Japanese Transformers Prime Starscream with Arms Micron Gul
Box: The boxes for the Voyager toys are the same shape as the US versions. All the text and pictures are changed. Previous Voyagers had more paint apps than deluxe toys, but Starscream doesn’t seem to. Still it’s a Voyager, so it gets the US style box.
Arms Micron Gul
Kit: The kits are fairly easy to assemble, and so far the stickers seem to be staying on well. The plastic is higher quality than the Kabaya kits. They have no paint apps and are perfect for customizers to paint up for a more elaborate look. Each Arms Micron includes something like a spark crystal, but I’m not sure if that is the intent of it. A sticker goes on before the outer translucent plastic to form it. They look nice, but I had some problems getting the crystal to stay in on some of them. Might need a little glue.
Weapon Mode: Gul has a really great weapon mode. It is among the better Arms Micron weapon modes. It would have been nice if the barrel stuck out a little farther between the blades, but that’s a minor thing.
Robot Mode: This is one of my favorite Arms Microns. Gul is a bird done in blue with silver and red stickers. This guy would make a great Laserbeak or Buzzsaw. They should do a special edition Soundwave in G1 colors with two of this mold repainted as Laserbeak and Buzzsaw.
Starscream (Based on Transformers Prime Voyager Starscream)
Vehicle Mode: Unlike all other Japanese Prime toys, Starscream seems to have no mold changes from the US version, likely due to his already having conveniently located ports for Arms Microns (or TakaraTomy is getting cheap). They have changed the color on the plastic that the cockpit sits on to match the wings. I kind of like that color change, but what it adds is taken away by the lack of stickers. He has far fewer stickers than the USA version has paint apps. Several aren’t quite shaped properly, and they didn’t bother to make the Decepticon symbol on his shoulder standout, as you can hardly see it in black against the dark background just like on the USA version. The weapon does look a little better on the vehicle than the awful one that comes with the USA version. It can also be mounted under his wing, but it looks silly to me to have it under just one wing, so I put it on the roof.
Robot Mode: As in vehicle mode, his robot mode suffers from a lack of sticker details, but is otherwise not much different from the USA version. My main problem with this toy still remains. His lower torso does not lock in position, so the upper half of his body can fall forward if the joint gets the slightest bit loose.
Interesting Note: When I was taking the pictures, I noticed that my USA Starscream has white stress marks/cracks on the plastic around the port in his roof. In the picture above you can see them. He also has the same marks on the port for his gun on his forearm, though you can’t see them in the picture. Both of these parts are made of translucent purple plastic. I haven’t noticed this on other toys. Not sure if it is a design problem with the size of the hole or the peg on the weapon or a problem with the plastic being defective. This is something to keep an eye out for on this and other toys. I’ve only transformed it a handful of times, so it certainly hasn’t been from overuse or abuse.
Overall: The toy itself isn’t much different, but the Japanese version does lack some detail. The gun is the big difference. The USA gun is a horrible looking piece of crap. The Japanese one is awesome, so unless you’re really picky about the details, I’d get the Japanese version.
Thanks for reading!