Another Transformer review; energon seems to be producing more figures that interest me
in just the first wave than Armada managed to produce through the entire line. The
latest attack on my wallet came from Starscream, one of the three figures in the deluxe
wave. There isn't any back story given for Starscream, but the translucent body parts
and damage seems to indicate that there may be some connection to the G1 Starscream and
his ghost. What more could you ask for.
Packaging - 7/10The new Energon packaging is attractive, durable and just unique enough to set it apart on the shelves. It is a nice combination of G1 and Armada. It uses a the grid pattern similar to much of the G1 packaging. And like the Armada packaging, the card is not the standard bubble with a logo across the top. The bubble is attached to the right side of the card while the left side features the line logo and image of the character. The back of the package has the energon backstory, images of several of the other toys on the left and pictures of Atarscream in his various forms on the right. Unfortunately, as with all the recent packaging, this is a tri-lingual card. I don't mind the additional languages except that they impose to much of a space constraint on the packaging. As a result, for all the printing there is very little content. The packaging is also a tad too dark to work with Starscream. The dark colors are fine with the other releases as it contrasts nicely with the colors of figures like Hotshot or Inferno but a dark figure on a dark card is just... too dark. (Oh, and there are still too many twist ties on Transformers.)
Sculpting - 8/10I feel sorry for the people that have to sculpt these, they basicly have to make to seperate figures and combine them into one package. But I must say, when they get it right it looks great. I haven't been thrilled with many of the designs for Armada; they were too blocky and unarticulated. But Starscream has managed to leave all of that behind. The jet form looks realistic even if it is not modeled after a real model. The robot mode manages to avoid excessive kibble by intergrating the jet parts. And then to top it all off, many sections of the figure are cast in translucent plastic to take the idea of battle damage to a new level. (In Energon, translucent plastic seems to indicate items made of pure energy rather than regular metal.) Sadly the energon weapons are a real let down. They are extremely simplistic with almost no detail.
Paint - 8/10Starscream is a figure with a lot of color that still looks dark. There are quite a few paint applications here that really bring out the detail of the sculpt. The damaged areas are especially well done such as where the paint is used to transition from the damaged areas to the rest of the figure. The effect is very well done.
Articulation - 6/10Starscream has 19 points of articulation for his robot mode plus several points on the missle launchers on his shoulders. This gives him quite a bit more range of motion than some of the recent transform releases. But few of the joints have a free range of motion. Still, Starscream can be posed nicely and will hold most poses, even with his huge energon sword.
Accessories - 3/10Starscream has four accessories: two missles, a large gun and a large sword. The last two combine to form a really big sword. The missles are nice and lite so they fly quite well. The gun and sword don't look very good in the dark translucent plastic and when combined they are simply too big for a transformer.
Value - 9/10I managed to pick Starscream on sale for $7.99. At that price he is a steal. Normally he will retail for $9.99 to $10.99 depending on where you look. If this Starscream lives up to the reputation of his G1 counterpart, this will be a figure you won't want to miss.
Happy Hunting:I picked up Starscream from Shopko in Madison, WI. He is shipping with the deluxe wave of Transformers Energon, including Inferno and Hotshot. It appears he is either short packed or may not be shipping in every case. However, as with most Transformers, it shouldn't take long before he is widely available everywhere. So go spend already.