a symbol (Autobot or Decepticon based on the character) and the character art is at the top of the packaging with the "Cyberverse" logo under it. Perhaps the most distinctive part of the packaging design are the colors, which utilize yellow and light blue helping them stand out against the black and red colors used for "Generations" packaging on shelves. The back of the packaging features the figure with its action feature called out. In Starscream's case it is his the "Wing Slice" feature. There are also of course cosells (Starscream's cosells are Bumblebee, Megatron and Grimlock).

The insert on the packaging notes a recommended age of "6+" which is important to keep in mind with this Class of figure. Contrast that with a "Generations" Deluxe (such as Jazz or Sunstreaker) which have recommended ages of 8+. This age recommendation is more along the lines of "Robots in Disguise" Legion Class figures such as Bisk. This (partly) explains the new play pattern being introduced here, which eschews the traditional "robot to alt mode" play pattern and instead focuses on a partial transformation with an action gimmick.

Robot Mode:
Scout Class Starscream is basically a new size class for Transformers, measuring about 3.5 inches (9 cm) tall and 3.14 inches (8 cm) wide (from wing edge to wing edge). While bulkier, this puts this figure roughly on par (height-wise) with figures like those from "G.I. Joe" and "Star Wars".

Starscream's design is a modernized version of his G1 form. He has many of the iconic "Skeer" features such as a head with vents on the sides, pylon like structures that rise up on either side of the head, wings mounted on the back, the jet cockpit on his torso, thrusters on the front of the lower legs and stabilizer fins on his ankle area. However, unlike G1 Starscream this design has a lot more curved and angled parts to it, giving it a much sleeker appearance. The wings are shaped a bit more like Movie Starscream's wings so they do not go out to the sides as dramatically as G1 Starscream's. Still, the character is instantly identifiable even with the modernized design features.

One design element I am happy to see back is a nose. For some reason the "Robots in Disguise" and "Prime" aesthetics leaned towards removing noses from character faces, and they always looked "unfinished" somehow. This face is much more traditional looking complete with two eyes, a nose and mouth.

Starscream is cast in metallic silver and blue plastic. Both plastic colors have a beautiful shine to them under the right light. Red paint is used on the wings, eyes, torso and shoulders, providing some nice detailing. The cockpit cover is painted orange. The helmet on the head is painted a dark grey which looks almost black. The finishing touch are purple Decepticon symbols on each wing. Overall the deco is pretty nice for a figure of this size. All that said, I would have liked to see some deco on the legs.

There are six points of articulation on this figure. The shoulders and hips are ball joints while the knees are hinges. The fists are designed to be able to hold 5mm peg weapons, which look a bit oversized depending on which one you choose. I would have liked to see a bit more articulation (ex: elbows). Sadly, the null rays attached to the wings do not disconnect and attach to the arms.

Transformation to "Vehicle" Mode:

  1. Bend the robot legs at the knees.
  2. Swing the cockpit/torso up.
  3. Swing the arms out to the sides, then swing them down (the fists connect to tabs on the underside of the vehicle mode).
  4. Swing the top of the body forward.

"Vehicle" Mode:
You will note above that I note this as a "Vehicle" mode with quotes. That is because the figure does not fully transform into a vehicle. Instead, this is more of a Gerwalk style mode which is part jet and part robot legs. This mode does bring some focus to sculpted details that were on the back of the robot mode, and they do look nice and sleek (and make me wish this figure fully transformed). No new deco is revealed in this form.

The action feature is based around Starscream's wings. Move the hips/legs back and forth and the wings spin around quickly. It is a bit less of a wing "slice" and more of a wing "spin". With the null rays sculpted into the wings, it is kind of funny to think about Starscream firing wildly in battle in a circle as he hovers above his enemies!

I truly do believe that it would not have taken much more effort to have his figure fully transform into vehicle mode. If the legs could swing all the way back, then have the lower legs swing forward, that would have done it. Without that added step, something feels "unfinished" with this figure.

Final Thoughts:
Older collectors who prefer the likes of "Generations" or "Masterpiece" will want to avoid this figure. At $7.99 USD MSRP I think the figure is way overpriced and should have been at least $1-2 cheaper. This is aimed at a very specific audience who favors a gimmick and a nice robot mode over a full transformation so I cannot be fully down on this figure, but overall I thought it could have been much better (read: do not read my "thumbs up JaAm" rating below as a ringing endorsement).

Pros:

  • Very nice design/sculpt in robot mode.
  • G1 design elements are beautifully modernized.
  • Fun (if a bit odd) action feature.

Cons:

  • Partial transformation is a bit frustrating since going to a "full" jet mode would have only involved one or two more steps.
  • Limited articulation.