The History of Online TransFandom
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Armada Wave 1
A sleek little red and black Indy-style race car with a grey booster in back, Swindle rolls a fair distance on four free-spinning wheels. In a change since Toy Fair, the front end of the car is now black instead of red, preventing Swindle from being as monochromatic as Hot Shotís sidekick Jolt. To transform Swindle, fold up the rear tires and sides of the car, and then fold down only the sides to form arms. Fold down the nose of the car to expose the feet and split the legs. Finally, lower the rear spoiler fin onto the chest, exposing the robot face. In robot mode, Swindle is less articulated than most Mini-Cons. His arms and legs can swing out to the sides, but thatís about it. Instead of hands, his arms end in a pair of blade-like prongs. His faction symbol appears on his left arm.
In vehicle mode, Starscream is a high-tech fighter aircraft. His main colors are red, silvery grey and black, with yellow accents. An unusual design, the jet has a thin, angled nose and a bulky undercarriage section, appearing more suited to space combat than to atmospheric maneuvers. Lacking landing gear, it rolls on four treaded wheels (plus a pair of sculpted ones), adding to the impression of being a heavy-duty military vehicle. Like Red Alert, Starscream is designed to be a sturdy and durable toy, incorporating a mix of high-grade plastic and flexible rubber for the potentially delicate fins on the nose and tail. Although the details are different, the jetís wings, tailfins and markings are very evocative of the vehicle mode of the original Starscream (from the original Generation 1 line) while also resembling a bulked-up, armoured Macross Valkyrie space-fighter.
Vehicle Mode Features
Transformation to Robot Mode
Swing out the rear sides of the jet, then rotate them around and down to form the robot feet and legs. Flip out the heel supports and swing the waist section forward. As it locks in place, the head automatically pops up. Fold down the jet nose and rotate the wings down 90 degrees. Unfold the arms and hands.
Like Red Alert, Starscream is much larger than past Mega Transformers. Retaining the colors of his jet form, he cuts a striking figure in robot mode. As in vehicle mode, the robot displays elements of the original Starscream's design, from the placement of the wings to the intakes on the shoulders. His head shape is clearly inspired by the original character's, and his grey face carries a smug smirk. His arms are a little long and don't fully straighten, but they have plenty of joints to compensate. Although the thrusters and back of the plane stick straight out behind him, the backpack effect is not too crippling and the toy maintains its balance well. A Decepticon symbol is sculpted on each arm behind the non-gimmicked Powerlinx peg.
Starscream is quite posable for an Armada toy. His shoulders rotate from side to side and his upper arms can swing fore and aft. He has double-jointed elbows and hinges at the hip and knee, plus rotation joints at the base of his upper legs.
Robot Mode Features
From colors to details to facial expression, Armada Starscream is clearly intended to look like the original Decepticon air commander. What's more, he improves tremendously on the original toy, adding plenty of articulation and play value. Although the jet mode is not the most aerodynamic vehicle around and the arms could have been concealed better, the robot mode - giant backpack and all - more than makes up for any shortcomings. This is a fun, solid and downright classy Transformers toy.
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