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2002 Hasbro/Takara: Armada Starscream

In 2002, fresh of the commercial success of Robots in Disguise, Hasbro and Takara collaborated on a brand new series: Transformers Armada. Called "Micron Legend" in Japan, the new line would feature the return of several classic names of Transformers lore, if sometimes in dubious forms. Featuring a brand new animated series, Armada would also mark the return of the Transformers to the comic world, thanks to a company called Dreamwave and veteran writer Simon Furman. It also marked the return of the name Starscream to the "flagship" release - and what a return.

Aside from being a jet, Armada Starscream bears several strong similarities to his G1 predecessor. The head and face were sculpted to replicate the familiar features associated with the character; his mouth had even been etched into a confident smirk. When transformed into robot mode, his wings were placed in an upturned position, his canopy folded over his chest, and the intakes were located on either side of his head. Due to the nature of his one of his gimmicks however these intakes extended behind him quite a bit. His paint scheme was a little different as well; his main colours were red, black, and grey with yellow inside his intakes and on his chest.

Compared to his G1 counterpart, Armada Starscream had a high degree of articulation. His arms could move at the elbow joints and shoulders while his legs could bend and turn at the knees and swing from the hips. He was no longer limited to standing at attention or reaching out for a hug, but could be displayed into any variety of poses, depending on an individual's whims.

Armada Starscream featured a whole host of fun new gimmicks. For starters, pushing down on his canopy would activate the sound of laser fire. This feature could actually be activated by the slightest touch, unnerving unsuspecting individuals struggling to get him out of his packaging (and undoubtedly annoying a few peace craving parents). Pulling back on the peg between the two thrusters on his back would activate a brief, jet-like noise; holding it a couple seconds would extend the duration, as if Starscream were flying at top speed. His left wing could be detached (ouch) and unfolded to form a handheld sword, an interesting gimmick that would perhaps be alarming to any real self-serving Seeker.

Like other Armada figures of his size, Starscream came with a small Mini-Con figure, a red, black and grey Formula 1 racecar named Swindle. Swindle was key to activating several additional gimmicks on Starscream. By attaching him to a port under the cockpit, he changed the sound activated by depressing the canopy from gunfire to something similar to a bomb dropping from its racks; push hard enough, and Swindle would be "launched" from his little haven. When Swindle was connected to the peg on Starscream's back, the thrusters would swing forward and become cannons, revealing the triggers to fire the missiles. Pressing back on the peg while the Mini-Con was still fastened and a noise like rapid cannon fire would be activated. Swindle could also be attached to a peg located on each of Starscream's forearms, where he could also serve as a short, blade-like weapon.

Motto: "My destiny is leadership."

Profile: Starscream uses his speed and manoeuvrability as a jet to launch aerial attacks on the Autobots. No one can compete with him when it comes to speed and skill in the air. He slices through the sky, chasing the enemy and even endangering any Decepticon that gets in his way. As the second in command, he pretends to be loyal to Megatron, but is always looking for an opportunity to weaken his leader's rule and take control of the Decepticons.

The above profile stands in stark contrast to Starscream's depiction in the Armada cartoon. In the series he was portrayed as a rather principled Decepticon who sought not his commander's position but rather his respect and acceptance; this personality most closely resembled that of Armada Thundercracker. He defected to the Autobots for a time when he became fed up with Megatron's abuse and befriended the human children, most notably Alexis. He would eventually pay the ultimate price by heroically sacrificing himself in an effort to unite the Autobots and Decepticons against a common enemy: Unicron. Like Optimus Prime, Starscream's death and subsequent rebirth would become "trendy" as the so-called "Unicron Trilogy" progressed.

Armada Starscream's sculpt would later be repainted for another character, Thundercracker, whose primarily blue colour scheme would serve as Starscream's "powered up" form in the animated series. The mould would then later be retooled and repainted for the character Sky Warp; which would then be repainted as Ramjet in the Universe line.

"Seeker" was a fan made term of uncertain origins. It was used for the first time in canon in the Dreamwave War Within comics.

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Photos and Images
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Armada Starscream Alternate Mode
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Armada Starscream & Swindle
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Armada Starscream with Sword