Bot Shots Starscream Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Bot Shots, Decepticon, Generation One

Bot Shots

General Information:
Release Date: January 2012
fPrice Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None


Bot Shots are a new expression of the Transformers brand that focuses on interactive game play between figures. Previous attempts at this such as "Attacktix" had relied on missile firing mechanisms and point systems as the primary elements of the gaming system. Bot Shots are much more action oriented and factor the transformation of the toy into the play pattern (which Attacktix did not).

In general, all Bot Shots figures have a vehicle mode and robot mode. The transformation is triggered by "bashing" the front of the vehicle into another Bash Bot (or a wall, book...any solid surface really) causing a spring loaded feature to activate and transform the figure. This generally means revealing the robot head, arms angled out to the sides and feet along with robot mode details.

The key to the game system is a three sided hinged mechanism built into the chest. On each side is a sticker with one of three icons: a fist, a sword and a blaster - each representing a different type of combat. Presumably without your opponent seeing your selection, you turn the panel on the chest and then crash the two Bot Shots together and when the robot mode is revealed each player will know what "weapon" the other chose. The way the game works:

  • Blaster beats fist
  • Fist beats sword
  • Sword beats blaster

In the case of two Bot Shots getting the same icon each icon has a number on it indicating that character's level of that skill. Whoever has the higher number wins. It's a simple and fun system clearly developed for kids who enjoy a game element to their action figures (such as lines like Bakugan).

Robot Mode:
The first wave of Bot Shots uses some iconic Transformers characters, so Starscream seems a natural choice. However, this is not the F-22 Raptor Starscream of the movies, instead this Starscream is very much based on the Generation One version of the character. Most of the primary details are there including:

  • The head design is right out of G1 with a crest in the center flanked by raised areas on the top of his head. The sides of his head have vents on them and his face even has a snarky looking grin on it.
  • The chest area has two rectangular sections on either side, resembling the parts of Starscream's chest that stuck out a bit.
  • The knee armor on the legs hasa slightly angled appearance, similar to the G1 version of the character.

What is a bit new in terms of "Starscream detail" are the designs on the sides of the legs which include angled and curved armor pieces with some tubes to boot. The arms are sculpted to stay in placee out to the sides at a low angle. If we were to ascribe some "Movie" detail I would say his feet look more like two long toes or claws pressed together than the more traditional rectangular feet seen on Seeker Transformers. I think overall the head sculpt is my favorite part of the figure design-wise, especially with the grin on his face. It's definitely Starscream!

Those expecting a "serious" looking figure are out of luck however. Like their spiritual cousins, the Bot Shots look a lot like "Super Deformed" versions of their characters. In the case of Starscream, his head is super large compared to the rest of his body and his shortened legs give him a rather squat appearance.

Starscream is cast in grey and light grey plastic. The light gray is used for most of his body but the regular grey comes into play on the wheels and small joint pieces around the springs. Paint applications are done in gunmetal and red. The helmet section of his head and feet are gunmetal while his eyes and parts of his chest are painted red. While not choc full of paint, it's easy to identify this guy as Starscream even if he is a "cutesy" Super Deformed version of the character. I think it's quite amusing and I'm particularly glad the Generation One version of Starscream was the inspiration for the figure.

There is no articulation to really discuss and Bot Shots don't come with any accessories. The main fun in this figure is in the "bashing" play pattern and seeing how many of your friends you can defeat! For those curious, Starscream's scores break down as follows:

  • Blaster: 710
  • Fist: 640
  • Sword: 240

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  • Swing the cockpit forward and the arms will collapse into the sides.
  • Push the feet up and lock all the parts into place.

    Vehicle Mode:
    Most of the initial Bot Shots line is made up of land vehicles, making Starscream's aerial vehicle mode unique in this crowd. However, he still has the ability to roll on four wheels to accomodate the Bot Shots play pattern. Whereas Starscream's robot mode is heavily influenced by his G1 incarnation, the vehicle mode is more of a blend of his movie F-22 Raptor vehicle mode and the G1 F-15. The wings are designed with flat ends on the sides and he has some of the distinctive zig zag design marks on his armor resembling details on the F-22. However, his rear vertical stabilizers are sticking straight up like an F-14 and not set at an extreme angle and his cockpit resembles the G1 version of the character. It's an interesting blend that works well since both jets follow a similar type of overall body design (though there are significant differences in real life between the two). Keep in mind that this isn't a "realistic' representation of a jet. This mode is every bit as "super deformed" as the robot mode, with the cockpit section rather fat and squat connected to a chunky body in the middle with relatively tiny wings.

    This mode primarily features light grey plastic with the darker grey reserved for the four wheels. His cockpit is painted blue and the edges of his wings are red, both of which are colors he had in G1 (though the blue color was used in his robot mode in G1, not his vehicle mode). I found myself a bit disappointed that there weren't Decepticon symbols on his wings or anywhere on the figure since it would have added a bit more character to the vehicle mode.

    Starscream rolls just fine on his wheels and his spring loaded transformation held up after dozens of crash tests.

    Final Thoughts:
    Make no mistake, Bot Shots are not to be judged against really any other Transformers figures. I would not recommend these instead of say, a figure from the Generations sub-line, however for what they are meant to be Starscream is a cool little figure that pays nice homage to the character's most well known incarnations. If you'd like a gaming experience that's a little different involving transforming figures, this is a cool figure to have in your set.