"Generations" Studio Series Voyager Class Starscream Toy Review

in 2018, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generations, Movie (2007), Seeker, Studio Series, Voyager

Generations

Studio Series

Starscream General Information:
Release Date: March 2018
Price Point: $29.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Blade/rocket weapon

Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
This Studio Series 06 Voyager Class Movie 1 Starscream figure brings the movie action from the Mission City Battle scene to new dimensions. The figure converts between robot and F-22 Raptor modes in 26 steps and comes with a detailed weapon accessory inspired by the movie. Remove the backdrop included in pack to showcase Starscream in the Mission City Battle scene.

In the Mission City Battle from Movie 1, Starscream plunges into action from above, seizing the opportunity to prove himself an equal to Megatron. Posing as an F-22 Raptor providing cover to the Autobots below, Starscream launches a sneak attack, blasting through shields and crippling opposing Autobot forces.

Reach past the big screen and build the ultimate Transformers collection with Studio Series figures, inspired by iconic movie scenes and designed with deco and figure scales that reflect the movie universe.

In the Mission City Battle from Movie 1, Starscream plunges into action from above. After eons of waiting, he seizes the opportunity to prove himself an equal to Megatron.

This Studio Series 06 Voyager Class Movie 1 Starscream figure converts from robot to jet mode in 26 steps and comes with 1 accessory. Remove backdrop to showcase Starscream in the Mission City Battle scene.

2017 was a milestone in Transformers history. The live action movie series was now ten years old meaning an entire generation of fans had grown up in an era where they had a live action Transformers theatrical film every other year to watch. In 2018 Hasbro launched the "Studio Series", a "Generations"-esque line of figured focused on the live action movies. The series boasted toys that were made in rough scale with each other using the CAD files from Paramount Pictures as the basis for the design. Part of the idea was also to fill in gaps in previous lines by making characters who had not appeared in the line previously.

Starscream appeared in the first Transformers film. Like his G1 counterpart, he transformed into a military jet and terrorized the Autobots from above and the ground. Over the years there have been a lot of figures representing this character. Here's a list of a few:

As you can see, the character is well represented in the movie-verse, but it can be argued almost none of the previous figures quite nailed down the character's look from the film in a transformable figure. The closest one was the Deluxe "Mech Tech" version which is a really solid toy that would later go on to be used in the "Movie Advanced" series. This figure is interesting as it appears to be a "partial tool" of the Deluxe version of the character. According to Hasbro at Toy Fair 2018, "Partial tool" refers to a figure which borrows engineering and maybe even some parts from a previous figure but is not exactly a retool or simply a "scaled up" figure. To see a past example of a Transformers figure that was a "scaled up" figure check out my Deluxe "Beast Hunters" Twinstrike review.

*Note: the Deluxe Class Starscream used in my photos for this review is the Movie Advanced version.

Packaging:
The Voyager Class Studio Series figures are packaged in boxes similar in size to the boxes used for "The Last Knight". The boxes are vertical rectangles with a large window in the front. Instead of the lighter colors of "The Last Knight" boxes, this box takes a more "Generations" style approach, using a black background and a vertical "Transformers" logo to the right. Above that is the "Generations" logo. Reflecting the new, unified approach to the Transformers toy line both Hasbro and Takara Tomy's logos appear on the front of the packaging. Towards the lower part of the box is the logo for the specific film the character comes from (in this case it is the logo for the 2007 "Transformers" film. To the left is new package art with blue borders. The packaging also has package art on the side and a large collector number designated to each figure. In Starscream's case his number is 6. The idea is that you can line up all these figures on a shelf to show off the collection numbers. It's a neat idea and has kept me from tossing out the box so far.

The back of the packaging shows renders of Starscream in both modes along with the logo for the "Transformers" film. The box also describes the transformation as having twenty six steps. Towards the bottom it shows you how you can take the cardboard insert from the inside of the packaging and use it as a display base and background for the figure. In Starscream's case, he comes with a background featuring the site of the Mission City battle from the first film. Towards the bottom are cosells including Bumblebee, Stinger and Optimus Prime. Below that is all the requisite legal information for the figure.

Accessory:
Starscream includes a weapon that looks like a combination of a blade weapon and rocket launcher. This is based on the weapon the character used in the movie. The base of the weapon is cast in gunmetal colored plastic while the blade in the front is soft, light grey plastic. The rockets sculpted into the middle are painted gold. Interestingly, the official photos of the figure (see above) shows him holding a weapon with a saw blade, something this figure does not include. Fans have speculated that this saw blade weapon will be included in an upcoming redeco/release of this figure.

Robot Mode:
When you put this figure and the Deluxe sculpt side by side, it is very easy to see the design features they share and significant differences all at the same time. Structurally speaking the two are the same in many respects. Some of these features include:

  • The heads have almost the same exact design (which is not surprising given they are both based on the same CG model) including his insect like eyes and mandibles.
  • Right under the "chin" of the robot head is a small series of mechanical designs that look a bit like a collar with machinery behind it.
  • The parts of the wings from the vehicle mode all wind up overlapping on the back, with the largest section of the wings forming the back piece. Both Voyager and Deluxe back pieces have 5mm ports on them.
  • The arms are long and reach down roughly to the knees. They also feature similar (but not exactly the same) detailing such as wires on the upper arms.
  • The jet mode cockpit winds up being partly covered up by a panel in the middle of the hip/waist area.
  • The rear landing gear from the vehicle mode winds up forming the heels of the feet.
  • Panels from the underside of the vehicle mode wings wind up forming part of the "V" shape formed in part by the chest.

However, once you get past these similarities and you look closer, the differences between the two figures quickly become apparent. These include:

  • The top of the chest piece has two tabs sticking up which lock into notches behind the head in vehicle mode. The Deluxe version of the figure lacks this mechanism.
  • While the panels from the underside of the vehicle mode form the aforementioned "V", this figure has an additional piece that swings out and connects to raised tabs on the piece that is connected to the arms. This provides additional sculpted detail and represents functionality the Deluxe version does not have.
  • The "back pack" formed by the wing pieces being pushed together has three 5mm ports for weapon storage, two on the sides and one in the middle.
  • On the Deluxe figure the shoulder joints are ball joints. The shoulders on the Voyager Class figure are instead made up of a swivel joint with a hinge.
  • While they look similar, the actual sculpt of the arms and the bars that connect them to the main body are different and more complex on the Voyager Class figure than the Deluxe. This includes more mechanical and wire style details.
  • On the Deluxe Starscream, the hands are connected to the forearms by a hinge joint. On the Voyager Class figure, the hands are attached to a wrist piece via a ball joint which is then connected to the forearm by a hinge.
  • The design of the wrists allow the hands to fold up against the forearms, revealing two slots that connect to the back of the blade/rocket accessory included with the figure. This creates the illusion that Starscream's hand has "transformed" into the weapon. The Deluxe figure did not have this ability.
  • The back section has a port under the wing section allowing him to be attached to a Bandai stand.
  • The hip joints on the Deluxe figure are ball joints, however on the Voyager Class figure they are thick hinges.
  • The panel that covers up the nosecone on the Voyager Class figure has a port for a Bandai stand. This does not exist on the Deluxe figure.
  • The panels that make up the armor on the legs all have similar designs as the Deluxe Class figure, but they add some detailing. For instance, the lower legs have an angled designs that are much sharper than those on the Deluxe version.
  • The backs of the thighs on the Voyager Class figure have triangular shapes that look a bit like muscle fibers. The Deluxe figure does not have these.

There are some more differences, but I think you get the point. It really looks like the designers took the Deluxe Class Starscream figure's CG model as a "core" and then reworked it into a brand new toy. The additional detailing looks great and is necessary because simply upscaling the Deluxe Class figure to a Voyager would wind up creating a figure that looks more like a knockoff toy than official product.

All this said, Starscream is not super accurate to the CG model used on screen. On screen, his chest has panels that open up in the chest section and his jet exhaust nozzles wind up on his back. However, the general shape and proportions are good and honestly I did not even remember those details until I rewatched some footage from the films.

Starscream is mostly a light beige plastic that looks almost like a light grey. There is some light grey plastic (which helps show the contrast between the two colors) and gunmetal grey. The beige makes up most of the wings and armor panels. The light grey is used on smaller parts like the section under the knees and the hands. The gunmetal parts are used for a large portion of the hip area and parts of the arms including the bar that comes out of the chest leading to the shoulders. The cockpit on the chest is translucent yellow.

The paint colors used on this figure include gunmetal, red, gold and light blue. None of these colors cover a huge section of the figure. Rather they are distributed on smaller details. For instance, the gold on the head is used on the "nose" and "mouth" area while red is used on the eyes. Meanwhile gunmetal is used on parts like the top of the chest and the top of the mouth area. Light beige paint is used to provide panel details on sections on the forearms. Because the light beige colors are so light, they make the figure look almost plain, but really there is a lot going on here and I think he looks great.

There are twenty nine points of articulation on this figure, which is pretty impressive given that most of his torso section is just one big triangle. Each arm and leg features seven points of articulation and you can get quite a few poses out of the figure thanks to these points. Each forearm has a 5mm port, allowing you to attach his weapon to it via the 5mm peg at its base. You can also swing either of the hands up against the forearms to attach the weapon to the wrist.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Detach the weapon if attached and set them aside for now.
  3. Rotate the arms at the shoulders so the top of the hands face forward.
  4. Swing the arms up.
  5. Push the toes on each foot down.
  6. Swing the lower legs up against the thighs, connecting the tabs on the thighs to the corresponding slots on the thighs.
  7. Swing the back panel out.
  8. Swing the vertical panel behind the head back.
  9. Swing the panel on the waist forward.
  10. Swing the panels with the mechanical details flanking the chest forward.
  11. Swing the cockpit section up. The robot head will swing back.
  12. Push the thin panel over the robot head.
  13. Push the waist piece back into place.
  14. Swing each of the legs back, connecting them together in the middle.
  15. Swing the wing pieces down.
  16. Swing the section with the rear stabilizer fins back, then swing the vertical fins up.
  17. On each wing, Push the two halves of the panels together, then swing them against the underside of each wing.
  18. Swing each arm inward at the shoulder hinge.
  19. Push the parts with the arms in, then fold up the arms.
  20. Push the wings down.
  21. Swing the panel under the cockpit section back.
  22. The weapon can be attached to the two tabs on the underside of the vehicle towards the back.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream transforms into a licensed Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. At the time "Transformers" was released the F-22 Raptor had only been in service for a couple years, so it was considered a state-of-the-art jet fighter. The designers made sure to obtain a license from Lockheed Martin so this jet mode accurately represents that vehicle in toy form. Many details from the real life vehicle are found on this figure's vehicle mode including:

  • The nosecone section has a jagged line pattern between the tip and the cockpit section.
  • The "jagged" pattern repeats itself on several points across the top of the vehicle including the center and the area near the exhaust ports in the back.
  • The inside of the cockpit section has a seat and control panel.
  • The wings are four sided in a rough triangular shape while the vertical stabilizers are set at angles instead of being straight up.
  • On either side of the cockpit base are large air intakes.

The deco on this figure is really interesting. It is based on the deco on the CG model and some of the details on the real life vehicle. From the CG model there is white on the nosecone and the edges of the wings and stabilizers. There is an Air Force Roundel on the right wing while the left wing has a Decepticon symbol with "bars" behind it. To me, the most interesting part of the deco is what looks like a very light, blue colored spray op that runs from the front to the back of the vehicle. However if you look more closely, these patterns are actually a series of tampographs! The result is a beautiful deco pattern running from the front to the back of the jet.

Flip the jet over and you will see a bunch of 5mm ports. Two are on the rear stabilizers, two are on the wings and another two are from the forearms. This potentially allows you to attach a lot of weapons to him in this mode. You can also swing down his landing gear if you wish. As mentioned above, the waist panel from the robot mode has a port in it allowing you to attach this vehicle to a Bandai stand for display. This is a nice touch that adds to this being a display piece on top of a toy.

Final Thoughts:

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt in both modes.
  • Beautiful deco.
  • Lots of ports to attach extra weapons.
  • Lots of articulation.
  • Intuitive transformation.

Cons:

  • Being a partial tool, this figure is essentially a larger version of the Deluxe Starscream figure (albeit with a lot of changes) so some fans may not like this.
  • While some of the Studio Series figures are meant to be more movie accurate, this figure does still have some differences from the on-screen CG model.