"Transformers Universe 2.0" Starscream (Legends) Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: 2008
Price Point: $4.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Team up with DECEPTICON forces and take on the AUTOBOT alliance! This quick-conversion figure is ready for action and prepared for whatever adventure is in store! Battle even the mightiest opponents in robot mode and then convert the figure to fighter jet vehicle mode and prepare for take off!

As Hasbro added on to its various waves of Legends figures, it utilized redecos of figures from previous lines as classic characters. One natural fit was using the Legends Class figure of Thundercracker from the Cybertron series as Starscream. This is a bit of an odd review for me since I generally like reviewing the original figure a redeco is based on first, but in this case I wound up snapping pics of Starscream and then forgot about Thundercracker (this is why one should eat dinner before working on one's web site). So this review will cover the figure in a complete review and at some point I'll snap pics of Thundercracker and review him in the Cybertron section.

Robot Mode:
In the Cybertron series, Thundercracker was designed to utilize elements of the original Seeker design in a new form. He had many of the staple design elements of the Seekers including the jet nosecone forming the center of his upper body, wings on his back and a head design with a square shaped "helmet" section with distinct rectangular sections in it surrounding his face. He also had fairly blocky arms as well. The Legends version of the character incorporated all these features into its smaller sized representation but snuck in a couple design changes that, in this reviewer's opinion, made for a better character design.

One really funky design element from Cybertron Thundercracker is his rather ungainly left arm, which is a gigantic missile launcher in the deluxe version of the figure. I was never particularly fond of it, and it really made what was otherwise a nice looking figure look strange. In the Legends version, the figure actually has two normal arms, and the missile launcher is now a dual barreled cannon that swings over the left arm on a small ball jointed platform. The wacky result of this is that I actually like the Legends Class version of this figure slightly more than the deluxe one. It simply looks better proportioned and balanced (both physically and visually).

If the deluxe Thundercracker had another weakness, it was the robot mode's teeny tiny feet. While the figure balanced just fine on those feet, they looked rather odd. The Legends figure has much larger feet in comparison which look solid and reminscent of the blocky feet of the original G1 Seekers. This is a huge improvement in my book.

One of the strengths of this figure are the number of details incorporated into it from the deluxe version. This includes a series of horizontal lines on a raised rectangle found on his upper legs. His arms even have tiny details such as lines on his shoulders and panel lines on the lower arms. I really like the way this figure manages to take a deluxe design and improve upon it.

The two primary plastic colors used on this figure are dark blue and silver. The silver plastic makes up most of the figure including the cannon on the arm, chest, back and legs. The blue is used for smaller parts such as the feet and arms. These are of course staple colors of Starscream designs over the years, so they make perfect sense. Paint details are done in orange, red and black. In this form the orange is very prominant on his chest, where it is used to paint the jet cockpit. Red can be found on the edges of the cockpit piece and his wings. His eyes are also painted red and his "helmet" section is painted black. The beauty of this color scheme is that it is very simple, yet it perfectly embodies the look of Starscream.

Starscream has six points of articulation in this mode. Four of them are ball joints (the shoulders and hips) so his range of motion is pretty good for a Legends Class figure. My favorite point is the cannon, which can turn on a ball joint on his left arm and swivel on a small platform as well.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing each robot foot up.
  2. Swing the waist piece and legs up and move the cockpit piece up.
  3. Swing the waist piece back and flatten them up against the main body.
  4. Straighten the robot arms down to the sides.
  5. Swing the cannon into the middle of the jet's underside. It clips to the blue waist piece.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's vehicle mode is a sleek fighter jet which retains elements of both the F-14 and F-15 jets that have often been associated with the Decepticon Air Commander. What I am really impressed by is the faithfulness this small figure holds to the design of the larger deluxe figure. This figure has almost all the etched details found on the larger figure including small curved rectangles on the center of the body and even a detailed slot for his Cyber Key (which the Legends figure doesn't have of course). The cockpit also has the raised cage sections and he has missiles sculpted on the undersides of the wings.

Like the robot mode, Starscream is mostly silver plastic in this form. While his robot arms do peek out, the primary blue details are his vertical stabilizers, which are painted blue with a red stripe - a signature of Starscream's deco. He also has red trim running along the edges of the wings, which looks great against the silver plastic. If you doubted this guy's affiliation, a purple and white tampographed Decepticon symbol can be found on the top of the jet towards the back.

Final Thoughts:
I'm really fond of this figure's design as it not only pays homage to the G1 Seeker design, but it also manages to improve upon the deluxe version it was based on! The deco matches the character of Starscream perfectly as well. Highly recommended!

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