Superlink Toy Reviews: Nightscream Reverse

in 2004, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Superlink

Transformers Superlink

General Information:
Release Year: October 2004
Retailer: Japanese exclusive
Price: $20 (Depending on Import Retailer, purchased at Image Anime)
Accessories: Energon Star, Drill, Gun, Rifle, Sword, Missiles x 2


Tech Specs:*
"Cybertrons, this is my true power!"
Bestowed with super-energon, Nightscream has powered up! His tactic of sneaking up behind his opponent while invisible and delivering a fatal blow has tormented the Cybertrons for far too long. When he gains this new power, his true form will doubtless be restored.

Strength: ? Intelligence: 10 Speed: 10+ Endurance: 10
Rank: ? Courage: ? Firepower: 10 Skill: 10

*Tech Specs translated by Doug Dlin.

Redecos are an established part of the Transformer toy life cycle. Looking especially at the last two years or so, if a toy can be given a new deco, it will, sometimes with a change in the television program to help support it. This has resulted in a virtual army of characters and toys with different color schemes than their original ones. Every now and then, redecos are based upon classic G1 characters, acting as homages. These tend to stand out above the others, and Nightscream R's color scheme is one of these. This toy is a redeco of the Energon Starscream mold, so please read that review for details on the toy. This review will cover the changes made to the toy for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Nightscream R's vehicle mode is probably the one where his connection to his G1 counterpart is most evident. His basic color scheme is silver, light grey, red, blue and black. The central body is molded in silver plastic, with red and black used towards the front for detail near and around the cockpit. In a nice touch, silver paint wash is used on top of the silver plastic (it's a bit shinier) to bring out the jagged line details found on Nightscream's back. A bit of gold is used at the very front, offering an interesting extra color that blends nicely with the silver and red. The vertical fins towards the back are molded in silver too with red details painted on.

Like the previous version of this toy, Nightscream R employs the use of translucent plastic for certain parts. With the original, this indicated his "ghostly" self (which has also been shown on the television show). For this version, I believe it is more of an aesthetic choice as this supposedly represents the character in a more solid/corporeal form. This is evident by the wings. They are molded in dark, translucent blue plastic, but the tops are painted light grey, with red stripes at the edges (a classic G1 Starscream detail). The Decepticon symbols at the center of each wing are painted dark purple, contrasting nicely with the light grey.

Nightscream R's weapons have been molded in translucent blue, the same color as the wings. However, except for a bit of silver on the edge of the sword blade, they are paint free - and they look fantastic. The first version of this toy had some rather dark green, rather murky looking weapons. These are blue, but with light shining through them, they look almost light blue, as if glowing with energy. A very good color choice.

Solid or no, Nightscream R still seems to carry over damage from his previous form. The left wing has neon green on the part with sculpted damage patterns, which draws your eye to those parts. It's nice to see they didn't just try to paint over this detail in hopes that no one would notice.

While all of the joints in this form are still tight, the Powerlinx peg on the right side wing is a bit small, so the weapons you attach there may wind up swinging out to the side unintentionally. The peg on the left wing however, is fine.

Robot Mode:
Nightscream R's robot mode carries over the "G1 Starscream" look, and since the sculpt was designed to evoke the character anyway, the result is very cool. A huge splash of blue is added on to the figure in this form. The arms, waist and lower legs are all blue. His right shoulder and elbow piece is translucent blue while the rest of the blue parts are solid blue. The robot head is black with a silver face, and the two parts that stick up from the back (with the three circles in them) are painted red, with the circles painted gold, which looks great.

On each shoulder are red, triangular details painted on, but the left shoulder also used neon green for the circuit pattern details there. The lower arms each have light blue parts and on the lower legs, a slightly lighter shade of blue is used on the patches right above the feet. The alternating blue, silver and red details really do evoke the look of G1 Starscream, very nicely done.

The battle damage on the back, right side is still there, with silver paint wash on top of the sculpted detail bringing it out more. The battle damage was one of the more unique things about this sculpt, and it's nice to see those details were not neglected.

But wait, there's more! Not content with simply giving a figure and throwing it out onto the market, Takara took it upon themselves to give Nightscream R an extra Energon weapon and an Energon Star. The Energon weapon is the weapon included with Insecticon. Both the Energon weapon and the Energon Star have been redone in translucent, bright green plastic. At first, this color may seem a bit incongruous, but I believe it is meant to reflect the color of the expoosed circuitry on the figure, and in that context it goes very well with the toy.

Final Thoughts:
Before any recommendation is made, it is only fair to mention that a redeco of the Energon Starscream mold is planned for US release. However, if you look at it carefully, you'll note that it is much more 'solid' in color than this guy. Whether or not the final product will look like that is up in the air. The extra Energon weapon certainly gives a boost to this figures' value, but keep in mind this will typically cost you $20 at import shops right now. That aside, this is a really, really nice redeco and I personally highly recommend it.