Series: Animated Sneaky, mean and ambitious would be a bad combination of personality traits in anyone, but in a giant robot warrior bent on conquering the universe, they're the worst. Starscream loves power for its own sake, and will blast anyone who gets in his way. There's no reason he does all the awful stuff he does, except that he thinks he's so much better than anyone.
Activators Starscream is essentially a miniature version of Voyager Starscream
(though not as small as a Legends figure), so I'll be looking at the differences mainly. Apart from the smaller size the main difference between the two figures is in the cannons on Starscream's forearms. In fact this Activators figure here actually comes quite a bit close to how the cannons look on TV than Voyager Starscream does. So in terms of show accuracy Activators Starscream edges slightly ahead of his big brother.
Activators Starscream is also a very posable and nicely detailed figure. The downsizing hasn't hurt the figure in any significat way. So the bottom line is, if you're looking for a cheaper, smaller, but still well-done version of Starscream, this robot mode here certainly doesn't disappoint.
While the robot mode of Activators Screamer is a very nice job, the jet mode doesn't quite keep up. It's still a nice jet mode, don't get me wrong, but it's proportions are a bit out of whack (the nose is too short) and you can clearly see Starscream's robot arms hanging under the wings. The jet still features a working landing gear, though, and overall detailing is pretty nicely done as well.
The 'Activator's part comes into play here. Press down on the lever in the middle of the jet and Starscream transforms into robot mode on his own. Okay, basically he just flips the cockpit nose down and you're finished, but still, it's a nice idea. Of course the robot is then lying on his belly. If they'd somehow managed to make him stand at the end of that transformation... now that would have been something. So bottom line: A nice vehicle mode with a nice gimmick, but Voyager Starscream clearly wins over his little brother in this mode.
The Activators are the Fast Action Battlers of the Animated line. Smaller, clearly intended for a slightly younger age group, but still nicely done and with an automatic transformation that is pretty cool, if simple. I didn't originally plan to buy any Activators (or any Legends class figures for that matter, a size class that we'll see in Animated as well before too long), but Starscream here somehow appealed to me. And seeing that he's actually a bit more show accurate than his big brother, I made him the exception from the rule. All in all he's a nice figure, so if you're a Screamer fan, there is little reason not to get this little fellow here. Oh, and you finally have a 'Con in the right scale with Lugnut
And for a second opinion the review by Sam:
Starscream Activator strongly resembles his bigger brother from the Voyager class in his basic build and resembles his animated counterpart perfectly except for one or two missing highlights on the arm cannons. His face displays that typical arrogant grin and fills the figure with life. When Starscream looked at me in that devious way in the store, I just had to grab him.
For hands he's got the Animated-typical claws and each finger is individually sculpted, though not individually posable. Considering his size, that would have been something else. Anyway, the posability of this figure is okay. The arms can be moved freely at the shoulders, only those shoulder plate things can get in the way at times and pop off, too. They are moving because of the transformation process and don't really pose any problem. Once you have posed him a few times you get used to them.
The arms can be moved at the elbows as well, just as expected. On his forearms you find his signature arm cannons, without them it just wouldn't be a real Starscream to me. The legs are moving at the hips, only his knee joints are a bit limited. The back of his knees feature two little pegs, which fix the legs in position in jet mode. Because of them you can't fully bend Starscream's knees, somewhat limited his dynamic poses.
Seeing as I don't have a Generation 1 Optimus Prime for scale comparison, you'll have to make do with some measurements:
Height: 11.2 cm
Width (shoulders): 7 cm
Width (wings): 11 cm
Starscream does a pretty good job as a futuristic fighter jet with forward-swept wings. The only things that stand out are his arms, which are fixed under the wings and extend out back. Apart from that the jet is very wholesome and looks fantastic. If not for those arms it wouldn't be easily apparent that this is a robot in disguise. Starscream's shins also feature a little landing gear, which is a nice little detail.
Wingspan: 11 cm
Length: 12 cm
Now we arrive at the actual gimmick of the Activators class. The transformation is mostly automated here. If you flip the little red switch on the back of Starscream's jet mode, the transformation begins. The nose of the jet retracts under the cockpit, which in turn flips down to form Starscream's chest. The head appear and the legs automatically unfasten. Now you just have to pose the arms and legs a bit and you're done. The whole thing takes about five seconds and gives the figure a big plus in terms of action and play value. To transform him back, just pull on the cockpit and you're on your way. Well done.
I didn't buy the Voyager version of Starscream, mostly because that big plate behind his beck bothered me quite a bit. Activators Starscream doesn't have it and he's one of my favourites. He's got character, he's nifty, and he looks totally cool. The Activators gimmick adds quite a bit of speed and action. Only his colouring is a bit strange. I'd have preferred if that Thundercracker-blue woudl have come out a bit more steel-grey. It's not a big thing, but it would have made Starscream a little bit more Starscream.
This figure is a clear recommendation to anyone, who doesn't want the bigger Voyager Starscream and is satisfied with his little brother. Here you get just as much Starscream for a smaller price.
Total Rating: B+
- As befits the evil Starscream, he has the dubious honour of being the 666th figure to be reviewed here on this site.