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I got Siege Starscream a while ago. While I appreciated the extent of some of the robot mode poseability, there was a lot that I didn’t enjoy about the toy. So much so that I even decided to try to sell it eventually and abandon any thought about getting together the classic seeker trio with this mold. See, my idea was that I would just get Redwing and have that as my sole representative for this mold. Problem is, I did finally get Redwing, and it somehow made me actually start liking this dumb toy.Which is in itself pretty odd since I found Redwing to have some unfortunate parts fit issues that were either a bad QC pull, or a sign of the newly used plastic colors not behaving precisely correctly. It’s something that for me showed up in the arm cannons, which mostly fit pretty loosely in their sockets – though it was possible to find spots along the way that were a bit more snug. Meanwhile the ankles feel kind of gummy trying to use their tilts, and the sockets in the feet that should fit effect parts with 5mm connectors have a pretty loose hold. There’s also some looseness in general with several of the joints. Starscream, for any of its faults I perceived going in, did at least have some generally solid feeling joint strength.
But Redwing did have some things going for it. The chest plate that became a joke on Starscream for falling off at the least provocation was a non-issue. And no, it never got retooled to have a pin, but the parts fit together 100% better in this use of the mold. The complex hinges-and-swivels arrangement in Starscream’s forearms to hide the fists in vehicle mode also had so loose a fit that trying to use the wrist swivel pulled the whole works open. Redwing has no such problem. Starscream also, the first several times in transforming back from vehicle mode, was incredibly difficult to separate the nose-halves because the square peg and socket system had an extra layer of paint over it, causing the fitting to be much tighter than intended. Redwing presented an incomparably smoother experience on the first try. This eventually eased up a bit on Starscream, but the difficulty before that had really put me off the toy.
Redwing is not a perfect instance of this mold at all, but it ended up bringing a better take on multiple issues I had the first time out, and made the experience a lot more enjoyable. And handling Starscream again afterward I started to see some of those better qualities there too. Redwing actually led me to kinda like this dumb thing. Now let’s be clear, I still have problems with it. The vehicle mode is still disappointing with the legs and arms just hanging out underneath not even trying to tuck in or hide. And if the idea that the vehicle and robot parts are almost wholly independent of each other is something that bothers you, nothing’s going to solve that. But Redwing is at least showing me that there’s hope for this mold to actually make something good out of what it does have to work with.
And I dig this deco. Redwing was born out of a Botcon comic several years ago, so the broad strokes of the colors and layout were kind of predetermined, but it’s still interesting to see how they play out put to an actual toy. Redwing’s particular shade of red is a challenging one, too. I’ve tried to capture it as closely as possible in my photos, and I feel confident that I got to better than 95% accurate – more than you’ll likely see in a majority of photo or especially video coverage of this toy. The red seems to have just a hint of orange to it, and the shade seems fairly unique within Transformers. Though if you got rid of the white, this might not seem far off from Johnny Ridden’s Custom Siege Seeker.
The bad side of the deco, though? While the color layout is not just a 1:1 palette-swap with Starscream, the battle damage deco is exactly the same masks or tampographs. This isn’t Redwing’s problem specficially; 7 out 7 Siege Seekers so far including Redwing are known to all share the precise same damage effects. I’m seldom one to call out “laziness” but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think not having at least one alternate damage pattern for this mold was not at least an unacceptable degree of budget-crunching, especially for as many uses as it seems this mold is due to get in a remarkably short time.
Redwing does not share Starscream’s face, exactly. There’s three variants for the Siege Seeker face that we know of so far: Starscream’s neutral-ish face, Thundercracker’s exaggerated smirk, and Skywarp’s half-frown. Redwing uses the Thundercracker variant, so I suppose if you wanted to be especially pedantic about it, you might choose to specifically identify Redwing and Thundercracker as being a redeco pair. But that’s getting awfully hair-splitty.
Wrapping up, I like Redwing. I like Redwing more than I expected to going in, and more now than I did initially after getting and opening it for the first time. The real problem with the toy right now is actually acquiring one. Target’s website briefly had them offered up in the US, but that got pulled pretty quick and we haven’t heard more about it since. Plus there’s signs that if it does come back at Target, one might need to have the store’s REDcard to even be able to order it at all. That wasn’t a condition at the time I placed an order, thankfully. Hopefully more retail channels for this will open up. if you don’t want to do a whole set of Seekers, this is a pretty solid one-off option for just having a representative copy of the mold. And it brings a new character Decepticon to your collection on top of it! Gotta grab on those chances as much as we can, honestly.