Transformers Review – Masterpiece Starscream (Hasbro)

Intro:
Back in those G1 days, even though there are so many memorable characters available, only several characters really established themselves as icons; i.e. characters like Optimus Prime, Megatron, Soundwave and Starscream. And to any TF collectors, any collection wouldn’t be complete unless they have all four of these characters, whether in one form or the other. Prior 2007, the year which I bought this figure, I had absolutely no Starscream in my collection, so it was indeed a missing puzzle piece. The closest thing that I had to a seeker-related figure was a knockoff Armada Skywarp. I didn’t buy Energon Starscream because I just wasn’t too keen on the character. The Galaxy Force version was fabulous, and the supreme version really caught my attention. Unfortunately, the timing of its release was a bit off – I was quite broke at the time. By the time I finally had the dough, it was gone. So, I was beginning to think that I would never get a Starscream figure ever.
            Then Takara-Tomy announced its plan to release Masterpiece version of Starscream, which absolutely caught my attention. But unfortunately the end product wasn’t quite what I hoped for. I didn’t quite mind the flimsiness of the plastic used, and also the over the top price that comes with it. But what really bugged me was the fact that Starscream was greenish-blue (or bluish-green)! The first thing that came to my mind was, “that’s not Starscream, that Thundercracker!” One of the physical trademarks of Starscream was the color!!! All other versions, i.e. Armada, Energon, and Galaxy Force can all follow the trend, but why of all the lines, Masterpiece could not do it!!! You have no idea how much I curse the designers. But then out of the blue, it was announced that Hasbro was gonna release its very own version of Masterpiece Starscream, and when I saw it, I fell in love with it. And I know, if I ever wanted a Starscream in my “Family”, this was it! The colors are all there! Finally, the best Starscream ever! Alas, here follows the actual review.

Robot Mode:
            Starscream comes packed in robot mode. The first thing you’ll notice about the figure is that it’s relatively small compared to Masterpiece Prime and Megs, but that doesn’t deter the overall evaluation of this figure at all. It is also designed in all its likeliness to its G1 animation counterpart, albeit with the battle-ravaged colors and also the hip-wings, which I would talk about later. Those facts alone could earn itself high marks. 
 
But that’s not all. The hands are perfectly designed; even it is a bit strange to have grouped the last 3 digits together. The feet are quite good; although mine has a bit difficulty to stand up on its own, cause it’s a bit back-heavy. 
 
Articulations are marvelous! It is one of the only 2 figures that I know of, the other being Masterpiece/ DVD Prime (I’m not quite sure about Masterpiece Megs, cuz I wouldn’t dare to try it), that could actually kneel down to a praying position. If only I could clasp the hands together, I could actually recreate the hilarious scene where Starscream begs Megatron for mercy.
The null-rays look good and so does the wings at the back. The only thing different between Masterpiece Starscream and its animation counterpart is the presence of the small wings at the hip, but it doesn’t bother much with the overall design, although it can be a slight hindrance to pose him. The wings are connected to the hips via ball-joints.
            Overall, it’s a perfect robot mode Starscream to date.

Alternate Mode:
 
            Transformation from robot to jet isn’t quite as hard as you would think, considering the agony of transforming Masterpiece Optimus Prime the first time, and the absolute nightmare of transforming Masterpiece Megatron. It’s relatively a breeze, although might require a bit of help from the instructions for the first time transformation.
 
In jet mode, Starscream looks awesome. The classics colors are all visible, with a little bit of battle-damage effect, which looks perfect.
 
But I recommend you to not flip the thing over cuz the color combination looks quite off – and to quote from another review, it looks like rainbow puke down there. The landing wheels are all there, just in case you wouldn’t wanna use the display stand provided (I will go further into that later). The wings’ flippers are functional, which is a fresh breath of air. 
 
The overall designs are very detailed – the surface detailing are just fantastic, and Starscream even has a Crown logo etched on both sides of the cockpit.
The nosecone itself has a hidden secret in the form of a satellite-dish thingy. Its identity is merely a speculation on my part, and I really have no idea what it’s really for.  

            Overall, I’m fully satisfied with the jet mode.

Gimmicks:
            As with all Masterpiece members, a Masterpiece would not be a Masterpiece if they aren’t gimmicks and accessories that come along with it. 
 
First is the display stand, which is quite unique. It contains a stand that can be used to display either the robot mode or the jet mode, provided that you fix it correctly to the base. 
 
 
The base itself is more than meets the eyes. Just in case you don’t wanna use the stand, and you want Starscream to just stand the on the base, you could store the stand beneath the base through the slot provided. There is also a place to attach the holder – a holder to what you may ask. Well, do you remember watching an episode where Megatron in gun-mode attaching to the underside of ol’ Starscream? Well, if you have DVD/ Masterpiece Prime with you, take that Megatron gun, attach the holder to it, and whack it beneath Starscream, and voila! 
 
That’s not all boys and girls, there is also the evil professor Arkeville to keep Starscream Company. The best part is that you can put the Prof into the cockpit, just like how you would store Darth Vader into its robot self (remember TF: Star Wars?). 
Dr. Arkeville and the Gun Holder
Another gimmick is that Starscream actually has 2 faces: The first being the serious, expressionless face and the other being the trademarked smirk face. To switch faces, all you need to do is just lift up the head, pull down the chin, and turn it 180 degrees. 
 
            If you think that’s all, you’re way mistaken. You also have the option of purchasing a set of extra accessories, issued by TFClub, i.e. the coronation set. I never thought of buying it, but I just couldn’t resist the temptation. The set contains a crown, a pair of purple shoulder armor, and a purple cape – all are exact replica from the 1986 movie. I absolutely love the crown, and if you’ve watched Galaxy Force/ Cybertron series on TV, or even have their version of Starscream, you might have noticed the similarly-designed crown. Kudos to the Galaxy Force/ Cybertron for the nod to G1. 
 
 
 
 
           At the time of this writing, Takara-Tomy has already announced the plan to release MP-11, i.e. Masterpiece Starscream with Coronation Set. Based on online photos, there are several differences between the two moulds. However, if you’re like me, and you already have the TFClub’s Coronation Set, you may have a reason to save your money and skip MP-11 entirely. 
Anyways, the accessories are very nice additions to the overall set, highly recommended.

Overall:
            Yet again, the Masterpiece line (and all of its subsidiaries) has proven time and time again to its namesake, by providing the best version of all the classic G1 transformers. This Starscream is arguably the best Starscream ever, and even better than the Takara’s version, I dare say.
If you’re thinking of owning only 1 version of Starscream, this should be it. I dare even say, this version is even better than the awesome Galaxy Force version! And do remember, this figure, just as the other Masterpieces, is a display figure, not recommended for children. You would probably be insane to be spending such high bucks, just for your kids to destroy it.
            Extremely Recommended.

            Final verdict: 9.5/ 10. (He would’ve gotten full marks if it weren’t for the back-heavy factor).

2 comments:

  1. you are turning me into a transformers fan...I just might find myself buying one soon to play with my kiddos...aahhh my little boys are more into online games these days...I miss childhood when there was no internet and we played with real toys..

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    1. Kids nowadays are too lost in the ever expanding digital world and they are just too used to artificial graphics. I do not know how this is, but for people like us, the children of the earlier generation, playing with real toys really developed imaginations. Even recent studies by some scientist in the US agree that children nowadays, although they are becoming more and more brilliant, they lack the creativity, ingenuity and imaginations of their predecessors. Maybe it's high time that these new generation of kids be separated from their iPads and video games, and go back to their roots.

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