Quick aside: How is it already the end of March? Slow DOWN time, jeeze. Between the Holidays, getting sick, work being insane and other obligations, things slipped past pretty fast. I truly envy the folks that can do this kind of stuff for a living. Any way, onto Starscream!
So I know I skipped over a bunch of guys, but before I knew it, Wave 2 of the deluxes and voyagers landed so I’m just going to let Starscream cut in line. I think he’d approve. I was concerned going into it with him as I saw some initial “meh, he’s a shell former, BOO HASBRO” nonsense online, but woo doggies, is he nice.
To clarify: he is, I suppose, a “shell former” in that his jet body, essentially folds up behind him and pegs into place on his back. He’s not Big Convoy shell-former-y where everything is just hanging off all obnoxious-like. It works really well and like everything with this line, it all tabs into place securely and out of the way. It’s a simple solution to a complicated “Transformers aren’t a real thing and so stuff has to actually go somewhere” problem.
I have to say, I adore Tetra-jet mode. Granted robot legs are folded up underneath, and the chest panel becomes part of the thrusters in back, but over all it’s a absolute joy. The transformation, while seemingly simplistic is intuitive and the fact that the nosecone becomes Starscream’s shoulder vents has me enamored with the design. I cannot wait for Thundercracker and Skywarp to join the ranks and I’m hoping we get rainmakers from Hasbro Pulse (more on this in another post).
There is one minor flaw, and it’s being addressed in a running change for the toy – the empty hole seen above on the chest plate should have a pin in it. This keeps the chest plate attached to two hinges for transformation. Without the pin the plate will fall off. The pressure pegs that keep it in place just don’t have the strength to hold it when moving things around. However the plate plugs in very securely in both modes, so he’s entirely functional, but it might be worthwhile to look for one with a pin. You should be able to see it in package.
Other than that, I’m hard pressed to find any actual complaints here. His detailing, head sculpt (WITH LIGHT PIPING!), paint apps and joint strength are all superb. While Classics Starscream was an innovative mold, I think this version addresses some very good areas, including size compared to other major characters.
Even his balance is top notch –
Other than the chest plate missing a pin, which again, is being addressed, I really can’t find a reason to not buy Starscream. Some complain that his jet parts just fold out over his folded up robot parts, but to that I say: 1.) How many people display their jets upside down? 2.) Silverbolt has always had a bunch of robot parts underneath, and he’d ask you to please see point No.1.