Saesee Tiin/Jedi Starfighter (Basic) Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Basic, Star Wars Transformers

Star Wars Transformers

General Information:
Release Date: December 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Lightsabers x 2

Images:

Text from Hasbrotoyshop.com:
Fueled by the power of the Force, Saesee Tiin’s Jedi starfighter races through space toward his next mission, then converts into mech mode to strike the battle droid army.

This fierce figure is more than his enemies could possibly guess! In mech mode, your SAESEE TIIN figure comes with two lightsabers, one for each fist. But when it’s time for a change of tactics, convert him to vehicle mode to chase down his fleeing opponents! It’s the intergalactic action of Star Wars and the converting action of TRANSFORMERS in one awesome figure! Figure comes with lightsaber accessories. Ages 5 and up.

The Star Wars Transformers line has continued to grow over the years. Though not as complex or intricate as their mainline Transformers cousins, the pure strength of the Star Wars brand has helped this brand not only go on in its semi-Deluxe-almost Mega Class price point, but now the series has moved into a smaller size class. Not quite big enough to be a Scout Class and not small enough to be considered a Legends Class, this new scale of Star Wars Transformers offers a nice and compact series of figures for Star Wars and Transformers fans alike.

Part of the second wave of "Basic" Star Wars Transformers figures is the Delta 7 "Jedi Starfighter" belonging to Saesee Tiin, a Jedi Master who would go on to fight as a General in the Clone Wars.

Vehicle Mode:
The Delta 7 "Jedi Starfighter" is an arrow shaped and sleek vehicle seen in both the Star Wars prequel movies and the "Clone Wars" animated series. The front end is pointed leading to a wider back end with a cockpit sticking up from the middle in the back leading to an extended fin in the back. On either side of the back are two engines. This figure replicates the look of this vehicle very well, though I grant that it is a bit thicker than the one seen in fiction. This is pretty much unavoidable however as the bulk of the robot mode needs to go somewhere, so the sides wind up being a bit thick instead of flat as they are seen in many of the on-screen portrayals of the ship.

There's plenty of small detail here to admire. Sculpted all over the ship are lines representing the various armor panels forming the skin of the craft. In front of the cockpit section is a small Astromech Droid sculpted showing its head and the top of its legs. The sculpt is pretty intricate, down to the raised sections on the top of the Droid's domed head. Look towards the middle of the craft and you'll find two small blaster ports pointing forward. These are a standard feature of the Delta 7 and it's cool to see the designers made sure they were featured here.

Saesee's fighter is cast mostly in light grey plastic, but flip the vehicle over and you'll see plenty of brown plastic as well. The paint colors used on the figure include green, yellow, tan, silver, black and gunmetal. The green forms a really nice looking set of details from the front to the back of the vehicle. These shapes are curved and in the center appear to break out in a star pattern. A bit of tan color is found on line and square details near the cockpit (it's almost skin color actually). The cockpit is painted black while the Astromech Droid is silver with yellow details on top. The engines on the back are gunmetal grey. Overall, th is is quite a nice and intricate paint job on such a small figure. In addition to these paint details, there is a tampographed Galactic Republic symbol on the right side of the vehicle towards the middle.

If you flip the vehicle over, you'll see rear landing gear is sculpted right onto the mecha's shoulders. A front landing skid is set in the middle. The Lightsabers included with the figure can be plugged into the rear thrusters, which gives the visual effect of engine exhaust. It's a really neat way to create the effect while offering a way to keep the weapons attached to the figure in this form. They don't hold super tight however, so for storage I still recommend a container or Ziplock bag of some sort to keep everything together. You can also store the Lightsabers with the blades pointing forward using the brackets on the underside of the panels near the robot arms.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the Lightsabers if attached.
  2. Split the front of the vehicle.
  3. Swing each half of the vehicle's front end down.
  4. On each lower leg, swing the feet out.
  5. Swing the rear of the cockpit section up.
  6. Swing the panels with the thrusters on them back.
  7. Extend the arms out and place a Lightsaber in each hand.

Robot Mode:
The conceit used with the Star Wars Transformers line is that each vehicle transforms into a robotic representation of its pilot. In this case the Delta 7 transforms into a fairly generic body with rounded looking yet robotic parts including arms and legs with some curved shapes meeting flat, angled panels. This combination of "organic inspired" parts and purely mechanical looking parts is really cool and works well in representing a mecha inspired by an organic creature. What distinguishes the Jedi Starfighter molds from one another is the head sculpt. In this case, the head sculpt is modeled after Saesee Tiin with his distinctive domed head and downward pointing horns on the sides of his head. The detailing on the head is really nice, complete with lines that look like brow ridges and a thin piece. His horns even have sculpted sections on them leading to the ends. Like the body, it's robotic yet vaguely organic looking - a cool combination for sure.

The Saesee Tiin mecha shows off a lot of brown plastic on the arms, torso and thighs. This contrasts pretty sharply with the light grey plastic panels from the vehicle mode, offering some light/dark balance. Gold, copper, white, red and yellow paint is used for detailing in this form. The copper and gold colors are focused on his head and hands, with copper being the primary color there. His eyes are painted yellow. While the character himself has more brownish-pink colors on his skin, these metallic brown-like colors help distinguish the hands and head from the brown plastic on the rest of the figure, so I think it looks great as a "metallic" version of the character himself. White paint is found on the chest area, representing part of the standard Jedi outfit, which can include a white top worn under their well known robes. The red is used for his "belt" details. The use of brown plastic as the primary color makes sense since this is the color used on most Jedi robes.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure in this form. This includes three points of articulation on each arm and leg. His feet are a bit oddly shaped, with the heel piece set higher than the toes, so you'll have to fiddle with it a bit to get hiim to stand. What's good is that most of these articulation points are ball joints, allowing him a wide range of motion. Saesee's mecha is equipped with two Lightsabers, each with a silver handle and green blade (one of the colors he used during his time as a Jedi). These fit right into each fist. In concert with his arm articulation, you can get some neat "sword fighting" poses out of the figure.

Final Thoughts:
Many fans may be a bit tired of seeing the Jedi Starfighter as a base design for Star Wars Transformers figures (and there are quite a few on this and the previous larger scales). That said, it is a neat looking little toy and I like the sculpting. It also has some good articulation for a figure of its size. Overall, I really like this figure. There are some issues, most notable with the foot design, but it's still recommended in my book.