Transformers Prime Beast Hunters Starscream Toy Review

in 2013, Action Figure Review, Beast Hunters, Decepticon, Deluxe, Prime, Seeker

Transformers Prime Beast Hunters

General Information:
Release Date: February 2013
Price Point: $15.99
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "Thunder Talon" weapon, Missiles x 2

Images:

*Images above with asterisks and text below in italics from the Amazon.com:
The scheming Decepticon second-in-command Starscream looks forward to the day both the Autobots and Megatron are out of his way!

Autobots beware, because this Starscream figure is just the Decepticon to take any of them on! He’s a super sneaky operator who wants all the power for himself, and his clenching Thunder Talon gives him the edge he needs in battle! When he needs to do recon or make a speedy escape, convert him to fighter jet mode. Keep converting him back and forth so his Autobot enemies can’t keep up!

Figure comes with accessory. Deluxe Class Series 2 005 Starscream. Ages 5 and up.

"Tales of the Beast Hunters" Chapter 7
Once Predaking returns to the Nemesis with the news of the destruction of the derelict ship and Megatron's apparent death, everyone naturally blames Starscream—After all, Starscream has always wanted to be leader, so it stands to reason he'd try to kill Megatron. Starscream goes on the run, and can only hope that Megatron is found alive before the other searching Decepticons catch up with him.

Continued in Chapter 8 Deluxe Ripclaw (sold separately)

StarscreamWhile the Autobots are in hiding and fighting for their lives, the Decepticons have also changed their armor and equipment to deal with the Predacons. In the "Beast Hunters" toy line, the Predacons are very much their own faction, so this makes sense. The second Deluxe Class Decepticon to receive an upgrade in "Prime" is Starscream, Megatron's treacherous second-in-command. This is not a redeco/retool of an existing figure, instead it (like many of the figures in this wave of toys) is a completely new sculpt.

Robot Mode:
Much like the Autobots, the Decepticons appear to have upgraded their forms to include "beast" like qualities. In Starscream's case, he seems to have taken on a insectoid design elements. His basic shape is still the same as his previous form, with his wings mounted on his back, thin arms and legs with a narrow torso and some thin, pointed designs such as the blades/knee armor. His wings are hooked at the end and look like they were borne of some imaginary flying predator (perhaps a bird, though many have thought it could also be interpreted as closer to a dragon). His main body has many of the "beast" elements including two fang like designs. When combined with the vent designs on his chest, his torso winds up looking like the head of an insect complete with mandibles. His lower legs look very similar to the tarsus on an insect leg complete with layers of armor that seemingly overlap, coming to a point in the center. His has similar overlapping armor on the sides of his hips. On his back is a piece of the vehicle mode that extends over his head in this mode, looking like a stinger of some sort. Overall, it's a really interesting design choice that manages to keep the basic integrity of the character's TV show design intact.

Starscream is cast in four main plastic colors: taupe, silver, black and metallic lavender. The taupe leans towards the metallic brown/tan side and makes up his torso piece and wings. His arms and legs are all a mixture of silver, black and metallic lavender. The lavender color in particular is really nice. It has some darker bits of purple coloring swirled into it, giving him the appearance of having energy coursing through his armor. It's a really nice effect. Overall it's a good color combination. While not one I may have personally put together, it somehow manages not to look garish.

There are a surprising number of paint applications on this figure. Yellow plastic is used on his torso to bring out his vent details and the aforementioned "mandible" like designs. It's also used for curved line designs on his wings, which show off very prominently in this mode. The crest on his head head and armor panels on his shoulders and hips have a bold red painted on the sides. On his left shoulder armor piece is a Decepticon symbol in black. Silver paint is used on the wings and head to provide additional detailing, with the wings showing off the color the most. A bit of purple is used as well. You'll find it on his waist area and on circles at the base of each wing. Add to this the meticulous way the deco to his head is applied and you have one impressive paint job where once again the colors manage to work together nicely.

There are seventeen points of articulation in this mode. This includes ball joints on his shoulders, elbows and hips, giving him a good range of motion. You can connect weapons to Starscream at five points: his forearms, his fists and one hole on his back. His primary weapon is a really nasty looking one. It's a giant claw (and I mean giant, it's basically the same height as Starscream himself). Two blades stick out the sides towards the back, allowing you to push them back. As you do so, the claw closes and opens (its default position is "open"). Sculpted into the middle section (where the claw would "grab" an enemy) is a round saw blade, so not only will he grab you, he'll rip his enemies to pieces! The missiles included with the figure connect to the top of this weapon, giving it some firepower on top of melee ability. The body of the weapon is cast in a marroon color, with the blades on the sides and the claws cast in silver. The saw blade at the end is painted yellow. It's really an over the top weapon (as most of the "Beast Hunters" gear seems to be so far) so it fits the theme of the line perfectly.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
  2. Swing his shoulder armor down.
  3. Straighten out each arm.
  4. Swing the back panel out and up.
  5. Swing each arm in and connect it to the back panel using the tab on each forearm to fit into the corresponding slot on the back panel.
  6. Swing the wings in and rotate them around, securing the tabs on the inside ends of each wing to the corresponding slot on the central hinge piece.
  7. Swing the panel that formed the robot mode torso back, covering the robot head.
  8. Straighten out the legs.
  9. Swing the foot and heel pieces together.
  10. Swing the central section connected to the legs back.
  11. Each lower leg can attach to the arms using the tab on the back of the lower legs and the slots on each arm.
  12. On each leg, swing the knee armor/blades back.
  13. Disconnect the missiles from the claw weapon and attach them to the wings.
  14. The claw weapon can be attached to the underside of the vehicle, connecting grooves on the weapon to the two tabs sticking out on each forearm.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's new jet mode is a really weird looking one, yet somehow it works thanks to the "Beast Hunters" theme. This mode has a lot of his hook and claw like details pointing towards the front. This includes the ends of his wings, the "mandible" like details on the front of the vehicle and if you have it attached, the claws on the Thunder Talon weapon. It's a good design choice as it makes him look very threatening while giving him a sleek edge at the same time. Other details show more of the layered armor look his robot mode had on the legs and arms. This can be seen on his wings and on the rear horizontal stabilizers. His central vertical stabilizer has a frill like design reminscent of those from a dragon. Overall he still has a very "beast" like appearance in this form while still very much looking like a military jet. It's a fine balance and I think the designers managed to pull it off.

The taupe plastic from the robot mode takes center stage here, making most of the vehicle's top section. Parts here and there are cast in black while his lavender robot legs peek out in the back. A generous amount of silver and yellow paint is used on the top sections of the jet to give it detailing. This includes about half of each wing painted silver with yellow outlines and yellow on his vertical and horizontal stabilizers. Each of his missiles are cast in red, but painted purple. Some bright red shows up on the sides towards the front and dark red is found at the base of each wing. Purple is used for the cockpit piece, bringing together a lot of the colors from the robot mode into this one. Overall it looks good, though I have to admit nothing about the colors say "Starscream" to me at all, at least not in the way Bumblebee's yellow defines him. Still, it's an unusual and well balanced color schme.

The claw weapon can attach to the underside of the vehicle. On top is a hole to acommodate an 5mm peg weapons. The black "stinger" like piece from the robot mode is on the top part of the vehicle here. Raise it up and it looks like a refueling tube. The Thunder Talon weapon attaches to the underside of the vehicle, allowing you to support the jet while using the "claw" action feature. For some extra fun, I like to move the wings so they point up, as if it were a VTOL mode of sorts.

Final Thoughts:
Like many of the other Deluxe scale "Beast Hunters" figures, Starscream manages to adopt "beast" elements into both his form very nicely. The colors may seem off or garish to come for "a Starscream" toy but I like them. Your mileage may vary. Recommended with reservations.