Somebody call Spider-Man, Iceman, and Ms. Lion!
How will the daring infiltration and rescue specialist wield the power of the Primes?
The figure today known as "Novastar" was originally known as "Firestar," but trademark issues have forced her to change her name. She was introduced alongside the other female Autobots as a member of the Cybertron resistance. Her one-episode appearance didn't leave a lot of room for a personality, so she was really just "girl #3." The IDW comics get to flesh her out quite a bit, making her into an uber-talented sorority mean girl who was great at artistic pursuits but was completely unequipped for dealing with the realities of war. And since she was such a snob, nobody wanted to be friends with her. [So you're saying you can identify? --ed.]
This figure is a repaint of Moonracer, so she has all that mold's strengths
(articulation, general body design) and weaknesses (so! much! kibble!), done up in new paint apps. She does get a unique head, based on her cartoon appearance - though toned way, way down, because all the femmebots had giant, ornate "hairdos." She still has points sticking out over her ears and an orange horn on her forehead, but if it had all been as big as the cartoon's, she'd never be able to tuck it away when she transforms.
She gets a new weapon, too: while Moonracer's rifle was a long, thin weapon, Novastar's gun is shorter and thicker. It's gray and has a huge barrel - large enough, in fact, that the back end of Moonracer's gun can plug into it, forming a larger weapon that looks equally at home in her hands or being held by a Combiner.
If you recall our Moonracer review, you'll know that my figure was minorly misassembled, with her right ankle not quite working as it should. Well, Novastar may be the same mold, but she doesn't have that same problem. Everything on her works just as it should, so changing her into her altmode is no problem at all.
In the cartoon, she changed into a flatbed truck - or at least the Cybertronian equivalent. Here she's more of a car, with no
hauling capacity, but at least the proportions are correct: long and narrow. While this is the same mold as Moonracer, it's not just a palette swap - Hasbro changed the paint masks, turning parts that were solid on Moonie clear on 'star (and vice versa), effectively repositioning the windshield and roof. It's a subtle change, but it makes this toy feel like more than a repaint. The red-and-orange colorscheme does give the impression of a firetruck, but they're just aiming to match the old animation.
I broke my rule when it came to Novastar not because the toy was so stunningly great or because I
have some huge afinity for the character, but more for the prospect of building an all-female Elita-Infin1te. Nova can form either an arm or a leg, and since she's the physical equal of Moonracer, the two of them will make a nice pair. We recommend the arms: for some reason, the port where the foot would plug into Moonracer's leg mode is entirely too loose. And then we'll just need two more bots to lift Elita up off the ground.
If I hadn't found Novastar in an actual store, I wouldn't have bought her: she's appealing, but she wasn't "buy it online" appealing.