Hopefully next week I’ll get back to looking at some Bayformers on Transformers Thursdays, but today we’re checking out another IDW Comic Pack that I picked up a couple of weeks back. Everyone should know by now how much I loved Armada, and thanks to IDW using the Armada Starscream design in their comic, Hasbro delivered a Deluxe Class homage to that comic character and, in a roundabout way, the Armada toy as well.
Yup, the Comic Pack may indeed be the highest evolution of action figure packaging. Starscream comes in his robot mode and in front of a reprint copy of the IDW comic spotlighting the character in his new body. Cool! The Armada Seekers were a big deal to me because it was the first time we had a proper set of Decepticon Seekers in a really long while. They may not have been the best toys, but I loved the design and I thought they looked great standing on the shelf together. Pity mine are gone now, but maybe someday I’ll pony up and replace them. Let’s start with Starscream’s jet mode.
Armada Starscream is a sleek Cybertronian jet and a pretty good approximation of the original toy. Hell, he even features Minicon ports on his back and sides to drive that homage home. I think this design works really well as a Cybertronian Seeker, and as soon as I saw it replaced the old Tetrajet design in my mind. In addition to the stylish finned nosecone, Starscream carries on his back two large engines that double as missile launchers. The launchers are of the flick-fire variety, where you can jam on the back and they will shoot. The use of clear yellow plastic is new, but I think it complements the deco fairly well. Speaking of the deco, it seems to me that this version is a little heavier on the red and lighter on the grey than the original Armada toy. Then again, we are dealing with a treatment of the IDW character design and not the Armada toy. You also get three sets of folding landing gear.
Transforming Starscream is extremely simple and quite reminiscent of the Armada figure. The end result is rather hollow, particularly when viewed from the back, but the robot mode works well as a scaled down version of the original. The proportions are cleaned up a bit with longer arms and while the articulation here isn’t exactly superb, it’s leaps and bounds better than the Armada toy. This is a figure that looks badass just standing on the shelf. And that headsculpt? Yeah, that’s pure Starscream!
The biggest change to the design is actually a huge improvement to the original toy that allows the shoulder launchers to be angled in the upward position. With the launchers pointed up, you get a nice nod back to the shoulder intakes of the G1 Seeker design. You can still flip the launchers forward so they rest on the shoulders, but doing so makes them stick out the back pretty far. I love this new feature and really wish it had been incorporated on the Armada Seeker toys.
Starscream comes with a pair of translucent yellow swords that fold up and store under his wings. The original Armada toy allowed you to remove part of his wing and turn it into a sword, so these swords are a pretty cool update to that idea. He looks great holding them, but because of the limited articulation, particularly the lack of swivels in the biceps or wrists, there’s only so much you can do with them vis-à-vis posing.
In the end, I dig this figure a lot. He’s got some opportunities, mostly in the articulation department, but he’s a fun toy and he looks great on the shelf, even if I don’t really have a display where he fits in. It’s a shame that he’s doomed to be an oddball figure in my collection, particularly because of how unlikely it will be that Hasbro will deliver on Thundercracker and Skywarp repaints. Yes, I realize that such releases would make no sense against the IDW source material, but as an Armada fan, I’d really like to have a set of all three Seekers based off this mold.