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Toybox Review: Transformers Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream - Mexinter.net

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Title : Toybox Review: Transformers Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream - Mexinter.net
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Toybox Review: Transformers Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream - Mexinter.net

Transformers Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream 01

Release Date: January 2022
RRP: $52.99/£55.99

Transformers: The Movie saw numerous fan favourites killed off in favour of brand-new characters that were about to hit toy shelves in 1986, but arguably some of them were able to get their most iconic moments in right before their deaths. The finally showdown between Optimus Prime and Megatron goes without saying, but there's also the untimely demise of Starscream – finally crowned as the Decepticons' new leader before being blasted to ashes by Galvatron. Decked out in full royal regalia, Starscream's new look has been fondly remembered by the franchise since, so shouldn't be any surprise to see Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream as part of the film's 30th anniversary toy line. Although the anniversary may have been in 2021, as one of the first SS86 releases for 2022 Starscream shows that there's plenty of life in it yet, and Hasbro know it.

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Coronation Starscream is the first of the Studio Series 86 figures to arrive in windowless box, which Hasbro are slowly moving toward with a lot of their lines in an effort to reduce plastic in their packaging. So while you are sadly unable to see the figure inside now (which admittedly can be a bit of a pain if you're still able to buy these physically in stores and want to check for QC issues), you do get much more elaborate artwork as a trade-off. Starscream's naturally depicts this key scene from Transformers: The Movie, with guest appearances from both Thrust and Ramjet in the background. The rest of the box's layout is the same as previous Studio Series 86 figures, with snippets of the artwork printed on the sides alongside the figure's designated number in the line (12) and a more details looked at the figure and its various modes on the back. Inside the reduction in plastic continues with the figure (and accessories) tied down with paper ties on a brown cardboard tray, with a handful of accessories also stored in a small paper bag taped to the back.

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As with every Studio Series 86 figure Coronation Starscream also comes with a diorama backdrop, which is of course the throne room/hall of Decepticon leaders wherein Starscream finally became leader before quickly meeting his end. As a leader class figure the background is pretty big, making it even more ideal for Starscream given that he's a voyager-scaled figure. On top of that, with repeats becoming more and more common in the line it's nice to get a background that's both new and will (quite likely) remain wholly unique to this release.

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Unlike the rest of the (mainline) Studio Series 86 figures released so far, Coronation Starscream isn't a brand-new figure. Instead it is a slight remould of the voyager class figure from the War for Cybertron: Earthrise – sporting new hands with hinged fingers as well as revised paint apps. This one uses slightly different shades of red/blue, removes the paint apps from the tail fins and adds larger Decepticon sigils to the wings. Mileage will probably vary on just how much better the new deco is but it serves its intended purpose of making him more accurate to his appearance in Transformers: The Movie. That said even with the colour changes it's a little more debatable just how well it fits in with the rest of the Studio Series 86 figures. The War for Cybertron trilogy used a far more detailed aesthetic that is very prevalent in Starscream, whose body is covered in additional moulding and detailing (the built-in chest turbines for example). It all makes for a good figure that's especially impressive at this size, but doesn't quite gel with the smoother and more cartoon-accurate aesthetic of the other SS86 figures. Admittedly there have been a couple previously with additional detailing (the Dinobots for example), but it didn't stand out there anywherein near as much as it did here. There is no denying it's a great looking figure, it's just a shame that it's a repurposing rather than something that completely fits the brief.

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It's worth noting that Starscream's null rays can also be removed from his shoulders and wielded in his hands like standard blaster rifles, which is a nice little feature to have even if most buyers won't probably ever use it. After all, if the guns are supposed to be mounted to his shoulders why would you take them off and have it hold them another way? Although they were clearly designed to fit in the Earthrise version's peg-hole fists they still fit into the new hands quite well, which would be much better for gripping any other suitable accessories you have lying around as well. 

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But even if there is a slight tinge of disappointment that it's a remould, the Earthrise Starscream figure is still very good - especially when it comes to articulation. On this figure you'll find;
- Ball jointed head
- Swivel hinge shoulders and hips
- Single hinge elbows and ankles
- Double hinge knees
- Bicep swivels
The wings also have hinges built into them, which are perfect for getting them out of the way when you're trying to pull off a more action-orientated pose. It's a bit of a bummer that there's no waist joint, but given Starscream's design it's understandable why Hasbro didn't build one into the figure. What's arguably more disappointing though is the lack of a hand swivel, especially since Starscream's new opening hands open a much wider range of poses than the Earthrise version had. This is likely due to the hands being directly moulded onto a hinged panel that folds up during transformation, so if they had added the swivel it would have to be a separate part. Given this is a voyager class figure at leader price Hasbro should have gone and done it, but again I can kind of see why they didn't. One extra little touch is that the plug socket on the bottom of Starscream's undercarriage is meant for the transformation, but doubles perfectly as a flight stand socket for mid air poses as well.

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Coronation Starscream might have a few mould changes from the Earthrise version but it's the wealth of new accessories that really grant this release its leader class status, starting with the massive Decepticon throne that accompanies it. Interestingly this isn't directly based off something in Transformers: The Movie, but rather the command chair aboard the Nemesis from "More Than Meets The Eye". This solid chunk of purple plastic has some nice bits of moulding across it, complete with the Decepticon insignia at the top. Starscream is comfortably able to sit on it like he has always desired, though the cape will need to be removed if you want to do it with his coronation regalia attached. It isn't just perfect for Starscream though – pretty much any similarly sized Transformer will be able to sit on it so long as it's able to assume a sitting pose. Take a look at the back of the throne and you'll also notice a second use for the accessory – it's also able to store all any loose accessories you might not be using. The crown and null rays peg directly onto the back, the additional coronation parts slot into the hollow cavity at the bottom and then cape pegs directly onto the back – conveniently covering it all up at the same time.E

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The main event though is Starscream's coronation gear, which consists of a second pair of null rays, shoulder pads, cape and crown. The shoulder pads peg onto each of the arms via the same peg holes the standard null rays do, then each one has a hinged peg hole for the alternate null rays (which have the peg further up the body) to fit into. The cape plugs straight into the back of the body and then opens up for full dramatic effect, and then finally the crown just fits straight onto the head. Usually I'd champion a soft goods cape over a hard plastic one, but for some reason the plastic just works here - even if the hinges are pretty unsightly when viewed from the back. The curious placement of the hinges makes the cape open up really well though, and the size of the figure means it's able to balance the weight even when swung to the side for extra flair. Arm articulation isn't too badly hindered either, which is quite surprising given the addition of those huge shoulder pads. Overall the more detailed aesthetic of the Earthrise figure does clash a little with the smoother look of the coronation parts, but this isn't the first figure to have mixed the two looks together so it does still work. Even though it's just a set of accessories Starscream's coronation is one of the film's most iconic scenes, so despite him dying only seconds later this was a vital inclusion for the Studio Series 86 range.

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As a voyager class figure Starscream's transformation is perhaps a little less involved than a "real" leader figure, comprised of 29 steps in total. That said it's still a fairly clever one, with touches like how the nosecone extends out really well done even if it isn't too detached from how the original G1 toy did it. Starscream transforms into his iconic grey, red and blue F15 jet mode, and what a look this is. whereinas the robot mode has all this additional moulded detailing which isn't necessarily suited to Studio Series 86, the jet mode looks as though it jumped straight out of the cartoon. Smooth body, vibrant colours – it looks absolutely perfect. But even with its cartoon accuracy it's still got room for impressive detailing, whether it be all the panel lining across the wings and body or the tiny pilot seat visible through that transparent cockpit.

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While it's got lots going for it when it comes to looks Starscream's jet mode sadly has much less when it comes to gimmickry. It doesn't even have retractable landing gear, which is quite surprising that it's been present on older Starscream figures and other figures released around the same time (Kingdom Cyclonus for example). That undercarriage socket mentioned earlier is used up in alt mode too, making balancing the figure on a stand for flight poses a little trickier (but certainly not impossible). But these really are minor complaints given just how good this jet mode looks.

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There isn't any doubts that Studio Series 86 Coronation Starscream is a worthy addition to the line given how iconic Starscream's (all too brief) wardrobe change is, but there's definitely more to consider with this release given the high bar the line has previously set for itself. The leader class price tag might be a little hard for some people to swallow given that it's a voyager sized figure, but the mould changes and additional accessories do help alleviate that a bit. The more-detailed Earthrise mould not quite fitting in with the rest of the line is another thing to consider, but in the absence of anything better at this scale and price it's still a pretty great Starscream figure that works nonetheless (and at the very least, that jet mode is perfection). These caveats aside, if your collection is missing a Starscream then this is definitely the one for you.



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