Gustavo mutters about Legacy Armada Starscream

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Gustavo Wombat, of the Seattle Wombats

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Nov 22, 2022, 4:18:51 AM11/22/22
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Legacy Armada Starscream borrows a lot of engineering influences from the Thrilling 30 Armada Starscream, arguably more than the original Armada Starscream -- although some of the design comes from there.

T30 Starscream was a great toy, one of the first really good toys to work within the smaller budget after The Great Cheapening. And it fixed a lot of the problems with the Original Armada design -- the massive backpack sticking straight out, the terrible wing-popping-off-and-becoming-a-bad-sword gimmick, and the lack of articulation -- while sacrificing a little bit of the fun (engines no longer flip forward, and there is no minicon integration). There was still some fun though, with integrated storage for a pair of fold out swords, and missiles launching from the engine's air intakes.

Legacy is bigger than T30, improves the articulation with a limited waist, ankle tilts, and a head that can point up, and removes the fun. The engines can be flipped forward for over the shoulder cannons, but there is no spring gimmick and the lack of paint leaves them plain. They do have 5mm ports for blast effects, though.

Swords are now single piece molded things that can peg onto the wings in vehicle mode to look like he is carrying a sword and some shrapnel.

In robot mode, flipping the engines down the back and then raising them isn't smooth -- you have to move several panels. It was nicer with T30, but obviously this is still better than the Original Armada toy that always had the giant backpack.

Similar to T30, there is no minicon integration, but there is a 5mm port under the nose of the plane, so perhaps there will be a forthcoming minicon/micromaster that pegs in there (maybe a Jolt and Swindle set as a Core Class release after Hot Shot is out)

The new waist articulation is probably not worth it. It is very limited because of the nosecone being the chest, and it adds a joint that can get easily misaligned during transformation and lead to the rear of the plane being a few degrees off.

The head articulation is odd. There is a ball joint at the very back of his head, so if he is looking up, he looks like he has almost been decapitated. Nearly Headless Starscream. And then you notice that the head is normally floating a mm above the body and it is freaky.

The sculpting and the coloration gets the character right in broad strokes. I could be nitpicky, but he looks the part. The red is a darker, duller red than the cherry tomato red of the T30 toy, so he actually looks closer to the Armada character. And his engine intakes are closer to the right shape.

Annoyingly, even with the larger scale and budget, they were unable or unwilling to hide the top of the head in vehicle mode. This is a bit of fidelity to the original character that isn't needed.

Overall, I want to like this toy more than I do, but it suffers from a problem all of the Legacy Armada toys are going to suffer from -- not capturing the feel of the original toy that was built around gimmicks, even when they capture the look of the character.

It's not objectively bad, but I would put it slightly below the T30 version of the character. And I would grade the Original Armada toy on an entirely different scale, because it was trying for different things.

Also got Bomb Burst, and he is a little disappointing too -- he needs a few more pegs to get that vehicle mode solid, and my copy likes to have the cockpit/nose of the vehicle pop off because the pressure joint is weaker than the pressure required to move the pinned joint.

Zobovor

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Nov 25, 2022, 12:22:57 PM11/25/22
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On Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at 2:18:51 AM UTC-7, Gustavo Wombat, of the Seattle Wombats wrote:

> Overall, I want to like this toy more than I do, but it suffers from a problem all of the Legacy Armada toys are going to suffer from -- not capturing the feel of the original toy that was built around gimmicks, even when they capture the look of the character.

I'm not planning to buy this one. I know enough about myself to know that if I did, I would transform him once and then he'd end up at the bottom of my Legacy toy box, and every time my hand brushed against him on the way to get Red Cog or somebody I would ask myself, "Now, why did I actually spend money on this again...?"

I'm not likely to ever be super nostalgic about Armada. The show was not a favorite of mine, many the toys were not great, and none of the characters really ever grew on me. It's astounding to me that it's already been twenty years since all that business. (To this day, I still have Armada Seekers whose light-and-sound gimmick start going off whenenver I move the box they're in. SHH-BOKK SHH-BOKK SHH-BOKK.)

It's interesting to me that Armada Starscream is a character they keep coming back to. This will be his third mainline toy (not counting McDonald's toys and such), and yet most other Armada characters have never been revisited in any shape or form. Has Starscream come to represent Armada in the same way that Sky-Byte seems to be the token representative for Robots in Disguise? (Well, and Hot Shot, too, I guess, since he's getting the third toy to represent his original Armada form soon as well.)

I haven't seen any of the idiots on the message boards complaining that Legacy is an endless G1 snorefest, so I guess if Hasbro wants to continue occasionally deigning to pay tribute to some of these other characters, that's fine with me. But I do feel like they skipped an entire generation, because now we're getting tributes to Armada and Prime and Animated, but they forgot about all those G2 characters.


Zob (seriously, I wants me some Skram and Deluge and Firecracker)

Gustavo Wombat

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Nov 25, 2022, 4:32:53 PM11/25/22
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Zobovor <zm...@aol.com> wrote:
> It's interesting to me that Armada Starscream is a character they keep
> coming back to. This will be his third mainline toy (not counting
> McDonald's toys and such), and yet most other Armada characters have
> never been revisited in any shape or form. Has Starscream come to
> represent Armada in the same way that Sky-Byte seems to be the token
> representative for Robots in Disguise? (Well, and Hot Shot, too, I
> guess, since he's getting the third toy to represent his original Armada
> form soon as well.)

Starscream had a really interesting character arc in Armada, so he is
beloved among Armada fans.

The design of the Armada Seeker is also really quite nice, although poorly
realized in the original toyline, for reasons I don’t understand (the big
problem was the massive backpack sticking straight back, and it could
easily have folded down (as they have done with every version since), and
wouldn’t have even affected the big block of electronics.

There are obvious redecos and remolds. Like, um, Jhiaxus, or
Thundercracker.

And, it allows Hasbro to put a Starscream on the shelf, so people vaguely
familiar with the brand can buy one for their nephew, daughter, non-binary
grandkid.

He’s a very easy and very safe choice.

I expect Energon and Cybertron Starscream to also be made, although the
redeco potential with those is less obvious, and the character arc is less
compelling.

(Since Energon Starscream was so heavily inspired by G2 Smokescreen, that’s
a potential redeco, and it’s a great design that seems like it would hold
up to modern materials)

All signs point to us getting an Armada Optimus as well — another very easy
and very safe choice. I don’t know about Megatron, since I can no longer
keep real information and unfounded rumors clear.

(Should I tell my therapist that I don’t know what is real anymore? I think
he would at least initially interpret wrong… but even if it isn’t
delusions, living in the post-truth era causes all sorts of stresses)

I’d like to see an Armada Blurr, as the idea behind the toy was very nifty
while the execution was poor. He wasn’t an interesting character, but as a
toy I think he would translate well to the current approach — the wedge car
with flip down wings works, even if the wings aren’t triggered by a minicon
and aren’t spring loaded. It’s Tracks’ gimmick, but the design is a lot
more balanced so it isn’t just car with little wings sticking out.


> I haven't seen any of the idiots on the message boards complaining that
> Legacy is an endless G1 snorefest, so I guess if Hasbro wants to continue
> occasionally deigning to pay tribute to some of these other characters,
> that's fine with me. But I do feel like they skipped an entire
> generation, because now we're getting tributes to Armada and Prime and
> Animated, but they forgot about all those G2 characters.

You got a Laser Optimus and a G2 Megatron or two. Wasn’t that enough?

> Zob (seriously, I wants me some Skram and Deluge and Firecracker)

The current focus outside of G1 appears to be cartoon characters. So, you
might be out of luck. I’m still surprised there has been no Selects G2
Dinobots.

I want some Beast Machines toys. So many were so far from the character
models that there’s a reason to revisit just for that.

And taking the design of the BM Tank Drone toy and scaling it up to Voyager
would likely work — the modern articulation might make it a challenge to
get everything pegged together firmly as panels would want to move a lot
more.

But, I really want to see what they do with the Maximals now.




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