Egotistical, self-centered, cowardly, spiteful, and traitorous, a vile concoction of personality traits that define one of the most popular Decepticons, Starscream. Despite the personality flaws that define him, this character has remained a mainstay in Transformers toy lines and Media.
The toy that would become Starscream was originally known as Jetrobo from the Diaclone toy line from Japan. When Hasbro localized and reinvented the line to the Transformers for the American toy market, Jetrobo faded away into the past, and Starscream roared onto the scene. He has appeared in series from the original, now known as G1 and G2, Beast Wars II, the Unicron Trilogy, Animated, the Aligned Series, Robots in Disguise, and Cyberverse. Since Starscream is such an iconic character for the Transformers toy franchise, there have been dozens of toys released based on his various incarnations.
Here are my picks for the top 10 Starscream toys released by Hasbro and Takara. I am not including any 3rd party interpretations of the character in this list, so there will be no mention of Make Toys Meteor. Also, despite the popularity of the Armada’s Starscream, I cannot look past the cockpit crotch nor wing sword. So, no variant of Armada’s toys will be present on this list.
10. Generation One
The original toy that Hasbro released in 1984, this is the figure that started it all. The historical importance of this figure cements it in the top 10 with ease. Unfortunately, there are several flaws that have lowered its standings in the rankings.
While the G1 Starscream transformed into a sleek F-15 interpretation, the engineering from the era leaves the figure with a box-like appearance and stiff joints. To transform the G1 toy, the hands must be removed and stored separately. Stickers also defined the detailing of toys from this era; however, the adhesive from the stickers can peel with time.
Despite the flawed and dated design, the G1 figure deserves respect and admiration. Hasbro has released the mold 3 times, attesting to the importance of the 1984 toy.
9. Cyber Battalion
Released in 2015, this figure only made an appearance in American retailers via Universal Studios Theme Parks In 2016.
While this is a simplified toy, designed as a budget figure, it still manages to pull strikingly sleek and streamlined jet mode. The bold colors also help it stick out amongst the trove of other Starscreams. The transformation is effective as well, easily moving between the two forms.
Unfortunately, the robot mode suffered from the budget design. Not only does this figure have a bland frowning face, but the robot mode also lacks any knee joints. Otherwise, the Cyber Battalion figure stays a solid addition to any Starscream collection.
8. Prime Voyager Class
A radical departure from the designs from the first generation of Transformers, Starscream once again appeared in the Prime Series. From this line, I prefer the voyager class toy that Hasbro released in 2012.
The robot mode is the highlight of this figure. The long limbs and light design for this toy permit for easy posing in the robot mode. Unlike most other Starscream designs, there is no need to work around the wings when posing the arms for this figure.
Unfortunately, this figure’s unique design makes the transformation unintuitive. The jet mode also suffers since it is not as clean as even smaller variants of this design. Still, the articulation and stability give the Voyager Class a spot on the list.
7. Animated Voyager Class
While the Starscream from Armada and the Unicron Series left too far from the G1 incarnation to catch my eye, the Voyager Class toy, released in 2008, harkened back to the G1 design while reinventing the character for a new generation.
While the figure has a bulky underside when in jet mode, the robot mode effectively disappears apart from the hands, which are only visible if you completely flip over the toy. The transformation to robot mode is quick and efficient, with most pieces folding into place on their own. There are also ratchets in the knees and shoulders that easily supply options for posing the figure. The eyes glow thanks to the orange light piping found in the back of the head.
There are only a few points that keep this figure from being ranked higher. First, the colors are muted. Instead of having the bright silver base color with highlights of vibrant red and blue, this Starscream has a darker blue-silver base color with highlights of dark red and black. Also, the forward-swept wings in jet mode and chicken legs in robot mode never quite sat well with me.
6 MP03 Masterpiece
Since Takara created the original Masterpiece MP-03 mold for Starscream, the company used multiple times for many characters. My personal favorite versions of this line come from the Hasbro release that Walmart sold in 2007 and the Ghost variant sold in 2010.
There are few sleeker jet modes available outside of the Masterpiece variant. The robot virtually vanishes into the jet mode for this figure. The range of motion found in the robot mode far outclasses most other Starscreams released by Hasbro.
Unfortunately, the process to move from plane to robot mode requires some panels to fit into precise positions to snap into place. Beyond the transformation issues, the side skirt panels of the robot design are hard to ignore.