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1984-1986 Hasbro: Generation One Starscream

In 1984, Hasbro USA licensed the Diaclone line from Takara and renamed the series "Transformers", giving the characters distinct personalities and introducing many of the concepts that remain canon today. Starscream was one of the characters who made the change, receiving blue vertical tail fins and losing his pilot in the process.

By today's standards, the Starscream toy had very little articulation; it was largely limited to his arms at the shoulder. Most of the other parts were involved in transforming the character into his famous alternate form, an F-15 Eagle. At the time, a toy that could transform from robot to jet and back was novel in and of itself, so there really wasn't much need invest in the superb articulation of later figures. The mould itself would be reused for other figures: it was repainted to create the characters Thundercracker and Skywarp and later remoulded as Thrust, Dirge, and Ramjet.

It was during this era that Starscream received the personality that he is most famous for: a scheming, intelligent, arrogant, free-thinking character who plotted to usurp Megatron and lead the Decepticons to victory over the Autobots. Below is the entry from his Marvel Universe bio:

Motto: "Conquest is made of the ashes of one's enemies"

Profile:Starscream makes no secret of his ambition to overthrow Megatron as Decepticon Leader. He is ruthless, cold-blooded and cruel. In that sense the two rivals are very much alike. But he has a vain side that clearly distinguishes him. He considers himself the most sophisticated and handsome of the Decepticons. He exudes a high-class, urbane air that provides a certain irony to his murderous tendencies. He looks down at Megatron for being antiquated in his military strategy. Starscream believes the Decepticons should rely more on guile and speed rather than brute, destructive force to defeat the Autobots. Megatron overlooks the potential threat Starscream represents for one very good reason: Starscream is very good at his job.

Abilities: Starscream is one of the fastest flyers of the Decepticons, reaching speeds up to Mach 2.8. He can climb to sub-orbital altitudes of 52 miles and nose-dive down to near ground level in mere minutes. This makes him particularly effective in surprise attacks and hit-and-run actions. He can shoot cluster bombs a distance of 40 miles, each of which can level an area 10,000 feet square. His null-ray rifle can interrupt the flow of electricity in any circuitry it hits for periods of up to two minutes, effectively preventing the operation of many machines dependent on those circuits during that period.

Weakness:Starscream overrates himself sometimes, and finds himself in situations that are more than he can handle. His nose-dives often overload his gyro-circuitry leaving him disoriented briefly. But, overall, he is a very tough nut to crack.

Starscream would star in the Transformers cartoon series, which ran from 1984 to 1986. In the series, he was depicted as the rather obnoxious, yet somehow loveable, second in command of the Decepticons. He remained rather true to his profile, always scheming in some way to overthrow Megatron and take command of the Decepticons. He featured prominently in several first and second season episodes, only to die spectacularly in Transformers: the Movie thanks to a reformatted Megatron, now calling himself Galvatron. Yet even death could not curb the ambitions and hatred of this popular character. He would appear later in the third season episodes "Ghost in the Machine" and "Starscream's Ghost" as a spectre, seeking to reclaim the life and command Galvatron took from him.

"Generation One" is not an official Hasbro term for the original series; rather, it is moniker created by fans after the release of the Generation Two line.

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Original Starscream
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Original Starscream