Transformers Movie (2007) Starscream Review

in 2007, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Movie (2007), Seeker

Transformers Live Action Movie

Starscream Box Art
General Information:
Release Year: June 2007
Retailer: General release (Wal-Mart, Target, Toys 'R' Us etc.)
Price: $19.99 (Depending on retailer)
Accessories: Missiles x 6

Images:

Tech Specs:
Leading the hunt for the AllSpark during the absence of MEGATRON on Earth has given STARSCREAM a taste for command. He has experienced firsthand the brutality that allows MEGATRON to maintain control over his DECEPTICON legions. It is a style of leadership that STARSCREAM takes to with gusto, punishing disobedience without mercy and rewarding success only with a narrowed eye and threatening gesture. He craves ultimate control, and looks forward to the day when MEGATRON makes the mistake that allows STARSCREAM the opportunity to slip a jagged shard of steel between his processor clusters.

Strength: 8  Intelligence:Speed: 10  Endurance: 7
Rank: 9  Courage: 5  Firepower: 8  Skill: 8


Packaging:
Starscream is packaged in a box with a flat end on the right and curving on the left. It is a very dramatic presentation and definitely differentiates it from the other packages on the shelf. A highly detailed Transformer "eye" serves as the background inside the box and his box art shows his head (on the lower right hand corner of the box if you're facing it). On the back he is clearly identified as an F-22 Raptor in vehicle mode, and thus Lockheed Martin gets some licensing cred. Overall a beveled red layer is laid on top of circuit and wire detailing, suggesting the look of the Transformers themselves who have armor panels on top of wires and so on. Very nice, eye catching packaging overall.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's G1 vehicle mode was an F-15 jet, the standard fighter at the time for the military. It is quite logical that the form chosen for his modern day, movie incarnation is the successor to the F-15, the F-22. This form is hardly new for Transformers. Going as far back as Machine Wars Megatron, Transformers have had the F-22 serve as their alternate forms.

In recent years the Transformers design team has gained more and more experience replicating real life vehicles, especially when it comes to automotive forms. The F-22 is replicated very well here from the cockpit and top view. The general shape of the F-22 is more angular than the F-15. The front angles back to triangular shaped wings. The triangular fins angle out to the sides rather than pointing straight up and at the very back are horizontal fins in a pentagon shape. Smaller details can be found all over the vehicle. The nosecone has several lines cut into it for detailing. Look inside the cockpit and you'll find a chair. The edges of the vehicle have several line details including cut lines and layers of details indicating panels. One of the details most prevelant in the F-22 designs are patterns of jagged lines running in rows across the body of the aircraft, and those are found here as well.

Traditionally the problem with making a transformer into an aircraft is undercarriage junk. This is mostly due to the robot parts having to go somewhere, and the underside of the jet is pretty much the only place it can go. With Starscream these parts are particularly pronounced party for play and partly due to the way the robot form looks. In particular Starscream's large arms are very prominant here. Unlike the real life F-22, his arms become gigantic missile launchers that fit under his wings. The arms also have large wheels on them towards the back (more on that in a second). His robot legs become sections in the middle where the vehicle's front wheels rest. Understanding the necesity of these parts goes a long way in accepting the look of these parts on the underbelly of the vehicle.

Starscream's arms act as his action feature in this form as well. You can mount the missiles into brackets on the arms or you can insert them into the launch tubes. When you do this, roll the jet along and the launchers spin, launching the missiles one by one. It's a very cool feature that is fun and looks cool in action.

Starscream is cast mostly in metallic beige and black plastic. The cockpit cover is cast in translucent amber plastic. Black and and silver paint are used to provide color details. The black largely takes the form of spray ops found on the wings and fins. Silver is used for edge details such as the front of the wings and the area around the cockpit hatch. On each wing is a small Decepticon symbol painted in silver. You'll also find square silver details on each wing, something similar to details found on a real life Raptor. It's really surprising to me how well this deco works. It's super simple, but a great example of how using spray ops and well placed paint details can work wonders, even on a rather flat base color.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missiles to keep them from flying all over the place during transformation.
  2. Swing each robot arm (the missile launchers) to the side.
  3. Swing the arms forward.
  4. Lift the top half of the jet's front end (including the cockpit hatch) and swing it back.
  5. Swing the cockpit hatch forward.
  6. Push the cockpit section up, resulting in the "Automorph" feature that swings the central body and wings up.
  7. Flip the vehicle over and swing the leg sections out to the sides.
  8. Flip open the small panels on the front of the leg sections.
  9. Swing the panels with the wheels on them towards the middle.
  10. Pull the robot feet back and then swing them forward.
  11. Swing the panel with the wheels on it back into place.
  12. Swing the robot legs out to the sides.
  13. Rotate the lower legs so the parts with the screws face inward.
  14. Swing the feet up.
  15. Angle each leg back and then angle the lower joints forward to give him "chicken walker" legs.
  16. Swing the lower half of the nosecone up against the back.
  17. Swing the pentagon shaped fin pieces back so they are out of the way of the jet wings.
  18. Swing the jet wings back, then flatten the pentagon shaped pieces onto the areas on either side of his head.
  19. Swing the jet wings back completely and fold them in half.
  20. Swing up the vertical fins so the points of the triangles point out to the sides.
  21. Swing up each shoulder piece.
  22. You can attach the missiles into the missile tubes or the brackets on the arms.
  23. The claws on each missile launcher hand can be swung out.

Robot Mode:
Starscream's robot form caused quite a stir when it was first revealed. His large upper body and "chicken walker" legs gave the appearance of an almost "gorilla" like robot. His clawed feet were very different from the angled/blocky aesthetic of previous Starscreams. Most of all, the robot head design was not at all "Seeker-like". It is fair to say that unless someone told you this Transformer was a "Starscream" you would not figure it out easily. His F-22 form is perhaps the only clue. This does not necesarily make him a bad figure. In fact, he's a fascinating new take on Transformer jet design, different than many of his predecessors.

The head design for Starscream follows the insectoid design aesthetic of many of the Decepticon head designs in the movie. The head is rounded with oval shaped eyes. His mouth looks more like an insect's mandibles than a traditional lipped mouth seen on most Transformers. On the sides are sections that extend outward that look like they could be part of a flight helmet. Overall it is a rather unique design for a Transformer head.

The look of multiple panels on the movie designs is well known even before the movie's release. Starscream carries over the triangular shapes of the F-22 into this mode on his upper body. The triangular parts of the jet mode form most of the upper body here. The center of the chest is angular, the sides of the chest are triangular in shape and the rear fins from the jet mode add even more of a paneled look to the robot form. To contrast with the sharp, angled jet parts are many curved parts such as his arms and head design. His chest is wider than the width of his legs, and then the arms are thick and wide as well, giving him the appearance of having a lot of upper body strength - appropriate for the number two Decepticon. His legs are different than one might expect. Starscream has been depicted with big blocky legs, small legs and legs with lots of fins/angles on them. This is the first time however he has been given "chicken walker" legs, legs that angle backwards and then slant forward. Adding to the rather animalistic look of these legs are the feet with four claws on them. If you take Starscream's general shape as an overall package, he has the appearance of a bird with his triangular parts acting as visual metaphors for feathers and his legs being obvious physical references to those of a real life bird.

Starscream is not lacking in sculpted detail. The biggest concentration of sculpted details are found in the chest, where his panels open up from the jet mode to reveal a series of tubes, wires and even a piston. The sides of his arms and legs all have layers of sculpted details raning from V shaped lines to rectangular shapes.

The colors from the vehicle mode carry over to the robot mode. Here we get to see more of the black spray ops on his legs and the plates that form his knee armor have black patterns painted on them. The are of concentrated details on his chest are painted metallic gold, with some bright red edges that give the appearance of glowing energy.

Starscream has twenty one points of articulation in this form. His hands have claw-like pieces that can swing up and down. His missiles can be inserted into the launcher tubes on his arms and launched by pressing the long trigger buttons on his arms. If you want am ore automated launch, roll the wheels on the back of his arms and the missile launchers will spin and fire just like they do in vehicle mode.

Final Thoughts:
Starscream is a very well done figure. While the look for Starscream is very unconventional, this figure shows it can be complex and fun all at the same time. There is no doubt it is visually striking. Highly recommended!