Remember three years ago when there were outbursts that Blackout should be given the Leader class treatment? It seemed to have fallen on death ears. Meanwhile, Voyager class Starscream, which wasn't the greatest, got a couple of repaints. Hasbro rethough the mold for ROTF, but it still didn't turn out quite right. Now, Starscream gets the treatment he deserves with his own Leader class upgrade.
Optimus Prime may think him a coward, but Starscream never flees a fight out of fear alone. Every retreat is calculated to keep him alive long enough to return and destroy his opponents with overwhelming power. As long as the Autobots seek him in force, he will remain hidden. As soon as Optimus Prime ventures out alone, however, Starscream will strike.
I can almost bet most people will forget both Voyager class molds even existed after getting ahold of this one. Though mostly gunmetal gray in color, Starscream also features some khaki on his limbs. His Cybertronian tatoo work also appears on the chest and thighs.
Any issues that the Voyager molds had are completely nonexistent with this one. The wings fold up nicely so as to not flop around or create kibble issues. The body is broad yet proportionate. His extremities are still on the thinnish side but look in place. And if finally having a movie accurate Screamer wasn't enough, there's gimmicks abound. For one, lifting down on his cockpit chest will light up his chest and eyes, as well as getting to here one of two phrases:
As an added treat, Tom Kenney provides the voice for both sayings. As well as lighting up and speaking, the mouth moves with the cockpit and the panels on either side of the cockpit will pivot out. We're not done yet.
With the first mold, you have the triple missile launcher that doubled as his hands. Cool when fighting, not practical all other times. With the Leader class, you now get a detachable missile accessory. By cupping his hands in, you can attach the accessory to his outer palm. There's a total of 6 molded missiles on the accessory, but you can also load a launchable missile in the middle and fire it. There's two options to store the accessory. You can either leave it on his hand and fold the hand back to normal position, leaving the accessory hanging against his forearm. You can also store the accessory on his back.
But wait, there's more! You will notice a red tab on each forearm. Pushing those tabs up and inward will expose a hidden cache of weapons. The left arm features a pair of molded missiles, while the right arm features a gatling gun. Looks, versatility and tons of weapons. That's what a Leader class is about.
A little shy on leg articulation, but you can still get various stable poses that look good..
Starscream strikes a balance of being complicated without inducing rage or a headache. To start, pull down on the legs until the backplate is straightened out. Lift up on the nosecone and flip up completely to lock in place. A transform up sound will accompany. Dislodge the shoulders from their tabs. You'll see a strut piece toward the top of the shoulder. Fold it all the way down and in. Push in the khaki shoulder pieces until they're flush with the other bodywork. Fold the hands into the forearms. Fold in the two panels that were used to hold his shoulders in place. Take the time now to make sure that the khaki assembly holding his legs is now pushed fully forward. Fold the forearms so they rest against the chest sides. Make sure the hands are facing outward. If done right at this point, the arms will be behind the khaki assembly.
There is a pair of partially hidden joints on the shoulders that need to be stretched out. Just pull slightly on the arms to do this. Fold both arms down until they combine to form the rear of the fuselage. You'll see a tab that locks both arms together. Pull and flip the two winglets around that are in front of the rear stabilizers. Fold back the front wing assembly and then push it in. The main wings will clip on to the winglets via a tab underneath. Flip the panel housing the vertical stabilizers around and mate it to the fuselage. Fold in the stabilizer extensions to complete the wing assembly.
Now, for the legs. Straighten both legs completely out. Fold the haunches into his feet. Fold out the tab on the sides of his shins, then fold it inward. This will allow you to fold the feet down flat. Take the khaki ankle plates and fold them flat. Flip out the rear wheels located on the inside of his thighs. Half moon the legs so they rest below the cockpit. You'll see a tab on those side panels that will merge the legs together. The feet will rest into a grooved panel just behind the air intakes. Fold out the nose wing and attach the missiles to his wings. The accessory pegs in via double pegs on the belly. Make sure the peg used to attach it to his hand faces down.
I must admit that Hasbro really outdid themselves on this figure. The jet mode is simply stunning. All the ornate tattoo work is present throughout, with a Decepticon insignia flanking the right wing. The cockpit window is done in translucent yellow and features a pilot's seat. You'll also spot the air intakes which are done in translucent yellow.
You'll fine 3-pt landing gear on Starscream. The nose wing is completely retractable, while the two rear wheels fold up and around. You'll also find a small Decepticon logo just to the left and behind the cockpit. Push it once and you'll get a solid red light on both the cockpit and intakes as a flyby sound plays. Press it again and the lights will blink while Starscream boasts about his supposed invincibility again. The only complaint I can have about the jet mode is that the undercarriage is a myriad of panels and parts that are gapped. However, given the complexity of the design, as well as it's execution, it's a very minute complaint.
|Date||July 11th 2010|
|Score||(10 out of 10)|
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