Earthrise Voyager Starscream

OK let’s get this out of the way. Yes, Earthrise Starscream shares a lot of DNA, metaphorically speaking, with the good old 2006 deluxe guy. The one that holds up somewhat well today, 14 goddamn years after it’s release. Yes, he doesn’t have oversized missile launches (which thank God cos I probably would have lost the sodding missiles a dozen times by now). He’s got pretty much the same amount of articulation but moves two points to a more useful area, he’s bigger, and his nose cone isn’t attached to his head limiting the articulation. I like him more than deluxe. OK got that? Can we move on now?

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ANYWAY, so finally got my hands on this guy. I got him because he’s Starscream. Do you like Decepticon jets? You gotta like Starscream.  I was prepared to be a bit underwhelmed by him, but to nick a joke from Young Justice, I was very much whelmed. Not overwhelmed, I would say a perfectly sufficient amount of whelming was had.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve had an F-15 Starscream look this good. The paint is lovely, though prone to chipping on the crotch, the colours are vibrant, he’s got the perfect silhouette. Honestly, it just works. I was unsure if I preferred the proportions of this guy to the 2006 deluxe but I think it works better. I also gotta say the plastic used for this guy is really solid. When I first got my hands on him, it felt kinda odd. Like not grainy or anything but very different to other plastics used. But it’s dense and shows the sculpted details really well. Also, as a bit of w weird thing, he has absolutely zero screws in him. Every joint is pinned…which might make doing customs of this guy a pain in the arse, but in that case it’s a good thing I have the artistic ability of a blind man in a blacked-out basement at 1 am.

So, everyone’s compared this guy to 2006 Starman for about 3 billion years now, but I think it’s fairer to compare him to the other recent voyager Starscream from Siege.

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So, in terms of looks…well they both look like G1 Starscream. I like them both but since like, 80% of their deco and proportions are the same it’s kinda hard to pick one, so that’s really gonna come down to personal preference. I like ‘em both but Earthrise scratches the G1 itch more. However, Siege Starscream does have more articulation.  Not by much, but what he does have makes a difference. The butterfly joint lets you get him in a more natural one-armed shooting poses…if you can use the term “natural” for describing a plastic robot. He’s also got the waist swivel, even if it is limited, double-jointed elbows and a wrist swivels. So, if you want a “better” robot mode, you go for Siege Screamer. Plus, in fairness, he doesn’t have giant gaps in the sides of his torso.

That said, Earthrise Starscream does have enough articulation to do most basic good poses. And they both have articulated wings for a reason I still can’t fathom. Technically Siegescream has more articulated wings, but they both feel a bit pointless to me. I’m sure someone will get some use out of them though.

However, when you transform ER Starscream (played by George Clooney) you see where the work went on this guy. Where’ as the Siege toy pretty much just turned Starscream into a cube under a pair of wings (and stuck his chest on his back), this tucks everything away nicely. Most aspects are very much 2006 deluxe yes, but there’s a bit more to it. A small amount tweaks to how things get tucked away and it’s slightly more involved. And the results? Well just LOOK at it!

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This is a goddamn gorgeous rendering of Starscream’s F-15 mode. The detail on the top of the jet is picked out wonderfully and he feels solid. He’s also the perfect size for swooshing around, at least in my meaty man-child hands. Honestly, I have no complaints.

So overall, this is the best official version of Starscream to date, and I include the Masterpiece in that. True others may look better subjectively, have more articulation and so forth, but this thing is the whole goddamn package. Solidly built, looks great in both modes, works with the Siege effects parts and has a fun, involved transformation.

Now I just gotta wait for them to do Thundercracker and Skywarp…goddammit, Hasbro did it again didn’t they?

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War For Cybertron Siege Starscream Review

Everyone loves a bastard. There’s just something so fun about watching an absolute manipulative git either winning or getting his comeuppance. It’s part of why Starscream is one of the many Decepticons who has permeated the cultural zeitgeist…

OK, I’m sorry for using that term. Let me rephrase it.

Do you think of a conniving little prick who’d sell his own mother for a new job title? If so there’s a good chance you’ll have an image of Starscream in your head.

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Way back in 2002 Transformers Armada got me back into the franchise, and Starscream was one of the standout characters and became one of my favourite Cons. Looking back at his depiction in said show, it’s a very atypical portrayal, what with the whole honour and dying in battle thing. Has a bit more in common with Beast Wars Dinobot than you’d think. After that, it seems most versions of him went back to his G1 roots. And I gotta say I prefer him that way.

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And for the longest time, we’ve never had a good voyager G1 Starscream toy. The old Generations/Classics deluxe is still a decent toy, if starting to show its age, and the recent Studio Series voyager is good, but the only G1 styled voyager we ever got was the Power of the Primes version, which …well I sold it on within a month of buying it so I really can’t be arsed going on about how bad thought it was. It appealed to some and the torso mode for the combiner mode was cool, but everything else was just garbage.

In lieu of being able to have the much better Siege Starscream beating up his POTP variant since I don’t own it anymore, here’s Grimlock singing part of “I Am” from the Shadow the Hedgehog game.

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In a lot of ways, Siegescream looks like he could have jumped off an animation cel. His colours are bright and vibrant, he has the classic seeker chest and the null rays which for the first time since Masterpiece MP11, if I am remembering correctly, can stay attached during transformation (more on that later) He does have a good amount of battle damage with silver and grey paint and I think it works better than on most of the other cons, along with the sci-fi greebles and has a total of eight weapons words. Two on each arm, though most likely one will be permanently fitted with his null rays one, one each leg and one on each wing. I don’t think filling up with guns works as well as say, Megatron, but he does look quite good with the Micromaster Sky Patrol’s combined sword form.

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His articulation is really good, having loads of swivels and tilts to pull off very nice poses. Hell, even his wings have articulation allowing you to angle them. The only place he is let down in comparison to other Siege guys is his waist, as the backpack only allows it to move about 20-25 degrees left or right at a maximum. Still better than we got on pretty much every other G1 Starscream, which have precisely zero (including the bleeding Masterpiece). And he looks fantastic in the air because of it.

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Transforming him to jet mode is fun…to a point. It is fun and fluid…but when you have to move his chest it IS going to pop off, as documented in every other review out there. It’s a widely known issue and has lead to some speculation about it being fixed in a running change, but that turned out to be nought but a rumour. It’s a shame as it’s the only bad bit of a decent transformation. I personally love how his shoulder pauldrons actually end up forming the nosecone of his lovely tetrajet mode.

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I love this mode, despite its…well “flaws” is a strong a word. Perhaps “issues?” Like almost every other jet Transformer ever you essentially fold up the robot underneath the wings. Some people think this guy is a very egregious example, but I don’t really see it. It’s got a much worse problem on the back.

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Yes, that is his chest on his back. I have no idea how else they could have accomplished this look otherwise, but it does look rather silly.

However, this is a very sleek re-imagining of the Cybertronian jet mode. While I do like the other versions that have come before, the Transformers Cybertron and War for Cybertron versions specifically, this looks so much sleeker than those it’s ridiculous.

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Overall Starscream is definitely a great toy and has convinced me to go in for Thundercracker, Skywarp and possibly even Red Wing. He’s got some flaws, but overall he’s another must buy from the Siege line. Lovely robot mode, decent transformation, and an alt-mode that is far better than other versions of the tetrajet

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