Time for another
excuse to play with toys toy review, this time taking a look at the new Combiner Wars Starscream. What does he combine into? Nothing. Why should you buy him? Should you buy him? Read on and find out!
For this figure I’ll be reviewing quality of articulation, paint application, accessories and overall fun factor of the toy. Granted, some will vary for each person’s individual toy but this should give you an all around idea of the quality. Let’s roll!
HE COMES WITH A CROWN!
As silly as it may sound, the main selling point for Combiner Wars Starscream was the crown accessory. As I’m sure you all know, in the 1986 Transformers movie Starscream briefly takes control of the Decepticons, and during his coronation is adorned in a crown and cape. Unfortunately Hasbro didn’t shell out for a cape (you’ll have to find a Takara Masterpiece Starscream for that) but this is still a nice nod for long time fans. Starscream is a near identical repaint of the Combiner Wars Thundercracker who was a repaint/remold of the Generations Jetfifre. All share the same transformation process and it’s a nice and involved yet uncomplicated one. His jet mode looks fantastic and captures the original toy’s vibe while updating it for the modern IDW audience. Mine has the tightness that my Jetfire had when trying to collapse the body during transformation. It sometimes feels like it will not budge and the amount of force needed is frightening; I’m always scared of breakage.
Starscream looks identical to Thundercracker save for paint and slight mold features in the face. The crown necessitates a hole in Starscreams’ forehead, a rather sizable one, and when he’s not wearing it the gap can be a bit distracting. Hasbro nailed the paint on this guy and it is 100% G1 accurate to my eyes. The red is spot on, the white is “off-white” enough that it looks just like I’d expect the white on Starscream’s arms and legs to look and it all couldn’t be much better in my eyes.
Articulation is very good for a Leader class figure (Leader class= roughly 12″ tall) and he can strike some dynamic poses. His legs can hold a great wide stance despite limited range of movement in his feet. Unfortunately, Starscream doesn’t have waist articulation but that’s expected and understandable because of his transformation. Arms have wonderful movement front to back and side to side but the range will depend on the placement of his numerous guns. Man, are his guns awesome too! Again, like Thundercracker and Jetfire, Starscream comes with two large cannons, two smaller null rays, two guns that attach to the sides of his legs and a gun to hold that can fire a missile. All of the weapons are interchangeable and there are two ports on each wing, one on each arm (for the classic look) and one on each leg that allows for a variety of variations and play. It’s one of the other things I like best about this toy: the variety it gives you in how you can make him look on your shelf or when playing with him. Two of the lasers seem a bit large and don’t look right on his arms, which is funny because those same ones I like using on Thundercracker’s arms. Go figure.
I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING HASBRO
We could also title this section Wilson’s little rant but it needs to be said: Hasbro is going too far with its repaints for the Combiner Wars line. I totally understand the reasoning for doing it, using the same molds keeps costs low and allows for them to make a profit but this line has been egregious in its lack of effort to change parts of the toys from each wave. Usually it’s just a new head and different paint apps. I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m buying the same toy again and again and while I know that’s the case with some Marvel Legends, there usually is enough difference there to justify it. In the case of the Transformers brand, Hasbro is going as far as changing a characters aesthetic i.e. Ironhide is now a pickup truck instead of a van, when it doesn’t need to be. Then there are choices that don’t make any sense such as releasing Aerialbot and Stunticon teams with one new character on each team. This required a new mold to be made for each character only for Hasbro to later turn around and release the original characters they left out, which reused previous molds from the line! I know and understand why Hasbro is doing most of this and that I’m somewhat part of the problem, I just don’t have to like it.
BOTTOM LINE: LIKED HIM BEFORE, I’LL LIKE SKYWARP TOO
Combiner Wars Starscream, who again combines with no one and is just under this line because that’s Hasbro’s big push right now, is a great and fun toy with lots of accessories that allow for a varietu of looks and play. The crown is a nice wink for old fans and the simple but involved transformation is perfect for adult and kid toy collectors. His colors are perfect as well as his alt mode and he poses quite well for a mainstream toy of his size. Granted, if you have Thundercracker you really already have this toy, minus the hole in the head, but if you’re a big Transformers fan and a fan of the Seekers, you’ll want to pick this guy up. For the casual buyer, figure out which character you like best, I’d suggest Jetfire if you can still find him, because at $45 – $50 a pop you’ll want to feel like you’re getting the most for your money. Of course, Skywarp is just down the line so…I know I’ll be getting him.
As always, feel free to leave comments below and let me know if you liked/disliked this article, thoughts on the toy, ideas for other toy reviews or general musings on life. Until then: It’s over Prime!