Transformers Review: Starscream (Alternity)



Intro:
            After the release of Optimus and Megatron (and their various repaints), Takara-Tomy knew that they had to come out with a new character and a new mould, hence Starscream seemed to be the most obvious choice.
            So far, the Alternity line has reused this mould several times for the other two Seekers: Skywarp and Thundercracker, as well as the Toy Hobby Market exclusive Banzai-Tron.
            So after having bought all 3 Alternity moulds so far, i.e. Optimus, Megatron and Bumblebee, it was inevitable that I had to get this one.
Some of the early photos that I saw online seemed to indicate it to be quite a promising figure, and so I went for it.

Alternate Mode:
            I ain’t that good with car identifications, but I do know a good-looking car when I see one, and this Mitsuoka Orochi is definitely one heck of a car!
            Mitsuoka is a Japanese car manufacturer that produces cars solely for their local market, and the Orochi is one of their more prominent cars. Originally designed as a concept car, the actual car itself looks extremely slick and made for speed. 
            As far as comparing Starscream’s alternate mode to the photo of the actual Mitsuoka Orochi, they look darn accurate, even to the black slit on the headlights that make them look like the eyes of a serpent. 
Eyes of a Serpent
The thing noticeably different between the actual car and Starscream’s alternate mode is how the doors opened. Here, the doors actually swing outward to open, whereas in the actual car, the doors open upward. 
Anyways, the doors open up to reveal the two seats and the dashboard inside.
            There is also the word “Mitsuoka” at the back of the hood. 
            Kibbles are visible, with the hands and guns being so darn obvious down there. And if you look closely, there is also a semblance of wings at the back wheels. I wonder what they’re for.
            Well, Starscream has a somewhat 3rd mode, which is a Flying Car mode, so to speak. The wings can be swung outward, and voila, you got yourself a Flying Car! 
            Yeah, it’s weak, but I guess since Starscream is an Air Commander, he obviously needs to be able to fly. Silly, but I get the justification. This mode kind of reminded me of the Autobot warrior Tracks, and maybe, just maybe, we get to see a Tracks remake of this figure. 
            Anyways, the third mode aside (let’s forget that it even exist), I am really digging this vehicle mode. I think it’s pretty awesome, slick and speedy-looking, befitting for Starscream, if he ever needed to have a car mode.
Excellent choice of car mode.

Robot Mode:
            Robot-wise, it’s a different story.
            Apart from the paintjob that vaguely hints at the figure being Starscream, there is little of anything else to suggest it either!
            Heck, even the head sculpt, of all things; do not indicate him being Starscream. What Takara-Tomy should’ve done was to at least design the head to at least resemble G1 Starscream. To be honest with you, this head is rather more suitable for characters like Waspinator or any of the Insecticons. The light-piping is really good though.
            What a pity.
            The robot mode is okay, nothing stellar, but not too bad either. Just like his vehicle mode, Starscream looks slick and slender.
            Articulation-wise, Starscream has tons of it: the head is on a ball joint, as with his shoulders, wrists and ankles; the arms rotate at two points: one below the shoulders, and the other just above the elbow joints; there is no waist joint; the hips are on very tight universal joints; the legs rotate slightly below hips; and finally the knees bend. 
            So yeah, I kinda dig the articulations, and I think he has fair amount of them.
            Then are some of those things that I don’t quite dig. First of them being the doors, joined to the body via really loose ball joints; they detach way too easily for my liking, especially during transformation. Then there is the locking mechanism to lock the shoulder vents to the shoulders. It’s really not a locking mechanism, as the supposedly locking pieces only sit on top of the pegs on the shoulders. The wings, while looking pretty good from the front, kind of do not work for me at least when viewed from the back. It’s like having the entire roof obviously hanging on to the back of the robot. 
            So in the end, the robot mode is kind of a mixed baggage for me. There are plenty of things to nitpick about this figure, while there are some positives to point out as well.

Overall:
            So do I think that this guy is good? Well, it depends. I really love the car mode, and I think it’s the best looking car mode so far in the Alternity line. The overall white color works well with this figure, although it does kinda worry me that the white will get yellowish over time, although I won’t really be losing sleep over it. \
            The robot mode is kind of a mixed baggage. You might dig it, or you might not. Overall, it does look good – from certain angles. The head kinda works when you put into perspective that this car is meant to be serpent/ snake themed – the head kinda look serpent-ish, but really doesn’t work as Starscream’s head. I mean, he got for eyes for goodness sake, what else am I to say about it?
            Anyways, if you can get past that, and enjoy the look of the robot based on the photos taken, then please do, go make the purchase.
            Oh, by the way, please ignore the existence of the 3rd mode.

            Final verdict: 7.5/10.

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