Series: Classics Reproduced exactly as he originally appeared in the hit cartoons and comics of the 1980's; this is a figure truly worthy of one of the most skilled and deadly Decepticon warriors. Chosen because of his phenomenal skill and bloodthirsty nature to lead the elite air warriors of the Decepticon army, Starscream is a name known and feared across the face of Cybertron and beyond. So supreme is he in his element that wherever he goes, the skies belong to him alone.
As we've come to expect from the Masterpiece line (or American versions of the Masterpiece figures), what we have here is a nearly perfect replica of the Starscream we saw on TV during the days of the original Transformers cartoon series. Some concessions were made to the fact that he stills needs to transform into an airplane, of course, but basically this is cartoon Starscream in all his glory.
So, where to start? Top down, I guess. Starscream's head features two interchangeable faces, one with a more or less neutral expression and one with Starscream's trademark smirk. On his chest he flip up the engine intakes that form his 'nipples', so to speak, to reveal the missile launchers he used in the episode "Fire on the Mountain". His arms are fully posable, right down to finger movement, and his trademark null-ray cannons are attached in such a way that they are independently posable and don't interfere with his arm movement at all. They can also detach and be used as clubs. Alternately you can also attach the missile racks from Starscream's jet mode to his arms.
Further down we find the one big deviation from the way Starscream looked on TV, the big panels hanging off his hip. Those are the sides of the jet mode's rear assembly. Might have been better overall to make them part of the legs, but the way they're affixed doesn't interfere with leg movement and they're posable enough to move out of the way in whatever pose Starscream wants to adopt. So some very minor point deduction for looks, but no problems apart from that.
The second and final problem Starscream has as far as I am concerned is his size. He's a good deal smaller than Masterpiece Optimus Prime
and Masterpiece Megatron
, which doesn't really fit with the way he was portrayed in the cartoon. If anything the size of the Dr. Arkeville figure (see below) suggests he should be larger still. But when did G1 (or most other Transformers series for that matter) ever pay attention to scale?
Finally we have Starscream's feet, which consist of blue 'toes' and the jet's rear thrusters. Not the most stable platform in the world, but Starscream's excellent posability easily circumvents any stability problems he might have. So the bottom line is: An excellent figure that is G1 Starscream to near perfection with only two very minor problems. Two thumbs up.
Starscream still transforms into an F-15 Eagle fighter jet, a somewhat dated design, yet one that still sees active service today, though. I'm not a fighter jet nut, so I can't really tell you how close this thing adheres to the real thing, but to me it does look both solid and realistic, which is the important thing.
The transformation into this mode is rather complicated (though not as much as that of Masterpiece Megatron), but the end result looks pretty stunning and shows no visible robot bits. The jet looks very streamlined and has lots of detailing despite his mostly-white paintjob. The seams and edges have been colored dark to make them stand out. Very nice. On the side of the cockpit one sees a crown-symbol, reminiscent of the crown Starscream wore during his very brief stint as Decepticon leader in the 1986 Transformers movie.
Apart from a great look the jet also comes with quite a few hands-on details. It has a working landing gear, the cockpit opens so Dr. Arkeville can sit inside, the rear thrusters have opening panels, and you can mount either missiles or Starscream's null ray cannons under the wings. Finally the nosecone of the jet flips open to show its radar array.
So the bottom line is: A superbly detailed, great-looking jet mode. No complaints at all.
Partner / Add-On:
Making his debut in toy form, Dr. Arkeville accompanies Starscream for this special edition. This tiny figure depicts the evil scientist G1 fans will remember from the episodes "The Ultimate Doom" and "Countdown to Extinction". The figure is somewhat reminiscent of the old Diaclone driver figures and fits into Starscream's cockpit in vehicle mode or can perch on his shoulder in robot mode.
Starscream also comes with a pedestal with his name engraved upon it, where he can either stand in robot mode or be mounted on a clear plastic stand in jet mode. The pedestal also has knobs for fitting his arm cannons.
To clear up the somewhat confusing history of this toy: In 2006 Takara brought out a green-colored version of this figure ("Greenscream") as part of their Masterpiece line (only the second mold at the time), which confused many fans as Takara is usually all about G1-color accuracy. In 2007 Hasbro corrected that mistake (if you want to call it that) and brought out this version here with G1-accurate colors and some minor modifications as part of their Classics line. Only a short time later Takara followed suite and released a G1-colored Starscream in the Masterpiece line-up. The mold has since been reused numerous times for Skywarp, Thundercracker, and Ghost Starscream.
As far as the toy itself goes, there is but very little that could be improved here except for the fact that it's a bit too small in comparison with other MP figures (Grimlock shares his pain). Apart from that, though, this is as perfect a version of G1 Starscream as you're ever going to find. Recommended to all 'Screamer fans and just about every Transformers fan in general.