Revenge of the Fallen Starscream Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen, Seeker

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: May 2009
Price Point: $22.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Missiles x 2

Images:

*Images and text below from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
The moment his sensor net registered MEGATRON going offline, STARSCREAM knew the battle was over, and the AllSpark lost. He converted to vehicle mode and boosted for outer space, hoping to buy enough time to rally the DECEPTICON survivors. Returning from CYBERTRON bearing the marks won during his reign over the DECEPTICON army, he is focused on conquest. With a new army behind him, he has the strength to pursue his own goals, and perhaps, when the time is right, bring MEGATRON back.

Prepare to do battle – DECEPTICON style! Fire either of two missiles from this eager enemy’s pop-out missile launcher in robot mode. Activate gears with a turn of STARSCREAM figure’s head! Or convert to an F-22 Raptor aircraft in vehicle mode and let your imagination soar! Recreate exciting scenes from the movie or create your own!

Figure comes with missile accessories.

Detailed robot-to-vehicle figure features pop-out missile launchers and two firing missiles! Turn head to activate moving gears! Figure comes with missile accessories. Ages 5 and up.

There's a challenge that I don't envy when it comes to being a Hasbro toy designer. In the first live action movie toy line, there were several iterations of the character Starscream. In the Voyager Class alone there were several releases of the sculpt as Starscream and other Seekers. This even continued with this year's Wal-Mart exclusive Ramjet and Skywarp redecos. It makes sense that Starscream would appear again in the toy line. However, I was surprised that the designers went ahead and made a whole new sculpt on the Voyager scale for this toy line.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's vehicle form has not changed in "Revenge of the Fallen". He is still an F-22 Raptor fighter jet. Several Transformers have had this vehicle mode in the past, something I went on and on a bit about in my review of Starscream from 2007. This time around is that I was absolutely floored by how well the design of this figure incorporates the robot mode pieces with the vehicle mode. Just holding the figure up and looking at it from the side, I was struck by how thin the figure is compared to its predecessors. The way the figure is positoned in the packaging really doesn't show this well since you're mostly looking at the top of the vehicle, but once you get it out it's quite impressive. Now, this doesn't mean that you can't see any robot parts. His robot hands are conspicuously sticking out the back of the vehicle and you can see his arms on the underside, but this time they're in the center instead of being under the wings. This is the part I'm most happy about. Without big old gun arms mounted under the wings, Starscream actually looks sleek and more like a fighter jet than some super heavily armed bomber.

Starscream's vehicle mode has all the requisite elements of the F-22 design. The wings and horizontal stabilizers all have a four sided design resting against the main body of the vehicle. The vertical stabilizers are set at angles (though they are adjustable) while the nosecone flattens out towards the center, coming to an angle before curving down to the lower portion of the vehicle. It also has some of the finer details fo the F-22 design including the jagged lines on the nosecone and towards the rear of the vehicle. Near the vertical stabilizers are vents and the wings have several lines indented into them indicating where armor panels join each other. You'll also find some fantastic detailing on the underside of the vehicle. The wings seem to be the focus of these details, with lines, rectangles, tubes, circles and more. You'll find more detail inside the cockpit where there is a pilot's seat and control console. I'm loving this sculpt so far. This is one impressive vehicle mode!

Part of "thinning" Starscream out also involves making him a little less accessory heavy. Instead of having six missiles as his accessories, he has two. These can be plugged into his arm weapons into the rear (which I like, since it looks like Starscream has rear defense weapons) but they're really meant to be attached to tabs on the underside of each wing. They hold to the tabs really well, and they don't stick out too much when viewed from above which is a bonus.

starscream has three landing gear pieces. Two are attached to his arms in the center of the vehicle. Swing the black wheels out and then unfold the leanding gear from the underside of the nosecone and he stands on the landing gear just fine. I really like the way the landing gear on the nosecone isn't just the standard stick of plastic that swings down, but instead it actually has an extra hinge that allows it to tuck into the underside of the nosecone.

Starscream is mostly cast in a metallic beige color. He has some black plastic too, but most of that you'll see on the underside including the robot hands and landing gear. The cockpit is cast in translucent yellow plastic. In a rather unusual move, Starscream only has one primary paint color in this form: black. this color is used to paint the complex series of glyphs that resemble a bit of ancient writing and circuit board patterns combined. On his right wing is a large Decepticon symbol. The patterns reallyd raw your eye, and my favorite part about the design is that it is asymetrical. The designs on one side do not necesarily match on the other side, yet they don't look overly confusing at the same time. A beautiful deco job overall.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missiles from the wings.
  2. Make sure all the landing gear is all folded in.
  3. Push the wings down lightly at the center and swing them downward.
  4. Swing the panel on the underside with the wings attached down.
  5. Split the robot arms from each other and swing them outward.
  6. Separate the top, center section of the vehicle and swing the halves outward.
  7. Swing the two halves of the vertical stabilizer fins together and then rotate them down flat.
  8. Swing the small three sided panels near the robot chest up.
  9. Swing the end of the nosecone back.
  10. Rotate the rear, horizontal stabilizers around and connect the circles with the tubes on the back of the cockpit section.
  11. clip the two havles of the body together at the waist area.
  12. Swing the robot legs down.
  13. Rotate the lower legs around and angle them back.
  14. Straighten out the robot feet.
  15. Straighten out the robot arms.
  16. Fold the top halves of the wings on his back into a triangular shape and set them behind the wings on his back.
  17. Pull the two panels on either side of his cockpit section out a bit.
  18. Attach each missile into the launchers on his arms.

I have to say that this is one of the most impressive transformations I've seen in quite some time. It's very complex and I was honestly surprised that in a figure on this scale there were so many small hinges and parts to move around. I caution against pulling too hard on the chest panels as mine popped out when I used a bit too much force.

Robot Mode:
Unlike the vehicle mode, the previous Starscream replicated the movie's robot mode very well. With his various triangular parts and angled shapes, Starscream set a rather unique Seeker template compared to his G1 equivalents. What this robot mode has achieved are two key things: a thinner profile and a much more highly detailed sculpt. This has the effect of making him less bulky in almost every part. His torso, his arms and legs are all considerably less thick than the previous iteration of this character.

The CGI model of Starscream is extremely detailed, with tons of wires, tubes, mechanical bits and so on sticking out everywhere. The designers have made an attempt to duplicate as much of these features as they could in this figure. Among them are:

  • The chest panels that come out slightly are inspired by similar details on the CGI model, right under the robot head.
  • The interior of the robot torso has a lot of mechanical detail including a series of tubes angling towards the arms and rectangular parts on either side of the cockpit.
  • Instead of having his missile launchers integrated into the hands, this time they are mounted on top of the hands, resembling one (of the many) ways Starscream would activate his weapons in the film.
  • The panels on his waist resemble the details on the CGI model in the same spot.

The two parts which draw my eye the most are the head sculpt and the torso. The head sculpt is fantastic. The one from the first movie was very well done, but this one refines that one and enhances certain details such as the mandibles on the face and the raised details on the crest. The chest is the most incredible part. Utilizing a series of gears, this activates the "Mech Alive" feature. Turn the robot head side to side and the gears in the torso turn. There are tube shaped gears and a circular one. It's very cool and is one of the best examples of this feature.

Starscream has twenty five points of articulation in this form. There are five in each arm, including the ability of his hands to move up and down. Each leg has seven points of articulation. There are several hinges as well as joints that can rotate in and out. On each arm is a missile launcher. Press the trigger and the missile will fire. If you look carefully at the sculpt, there are two hinges sculpted into each forearm. Originally there was going to be an action feature which would have allowed the missile launchers to spring up before firing the missile. This would have had the added bonus of setting the launcher clear from the hands. Most likely this was eliminated as a cost saving measure. However, truth be told the hand doesn't really get in the way so it's not absolutely necessary to have such a feature.

In this form, Starscream is still mostly metallic beige, but several parts are also cast in black. This includes the hands and several joints in the arms and legs. Several of the details inside the torso are cast in black as well. The black glyph patterns distribute throughout the robot mode, and look really awesome. Inside the chest, sections of the black plastic are painted metallic silver and gold. Black, gold and red paint are used for details on the robot head. I really like the color break down a lot on this figure. The beige color of the original could get a bit monotonous, but the black, gold and silver colors enhance it a lot.

Final Thoughts:
When I first found out another version of Starscream was being made, I was rather unimpressed. Even when I picked the figure up, I was very "Meh" on the whole thing until I got him out of the package and began to transform the figure. I am extremely impressed by this figure and how different it is from its predecessors. It has a fantastic sculpt, great articulation and represents one of the best takes on the F-22 Raptor to show up in the Transformers line so far. Highly recommended!