Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Generations 30th Legend Starscream & Waspinator

Starscream and Waspinator

When Reveal The Shield launched it's Legends line they used Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron & Starscream. The same four characters form the initial four releases in the new Generations Legends size - A scout class robot and a smaller "Minicon" size robot.

So how does Starscream fare?

As seen in the package he's not too bad, but we need to look at the Jet first and to do that we need to0 transform him: Peg the legs together, fold the feet & heels together and fold the tail fins out to the sides of the legs Fold the wings back and clip them into the legs. Fold the shoulders out to the sides and down, attaching a slot on the back of each wrist to a peg on the underside of the wings. Fold the middle of the chest up to form the cockpit and the nose-cone out from underneath it. If necessary attach the null ray cannons.

I say "if necessary": this is the first Starscream it's possible to Transform with the null rays attached!

Instead of Generation 1 Starscream's tradional form, The F-15 he's now presented in his movie vehicle mode the F22 Raptor. It's a decent solid jet with rear wheels molded into the robot's knees while there's a fold down landing gear under his nose. The null rays are under the wings, but pegged into the sides of the jet fuselage. You can, just about, mount them either side of the cockpit too in a pair of screw holes but the fit is a bit loose. On mine you can turn them upside down and they won't fall out. The bottom of the null ray peg is a 3mm peg so they can be held by Cyberverse characters. There's holes on the sides of the weapons that look like 3mm pegs holes but are slightly too large. The top of the null ray handle is a supposed 5mm peg but mine feels larger than that: I've tried it on a few 5mm peg holes and had trouble fitting it in. Sadly the 5mm peg hole on the back of the jet is a prime example (and it is a 5mm hole: I've tested it with other weapons) so the only thing in the packet you can attach there is Waspinator

At first glance Waspinator and Starscream are an odd pairing. But Waspinator was possessed by Starscream's ghost during the Beast Wars episode Possession and then Transmetal Waspinator's vehicle mode is modelled after Starscream's F-16 mode. Waspinator's insect mode isn't too bad with the traditional dark green body and a lime green used for the forelegs and tail sting.

Transformation is simple: fold the sting up, stand on the back of his abdomen and fold the beast head down. Simple.

What you get looks like Waspinator again, albeit with the majority of the abdomen visible between the legs. The only real articulation is the arms which can raise. Yes the legs can turn at the hips but they're linked and the adomen remains in place. His hands are 3mm peg sockets so he can hold Starscream's guns or any other Cyberverse weapon.

From here push the top set of wings together to extend the weapons mode gun barrel then fold the stinger under the feet and forward to form the weapons handle. Fold the head up to lock the barrel in place.

Hmmm. Yes it's a round looking gun. Not the best gun mode and it looks very odd mounted on Starscream's back. The colours clash hideously too which doesn't help!

In fact Waspinator is probably the worst of the first four, indeed six, Generations mini robots/weapons. Rounded organic shapes don't lend themselves to be shrunk down.

To transform back to robot mode fold the landing gear in, then fold the nose-cone down under the cockpit. Fold the cockpit down and into the cavity in the jet fuselage, which is nicely detailed inside. Unpeg the arms and fold the shoulder panels up into place. Fold the wings onto the robot's back, fold the tails fins back, separate the legs and fold out the feet and the heel spurs.

Starscream's robot mode is essentially the same as the Generation 1 version but a more stylised version, less blocky, with less parallel lines. It's identifiably Starscream still with it's red body, cockpit on the chest, grey limbs, and blue hands & feet. The wing panel folded onto the back displays the Decepticon symbols the right way up, something of a bugbear of mine on previous versions like the Transformers Collection Anime, Robotmasters and even Masterpiece versions. The articulation is good: ball joints at shoulders, elbows and hips. The knees bend - why no ball joints here? - and the ankles & heels pivot. His hands are moulded with a 5mm hole and can hold his null rays by the 5mm ring at the top of the peg but the fit is VERY tight which, see above, appears to be the fault of the ring on the weapons rather than the fist hole. This turns what should have been a great feature into an annoyance.

Starscream's not a bad toy..... The problem is at this size he automatically invites comparison with The Cyberjets and despite being 18 years older they come off better by having moving heads, ball jointed knees, lightpiped eyes, clear cockpits and firing missiles. Throw in the problem with the hands holding the weapons, plus Waspinator's position as the worst companion/weapon, and I'm left with a not so good feeling about a toy that is OK. It just could have been a lot better.

Starscream and Waspinator were sold in the second 30th anniversary Legends wave alongside Megatron & Chopshop. This wave hasn't reached the UK yet. In Japan Starscream and Waspinator were sold in a 2-pack with recolours of Megatron & Venom.

Acidstorm and Venim

when it comes to Starscream recolours the first two cabs off the rank are usually his 1984 compatriots Skywarp & Thundercracker. So when Acidstorm's name turned up on a list of names from Hasbro's customer service computers I did wonder about how long the line was going to last if they didn't think they could do both Thundercracker & Skywarp.

Acid Storm swaps pale green plastic for grey and black for blue. I'm not sure what colour the red plastic pieces, the chest and the null rays, are as both appear to be painted on the pictures I see. Venim (why not the more correctly spelt Venom?) swaps Waspinator's dark green for black and light green for purple creating an insect in the G1 Insecticon colours. Phil needs an actual Waspinator toy in these colours now!

It looks OK if nothing spectacular but extra Decepticon plane troops are always welcome.

Future Repaints

I mentioned Thundercracker and Skywarp above: If Hasbro won't do them maybe we'll see them in a 2 pack like Robotmasters Skywarp & Thundercracker 2-pack. A third option would be Sunstorm.

As for Waspinator the most obvious route to go down is Beast Wars Waspinator's repaint Buzzsaw in yellow/black or purple. A more out there suggestion would be a black insect body and blue limbs as Bugly.