Transformers Prime Dark Energon Starscream Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Bigbadtoystore, Dark Energon, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation One, Prime, Seeker

Transformers Prime

General Information:
Release Date: December 2012
Price Point: $19.99
Retailer: Bigbadtoystore, Toys R Us Asia
Accessories: Missile racks x 2

Images:

Dark Energon Summary and official pictures above from Bigbadtoystore:
Each of these translucent figures is the result of exposure to Dark Energon, which twists the mind and powers the body, eventually corrupting and destroying the user. With the Decepticons trying to use the Dark Energon to take over earth, Optimus Prime and the other Autobots are forced to expose themselves to it, so that they are able to take on the Decepticons on their own terms. Will they be able to defeat Megatron and his crew in time for Ratchet to reverse the process, flush the Dark Energon from their systems and save them from a horrid fate?

StarscreamIn late 2012, online retailer "Bigbadtoystore" released a set of exclusive Deluxe sized figures, all redecos of existing "Transformers Prime" figures. Set in an "off screen" storyline from the cartoon, the Decepticons get their hands on some Dark Energon and power up, causing their appearance to change. The Autobots have to stop them, but they're also exposed. The result are figures that (for the most part) use translucent colors in new color schemes. One of the Decepticons in this series is Starscream, whose appearance takes on a familiar form after his exposure to "Dark Energon". This figure is a redeco of the "First Edition" Starscream sculpt. Check out that review for a detailed look at the sculpt. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
One look at Starscream in vehicle mode and you would think he was another flying Decepticon instead: Skywarp. As with Dark Energon Bumblebee took inspiration from G1 Goldbug, Starscream also borrows from a G1 "source" for his color scheme. In Generation One, Starscream commanded two Transformers with identical forms to his own except for color. One Decepticon was silver and blue (Thundercracker) and the other was purple and black (Skywarp). This makes these colors quite appropriate as the basis for a redeco and homage. It should be noted that in Japan, Tomy released this mold in similar colors (black and purple) as Skywarp, but this is not a re-release of that toy. This figure has its own distinct color set and layout.

Starscream's new plastic colors are translucent black, dark blue and metallic lavender. The translucent black makes up most of the vehicle from the cockpit section to the wings and the rear section. The dark blue plastic is a rubbery kind used for sharper shapes on Transformers nowadays. In this case it's his nosecone and the missile rack accessories cast in this plastic. Another dark blue piece is found in the back, making up the thruster but this one is regular plastic instead of rubbery. Most of the lavender plastic is visible in this mode on the underside of the figure, but it's really meant to be focused on in robot mode. The two small parts that are part of the jet mode proper are at the base of each wing, which gives you a nice look at the metallic flake inside the plastic. Paint colors on this figure are metallic lavender, purple, silver, orange and gold. The lavender is spread throughout the figure. It's used on the section behind the cockpit, the edges of the wings and on the vertical stabilizer at the back. Each wing has a purple Decepticon symbol on it outlined in silver with an orange "X" shape behind it. Presumably this is the Decepticon version of the "Dark Energon" symbol that the Autobots have. The cockpit cover is a copper colored piece, which evokes the yellow translucent plastic used on G1 Skywarp's cockpit cover. Overall it's a beautiful looking color scheme but it's so much like Skywarp I've found myself thinking of the figure as Skywarp now and then!

The missile racks attach nicely to the tabs under each wing. This is partly thanks to the rubbery plastic they're made out of, which grips the tab firmly.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missiles and set them aside.
  2. Flip the jet over and swing the legs down.
  3. Rotate the hip section around, then fit the two tabs on the hip section into the corresponding slots on the bottom of the nosecone.
  4. Push out both halves of each foot.
  5. Swing the wings down.
  6. Pull the rear thruster down.
  7. Split the rear section of the jet to begin forming the robot arms.
  8. Turn the rear section around so it aligns with the hip/legs section.
  9. Split the vertical stabilizer into halves and swing them out.
  10. Pull on the central hinged piece on by the thruster to reveal the robot head.
  11. Push the robot head up and fold in the hinged piece on the back.
  12. Rotate the thruster around.
  13. Push the wings back so they angle up and outwards behind the shoulders.
  14. Rotate the forearms around and pull them down.
  15. Push the horizontal stabilizers up into the forearms.
  16. Swing out each hand.
  17. Attach the missiles to each forearm.
  18. Swing up the silver knee armor pieces.
  19. On the robot head, pull the central crest forward slightly.

Robot Mode:
The Skywarp homage continues with Starscream's robot mode. The translucent black plastic is still his primary color, making up his shoulders forearms, the torso, waist and his thighs. More of the solid dark blue plastic appears in this mode in the form of his head and feet while a bit of the rubbery kind is used for his knee spikes. Lavender makes up the other parts including his shoulder joints, upper arms, hands, hip joints and lower legs. With the colors distributed like this, you really get a better sense of how all the various plastic colors play off each other and contrast and it looks really cool. The translucent black plastic is just clear enough to allow you to see hints of detailing underneath, but dark enough that it looks almost mysterioius. The lavender's metallic tones are beautiful and the dark blue offers a nice color to help balance the other two out.

Since the plastic colors break out so nicely in this form, paint decos are minimal but still necessary. The lavender color is used on a "Y" shaped detail on his chest, some details on his sides and lines on the top of his head. Silver paint is introduced in this form. It's used on the crest on his head and the face. it's also found around the hip joint area. His eyes are painted red. Carried over from his vehicle mode is the copper colored cockpit (well, half of it anyhow) on his mid-body. These colors all work together beautifully. The metallic lavender against the black is particularly effective and it does evoke "power" coursing through Starscream's body.

All of the joints on this figure are nice and tight. This figure hasn't been used too many times, so it's to be expected. The paint job on this figure is also well done, with no smudges or missing bits.

Final Thoughts:
Dark Energon Starscream is an awesome redeco of First Edition Starscream. That said, I really think his real worth is being snapped up as a substitute Skywarp to join your Decepticon "Prime" army if you don't have the Japanese version. Highly recommended!