OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth


Transformers: War for Cybertron
by yo go re

Is it possible for something to be a "re-tread" when it doesn't have any wheels?

Starscream and the Seekers are tasked with reactivating an ancient Energon bridge.

There's one immediate and unmissable difference between Studio Series Gamer Edition Starscream and the original Fall of Cybertron toy released a decade ago, and that's size: the old one was a Deluxe Class release, while this one is Voyager. So if nothing else, he's going to be bigger and more intimdating than before, and from a story standpoint, that matters.

Starscream retains his very square, blocky head, because War for Cybertron's design directive was to honor G1 without being a direct copy of G1. Eventually Hasbro declared that the game was a prequel to Transformers: Prime, but come on: you can tell by looking that it's not. If your only source for a claim is "the corporation told me so," then you know it's not right.

Like the vintage Starcream, this one is grey and red, with blue accents. He has wings on his back, pointy red bits around the head, and an orange cockpit on his chest. Compared to the game model, the canopy is at least twice as large as it should be. It's unusual for a flying Transformer to have such a thick, chunky design, especially in the legs, but this body remains recognizable as the Decepticon sky commander. A minor bit of assembly is required after you open the box: the red pieces directly on his shoulders are unattached, wrapped up in paper behind the tray, and will need to be plugged into place. Honestly, to us that just says, "Hasbro couldn't find a way to keep the pieces from breaking during shipping, and by making you put them on they've made any problems your fault instead of theirs."

WfC Starscream moves at the head, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles. Like the last figure, the ankles are only rockers, so his legs are more useful for wide poses than for normal walking or running. His accessories are a Null-Ray sniper rifle and a humongous mace, which were his starting weapons in the game. In the game, Transformers just formed their weapons out of their limbs instead of holding them; to simulate that, this toy's right forearm can be removed, and the gun plugged in in its place.

Converting Starscream is easy to get the hag of: pull the wing section away from the back, unfold and rotate the panels on the sides, open the back to get the air intakes out, rotate the two tailfins around so they touch, bend the shoulder pylons inward, raise the head and turn it to face the rear, lift the chest, tuck the head inside the canopy and fold out the nosecone, raise the arms, fold them down into the abdomen, reverse the elbows are turn the entire arms in toward the center, open the panels on the inner shins, swing the lower legs up and out (remembering that you can't do it unless you bend the knees slightly, first), and finally lower the wings against the body.

All the War for Cybertron altmodes actually have two forms: one when they're moving slowly, another when they're boosting. This is Starscream's "boost" mode, with the tailfins standing up and the wings sticking out to the sides. Since you'd more pften see the characters from the back than from the front, the game designers put lots of details back there, like an easily recognizable Decepticon logo built right into Starscream's chassis. The toy doesn't deliver the same, leaving nothing but empty air where that should be.

Starscream was redesigned between War for Cybertron and Fall of Cubertron, so if you mainly know him from the last toy, this one will look weirdly long and distended. Other than the oversized canopy, which (according to designer Evan Brooks) was done to make enough room for the head, this silhouette is very accurate to the game model. One thing that definitely feels weird, though? The wings are too small. They're even smaller than the 2013 version! So they were fine doing fake kibble for the spikes behind his shoulders, but not for more important things like the wings or canopy? That's whatchya call "focusing your energy in the wrong places."

Studio Series Gamer Edition War for Cybertron Starscream is good, and does have some improvements over the smaller old release, but there really isn't enough of an upgrade that if you do have that old one, you need this new one. A few strange choices keep it from being great.

-- 05/14/24

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!