STARSCREAM — ARMADA UNIVERSE
TRANSFORMERS LEGACY (HASBRO)
Launched in 2002, Transformers: Armada really did a great job of moving the collective consciousness back to vehicle mode Transformers after the shift caused by Beast Wars. With it celebrating 20 years last year, it’s being given a little bit of extra focus in Hasbro’s Legacy imprint, albeit in a rather slow and drawn out sense. To kick things off, Hasbro’s starting with one of the show’s real fan-favorites, its uniquely heroic take on Starscream. I’m taking a look at that guy today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Starscream is part of the third Voyager Class assortment of Transformers Legacy, alongside the Beast Wars version of Inferno. The figures hit just before the end of last year. This figure marks Armada Starscream’s second update since the original Armada run, following up on the Thrilling 30 release from 2014. In his robot mode, Starscream stands about 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 24 workable points of articulation. He’s quite a bit more posable than his older release, which is definitely cool. He’s definitely good for more than just standing around like the old one. The all-new sculpt is a pretty solid piece. He’s not quite as thick and blocky as the original figure, but he’s not as angular and thin as the Thrilling 30 release. It’s a nice middle ground, as I always felt the Thrilling release was just a bit too far removed from that much bulkier Armada aesthetic. This version hits the spot a lot better, and does a nice job of sticking pretty closely to how he looks in animation. There’s one sizable downside to this sculpt: his complete lack of any sort of Mini Con ports. The Cons were pretty essential to the whole Armada thing, and even if packing them in with the figures doesn’t cost out, not including the ports means that they can’t even be released after the fact. Fortunately, it looks like there was a rather quick course correct on this one, as the upcoming Hot Shot has the ports accounted fore. Like his sculpt, Starscream’s color work is likewise a pretty good match for his animated design. The only notable change up is the lack of the black “collar” around the neck. Otherwise, it looks spot-on, and the application’s all nice and cleanly applied. Starscream is packed with his Energon Sword (designed to mimic the folding wing sword from the original release), as well as a small version of the Star Saber.
Like his original toy, this version of Armada Starscream transforms into a sci-fi jet. The same sci-fi jet, even, which is nice bout of consistency. His transformation sequence is a little more involved than the original, but it’s still got a similar layout. It’s not too tricky, and it ultimately winds up with a pretty satisfying jet-mode. He’s stripped of any of the electronic features of the original, but I can’t say I miss them. In this mode, the swords can both be mounted under the wings, which isn’t quite as convenient and worked in as the original figure, but at least they can go somewhere?
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Armada hits a real soft spot for me, being the first iteration of the franchise that I actively followed, while it was still fresh and new, no less. I only had three figures during the original line’s run, but Starscream was one of them, and I’ve always enjoyed this take on the character. I got a direct replacement for my original Starscream back in 2021, but the idea of an update, especially one a little more true to the character than the Thrilling 30 release. The lack of Mini Con ports really does suck, but other than that, he’s a very fun update on a figure that I already really liked. I’m even more hyped for Hot Shot now!
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.