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Series: War for Cybertron: Siege
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Voyager
Year: 2019

Prelude:While the current Siege line does seem to make an effort to include characters we haven’t seen in ages, there are, of course, the usual suspects as well. Such as Starscream, who really shouldn’t need any introduction. He is back for Siege in all his back-stabbing glory, now sporting something approaching his classic G1 cartoon Cybertronian alternate mode. Let’s see how it works.

Robot Mode: The first episode of the original G1 cartoon cheated a bit when it showed us the Bots and Cons on Cybertron. They sported Cybertronian alternate modes, but their robot modes already looked like they would after acquiring Earth modes. Probably didn’t want to confuse the kids. So Starscream looks (from the front, at least) much like he usually does when sporting his classic F-15 Eagle jet mode. (Fake) cockpit on the chest, turbines as nipples, the whole nine yards. It’s only from the back that you see the differences. Character recognition is absolutely no problem here, this is clearly Starscream. Could have gone a bit easier on the battle damage deco, but that’s the Siege line for you.

Starscream is a Voyager-sized robot with excellent articulation, including articulated wings on his back that can swing back and be moved up and down as well. The back of his legs feature spring-up plates, so that he can bend his knees almost 180 degrees without the lower legs being open. The forearms, meanwhile, flip open when you wish to fold in the hands, instead of simply being open on one side. Very nicely done, would like to see more of that. Buying third party upgrade sets simply to fill in hollow legs or forearms gets tiring after a while.

In terms of weapons Starscream comes with his usual arm cannons, which can plug into shoulder, forearm or his hands, your choice. So bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. Clearly Starscream despite the Cybertronian alternate mode. A bit less battle damage deco maybe, but otherwise: two thumbs up!

Alternate Mode: The Decepticon seekers on Cybertron sported a kind of pyramid-style design that fans have dubbed “Tetra-Jet”. So far only the now-defunct third party company Impossible Toys has come close to actually turning that design into toys with their ill-fated Tetra Squadron. Siege Starscream, on the other hand, is a bit of a mixture between that design and, of all things, the original Battlestar Galactica Colonial Viper. Even the guns under the wings are somewhat similar to the Viper design. I have very fond memories of that design, so thumbs up for that.

What made me hesitate to buy this figure for a long time was the big undercarriage of the jet mode. I have to say, though, it’s far less a problem in-hand than it looks to be on the pictures. Yes, the jet has an undercarriage, but I can count the number of jet Transformers that don’t have one on one hand, I think. So while the jet could be a bit more aerodynamic, it still looks pretty good.

The entire jet tabs together very solidly and while the amount of battle damage deco on the wings is a bit much, it still looks very good overall. The only real downside of this jet mode for me is the back, where you see Starscream’s robot mode chest plate. You can sort of interpret his turbine nipples as exhausts, sure, but the fake cockpit really stands out. Also, the chest plate is quick to snap off during transformation. So some minor point deduction for that. Otherwise, though? A very nice jet mode with bonus points for the Viper look.

Remarks: Not much I can say about the character of Starscream that hasn’t already been said in at least a dozen other reviews on my site, so I’ll spare you. Suffice to say that there has been a Starscream in just about every Transformers toy line since the end of the Beast era and that isn’t about to change anytime soon. And naturally we’ll be getting quite a few repaints of this mold as well, as ThundercrackerSkywarp, and a new Seeker called Redwing have already been announced. So business as usual.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised after buying this figure. It’s not perfect, but it’s a pretty good design and very nicely portrays Starscream in his pre-Earth days. A better place to hide the chest plate in jet mode, a bit more restraint on the battle damage deco, and I’d probably have been tempted to give this toy an A-rating. As things stand it’s a fun figure, a good Starscream, and a solid recommendation to everyone who is a fan of jet Transformers and Starscreams.

Rating: B

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