Tools of the Imagination

Tools of the Imagination — Starscream (Classics)

Transformers Classics toyline, by Hasbro, released 2006

Hasbro Knocks It Out Of The Park

In the mid-2000s, Hasbro returned to their roots with the Generation One toyline. However, they reimagined them by using modern toy construction techniques, modern modeling, and modern sensibilities and fusing them with classic characters and designs from the original series. The result was the Transformers Classics toyline, what might be argued to be one of the Hasbro’s most popular lines, marrying fan-favorite elements with approachable new sensibilities.


At this point, there isn’t much to say about Starscream that hasn’t already been said. He’s a perfect villain, capable of decimating foes and friends alike. Treachery is more than merely his calling card but a way of life. He’s so villainous that he isn’t even trusted by the other bad guys. Now THAT is a villain.

The Classics toyline was a very ambitious and well-meaning way for Hasbro to please it’s long-time fans but also invite in new fans that had either come to the franchise thanks to the live-action films (love ’em or hate ’em, they were successful) or hadn’t really even been into the franchise. It was a winner all-around; the Gen-1 fans would like the classic takes on the characters while those less rooted in the past could enjoy vibrant and colorful characters that were excellently made.

Appearance – 5 out of 5
These toys look beautiful. They are nicely reminiscent of their Gen-1 origins which is critical, but they also transform very much like the characters from that show. For Starscream (and like his Seeker brethren), his wings flip, his arms fold in, his legs combine, and his nose extends from within his chest. Just like in the show, so to does this toy deliver.

Construction – 5 out of 5
Hasbro is known for rugged toys and this one delivers. From the missiles to the wings and everything in between, the plastic is tough and durable, but also with the necessary give. The joints are solid and study, but can also pop back into place should the unthinkable happen. This is a rugged toy that can go anywhere and endure just about anything.

Movement – 4 out of 5
While this toy does a few small issues with movement, they pale in comparison to the dynamic poses that eleven joints allow this toy to take. There is a slight issue with the balance being a little awkward, with the center of gravity in robot mode being very high (almost in the shoulders), leading to a slight tendency to tip over, but the movement and flexibility more than make up for it.

Extras – 2 out of 5
The toy comes with detachable wing/arm missiles, as well as instructions for the transformation process, but that’s it. There’s no stand and no platform. While appropriate for the character and the toyline, it is unambitious for an otherwise excellent toy.

Packaging – 5 out of 5
In a word: perfect. The packaging is vividly colored, study and yet not too hard to open, and it gives a wealth of information on the character and the world he inhabits. It is replete with artwork of both robot and jet mode and is engaging to the touch. Almost everything a child (or fan) could ever want in a toy’s packaging is found perfectly executed right here.

Overall – 4 out of 5

The Classics toyline really is one of the finest toylines Hasbro has ever done, and anyone has ever done. From the construction to the colors to the packaging, everything is just perfect. There is little more you could reasonably ask from a toyline that these don’t deliver and this toy especially is a shining example of that.

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