Transformers Robot Heroes Review: Starscream & Mirage

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The Transformers: the Movie was an elaborate marketing ploy with one goal in mind: make kids want new toys. There were two ways to go about this: either redesign all the characters so they no longer looked anything like their existing toys or kill them off and replace them with new ones. After Hasbro learned that Duke was going to be killed off at the end of G.I. Joe the Movie, they wanted the same thing to happen to Optimus Prime. But then there were conflicts with getting the movies released and Transformers came out first.

And kids were not happy to see Optimus Prime die.

But Optimus Prime wasn’t the only casualty. In fact, the writers planned on doing much more than just killing off the leader of the Autobots: they wanted to kill off as many of them as they could. One potential victim was Mirage.

Whenever the name Mirage comes up in Transformers it means two things: he’s a Formula 1 racecar and he’s blue. He shouldn’t be confused with Blurr who replaced him after his sudden disappearance. Mirage was best known for being that mopey blue ‘bot that just wanted to go home and didn’t like Earth. So he became sort of a pacifist and that’s generally a word that doesn’t make kids too excited.

But Mirage was different because he could turn invisible and change his appearance making him a fantastic spy for the Autobots. As for the figure, Mirage is pretty basic: a blue and white robot with a smirk.

Aside from the wheels on his ankles, there’s nothing about Mirage that would make you think he transforms into a car. While none of the Robot Heroes are capable of transforming, Mirage seems to be the most like a generic robot.

Mirage is an assortment of blues, white and silvers with little touches of red on his neck which is a steering wheel and his yellow eyes. All the paint is very well done and helps break up the figure. His shoulder mounted rocket is right on his right shoulder leaving both his hands free. The 26 on his chest is centered in homage to Jacques Laffite, a Formula 1 racer.

While Mirage disliked fighting, he was actually really skilled at it. To show this, Mirage seems to be in some sort of martial arts pose. His legs are spread with his right hand in a fist and his left palm out like he’s challenging someone. Throw in the smirk, and you’ve got a robot who looks like he’s ready to rumble. Mirage moves at the shoulders and neck.

While Mirage isn’t a bad figure, he’s not the reason anyone is after this set. That honor belongs to Starscream. Megatron’s right hand robot, Starscream is a notorious backstabber who met a cruel fate at his coronation at the barrel of Galvatron.

When Starscream wasn’t trying to steal power for himself, he was often seen ruling the skies as an A F-15E Strike Eagle and using guerilla tactics against the Autobots. As a kid I never understood how the Autobots could ever win, after all, they were all cars and trucks. While the Decepticons were tanks, jets and giant bugs!

Starscream is in his robot mode but to show off that he can fly, he’s given a base of exhaust which props him up like Angel and Magneto do. That extra base makes him almost an inch taller than Mirage. Starscream looks like he’s taking off from the ground with one leg drawn up.

Both of Starscream’s arms have shoulder mounted guns on them, but unlike Ultra Magnus, they look fine in multiple positions. Starscream can have both guns aiming ahead or down to the side without any issues. Those arms are the only points of articulation on this Decepticon and are limited by his wings.

The paint on Starscream is well done, he’s an assortment of reds, blues and light grays. He looks like his on screen counterpart, with his chest windshield painted bold instead of orange but that was probably to minimize paint applications. The cloud of exhaust he’s on looks a little odd since it’s a metallic sky blue, a flat dark gray would have looked better.

There is one odd thing about both of these figures: the plastic used to make them. They feel exceptionally soft and their arms easily pop on and off. That could have been part of the reason why these 2-packs were cheaper when originally at retail.

As a two pack, this is pretty solid. Starscream is one of the great Transformers, up there with Optimus Prime, Megatron and Soundwave. Mirage isn’t bad at all, but he’s one of the figures I have no attachment to as a character. But as a blue robot who knows kung fu, I’m perfectly happy to have him in my collection.

Transformers Robot Heroes Wave 1
Optimus Prime & RavageStarscream & Mirage
Grimlock & ShockwaveRodimus & Insecticon Shrapnel

Written by jestergoblin

May 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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