Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Leader Class : Starscream

Leader Class Starscream

Yet another beautiful Transformers transforming toy from the Leader Class line of Hasbro/Takara-Tomy. This time its the Leader Class: Starscream from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie that came out in 2009. This particular toy was released in 2009 in time for the movie and was made in Vietnam.

Leader Class Starscream
In the cartoon series, Starscream was an F-15 Eagle jet (based off the Takara Diaclone toy), in the live-action movie series he was updated to be an F-22 Raptor. Judging from Starscream's design in robot mode, its quite obvious that the producers of the film designed the robot based off the fighter and not the fighter based off the robot. This resulted in Starscream in the movie version to look short, squat, boxy and angular in robot mode. Starscream also sports alien like tatoo markings on his fuselage to easily differentiate him from the garden variety F-22 of the US Airforce.
Leader Class Starscream
The Leader Class Starscream toy is far from being short however, as it is in similar height to the Leader Class Optimus Prime from the same toy line. And compared to the other Leader Class toys, this one is a tad bit wider. I actually had to make up space for this in my display case so that it would fit. At first glance I thought this toy would have a hard time standing up because of its top heavy design and small feet, to my amazement however I found out that this wasn't so. Center of gravity is actually quite low on this one allowing it to stand easily.
Leader Class Starscream
Features wise this toy can transform from robot mode to airplane mode without need for any attachments or extra parts. It sports a detachable gun in its arm that can be fitted with a replica rocket that can also be fired by spring action. Like mentioned previously, this toy comes with two spare replica rockets that can be fitted into Starscreams gun for firing (one at a time), in airplane mode the rocket can be slung underneath its wings by way of a peg/hole.
Leader Class Starscream

Like other Leader Class toys, this one has some speaking action going on. In robot mode, pulling down on the pilot canopy will allow Starscream to say : "No one can defeat Starscream" as well as "The Decepticons will crush the Autobots." During Airplane mode there is the additional jet sounds when the voice button is pressed (located at the top side fuselage near the pilot canopy)

Leader Class Starscream

Let's talk negatives now. This isn't a perfect rendition of an F-22 in Airplane mode in case you are wondering. Proportions don't perfectly match the F-22's lines. The landing gear is no way picture perfect either. I also had a hard time storing the gun underneath the fuselage in airplane mode. Still trying to figure out how to do this. Transformation sequence its a tad bit hard so this isn't something that you can't give to a young boy and expect him to transform it smoothly. I actually liked the manual of Starscream, versus the one from the Leader Class Sentinel Prime, as I could easily read it to transform it.

Leader Class: Starscream

Despite that this is actually a very beautiful and sturdy toy with great details placed in each of its molded parts. I have to say that a little bit of nostalgia hit me when I was doing this review because this toy reminded me so much of the old toys I grew up with, especially the 1/55 VF-1S Valkyrie by Takatoku/Bandai.

Leader Class: Starscream

Now they don't make toys like that anymore (can't believe I'm saying this). Back then toys were sturdy because plastic and metal were still cheap, but of course they didn't actually match the line drawings due to limitations in manufacturing technology at that time, no Computer Aided Design Software and Computer Aided Machining to make accurate prototypes. Another thing going for it is its size, rule of thumb for me is that the satisfaction in owning a particular toy is proportionate to the size of the toy...and yes I am trully statisfied with this one.

Leader Class: Starscream

God Bless Takara/Tomy for making huge, complex transforming, awesome looking and sturdy toys for the Leader Class line. As always, I still stand in awe with the complexity of the transformation sequence of the toys in Leader Class.

More of the review can be found in the succeeding pages.

Box Shots



Shots of the Box of the Leader Class Starscream next to a 12 inch ruler for comparison.
Leader Class: Starscream

Top of the box showing the clear plastic window.
Leader Class: Starscream

Side of the box
Leader Class: Starscream

Back of the box
Leader Class: Starscream

Side of the box
Leader Class: Starscream

Bottom of the box showing a shot of the Leader Class Optimus Prime
Leader Class: Starscream

Side of the box with the box partially opened showing the inner casing.
Leader Class: Starscream

Inner packaging is combination of a a vacuum formed casing and a cardboard casing.
Leader Class: Starscream

Leader Class: Starscream

Back of the inner packaging showing the plastic wires that hold the toy in place in its casing.
Leader Class: Starscream


Fighter Mode



Starscream in fighter mode is not an accurate replica of the F-22 Raptor that its based on. But then again, its a toy *snicker* A beautiful toy in fact. Slung underneath the wings are the rockets that are connected via a peg/hole design.

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Here's a shot of Starscream in fighter mode right next to a 6 inch ruler for comparison.
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Side view of Starscream in fighter mode
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

I just love the alien tattoo design on the fuselage
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode


Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Shot of the back. The alien tattoo design extends all the way to the rear elevators
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Rear thrusters. In robot mode they form part of the shoulder joints that connect with the arms.

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Close up of the front nose
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Close up of the air intake, the fan is molded in
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Close up of the cockpit. No pilot figure on this one and the canopy doesn't open.
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Shot of the nose wheel in the wheels down position
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Shot of the nose wheel in the wheels up position
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Shot of one of the rear wheels in the wheels down position.
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Shot of one of the rear wheels in the wheels up position.
Leader Class: Starscream in Fighter Mode

Robot Mode



I never found the design of Starscream in the live action movie to be pretty. Too angular and boxy. As a toy however, its massive size is quite impressive.

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Close-up of the half body
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Pulling down on the canopy in robot mode triggers Starscream speech module.
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

The head of Starscream in robot mode can rotate and the mouth can open up.
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

The right forearm houses a Gatling gun that can be hidden and exposed via a lever
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

The left forearm houses a twin rocket weapon that can also be hid and exposed via a lever on the opposite side.
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Back shot of Starscream

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

One nice feature of Starscream is that you can adjust the shoulder joints to fold it inwards.
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Close-up of the front waist part of Starscream
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Shot of Starscream's foot
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Another angle of Starscream's foot. Despite its small size the foot can amply carry the entire body of Starscream. I think this has a lot to do with the perfect positioning of Starscream's center of gravity which prevent it from easily toppling over.
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Shoulder joint of Starscream that actually form the thrusters of Starscream in Airplane mode.
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Close-up of the left arm of Starscream with his weapon attached
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode

Left leg of Starscream
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode


Accessories



Starscream comes with a pair of these rockets that can be actually loaded and fired from his arm cannon
Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

The rocket right next to a 6 inch ruler for comparison
Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

The rocket can be slung underneath the wing via a hole and peg system during Airplane mode
Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

Shot of Starscreams arm cannon next to a 6 inch ruler for comparison
Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

Rocket attached to Starscream's cannon
Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

Rear view of Starscream's hand cannon.
Leader Class Starscream : Accessories

Shot of one of the missiles loaded on Starscream's hand mounted weapon
Leader Class Starscream : Robot Mode