"Timelines" Starscream (G2) Toy Review

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Collector's Club Exclusive, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation Two, Seeker, Timelines

Timelines

General Information:
Release Date: October 2015
Price Point: $297 (Total cost for Transformers Collector's Club Subscription Service 3.0, Starscream is one of seven figures)
Retailer: Transformers Collector's Club Exclusive
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Missile launchers x 2

Back in the early 90's, Hasbro made a heroic attempt to revive the Transformers brand. While it had been wildly successful for part of the 80's, by the end of the decade the luster on the line had faded. This attempt was called "Generation 2" and featured redecos/retools of previously released figures along with new sculpts. One of the figures that had been retooled and given a new deco was Starscream. It made sense to use the character since he was one of the most popular in the original series. "Generation 2" Starscream featured a lighter deco than his G1 counterpart and included a sound box that attached to his back in either form. Now in 2015 a "G2" Starscream was released as part of the third iteration of the Collector's Club subscription service.

"Timelines" G2 Starscream is a redeco and retool of the sculpt that was originally released as Classics Starscream. This figure has since been used a lot. Not counting the Japanese versions, these releases include:

So definitely check out some of those reviews to get an idea of how this figure has been used over the years. You don't have to read every single one, but I'd at least start with "Classics" Starscream and Ramjet. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
I will admit I was very worried about this figure. Ever since the Universe 2.0 release of this sculpt it was obvious mold degradation had kicked in. Some parts were more loose, other parts that once moved with ratcheting no longer did so etc. Then came an email to club members that some type of assembly error had occurred at the factory level and nothing could be done about it. I feared another set of issues like those on Nacelle. However, I have to tell you that I'm very pleasantly surprised! My biggest fear was that the tail fins would be assembled incorrectly somehow (as they had been on Nacelle) but that is not the case. Indeed, from an assembly standpoint everything appears in proper order on this figure and that is a huge relief.

In "Generation 2", Starscream's colors switched from a grey/blue/red set to white, light grey and orange. This made the figure significantly brighter looking (something G2 did a lot) and those colors carry over to this figure. Most of the vehicle mode is white, especially the center section. The nosecone is soft, black plastic. His wings and fins are cast in light grey plastic. The cockpit section is translucent purple plastic. All these colors are directly inspired by the original "Generation 2" Starscream figure. But wait, there's more!

On each wing is a light grey camo pattern over white. On the left wing there is a "Generation 2" Decepticon symbol and on the right wing are the letters "TAC" (presumably standing for 'Tactical Air Command'). These wing details are all directly inspired by the original "Generation 2" figure, though the Decepticon symbol on that figure was the classic G1 symbol. That said, I'm glad Fun Publications went with the G2 Decepticon symbol instead. It helps add to its connection to that era. Another G2 Decepticon symbol cann be found on the nosecone. Again on the original G2 Starscream this was a "classic" Decepticon symbol, but again I'm okay with the switch.

Other great details include orange, white and black lines on the edges of the vertical stabilizer fins in the back. On the orange sections towards the front are white, orange and red rectangles outlined in black. These are all details inspired by stickers found on the original G2 Starscream.

The missile launchers for this figure have been cast in black. The missiles were cast in white however the front half are painted purple. It's very unusual for missiles to be painted on any Transformers figure, but the reason why goes back to the roots of this figure. "Generation 2" Starscream did not come with the same missile launchers as the G1 toy. Instead he had flattened launchers that were black and long purple missiles. The colors of the accessories that come with this figure call back to those weapons. This is the type of attention to detail that I love in "Timelines" figures!

The "landing gear" wheels on the bottom of the vehicle mode still swing down and hold nice and tight. The middle of the wheels have been painted black.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the missile launchers.
  2. Flip the vehicle over and swing down the foot pieces at the ends.
  3. Swing up the horizontal fins on the rear section.
  4. Pull the rear section of the jet back to form the robot legs.
  5. Rotate the fin sections down.
  6. Swing the chest section forward.
  7. Rotate each wing around.
  8. Swing out each robot arm.
  9. Swing down the end of the nosecone.
  10. Rotate the cockpit piece around (the robot head will now be facing forward).
  11. Swing the cockpit section down, the swing the chest piece up over it.
  12. Swing out each robot fist.
  13. Attach each missile launcher to one of the arms, or they can be held in the fists.

Robot Mode:
Like the vehicle mode Starscream's robot mode colors are intended to call back to the original G2 Starscream. the figure is primarily cast in white, light grey and black plastic. The white makes up most of the figure, but it doesn't look like it at first. Much of the torso and the vents that flank the head are painted bright orange - one of the main colors of the original G2 Starscream. Several of the light grey parts match up nicely with light grey parts on the original G2 Starscream. This includes the forearms and feet. The thighs are cast in black, which doesn't match up with the original G2 Starscream since, well, that figure didn't have thighs to speak of. The way the legs were designed on the G1 Seekers, the hips kind of just lead right to the knees which, I'll be honest, I never noticed until I wrote this review. I think the black pops nicely against the lighter colors.

The deco patterns on this figure are based directly off the original G2 Starscream's stickers. This includes details inside the vents including a circle with a cross pattern on top of it. This also includes blue paint on the knees with triangles and yellow/red arrows on the feet. The face is painted black, calling back to the black plastic used on the G2 robot head. His eyes are painted yellow, echoing the gold eyes from the G2 toy. Overall I'm very impressed with the level of detail on this figure. The decos matching with the stickers on G2 Starscream are among my favorite details.

I mentioned earlier that as this sculpt has been used over and over the tooling has worn down. Unfortunately this figure is no exception. The ball joints on the hips are much more loose than they were on earlier incarnations of this sculpt. The feet used to feel like they had a bit of ratcheting going on when you moved it, now it just moves smoothly indicating wear on the joint. When you swing the stabilizer fins during transformation they aren't as tight as they are on other versions of the sculpt. All that said, I don't want anyone to think that this figure is a floppy mess. It's not. It can pose just fine and it still looks good. Just don't expect it to be in perfect shape after so many years.

Final Thoughts:
I'm a huge fan of this sculpt and I think it has been used for some cool characters over the years. I think this version is a fantastic representation of G2 Starscream despite its flaws. If this is the last time it's used than I think it's a perfect swan song for it.