Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 78, May 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 9, January 12th 1985 / Isue 289, September 29th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / Episode 80 (Season 3 #15), October 21st 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Universe
- Added Decepticon symbols to the wings
- Added a Small Decepticon symbol to the chest
- Added a Small Decepticon symbol to the nosecone
"Staaarscreeeeam!" This is mostly how the characters name was pronounced during his tenure in the Decepticon ranks, as he single-handedly undermined Megatron and questioned his judgment at every turn. And it wasn't until IDW's 'All Hail Megatron' story that there was finally a plausible explanation as to why the Decepticon commander tolerated such a disruptive influence in his ranks. Back in the G1 timeline Starscream finally went too far, and was utterly destroyed by Galvatron in a slaying that was long-overdue in most people's opinions - it was still a shock when it happened though. In the comics, Starscream ran riot by possessing the infinite power of the Underbase and he trimmed to toyline to an even more ruthless degree than the movie ever managed. Vast swathes of characters were wiped out with ease in response to what must have been a Hasbro edict to ditch the old guard. Being involved in several major storylines, it was clear Starscream was a pivotal character, with more guile than Soundwave and more charisma than Shockwave (Mind you, calculators have more charisma than Shockwave). When I saw the Classics version of this figure I bought it immediately. Unfortunately the original paint scheme was really awful, and the plastic looked very cheap. Luckily, Starscream was redecoed with cartoon-accurate colours, but is the result enough to actually do the figure justice?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 7/10
The seeker mould is long in the tooth and is not without its faults - it is smaller when compared with more recent deluxes, and the forearms are hollow. The forearms are a bit too stumpy as well, and there is no light-piping for the eyes. The headsculpt is pretty decent. Also, Hasbro have evoked memories of the original seekers figures very well by ensuring that the cockpit is in place, alongside the shoulder-mounted weaponry and the classic silhouette. Unfortunately, although this colour scheme is a marked improvement over the dire classics version it is not without its faults - mainly because instead of light grey, the main colour is white, and also the red used is incredibly bright and almost puce. However, the figure is unmistakably Starscream, and the few paint apps are very well applied.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
I absolutely love the seeker mould as an alt mode. Elegant and sleek, there is not too much robot kibble on display either. Starscream's iconic colours really suit the mould as well, with the lighter white not such an issue in the mould and the amount of neon red on display significantly reduced. The sculpted plastic stands out well on the light colour and the cockpit paintwork is far neater than Skywarp's. Very purdy.
The transformation successfully homages the original, and is a lot of fun. The legs are created by pulling the rear section of the plane out and apart, and the fuselage opens up to allow the arms to be moved to the side, and the fists unfolded. The cockpit and nosecone are 'snapped' downwards and rotated, before the whole assembly hinges and slots back into place with a reassuring click. The tailplanes are rotated into position and the wings are folded up. All that remains is to fold in the front landing gear to form the 'robo boobs' and the classic seeker look is complete.
Quite poor, I have to say. The first issue that this mould encounters is very poor articulation. The head dose swivel but the range of movement is extremely limited, owing to the kibble attached to it. The shoulders offer lateral and side-to side movement, and the elbows are jointed but shockingly there is no bicep swivel. There is no useful wrist articulation. There is also no waist swivel. The hips offer a similar range of movement as the shoulders and the knees are jointed, unfortunately there is no thigh swivel but a rather less useful lower-leg swivel is provided. The second issue is that the positioning of the wings prohibit any real movement in the arms when the weapons are attached. Balance is not fantastic either. So you are left with mould which is extremely lacking in versatility and is probably the worst apart from some energon redecos. On top of all this, my Starscream has extremely loose joints; his arms have a tendency to hang by their sides, and overall, he is very floppy. Curiously, none of my other Seekers share this problem and some are later uses of the mould so I can pretty much rule out mould degradation.
I haven't had issues with any of the Seekers, but all the joints seem like they could snap relatively easily - there are few ball joints here (there are only any in the hip) which means that if breaking points are reached then you will end up with a broken figure, as opposed to the more recent toys which are designed to pop apart and then can be re-attached. The mould seems a little dated, and is consequently more fragile than later ones.
Overall - 34/50
Starscream is such a fondly-remembered character that I can't help but be slightly disappointed by this figure. The mould is nice, but is a bit too small, and is not up to the standard of the later moulds, particularly regarding the well below-par articulation. The alt mode is spot on though, and I heartily recommend this colour scheme over the original dull 'classics' one. Not bad. If you can live with inappropriate chrome and a high price tag, you could always plump for the Henkei version.