Primus be praised! Transformers Thursday has been back in action for more than a couple of weeks now, and with a little luck, I’ll be able to keep it going for quite a while. Yes, I will be getting to some new stuff soon, but indulge me for just another week or so as I look at some recent additions to my TF: Animated collection. Today, I’m checking out Voyager Class Starscream. While the TF:A series had some ups and downs for me, one of the things I enjoyed the most was Tom Kenny’s characterization of Starscream. It took all his smarmy personality from the G1 cartoon and cranked it up to a thousand. Let’s face it, the legendary voice talent of Chris Latta should have been an impossible act to follow, but Kenny stepped up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. I’ve got no packaged shot, so let’s jump right in and check out his alt mode…
Yup, he’s a jet, and a damn cool looking one too! This is a fresh and futuristic design, which features forward angled wings and some prominent engine pylons. It’s a new look for the traitorous Seeker, and yet it still manages to carry the homage with details like the yellow cockpit and the intakes flanking it. The coloring is different from what we’re used to seeing. Instead of an off-white he’s a pale purple, but the red striping and accents help drive the homage home just a bit more. There are a few minor things that put me off, like the obvious telescoping nosecone, but all in all, I really dig this mode.
The undercarriage features three sets of folding landing gear and while the missile launchers have to be pointed back to use them, once he’s in flight, they can be angled forward to a more useful position. They’re not positioned under the wings, like you might expect, but I like their low-slung look here.
And while it’s not an official third mode, I have to say that Starscream has a killer Gerwalk Mode. It does, however, take some finesse to hold it together. Transforming him all the way into robot mode features some clever stuff, like the nosecone collapsing in to assist in the head reveal. The rest is more or less what we’ve seen before. The real bugger of this figure, however, are all the bits that fall off of him during transformation. The hinged fingers like to pop out, I’ve head the head pop off, and it’s a good idea to unload those missile launchers first because those babies have some hair triggers and can shoot pretty far.
The end result, however, is pretty sweet and despite the stylized design, it doesn’t stray far from the Starscream we all know and love. Tail fins on the legs? Check! Weapons on the arms? Check! Angled shoulder wings? Gotcha! Cockpit dead center? Yup! About the only thing he’s missing is the shoulder intakes, and they look pretty good on his chest.
The head sculpt is spot on to his on screen counterpart. And if light-piping in the eyes isn’t enough, you also get it in the mouth too so you can see his disgustingly smug smirk even in the dark.
Much like G1 Starscream’s null rays, this guy’s missile launchers can be angled up when not in use or flipped down to a firing position. They can, however, get in the way sometimes, so it’s always an option to pull out the missiles entirely. But then, what’s a Decepticon without his weapons, eh?
While I love this design, playing with Starscream can sometimes be a bitch. For starters, a lot of the bits that fall off of him during transformation will do it when I’m playing with him. Especially those hands! Also, his legs are oddly articulated and feature some unforgiving ratchets. Getting him posed so that he doesn’t look like he’s doing pelvic thrusts can be a lot of work, but a lot of times it’s worth it.
Voyager Class Starscream is far from a perfect figure. Much like the real Starscream his toy can be a frustrating jerk, but I think there’s more good here than bad. The figure does a nice job bringing the animated style to plastic form, not to mention the engineering of a working Transformer, and that’s something that in my mind should never be underestimated or overlooked about this line. And it feels great to finally have a figure of such a masterful treatment of this character in my collection.