Jul 16, 2007

[Toys] Starscream and Astrotrain

This is a Tri-Blog post that will appear on all three of my blogs The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything, Beyond Dinobot Island and Moonbase 8.

Yes, Transformers are worth a Tri-blog entry, especially for a Transformers geek like me.

Last Sunday I finally bought myself some new Transformers - the first I've bought since 2003 given all my financial complications over the years and my lack of interest in the Armada-Energon toylines. Ironically enough, the last Transformers I ever purchased were the Armada editions of Optimus Prime and Megatron, which I have not yet been able to recover from home. Darn.

I picked up Starscream and Astrotrain - pictures below along with my review of the toys:

I miss Transformers having a lot more die-cast parts, but what can you do, eh?

In general, both toys are pretty solid. The materials seem durable enough and Hasbro has generally moved away from including too many extra parts (like small guns) or the need to add additional decal stickers on your own. Also, these editions of these classic characters tend to follow the break-away philosophy adapted starting with the Beast Wars line. This just refers to how a lot of their parts like the arts tend to pop off when you apply too much force as opposed to breaking and snapping like in the core toys back in the day.

First, let's look at Starscream. The color scheme is classic Generation 1 - very vivid red and the gray parts are pretty good. I like the detail of making his canopy yellow - I think the key thing behind this design was to make him ressemble his Generation 1 cartoon self as opposed to his Generation 1 toy version. This is most evident when he transforms into his robot mode since a lot of the styling is classic in terms of the cartoon. Kudos for making his canopy align with his chest and giving him those distinct boosters on his feet just like in the cartoon.

He comes with two null rays just like in the cartoon, although for the toy they double as missiles which can be launched via a spring-loaded mechanism. I just wish he was more poseable - his arms are limited to a forward and backward arc which inevitable hits his wings on the back. If you try going side to side you can only do this at the elbow or by dislodging his arms entirely. A lot of his parts don't lock well so detaisl like his tail fins on his legs in robot mode or his wings tent to come lose.

Second comes Astrotrain. Overall, he's pretty cool since he's still a triple-changer with shuttle, train and robot modes. All modes look decent and not overly forced, which shows a lot of thought put into the original design. I think my biggest problem is the color scheme - turning him white just didn't work for me and I wish they kept the original gray color scheme.

In terms of his modes, as always his shuttle mode remains more robust versus his train mode like in the original toy. His train mode has been updated to a monorail-type train that ends up looking really phallic given how long he is when fully transformed. I like how they always have a place to store / attach his gun, to prevent you from losing it in the long run, a classic problem of the Transformers toylines.

His robot mode looks a bit skinny, but retains a lot of the details aligned with the original cartoon image with the boxy shoulders and the wing / shield pattern on his chest. His gun seems a bit over-sized but still pretty cool. I hate they way he stands though - his feet not look like insectoid legs given you need to balance him on three struts (including the shuttle's front landing wheels). Still, he has somewhat bette poseability as compared to Starscream and stands much better.

So there you have it - my return to the toy-buying market of the world, haha.


  1. GRABE! i like these, so how much did each cost again??? And where to buy them??? i like bumble bee...hehehe

    I know i have been to dis blog b4, ryt rocky???

  2. The Classics versions are now retailing for P500 each. If you want the movie editions, they cost at least P700 each.

    And yes, you've been here before and are more than welcome to keep coming back, haha

  3. tnx rocky.

    so where can i buy these again???? (i've ran gaga on Sm toystores near r plac - SM north & sanlazaro - and they aint got a single transformer toy! (shuts)

    i think i can shell out a couple of hundreds frm my pocket hehehe!

    BTE, i'l link u in my blog ha! :-)

  4. I saw a good number of them at the Toys R Us at Robinson's Galleria. Or you can try the bigger Toy Kingdom branches, I'm sure they have a few.

    Thanks for the link - I'll check out yor blog as well.