Series: Beast Machines
Let's get ready to make some noise!
As the first known survivor of Megatron's conversion-freezing virus, Nightscream has brought a new optimism to the Maximal cause. He's living proof of the organic history of Cybertron. In Beast Mode, boasts unmatched speed and aerial maneuverability. Sonic pulses can blast through all alloys. Razor-sharp claws pierce through solid metal with ease. Robot mode gives him even more speed and maneuverability. Can drain enemy's energy and power himself with it. Also creates audio illusions which destract and confuse Vehicons, making them vulnerable to attack.
I don't have much experience with any of the Transformers TV series, so I'm unable to provide any history or interesting tidbits about the Nightscream character. But the actual toy figure should be the focus here and whether or not it is fun to own and 'play' with. If you're interested in the TV character Nightscream you can read about him on wikipedia.
Transforming Nightscream into robot mode isn't very difficult and requires no more than a dozen short steps. What emerges does remind me of a Dracula look-alike, though. Just like in his alternate mode the figure has a few problems standing. The legs do their job, but putting the figure into poses is all but impossible and requires lots and lots of tears. I can remember that from my childhood.
Okay, so what does the figure have to offer in robot mode? The head (which I find to be very ugly) can be turned about 45 degrees, but it doesn't look very realistic and isn't very useful, either, seeing as poses are pretty much a no-go. The arms are very posable, but you should take the entire figure in hand before moving them, as the joints are very tight. The wings don't really serve any purpose and are there pretty much as decoration. The beast head from the alternate mode is now situated between the legs, which does look pretty ridiculous, seeing as the two ears are now pointing out of the stomach.
The torso also features one of that era's Transformers faction symbols. Unfortunately it is not hidden well, nor is it in any way useful, it doesn't look that good, it's just there. Another disappointment are the hands, which feature but a single joint. The fingers are immobile, only the thumb can be moved. Considering the size of the hands the designers could have done much more here.
So all in all Nightscream's appearance does leave something to be desired. There is no attempt to hide what his alternate mode is. Apart from the head and him standing upright there is no real change when compared to the beast mode. He's pretty much just a bat walking on two legs.
There's no denying what this figure is supposed to be: a bat! The whole beast mode looks very solid and compact at first look. But that's just the problem, at first look. Because once you try to stand the bat up, you'll end up with a lot of frustration and maybe a desperate attempt involving Scotch tape. Getting this creature of the night to stand is pretty much impossible, not to mention putting it in any kind of pose. It's worse than the robot mode. The legs simply stand off at the rear (in robot mode they are folded forward and fixed with a nob). Unfortunately that isn't the worst thing about this mode.
That honor is reserved for the chest plate. That one is simply twisted down and now simply hangs there, looking like something Nightscream might use to catch his own droppings. The plate is simply out of place here, it isn't even fixed very tightly. I think even back as a kid that bothered me the most about this figure. You simply can't move this figure without causing the plate to hang down. Especially when you 'fly' the figure that looks pretty stupid.
What else can I say? Apart from the aforementioned flaws the beast mode is a pretty decent one. The bat head looks good, even if the sculpt isn't exactly extraordinary. Everything is pretty solid (when sitting down) and there are no parts that can break off. The wings could be larger, I think. Under realistic conditions Nightscream would probably crash after 2 meters of flight. But that's just me.
Extras & Weapons:
Nightscream carries a disc thrower inside his torso, which can be used in both modes. You need to be careful in robot mode, though. One, it doesn't look very elegant when Nightscream has his chest plate in his face (it needs to be opened upwards, which probably explains why it's so loose) and two, it's rather difficult to pry the disc thrower out of its cavaty. It's easier to use it in beast mode.
No matter how much I'd like to, I really can't recommend this figure to anyone. Nightscream is nearly impossible to pose and play with. He is solidly built, but still seems cheap and fragile. The orange-brown colours are really not my thing. The robot mode is unsympathetic at best. So please do not let yourself be fooled by the size of this figure. Most of the time a smaller figure easily outclasses a giant like Nightscream.