Transformers Movie (2007) Fast Action Battler Battle Blade Starscream Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007), Seeker

Transformers Live Action Movie


Fast Action Battlers

Fast Action Battler Starscream art
General Information:
Release Year: June 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $9.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: None
Skill Level: 2

Images:

Tech Specs:
STARSCREAM prefers to attack from the sky, where none of the AUTOBOTS can reach him, but the skies of Earth are awfully crowded with humans and ridiculous machines. That's all right though; there are some fights where a missile just isn't personal enough. That's why he had the retractable battle blades installed. He loves to see the look of fear in AUTOBOT eyes when he snaps out his razor-sharp energy blades.

Strength: 6  Intelligence:Speed: 10  Endurance: 7
Rank: 8  Courage: 4  Firepower: 7  Skill: 9


Fast Action Battlers are the successors to the 1-2-3 Transformers and Playskool Transformers, they are larger figures developed for younger kids to play with. The Fast Action Battlers generally feature simplified transformations and action features are combined with sculpting similar to mainline figures.

Packaging:
Fast Action Battler Starscream is a blister carded figure. The design of the cards follow the general design of the mainline movie product, but the look has been simplified and made brighter to appeal to a younger age group. The brushed metal Transformers logo is at the top against a red background with a faded Decepticon symbol. Starscream is carded in robot mode and a curved line goes from the left to the right, getting thinner as it goes along. This line is in yellow as opposed to the tech detailed versions from the mainline figures. The back features Starscream in both modes and his tech specs. It also features the generic text "Hidden among us, alien machines with the awesome ability to change from one form to another fight their ancient battle for the Allspark. They are...the Transformers!. It also features the tech specs above. What's interesting is that the spec numbers do not match those of the mainline figure. In fact those number seemed very off (a 4 intelligence for the second in command?) but these numbers seem right on track.

Robot Mode:
When you first look at Fast Action Battler Starscream something strikes you. He fits the appearance of the movie figure with the chicken walker clawed feet, the long fingers on his hands and the frightening looking face staring down at you, but something is different. The big difference is his torso. In the mainline figure and the CGI model from the movie, his chest opens up and condenses to reveal machinery underneath, with only parts of the cockpit becoming the chest. This version of Starscream is actually much more traditional in design where the front of the jet simply becomes the upper body in its entirety without extra shifting panels or parts. This may sound unfaithful to the movie model but given the goal of this figure (producing something simpler for younger kids) it makes sense and frankly it looks good. The only oddity is the head. Due to the way the transformation pattern works, Starscream's head is constantly looking down at a slight angle. It's not that noticable unless you look at the figure head on or from a worm's eye view, so it's hardly a dealbreaker. Each of Starscream's hands has a missile sculpted into it, and this was really more for the vehicle mode's benefit, but it still seems kind of funny to have Starscream just holding a couple missiles in the palm of his hands.

Despite the torso being simplified, Starscream does not want for detailed sculpting. I was very surprised to see just how complex the sculpt of the region around his arms and on the underside of his jet wings were. These are meant to emulate the look of complex machinery found on the CGI model and they succeed to a large degree. The same level of detail is applied to the lower legs, which are sculpted with a lot of lines, grooves and different levels of detail on top of one another.

Starscream is cast in beige plastic. His "Battle Blade" weapon is cast in silver plastic. Grey and black paint are used for details such as the edges around the nosecone of the jet and the cockpit respectively. A bit of gold can be found on the robot head around the area of the mouth. A black Decepticon symbol can be found on the center of Starscream's chest. The missiles in his hands are colored copper. All those decos look fine, but my absolute favorite deco pattern on Starscream hands down is the black wash used on the details on his arms, the underside of the wings and his lower legs. While the sculpted detail is fantastic on its own, using the black wash brings them out so much more it's extraordinary. It's a style of deco that I wish the main Transformers lines would use more often and it's a joy to see here.

There are seven points of articulation on Starscream. Each of his arms can swing up and his legs can move at the waist and lower leg joints. Pressing the silver trigger on the right shoulder swings that arm up, then pressing the tab on the arm itself causes the blade to swing forward. The posability is rather limited, but for the purposes of the age group it works well.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Make sure both arms are pointing straight down.
  2. Pull the cockpit chest piece down and angle it downward while pulling the rest of the figure forward. The jet pieces will condense together.
  3. Swing the cockpit piece up to lock the het mode in place.
  4. Swing the legs back.

Vehicle Mode:
It is interesting to see that the simplified version of this figure actually has a flatter vehicle mode with less "undercarriage junk" than his larger counterpart. The only real junk are the robot legs, which have wheels built into them so they can serve a purpose while hanging off the back. There are plenty of details on this vehicle mode found on the real life F-22 such as the characteristic jagged wave lines and vent details. The wings and rudders are all laid out like the real life jet, however everything appears flattened out and wider than the real jet, most likely to fit in the with look intended for a younger child to play with. The missiles attached to the robot hands are present here but they face outward, de-emphasizing the hands somewhat. There is landing gear on the underside of the nosecone that swings down to level out with the legs.

Final Thoughts:
Battle Blade Starscream is a fun toy that looks great in robot mode. The feet sticking out the back of the vehicle mode are a little distracting, but hardly unforgivable considering the parameters the designers wer working with. The quick and simple transformation manages to replicate the "Automorph" feature of the mainline figures (even if they don't call it that). Highly recommended for younger fans or older fans who want something simple yet well sculpted to play with.