"Reveal the Shield" Starscream (Legends) Toy Review

General Information:
Release Date: January 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

*Text below and images from Transformers.com
Race into action with this fierce STARSCREAM figure! Press the button to reveal this figure’s robot allegiance and then prepare him for a battle. In robot mode, this fighter is already as tough as they come. When it’s time to chase down his enemies, convert him to fighter jet vehicle mode so he can “tear up the skies” in hot pursuit! Ages 5 and up.

The "Reveal the Shield" line of Transformers has taken the reigns from the "Generations" line and continued the tradition of creating new versions of characters from the original Transformers series. The first run of Legends Class Reveal the Shield figures reintroduces a character that has appeared in almost every incarnation of Transformers in some way, shape or form: Starscream! Starscream has seen Legends Class releases before, but this is one of the first to feature the character's original Generation One form in this size class.

Robot Mode:
Reveal the Shield Legends Class Starscream is not merely inspired by G1 Starscream's design, but in fact this sculpt takes design cues from both the original Starscream toy and its animated counterpart. Most of the design influences come from the animated version of the character. Among the design elements from G1 Starscream's animated model are:

  • The head sculpt looks a lot like the animation model, complete with the regular looking eyes instead of "visor" style eyes and even a little smirk!
  • The torso design starts wide at the chest, narrows at the waist and then expands out at the hips, somewhat human proportions compared to the G1 toy which just had several angled and blocky sections going straight down.
  • The legs are more streamlined than the G1 toy, like the animation model. This also includes accentuating the knee armor.
  • The robot arms are blocky and rectangular instead of the more curved arms from the G1 figure.

There are some key influences from the G1 toy to be found here however:

  • The head has a piece of the nosecone behind it, sticking out the back, just like the G1 figure.
  • On either side of Starscream's head, you'll see the rectangular pieces that were found on the G1 toy. Sure they were on the animated model too, but these have arrow and line designs sculpted into them, a detail carried over from the sticker you would put on that spot on the G1 figure. These details did not appear on the G1 animation model.
  • The vertical and horizontal stabilizers wind up on the sides and back of his lower leg, similar to where they wound up on the G1 figure.

With all these influences combined, it's nice to see some great sculpting on top of the face sculpt and the "arrows and rectangles" on either side of his head. The thrusters on his lower legs have notched details on the front and on the inside of his lower legs he has beveled armor panels. The fingers on each hand are sculpted in and the raised line details on his cockpit cover are present, along with the raised tab in the back even though the cover can't actually open.

Starscream is cast in silver plastic. His detail work comes mostly from paint applications. Paint applications all reflect colors seen on G1 Starscream including black, red, blue, silver and gold. The black is used for the helmet section of his head as well as rectangular details on his knee armor. Blue is found on the forearms and fists as well as his lower legs and feet. The center body section and his eyes are painted red. A bit of silver is used on the center of the body for the nosecone section. You'll also find silver on the robot face. Gold is used for the cockpit cover. While the designers could have easily used yellow, the gold stands out a lot more and even calls back to the gold eye stickers used on G1 Seekers such as Starscream. This paint job looks great and really elevates the figure from what could have been very dull silver to something that looks like the G1 Starscream we all know and love as well as being visually captivating.

It is worth noting that a variant of Starscream has made it onto the market. Some of the earlier waves of this figure did not have paint details on the face, making him look very plain. Some early waves also were reported to be missing the heat sensitive rub sticker, so be buyer be warned.

There are seven points of articulation on Starscream. Both the shoulder and knee joints are ball joints, allowing for a better than average range of motion (though the arms cannot go back because of his wings being in the way). Each arm has a null ray cannon on it. In a bit of cute foreshadowing, this sculpt could easily be repurposed as a "Conehead" Seeker as the nosecone end swings right up over the robot head, creating a "Conehead" Seeker. I wouldn't be surprised if this sculpt was repurposed later as Ramjet, Thrust or Dirge.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. On each lower leg, swing out the vertical/horizontal stabilizer pieces.
  2. Swing the nosecone up over the robot head.
  3. Swing the entire head and nosecone piece back.
  4. Swing each of the robot arms up.
  5. Swing the Null Ray cannons forward to fill in the middle of the vehicle.
  6. Swing the legs up to the sides, connecting them to the underside of the wings.
  7. Rotate the robot head/nosecone around.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's vehicle mode is a lot like the robot mode in that it takes influences from its G1 predecessors. This time around I would probably say the toy and the animation model are about neck to neck on which features this toy shares with them. The overall shape resembles the F-14 jet he and the other Seekers become variants of. The nosecone is thinner and sleeker than I had expected (this is a good ting) and his wings have small blasters at the end (thank goodness). The vertical stabilizers look great and the rounded engines in between them were an unexpected detail when I transformed the figure. Since his Null Ray cannons wind up becoming part of the jet, he has small blasters on each of his wings.

The only complaint you'll get from me (and it's a minor one) is that the legs form significant kibble on the bottom of the figure. However, I'm not quite sure what the designers could have done with them other than shoving them underneath with this basic design. Past designs have relegated them to the sides or underside, and the sides really aren't an option here. Aside from this minor nit pick, I think this figure looks great.

Red, gold and blue paint appear again in this mode. The rear thrusters and the nosecone end are blue. The cockpit is gold, but what's neat is that this is not the same cockpit piece seen in robot mode, but rather one that is hidden until you transform the figure. Red paint is found on the edges of each wing, a feature that goes back to the G1 figure and animated model. The "Reveal the Shield" aspect comes into play with a heat sensitive rub symbol on the right wing. What struck me is how incredibly tiny the symbol was. The size is appropriate for the Legends Class, but I think it is easily a third smaller than the typical rub symbol. It is also interesting to note this is more like a traditional rub symbol with a square shape and a silver border around it. This differs from the "Reveal the Shield" stickers on the larger deluxe figures which are shaped like the Autobot symbol.

Final Thoughts:
"Reveal the Shield" Legends Class Starscream is a cool little figure. It pays proper homage to G1 Starscream and introduces a new sculpt into the mix. My only complaint is the large kibble on the underside of the vehicle mode, but again that's minor. If you want a cool, portable version of G1 Starscream that's easily transformed, this is the figure for you. Recommended!

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