Revenge of the Fallen Gravity Bots Starscream Toy Review

in 2009, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Movie (2007), Revenge of the Fallen

Revenge of the Fallen

General Information:
Release Date: June 2009
Price Point: $12.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Locking pin

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
STARSCREAM worked hard to rally the remaining DECEPTICONS, and now he has a nice little army on Earth. He and his soldiers wait in hiding for the right time to rise, and strike back at the AUTOBOTS.

Tilt this super-cool figure back and watch as it automatically converts from robot mode to an awesome F-22 Raptor jet in vehicle mode! Let your imagination soar with this must-have figure for your collection!

Gravity-Bots are a new sub-line of Transformers product. The name refers to the primary gimmick of the toy: it transforms by itself. For years, fans have often wondered what an "auto" transforming figure would be like, and while we've had the likes of Battlechargers and Jumpstarters in G1, those mechanisms were relatively simple, requiring only one or two parts moving to complete the transform. Gravity-Bots are more complex, and they utilize the force of gravity as part of their transformation, hence the name.

Gravity-Bots are definitely aimed at a small sub-sect of the collecting population. Their appearance is rather bulky and dare I say it, "cute". The auto-transformation feature may seem like a novelty to some, but others may miss the complex play of moving parts around themselves to create the figures' alternate form.

Robot Mode:
Starscream's robot mode is an interesting one. It is not the traditional blocky upper body, regular humanoid legs etc. that we see in most Transformers. Instead, he has a wide, thin upper body, with "chicken walker" legs and thin arms. The nature of the Gravity-Bots is that they're sort of super deformed versions of the original character designs. In this case Starscream is quite bulky and thick. Still, the major details of the robot mode have been kept intact. His cockpit winds up on his chest, his main body is relatively thin compared to the rest of the body with the thin arms and he has claw like feet sculpted into the lower portion of the robot mode. The super deformed proportions come into play with parts being exaggerated. The cockpit on his chest sticks out pretty far and his legs look positively blocky instead of thin and angled.

The wings from the vehicle mode form most of the chest and arm section, so they have the angular, thin look from the CGI model. in the center of each wing are mechanical details including tubes, wires and circles. His arms are right next to the wing pieces and also have wire details in the middle with armor plating on the shoulder and forearms. Hanging off the ends are claw hands in an open palm position.

The head sculpt is the one that seems to be most accurate to the CGI mode. It has the curved helmet portion on the top and sides with the insect like mandibles in the center. These lead to collar like details right under the chin. On the flip side, the robot legs do not angle back since they form the back of the vehicle mode. Still, there are two clawed "toes" in the front and knee armor details in the center of each leg.

Starscream is cast from metallic grey and gunmetal colored plastic. Most of the body is cast in the grey, while small parts such as his wheels on the back are cast in gunmetal. Paint applications are done up in gunmetal, red and light metallic blue. The gunmetal is used for most of his details including the tops of his palms and line details all over the body. These details include Cybertronian symbols on his legs and left shoulder. Red is used for small details on the arms and the robot eyes. The light metallic blue is used to paint the cockpit cover which also has a purple Decepticon symbol painted in the center. I love the way the Cybertronian symbols are painted onto the figure along with the tech details. Since Gravity-Bots have no posability to speak of, it is good to see the designers focused on providing other bits of value to the figure.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Be sure the pin on the lower back side is not inserted.
  2. Lay the figure down on a flat surface, making sure the small wheel in the middle of the back presses against the surface.
  3. The cockpit piece will rotate around from the chest to cover the robot head.
  4. The robot arms will swing out to the sides and form the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
Starscream's vehicle mode is an F-22 Raptor, and this vehicle mode is a super deformed version of it. The bulbous cockpit section reminds me of super deformed versions of Veritech fighters from Robotech released in the 80's (and reissued not that long ago). The wings are shaped like the real life F-22, but they're shorter in proportion to the rest of the vehicle compared to the real life vehicle. He also has a lot of the small details associated with the F-22 including the jagged line on the nosecone and along the middle section of the vehicle. There are also other small line details on the outer edges of the vehicle that show the lines of armor plates.

In terms of play, the rear section of the vehicle has large vertical and horizontal stabilizers. These are perfect for gripping as you whoosh it around your living room or stand it up to transform the figure.

In this form, there are a lot more gunmetal details visible in the form of tattoos all over the vehicle including the wings, nosecone and the center of the vehicle. They look even better in this mode than the robot mode, and I dig them for the same reasons I stated in the robot mode review.

Final Thoughts:
Starscream is a neat example of what can be done with a Gravity-Bot despite the limitations of the basic design. He looks really different from one mode to the other and a lot of care was given to both the sculpt and the paint deco. Highly recommended!