Revenge of the Fallen Activators Starscream Toy Review
Release Date: June 2010
Price Point: $9.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
- On Card
- Official Photo (Vehicle Mode)
- Official Photo (Robot Mode)
- Vehicle Mode
- Vehicle Mode (Side)
- Vehicle Mode (Back)
- Vehicle Mode (Forward view)
- Vehicle Mode (Angle view)
- Vehicle Mode (Overhead view)
- Robot Mode
- Robot Mode (Side)
- Robot Mode (Back)
- Robot Mode (Close up)
- Robot Mode (Focus on head)
- Robot Mode (Angle view)
- Robot Mode (Posed)
- Robot Mode (Close up on arm)
- Robot Mode (Close up on wing)
- Robot Mode (Close up on leg)
A lot of of focus gets put on characters like Bumblebee and Optimus Prime when different iterations of Transformers are made, but another character that should get just as much spotlight is Starscream, Megatron's second in command and Air Commander of the Decepticons. With the Activators line of movie-based figures, Starscream joins the line up in a simplified form from his previous Voyager Class iteration.
On a visual level, Starscream is one of the more complex Transformers in the movie universe. You can argue he's mainly a bunch of angular panels slapped together (and in a way he is), but there are a lot of mechanical details worked into various sections of the character. With Activators serving as simplified versions of existing Transformers I wondered if this mix of panels and complex machinery would make it into this iteration of the character, and I am happy to report that it has. The smoother, more dominant panels are still where you would expect including his shoulders, chest and legs. His jet cockpit takes center stage on his chest, but around it and the other body parts are a ton of intricate little details. Among my favorites are:
- The head sculpt is intricately detailed, including layers of detail around his mouth/mandibles.
- The chest has several tubes leading out from the center to the sides, a detail found on other iterations of the character.
- The underside of the jet wings are visible beind his arms and feature a large array of details including rectangles, tubes and circles.
- The forearms are very intricate, with layers including gears, tubes, wires and other related machinery.
- The hands have several sculpted lines on the palm and fingers and each one ends in a nice, claw like point.
Truth be told, I don't know if I just set my expectations too low, but I really dig the amount of detailing on this robot mode. Some of the details including those on his forearms are so intricate it's hard to believe they were put on a figure meant for younger kids. That said, one look at the size of his head and its proportion to the rest of the body tells the tale. The head is quite large and brings the figure firmly into more kiddified territory.
Starscream is cast in three colors: silver, grey and gold. I make a distinction between the silver and grey because the silver parts are all hard plastic while the grey is more flexible plastic. Silver is found on parts like his chest and thighs, but the parts that can be sharp (including the hands and wings) are made out of a soft plastic that looks more grey than silver. The gold parts are found mostly on the extremities, specifically the forearms, lower legs and feet.
Paint applications sound sparse when I describe them, but they actually work out really nicely. Silver, black, gold, red and purple plastic all paint intricate details on this figure. The silver is the most heavily used. You'll find it on the head in the mouth area and it paints the feet, making them silver even though they are cast in gold. Black is used for a lot of the tattoo details that became Starscream's trademark in "Revenge of the Fallen", the most striking of these are found on his legs and head. Gold paint is found on the chest, where the aforementioned tubes are painted really nicely (no bleeding into the silver plastic). A lighter gold plastic with a bit more yellow color is used to paint the cockpit cover. The red is the least used color, with only two small dots found on his eyes. The purple color surprised me as I don't recall the CGI model having that color. here it's found on the outer edges of his chest area. It doesn't add much to the figures' appearance, nor does it subtract anything.
Starscream has seventeen points of articulation in this mode, which is pretty much about the amount I would expect from a figure that's meant to be simplified and is not quite on the Deluxe scale (but very close). What counts here is that the articulation points are meaningful ones that include the ability for his arms to swivel out and in and ball joints at the hips. Even his hands are on hinge joints, allowing for a type of articulation most Transformers don't have.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Swing the robot feet up against the lower legs.
- Turn the robot legs so the knees face out to the sides.
- Connect the robot feet together using the peg and hole system.
- Swing the cockpit/nosecone section on the back down.
- Pull the cockpit forward, then use the clips on the robot feet to connect the two sections together.
- Swing the arms into the slots on the sides and fold the forearms against the back of the jet. The hands tuck into the area on either side of the robot head and the silver panels on the forearms should face outward.
In this form, the jet mode looks very much like a Japanese super-deformed version of what Starscream's vehicle mode should look like. From the middle back it pretty much looks like a fairly accurate interpretation of the F-22 Ratpor, complete with the distinctive wings and angled stabilizers. It even has the jagged line pattern at the very rear of the vehicle and etched into the middle section on the top of the vehicle. The front section is what sends this soaring into SD territory. The cockpit is positively chunky and huge compared to the rest of the jet. I'm not saying this as a negative. Indeed, that's what the designers were going for, with this being an Activator and all, so they were actually quite successful in their original design intentions! At the very center of the vehicle's top section is of course the "Activator button" which features a raised Decepticon symbol on a background with several raised lines. You press this button to initiate the tranfsormation back into robot mode.
In this form, mostly silver and grey plastic shows in this form with a tiny bit of the gold plastic showing on the back and under the nosecone. The most impressive deco in this form is of course the tattoo pattern on the back of the vehicle with tons of Cybertronian style glyphs painted in black. The cockpit is painted a gold color that matches the one seen in robot mode. The Decepticon symbol inside the "Activator button" is painted purple (which may explain the odd appearance of purple in the robot mode). I really do appreciate the tattoo/glyph pattern on the back not having been oversimplified but instead made to look just as complex as it does on larger scale Starscream figures.
Activators Starscream is a fantastic interpretation of the character in a simpler and more kid friendly form. If you're into this sub-line of figures at all I highly recommend this one!