Tag Archives: Starscream

Power Surge Optimus Prime – Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Clash of the Transformers Warrior Class

If you say Power Surge Optimus Prime, you could be talking about three different figures out at the same time. That sounds unprecedented to me. You have the standard release, with Optimus in his red/blue paint scheme in the Warrior Class. Then you have the Clash of the Transformers version that has a lot of white with red/blue added. Finally there is the giant scale, similar to the Legends class with lights and sounds.

We are looking at the second of the Primes, the white version that is a Toys R Us exclusive.

I have not been a huge fan of the Robots in Disguise Optimus Primes. I do not like the idea of the cab and trailer being attached to one another in vehicle mode, since it takes away from the playability of the truck. However, it does help the robot mode, by allowing Optimus to be tall and slender and look pretty good.

So, with this iteration of Optimus Prime, he is a major retool of the original RiD release. There are lots changes, and one really good improvement. The best thing they did with this mold is to change the way the arms and shoulders connect to form the truck cab. They gave more of the truck part to the shoulders, and took away a lot of the truck from the forearm. What that did was free up the hands, so you can actually see the hands and not have them mostly hidden by the cab.

The rest of the changes are mostly cosmetic to allow for the new Power Surge parts. This includes shoulder mounted blasters, which give him a really tough look. He also comes with two swords that can be placed on his back as wings. All three of the parts are clear-blue plastic, which is nice for the Power Surge effect, and better than the painted blue accessories for the standard release figure.

One of the other changes to the figure was around the legs. On the first release figure, he had two sets of wheels on the trailer, which gave him 8 wheels going back with 4 on each side. I don’t know if Hasbro has ever seen a semi-trailer, but they do not have wheels going all the way along the body of the trailer. This time around, they made the legs skinnier with only one set of wheels on each side. In the extra area, they added a hook on each leg that I presume is to hold the axe they threw in as an extra. The guy is running around with a pair of energy swords, why would he need an axe too? Who cares? Now he has a backup weapon on his thigh.

I think this is an improvement over the first RiD figure. There are some cosmetic upgrades, as well as physical upgrades to the character. This is what you want to see when a figure is being amped up with new powers. I don’t think we needed two versions of the figure, and I have not bought the standard version yet. I think it is a bit redundant to have a recolored version that is not as good looking in the regular release. And the giant figure? It seems a bit over the top to have such a large version. It does come with a Mini-Con, so that is an advantage, but for $45 it is a pretty expensive choice when you can have this guy for $14.

Clash of the Transformers: Wave 3

Clash of the Transformers: Wave 3


Starscream – Transformers: Robots in Disguise – Clash of the Transformers

Robots in Disguise finally went out and found a “real” bad guy. You know the type, crazy smart, and just a bit crazy. Starscream has always wanted to take over the Decepticons, and he will do anything to get that goal accomplished. Crazy with a side of determination.

In the Toys R Us Exclusive line, Clash of the Transformers, we finally get our hands on Starscream. This is straight up Starscream. This is not a repaint, or a special version. We get the first RiD Starscream in his standard look, and his look is great.

As with the rest of the line, we get to see Starscream in his robot mode. He looks fantastic. He is less bulky, like we have seen in Prime, but not quite so skinny. There are some visual cues taken from the G1 Starscream, and more from the Animated Starscream. I will always have a place in my heart for the Animated series. Those toys, way back in 2008 really kicked in my collecting of Transformers, and rekindled my love from being a kid with only a few. This starscream is 630th Transformer. No wonder I don’t have any more shelf space… Who am I kidding? I will always make more shelf space.

He has his red chest plates with the jet’s cockpit running down the middle. He is mostly grey with a touch of red and a hint of blue. Some versions of Starscream gave him lots and lots of blue, but the first Starscream had very little around the hands.  He comes with his null-ray blasters attached to his forearms. Thankfully, they are not outlandishly long and in the way, so he can actually use his hands. The guns are black and port into his arms.

The guns can technically be used in his hands as well. Not cannon, but it is described that way, so I figured I would show it. I am actually a sucker for Transformers with smaller handguns. Probably because most of them come with rifles, and the smaller handguns are less common. Anyway, I will probably not use that feature often, unless Starscream is in a battle and gets a blaster shot off, but can still make it function. He is smart enough to do that.

 

When it is time to go, Starscream transforms into his jet mode. Now we are looking at the Animated jet. Forward swept wings, long nose, and feet used for jets. When I first saw it, I knew it looked familiar, but I could’t quite put my finger on it. The colors are lighter, but the basic idea is there. All the way down to the red line running along the front part of the wing.

One of the hardest accomplishments for Hasbro is to get a Transformer to transform into a plane, and hide all of the robot parts. There are usually some left over bulky parts somewhere that kills the look. They did a pretty good job with Starscream.

He is a bit bulky around the wings, but with the design they had to work with, it would be hard to hide all of his shoulder padding.

The arm guns get moved out to the wing tips, which helps to hide the arms a bit. Thankfully they added a joint to the wrist, so the hands fold into the arm a bit and are out of the way. I have another example coming up where the hands are out for all to see, and it kills the look.

Overall, Starscream is what we like to see in the RiD line. Robots in Disguise is not as good as the Generations line, which is killing it right now with the Titans Return sub-line. The RiD figures have less articulation, and less detail. They tend to have easier transformations as well. Sometime that can be harmful to the figure, but there are times, like with Starscream, that things go well, and we end up with a good figure. And, when we finally get prominent figures, it is nice that they are well executed.


Transformers Generations – Skywarp

Nothing terribly new and exciting.   We do get another Seeker with Skywarp, and the colors alone allow him to really stand apart from the other two.   He is a good figure over all, just like the previous two bots.

 


Transformers Generations: Armada Starscream

Finally, the Generations line really does create some characters in different time lines, really living up to the name of Generations.   In his color scheme from the TV show Armada, this is a very different color for Starscream.  Still a jet, but this time around looking more space going with the futuristic look and large jet engines.

HIs wings hold a good secret.  Each wing has a folded up sword.   Pretty neat, especially since we usually see Starscream with guns, not swords.  If you remember the show, he would use his wing as a sword blade.  He lost it a few times.   This is a much better design to allow the use of swords, but still allow Starscream to have his wings.

Swords out, and look at that, he doesn’t look off center with a missing wing.

His jet mode is pretty sweet.    Those top engines make him look fast.   Not only are they engines, but he can also fire missiles.   And they fire really well.     They are a two part launch.  When you push on the back they pop in one click that makes the yellow insert pop out.  The second click with more pressure fires the missile.  They can be fired from the jet mode, as well as being rotated to Starscream’s shoulders in robot mode.

Armada Starscream is a good figure to kick off this newest wave of Generations figures.   Coming up next, Skywarp as well as a pair of teams that have a lot of little Transformers.  Stay Tuned.


Transformers: Generations Comic-Packs

A little while back, we were given the latest wave of Generations figures for Transformers.  This time around the 6 figures came packed with comic books.   Overall the figures are really well done.   We have 4 new molds, one repaint in a second wave, and a repaint from an earlier figure.  Pretty good to get 4 out of 6 as new molds in a series that has been running for years.

There are whole bunch of photos of each figure on my Flickr site, so you can head over there to look at even more.

Orion Pax:

The future Optimus Prime.  It is great to get an Orion Pax figure in the Generations line.  Isn’t that where we should get him?   He comes with his classic rifle and his battle axe.   A good pair of weapons for this figure.  Unfortunately, there is no place to hold one or both of the weapons in robot mode.  Either he holds them, or drops them.  I would love to have seen at least one hole that the posts could fit into.

Vehicle mode is… kinda a truck of some sort.   It looks like they gave him the solar panels from one of the movie figure trucks.  Strange design, but it is okay.  In the comic, he is actually hooked up to a trailer.  This does not look like a rig to me, but whatever!

Trailcutter:

Trailcutter is a great figure.  Small and compact, he is perfect for a re-imagining of his former G1 counterpart.  He comes with a shield that has blasters on it.   Everything moves well.  The transformation is pretty straight forward.  I do think the only letdown is the missing Autobot emblem.  It is on the hood in vehicle mode, and then disappears into the chest in robot mode.

In vehicle mode, he continues to look great.  The stripes on the side are perfect.

Megatron:

A little change this time around for Megatron.  Still sporting an arm cannon, which transforms itself to become longer with some clear purple parts, he is decked out more on black and purples, and less in the traditional silver.  Even with the color change, there is no mistaking who this is.  Since he is Deluxe class, he is a little on the small side of how big Megatron should be compared to the other figures in the line.   He is quite small compared to the recent Generations Triple Changers.

Things keep on changing with Megatron.   Finally taking on an Earth form, he smartly took the shape of a Stealth Bomber.   This is quite an ingenious transformation, to make a rather thin vehicle.  I really like how the arm cannon comes apart into two pieces and each becomes one of the longer wing pieces.

Bumblebee:

Ugh!  I love Bumblebee, but I can barely stand this figure.   The shoulders are bulky.  The doors are mounted to the shoulders, so they look weird when he moves his arms.  His forearms are painted the wrong color.   his cannon is the wrong color.  His feet look weird.   His roof sticks down between his legs in the back.  It looks like he has tiny hands.   Okay, now that the negative is out of the way, let’s look at the positive.   He has Bumblebee’s head.  Yay!!!  I like the joining of the two cannons to make one cannon.   Reminds me of the Animated Bumblebee that could combine his stingers into a more powerful weapon.

In vehicle mode, it does not get much better.   He looks like he is supposed to be similar to a Mustang GT500.  I see the 1967 version front hood intake as well as the scoops by the doors.   The nose has a funny shape and it looks like he was in an accident.  It think there is too much of a curve up there.   There are a whole bunch of color problems.   That is what is to be expected with yellow.  The bane of Hasbro’s existence is trying to match yellow.   My car would not fit together all the way.  There is a big gap down the back window.

Hoist:

Back to some better designs.  Hoist is part of the second wave of figures.  Not much of a wave with only two figures, who are repaints, and who pretty much came out at the same time as the first wave.   But, Hoist is a good figure.   Very similar to Trailcutter, with the exception of a different head, different weapon, and a great paint scheme.   I was really excited to see how his tow-hook folded up to become a blaster.   Not much else to say other than he also has the problem of no Autobot emblem in robot mode.

I think I would have been happier if he did not have the engine intake that Trailcutter has.  On Trailcutter, it fits, but with Hoist, it just sticks up back there.  These two make a great pair of “brothers.”

Thundercracker:

Thundercracker is a repaint of the Fall of Cybertron Starscream.  A Cybertronian jet, the only change is  a new head.   He comes with the twin Gatling-guns that can combine to make a lot of blaster bolts fly very quickly.

It is nice for Starscream to have a friend.   Thundercracker looks good in his vehicle mode.   Mostly blue with a few silver highlights.

Overall this is a great wave of figures.   The only letdown was Bumblebee.  He is a lot weaker than the other five figures in the line.   We seem to be winding down on the different Transformers lines.   It will be interesting to see what we get next, since Prime is done.


Megatron and Starscream – Generations Legends

We had Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in the small Legends scale, so why not Megatron and Starscream?

Megatron and Starscream are joined by Chop Shop and Waspinator.   I like the theme of the Insecticons as the sidekicks to the two main figures.

Megatron is most similarly designed after the terrible Classics line Megatron which shares a similarity of being a tank.   At less than half the size, the Legends Class Megatron is twice the bot that the other one is, taking too many attempts at gimmicks that wreck the figure.

Along with Chop Shop, Megatron makes for quite an overpowering brute… as we usually find him.   The color scheme is really well done, with the two tones of grey and the black that makes for a darker Megatron than usual.

In robot mode, Chop Shop is nothing more than a pair of scissors for Megatron’s arm (check my Flickr site for more pics).  Where he really stands out is as the new front end for an already daunting tank.   Well done here.

As for Starscream, this is a fantastic version of the flyer.  I would love to see this as a deluxe version.  Guns on the arms, powerful body, and the awesome Macross feet.  Can’t go wrong here.  Instantly recognizable with the red and blue color scheme, and just a few changes to make an updated version of Starscream.   Waspinator is… well, Waspinator.  He is unmistakable as well.   Not much to change him from wasp to robot.  The real fun comes with changing him to gun.

The gun is not the greatest execution, but he is a tiny little guy, so Hasbro gets points for trying, as well as making quite a cool bit of scissor action that you cannot see in robot mode before he flips all apart to make the long gun.  I think it would have been lots better if the gun handle had not been quite so long to start with.

Ah yes, secondary weapons used on jets.  They never work quite right… unless it is on Jetfire.  Waspinator is big and bulky, but I suspect he would create quite a blast.

In all, a couple of great little figures, and a couple of even smaller accessory figures.   These along with the pair of Autobots, make for fun little figures.  They are quick to transform, and fit easily on a shelf… or in a pocket for sneak photography.

Bumblebee took an International trip with me this summer, spending most every day in my pocket as we traveled around Italy.


Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters – Shockwave

Shockwave.  Generally quiet, and somehow more devastating than Megatron.   In his Prime version, he looks very much like his G1 version.  A giant cannon for one of his arms, and the single eye..  He has antenna all over the place.

He has a gimmick in his cannon.  I wish they would just stop with all of this gimmick crap, but I guess Hasbro feels the need to do so in order to sell the larger toys.  When the grey button is depressed, the front portion of the cannon spins around.  The centrifugal force of the spin separates the two sides of the cannon, showing the inner workings within.
Not the worse gimmick I have seen, but it does leave that arm a bit rattly.  You know, when you move him around, that arm makes some noise, and it moves around.   Not the best for play time.

And of course, since we are in the realm of Beast Hunters, there has to be something beastly about him.  I am happy to report, just as with Smokescreen, you get a second version of Shockwave.   The three extra “Beast” parts fit into small holes on the body that really do not do anything to detract from the overall appearance of the standard version of the figure.

As with Smokescreen, since we did not get him the first time around with the standard Prime figures, it is nice to be able to choose which version to be able to display him in.  The chest piece looks okay.  The shoulder armor is a bit off, and gets in the way of raising the cannon.   It looks much better in vehicle mode.

Just in case you were thinking, “Golly, he looks big.”   He IS big.  He stands nearly a head taller than Megatron, which is saying something.  Don’t tell Megatron, but Shockwave’s gun is bigger too.   Add in those great solid legs and you have quite a figure.   And when I say solid, I am referring to the nearly hollow legs of Megatron that is wide open in the back.  His lower half is so light.   Not so with Shockwave.  There is even a bit of extra weight as his feet have to do some pretty cool tricks to get into his vehicle mode.

Yet again we are going away from the silly notion that a giant robot could somehow manage to transform into a small handgun.  Let’s go with a tank again.   A little reminiscent of the Dark of the Moon version of Shockwave.  The tank has a very aggressive style that I think looks really good.

He has a rather unique transformation.  He is laid out on his back.  The front part of the tank are his legs, splayed out, with his chest as the part that holds it all into place.  One arm wraps under the body, while the other is of course the cannon.  The back tread of the tank are his backpack.  The tread is unique in that there is actually rubber tread back there that can be taken out to attach to the cannon as a belt fed system.   In vehicle mode, it looks really good.  They could not get something like that to move, so they do have to have wheels under the tread.  It is hidden really well, and along with the fat front tires hidden up front, he actually rolls pretty freely.

Don’t forget about the Beast Hunters stuff.  Added on here, Shockwave looks like a nightmare born of the ThunderCats’ Thunder Tank.   I would not want to meet this guy in a dark battle field.  This is the best beast representation, with the claws out front.    I do have to wonder how the Predacons would feel about the skeleton of one of their own being used as armor.

In all, a big, strong, well designed figure.   Feels good to hold, and he is great in both modes.   I picked up the Commander size version of him as well, so we will have to see how this holds up in the small scale.  For now I am going to enjoy playing with this one.

 


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