"Cyberverse" Warrior Class Starscream Toy Review
Release Date: July 2018
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
*Images and text below from 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
Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from vehicle to robot mode in 7 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.
Evil Decepticon Starscream
Function: Scheming Second-in-Command
'Ugh, Starscream. Obviously the Decepticons are not nice dudes, but Starscream is extra cunning. He’ll sell you out to Megatron, and then sell Megatron out to whoever offers him power. Imagine Starscream leading the Decepticons- yikes. He’s a rude dude who wouldn’t know loyalty if it blasted him in the face. He doesn’t seem to like me very much, which is so his loss. He must know that once I come around, he’ll be taking losses left and right.'- Bumblebee.
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 Warrior Class figures. The Warrior Class was first introduced in "Robots in Disguise" as a sort of compromise between the more complex Deluxe Class figures from "Generations" and the simpler figures offered throughout the rest of the "Robots in Disguise" line. This "new" Warrior Class assortment however is not a continuation of that Class of figure despite sharing the same name. Instead, these figures are more akin to the "Power Attackers" from "Age of Extinction" such as Drift focusing on a single action feature or gimmick with some detail that you would have expected from a past Warrior Class figure.
Warrior 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 he has a "Wing Slice Action Attack" feature. The packaging also calls out his cosells (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Shockwave) and his transformation is listed as having 9 steps.
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.
At first glance in packaging Starscream looks like a pretty cool figure. His design is reminiscent of the 2013 Legends Class Starscream figure which was based on an unreleased design of the character by Guido Guidi. This one however is much thinner and more lithe. In a weird way, this Starscream looks "younger" than his more bulky G1 (or even Prime Wars Trilogy) counterpart. The figure has a lot of the classic Starscream design elements including the wings on his back, the blasters on his arms, the cockpit on his torso and turbines on his chest. His legs also feature thrusters on the lower legs and his feet are large and rectangular like the G1 figure. From a design standpoint, I really like the look of this figure. However, there is more to the figure than a sculpt.
Unlike Warrior Class figures of the past, this is not meant to be a "Deluxe-lite" style figure and boy does it show. Starscream has ten points of articulation including three on each arm and the head. However, the legs are both connected on one hinge, so if you move one forward the other swings with it, which is a bummer. Worse, he has no knee articulation. Each leg is just one piece of plastic connected to the hinges on the hips. Each leg can swing out, sure but that's kind of useless if there is no other articulation to work with it. Also, the weapons on his arms are molded on so there is this big piece of plastic between the forearms and the weapons, looking like flash from a model kit. It just looks bad and I personally would have preferred accessories that could detach.
Starscream's action feature is his "Wing Slice". The instructions are not very detailed, but near as I can tell, the idea is you twist his upper body to one side and it "clicks" into place. Then you push the jet cockpit piece in the back and the torso twists (sort of like the hold 80's He-Man figures). Now, in theory I believe what is supposed to happen is the wings go horizontal to form "blades" that slash at enemies. At the same time, the ends of the wings should swing out, revealing Energon colored panels underneath, as if the wing slice was partly an energy attack. Now, the wings do move up a bit so the effect is achieved to some degree, but the ends of the wings never swing out and the wings move up super quick, so it is not much of an attack. Overall, this action feature is just underwhelming and not worth the sacrifice of deco and articulation in this figure.
Speaking of deco, I will say that the figure has some nice colors, but overall falls kind of flat. The main plastic colors are silver, metallic red, metallic blue and black. The red makes up most of the center of the body while the blue is used for the forearms. Most of the body and wings are silver while the head is black plastic. Orange paint is used on the faux cockpit on the torso while silver is used on the mid-body and face. His eyes are painted red. If you slide open the ends of the wings, you will see pink "Energon colored" sections with silver Decepticon symbols on top. And...that's it for the deco in this mode. Unfortunately this leaves parts of the torso, the arms and the legs looking plain and unfinished.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Push the robot legs together.
- Rotate the upper body around to the left.
- Swing the legs and waist section back.
- Swing the cockpit section forward.
- Swing the robot arms in, tabbing them into the sides of the vehicle.
Kudos to Hasbro for finding a different type of transformation scheme for the Seeker "robot to jet" conversion, but sadly there are some issues with the look of this mode due to the way the parts wind up in this form. The front to middle is not bad. You have your typical Starscream cockpit featuring a sharp cone in the front and wings in the middle that sweep backward. This part looks cool, if not a bit bulky thanks to the robot kibble underneath, but then the rear of the jet suddenly drops and the stabilizer fins wind up being set lower than the wings, which just looks odd and "off". The result is a jet that looks slightly mistransformed.
This mode shows off much more metallic red, mostly in the center. The nosecone and wings are silver while the blue weapons stick out from under the wings. Orange paint is used on the cockpit windows and the wings have G1 inspired red stripes and purple Decepticon symbols on them. I do wish there was more deco in this mode, partly because the red in the middle is just so uniform it kind of drowns out the detailing. Still, I really do like the plastic colors used on this figure.
I think once you breach the $10 USD mark on a figure you have to look at it as a value proposition. What are you getting for the money you spend? At a $14.99 USD price (I purchased this at Target) this figure is simply not up to snuff. Clearly deco, weight and articulation were sacrificed for a gimmick, but the gimmick is not all that great and does not actually do everything it is supposed to. For the same price, at the time I am writing this review you can still buy a "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class figure on HasbroToyShop and those are much better toys. Only mildly recommended if you can get it on sale and you really want a Starscream figure from this series.
- Beautiful plastic colors.
- Nice character design.
- Extremely limited articulation including legs that do not bend at the knees.
- Action feature does not quite work as it appears it was meant to.
- Could use more paint applications.
- Vehicle mode looks awkward.