Transformers Prime Cyberverse Starscream Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Commander, Decepticon, Generation One, Prime, Seeker, Cyberverse

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: February 2012
Price Point: $7.99
Retailer: General release (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missile/Blade weapons x 2


*Images with asterisks* and text below in italics from The Official Transformers web site:
Sneaky STARSCREAM always has a plan. He builds his plots, layer on layer, for months or years – and all with one goal: To take over command of the DECEPTICONS and finally destroy the AUTOBOTS once and for all.

Bring the DECEPTICON menace into your TRANSFORMERS adventures with this intense Commander Class STARSCREAM robot-to-vehicle figure! In robot mode, your evil STARSCREAM figure’s missile cannons will make serious trouble for the AUTOBOTS. But when they’ve got him on the run, convert him to fighter jet mode to keep him one step ahead! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his AUTOBOT enemies throw at him!

Includes figure. Commander Class Series 2 003 STARSCREAM. Ages 5 and up.

StarscreamOne of the characters that has appeared in almost all incarnations of the "Transformers" series is Starscream. Even in the "Beast Wars" series that took place long after the G1 characters faded away he managed to pop up for two episodes of the series. It's no surprise that he has become a feature character in "Prime" with much of his G1 personality intact. This made him a great choice to be part of the larger class of Cyberverse figures known as the "Commander" Class.

Robot Mode:
I have to admit to being quite a fan of the Commander Class. I've always been fond of "pocket size" Transformers. Back in G1 it was the Mini-Bots who easily fit in my coat pocket when I went to school, or the Cassettes who easily slid into the smaller compartments of my bookbag. The Commander Class is a nice step up from that but still quite portable while also allowing some more freedom in terms of sculpting and complexity. Starscream is a great illustration of this idea. His robot mode is rather thin and sleek looking, but from a practical, three dimensional standpoint that presents designers with a challenge in creating a stable figure that is TV show accurate while also having play value. In each of these respects I think the designers have succeeded.

First up the sculpt on this figure is almost entirely spot on with the CGI model. Starscream's head has the high crest and rough oval shape. His arms and legs are long and thin while his torso section starts wide and narrows towards the hips. Many of the shapes and details adhere to the TV show model's design as well such as his squared off shoulders leading to curved forearms or the torso section which basically serves as a homage to the head design of the live action Move Starscream complete with thin eyes and "mandibles" on the sides. The only sections which are slightly "off" are the forearms, which have pieces of the jet mode's nosecone section on them and the wings on his back, which wind up swung up as opposed to splaying out to the sides. These are minor points however. Overall there's no mistaking who this character is, and the ability to capture details both small and big from the TV show model is much appreciated.

Starscream is cast in silver, dark grey and translucent red plastic. The silver and dark grey make up most of the figure, alternating between parts such as the upper arms and forearms. The translucent red makes up a large portion of the torso, where you'll see a lot of the clear plastic on the back, then peeking out in front. Aside from looking cool and being reminscent of the "Dark Energon" shown on the television show, this also serves a practical purpose. When connected to some of the upcoming playsets in the Cyberverse, this translucent plastic will "light up" the figure when attached to a light source. I look forward to trying out this functionality when those playsets come out! The other translucent red parts are his weapons, which are cast in solid plastic (as opposed to the rubbery plastic used on the Legion Class weapons).

Paint applications are mostly done in a lighter and darker tone of grey, matching up with the dark and lighter plastic colors on the figure. These are mostly seen on the torso section with a bit on the head for small details like his eyebrows. Red is found on his crest and the edges of the stabilizers on his legs. His face is painted silver with red eyes and a purple Decepticon symbol graces the center of his chest. The deco on this figure looks fantastic and really matches very well with his cartoon portrayal. Silvers and greys may not be the most spectacular colors, but when you add in splashes of silvers and reds, it can be quite dramatic and ominous all at once.

Starscream has thirteen points of articulation in this mode. I'm including the ability of his head to look up and down (it's on a hinge that's part of his transformation). I'm also including the ability of his feet to rotate, which allows you to stabilize him in different poses. I'm quite impressed by how stable the figure is when standing since his legs are so thin. In terms of play factor, the robot forearms can be separated from the nosecone/cockpit halves. However, the vehicle mode pieces don't tuck away or anything so Starscream winds up looking like he has sleeves hanging off his upper arms. Still, this allows the figure to hold weaponry in his hands that he would not be able to with the vehicle mode bits in the way.

On each arm Starscream has a hole on the side and openings on his fists that allow him to hold onto his weapons or any others included with Cyberverse figures. The holes on the sides of his forearms seem to accomodate the weapons better than his fists, which hold the weapons somewhat loosely. They don't fall out really, but you can feel the grip is different between the sides of the forearms and the fists. I dig the design of the weapons. They are a combination of a bladed weapon with missiles on the sides that resemble those used by Starscream on the TV show. There are handles on the ends that allow the weapon to be held as swords. In addition, the weapons each have holes on to that let you connect them to each other or use other Cyberverse weapons to attach to them. Theoretically if you used other weapons that had similar attachment points you could create quite the silly looking stack o' weaponry!

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons if attached.
  2. On the back, swing down the single thruster.
  3. Swing the wings back.
  4. Straighten out the arms.
  5. Swing the robot head back.
  6. Swing the shoulders up and connect the forearms together.
  7. Swing the nosecone piece back so the tabs on the arms fit into the slot in the back.
  8. Swing the wings down to the sides, but keep them slightly swept forward for now.
  9. Swing the legs forward, inserting the red tubes near the wings (they look like thrusters) into the bottom of the feet.
  10. Attach the weapons to the undersides of the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
It's pretty impressive how the designers managed to get the design of Starscream's vehicle mode down very well with minimal robot parts sticking out in this form. With larger figures you have more room and potential movement points to stash parts away, but here space and joints are limited and I was happy to see that the only robot parts really "sticking out" were parts of his feet in the middle of the vehicle. Otherwise, all his other details come straight from the CGI model of the vehicle mode including the razor shaped edges on the sides of the cockpit section, the pointed ends of his wings and the single vertical stabilizer in the back with the horizontal ones to the sides. It is worth noting that the nosecone has been cast in softer plastic than the rest of the vehicle for safety reasons.

Starscream's colors mostly focus on dark grey, silver and off-white colors in this form. There aren't a lot of paint applications, but where they are used they are done well such as the edges of his wings. The use of the translucent red plastic in the middle section gives the impression of Starscream seething with energy that is glowing from within (even without a light up gimmick) and I think that's a brilliant piece of design work.

The undersides of Starscream's wings have holes in them that allow you to attach weapons. They're geared towards his own weapons but others will fit as well. What's odd is, I found the right wing allows the weapon to attach nice and tight while the other wing doesn't. The weapon doesn't fall off or anything but it fits differently.

Final Thoughts:
My biggest reservations about this figure are around the odd fit of his weapons. Other than that this is a really solid figure that looks fantastic in both modes and has some fun play value. Recommended with the hopes that your copy won't have the odd fit issues.