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Deep Space Starscream

Transformers
by yo go re

You have to question the wisdom of Hasbro's "Premium Series" Transformers figures. Like we said before, that's the catch-all name for the the toys that are supposed to be the most movie-accurate. Robo-Vision Optimus Prime, Best Buy Megatron, things like that. But it does make you ask, unless the plan was always to do these repaints and force fans to double-dip, why not do them right in the first place?

Fleeing the catastrophic battle that led to the destruction of Megatron, Starscream retreats to a nearby power plant where he can siphon enough raw energy to repair himself of the minor damage he has suffered from human weapons. His frame repaired and reenergized, he boosts out of the atmosphere, headed for deep space. Deep Space Starscream As he accelerates past the moon, he sets his sensors to long-range scan, hoping to find evidence of nearby Decepticon reinforcements he can bring back to Earth to destroy the Autobots and their human allies.

Nice how that fits with IDW's Reign of Starscream comics - the first two issues pick up after 'screamer disappeared from the battle in Mission City and before he reappeared in the credits, zooming off into space. Apparently he had a brief run-in with Landmine at Hoover Dam, kidnapped the Sector 7 commander and zipped off to Mars to meet up with the Decepticons who were there manning their foothold position in our solar system. So there you go. Deep Space Starsream.

In the movie, Starscream turned into an F-22 Raptor, which actually isn't a new alt-mode for him. He's fully licensed, though, as evidenced by the Lockheed Martin logo on the packaging. However, that doesn't mean he's an exact re-creation: as far as movie characters go, he's fairly laden with kibble. The underside is a complete mess, like almost every other TF plane ever: not only is there way more material carrying too much junk under the body than would ever be aerodynamic, but his Gatling guns are ridiculously oversized.

The jet is 8¼" long and has a 5¾" wingspan. There are four rolling wheels beneath the plane, and the rear two also cause the guns to rotate, as well - when the triggers come into contact with a small tab, the missiles launch. Well, in theory. In practice, the wheels barely turn unless they've got a good texture to grip. At last, a wheel-based action feature that favors rugs over hardwood floors! The mass release of Starscream had a strange beige paint scheme, but this one is a much more accurate grey and silver; it even has the "FF 1st FW" markings on the tailfins, which identifies him as part of the 1st Fighter Wing from Langley Air Force Base.

Transforming Starscream is quite complex, looks like a samurai helmet yet still only rates a 3 out of 4. This may well be the first time a Starscream doesn't have wings coming off his back - instead, it's his chest that has the distinctive wing shape. The new paint really helps in this mode, where you can see his internal workings have been painted gold and red, and his legs don't have any sort of halfassed "smoke damage" paint on them. His eyes are painted red, which means their light pipe doesn't work. The details on his face have been painted gold, so you can actually distinguish them. Nice change.

Starscream's robot mode isn't perfect. Primarily because he doesn't have any hands. he's ready to fight Vash the Stampede Those ridiculously oversized guns don't transform at all, and just stick off the ends of his arms. The missles kind of resemble fingers, but not enough to warrant him lacking hands entirely. How frustrating. It would have been nice if the arms had been retooled in addition to the new paint scheme - then this would have been a definite must-own. If you don't like the pseudo-fingers, don't worry: the missiles can be stored in flip-down racks on his upper arms.

he needs a perch The robot bits are quite nice (other than the hands, of course), and his dainty little bird-legs are fully poseable. Those legs were one of the things the fanboys complained about, but the choice was made for a specific reason: the designers knew he'd be doing a lot of back-and-forth aerial acrobatics, and the smaller legs would make him better able to perform. Starscream has a swivel neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, hinge/swivel hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, hinged shin/heel thing, and hinged toes. sycophantic suck-up The hands spin, of course, and there are three claws that fold out to keep them from looking like plain guns.

You know, it's funny: the first TF movie figure worth buying was a Target exclusive, and now, so is one of the last. Starscream is a decent figure, but not really a necessity for your collection. If you really want one, though, this Target-exclusive Deep Space Starscream is definitely the one to get. Yes, it even beats Target's other Starscream exclusive, with the G1-inspired paint apps. Man, Target really ended up with a lot of exclusive Transformers merchandise, didn't they?


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