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Series: Legacy
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2022
Function: Second-in-Command

Starscream demands respect and he is willing to do whatever it takes to prove he is worthy of it.

Signature weapon: Star Saber - one of the most powerful weapons that ever existed. A weapon with legendary origins that can be deadly in the wrong hands.


Prelude: In most Transformers series, you shall find a Starscream. Usually he is the second in command of Decepticon leader Megatron and doing his merry best to replace him through the most underhanded tactics imaginable. Not always, though, for in 2002 we were shown a different sort of Starscream in the Armada series. Now, with the Legacy series revisiting the highlights of the Unicron Trilogy, a new version of Armada Starscream has been released. So, unsheathe your wing sword, keep your Mini-Con close, and let’s say go!

Robot Mode: First thing I’d like to mention: you are getting Armada Starscream here, a new version of the original Armada Starscream from 2002, but you’re not getting a Mini-Con to go with him. We have seen that problem before with Hot Shot and Metroplex, so it was not unexpected, but still a bit unfortunate. Maybe we’ll get a Mini-Con pack for the various missing Mini-Cons at some future point, we’ll see. But for now, no Swindle.

Just like the original figure, Legacy Armada Starscream is a Voyager-class figure, though unsurprisingly he is a good deal smaller than his predecessor. He is far better articulated, though, able to pull off numerous poses without problem. The wings on his back are also on joints, so you can have them straight, angled, swept back or not, your choice. Starscream also has a hip swivel, but it’s kind of limited due to the jet nose on his torso. Twisting wrists would have been nice for a sword fighter, but he can do without.

One of the original figure’s most distinct features were the big guns on his shoulders, especially how the entire assembly stood out from his back. The new figure improves on that quite a bit, as you can fold down the entire assembly flat onto his back. Or you can go with the original look, too, and have the cannons stick out straight, your choice. Folding them down onto his back changes his look a bit, as he now doesn’t have those half-open pods to the left and right of his head, but again: do as you will.

Apart from his big guns - which can flip forward onto his shoulders without the aid of a Mini-Con and don’t fire any missiles, either – Starscream comes with two weapons. The original figure could detach one of its wings and unfold it into a sword. This new one here… has a sword. One that kind of looks like the old wing sword, but isn’t a wing and can’t become a wing, either. Which irks me a bit, I must admit. Not like that old gimmick was terribly intricate, so why not include it here? But no, we get an extra sword.

And on top of that, Starscream also comes with a version of the Star Saber he briefly wielded in the cartoon. No, not the combined form of the Air Defense Team, just a solid plastic thing that kind of looks like the combining Mini-Con weapon, but with far less detail and colors. To be honest, I’d have much rather seen them leave that one out and use the extra mass for a true detachable wing sword or a Mini-Con. This here feels like “hey, how can we include as much stuff as possible, but make it really, really boring?”.

So bottom line for the robot mode: the figure itself is very nice, but the included weapons are a big disappointment.

Alternate Mode: Starscream still transforms into the same kind of science fiction style jet he did back in Armada and the transformation sequence is more or less the same as back in the day. The legs transform a bit differently, but that’s mostly it. The jet itself also looks like it did back then, smaller of course, but with the same bulky tail end and the big guns on top. Still like this design a lot, so no complaints here. Though I am wondering why it seems to have gone completely out of style to give jet Transformers a landing gear. Well, Armada Starscream has three peg holes on the underside, so maybe I can plug in the wheels from the G1 Seekers. Gonna have to try that.  

Lack of landing gear aside, the jet works well and, just like in days of yore, you can flip forward the guns to give it extra firepower in this mode. Thankfully you don’t need a Mini-Con to unlock those guns because, hey, there is no Mini-Con included here, did I mention that? Not even a Mini-Con port on the back of the jet. Not bitter or anything, just saying. Starscream’s two blades can attach underneath the wings, which looks a bit weird since they look so different, but it works.

So bottom line for the jet mode: pretty good, though I’d have liked at least the barest hint of a landing gear included, just on general principles.

Remarks: Way back in the year 2002 we got, for the first time ever, a new incarnation of Starscream that was not just another version of the familiar backstabber and would-be leader from Generation 1. Armada Starscream could be as cunning and devious as the original, but he had a sense of honor and even defected to the Autobots for a while, where he struck up an unlikely friendship with the human girl Alexis (which led to a vast amount of truly disturbing fan fiction back in the day). In the end he sacrificed his own life in order to convince Megatron that he had to join forces with Optimus against the menace of Unicron. He did return in both Energon and Cybertron, of course, but he was never again as compelling a character as in Armada.

Now we already had a new Armada Starscream ten years ago as part of the Thriling 30 line, but this newer one here is… well, bigger. Not as big as the original, but bigger than the T30 Deluxe. And… well, a bit more cartoon accurate. T30 Armada Screamer had a landing gear, though. No Mini-Con, either, though. So… yeah, where was I? Anyway, Legacy Armada Starscream is a good figure that nicely portrays the character from the 2002 cartoon series. I won’t say it nicely homages the old toy, because the Armada toys were very gimmick-driven and there are zero gimmicks to be found here (not even a proper wing sword), so better keep that old Armada figure for that.

Bottom line: a nice figure, but missing quite a few things to really bring back that Armada feeling of old.

Rating: B-

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