It’s the first Transformers Thursday in a while that I’m not talking about Protectobots, but I am still sticking with the Combiner Wars line this week. Back in July, I checked out Hasbro’s bold new take on the Seekers with their Leader Class Thundercracker, built from the Generations Jetfire mold and if you haven’t read that Feature, I suggest glancing back at it. Starscream is, as expected, a repaint of the same figure so I’m going to try to be brief and focus on the minor differences.
Not much different to say about the box. It’s the now standard Combiner Wars deco with Starscream packaged in robot mode. There is no comic book included, but you do get a nifty art card. While there are some troublesome twisty ties to remove, the package is totally collector friendly. Let’s start with his alt mode.
Yup, the mold is identical to Thundercracker and it’s basically the Jetfire mold without the booster pieces and with a brand new pair of wings. This is a very attractive jet mode and works beautifully for me as a Seeker. I’m also still impressed that the cockpit actually opens. Nice! The new deco is very pretty and looks appropriate for Starscream. The off-white plastic is a little light, but not too bad, and the striping on the wings coupled with the Decepticon insignia look outstanding. All the paint is crisp and clean and when you toss in a little blue plastic trim and the yellow tinted cockpit and I’m very pleased with how this jet came out.
Transformation is identical to Thundercracker and Jetfire and I like the engineering here a lot. It’s relatively simple, but there’s some clever stuff happening. Probably not the depth of engineering everyone is going to be expecting from a Leader Class toy, but in my old age, I’m getting to appreciate figures that can convert back and forth without too much frustration.
Obviously, the robot mode is also identical to Thundercracker, except for the new deco, which carries forward the same red, blue, and off-white as the jet mode. Again, I think the colors here are great and this robot mode makes for a fantastic updated Seeker. The only thing I’m really missing are the shoulder scoop towers, and I’m throwing it out there to all you third-parties… if you want to make a set of shoulder scoops for these guys, I’ll buy them. There are even obvious crevices where they could be made to fit. Easy money! I’m just saying!
Of course, the cockpit on the chest is faked out and Starscream actually wears the nose of the jet mode down his back. It’s the biggest departure from the traditional Seeker look, but it doesn’t bother me all that much. I still would have liked it if the front of the wings were finished like the back, but I’m sure that would have added a lot of cost to production.
The only real disappointment here is that the head sculpt isn’t new. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great looking noggin, and at least the face is painted differently, but for a Leader Class repaint, I would have thought Hasbro could at least pony up for a new head with a douchebag Starscream smirk. I would have much preferred it to the dopey crown.
Yes, the crown is the only thing really new here and I’m really tired of this running gag based off such a small scene in the original movie. It can go into the Tote of Forgotten Accessories and rattle around in there with my MP Grimlock crown.
Of course, you also get all the guns that came with Thundercracker. I like the null rays, but I still wish they pegged into the biceps rather than the forearms. You can get them into some great positions, but they sometimes impede articulation more than I would like. The smaller blue guns can still be mounted on his legs and wings, or just leave them off if you think they pollute the Seeker homage. I’m actually fine with them. Lastly, you get the same missile launcher handgun that came with Jetfire and Thundercracker, this time in black. I’m definitely giving this one to Jetfire so I can deep six his red blinged out gun. But be warned, this thing has a hair trigger and I’ve already had to wrestle the missile away from the cat a couple of times.
There are no surprises here at all. Starscream is the straight repaint we all expected and I imagine he’ll be as polarizing a figure as CW Thundercracker. As someone who doesn’t like the Masterpiece Seekers enough to pony up the coin for them, I’m content for now adding Starscream to my MP Decepticon shelf, alongside Combiner Wars Megatron and Soundwave (and soon Shockwave!). I think he’s a great looking figure and now all that’s left is to sit back and wait for Leader Class Skywarp. And man, do I think this mold is going to look amazing in the deco!