Review by Dkun
I think few robots are more iconic than Soundwave. Between his imposing blue and silver form and incredibly memorable voice from the animated series, I dare say most people remember Soundwave more than they do Optimus Prime. Sure they may not remember his name and just call him “That guy that shot out the tapes”, but they know who he is.
Ever since the Masterpiece Transformers line started way back when in the 2000s, fans have been clamoring for Soundwave and after many years or waiting he's finally out. Originally a Takara-Tomy release earlier in 2013, Soundwave was released state-side later as a Toysrus exclusive which proved to be the perfect opportunity for me to pick up my first Masterpiece Transformer.
In a word? Holy crap he's awesome.
Soundwave follows the suit of Masterpiece Grimlock in that he is almost near identical in transformation pattern to the original toy, just with some added articulation, detail, and awesome. He just looks fantastic. The colors are all perfect and match this character's essence without any misstep.
His stance is incredibly solid. Ankle tilts and a slight leg splay help give him more personality and seem less like your average blocky toy.
The main difference between this and the Takara-Tomy version of Soundwave is that he has yellow eyes instead of the red. Although I initially preferred the red eyes, the silver paint behind the yellow eyes really bring him to life and have grown on me.
Soundwave has all the articulation you would ever need. He has a waist swivel, fully jointed hips, knees, ankle tilts, double jointed elbows, and essentially two should joints as well. Considering all that Soundwave really needs to do is stand there and look cool, this is more than enough articulation to please most fans.
Most worth noting is that his hand articulation allows him to point his index finger individually. This lets him point commandingly or more importantly, reach and touch his own cassette eject button.
His gun can be stored on his back where you can also store his turret as well. The turret is on a double arm assembly that can go whichever way you want. Although it usually tends to just sit flush on his shoulders for me.
Transforming Soundwave is a joy and a pleasure. It's simple and fun with no real twists or difficult parts. Everything clicks into place nicely with the end result being a perfectly blocky little cassette player.
There's not too much to say about Soundwave's cassette mode. It's a cassette and it looks really good. The details on the side are excellent and feature a working power switch and volume knob.
The back is a little lack luster, but honestly the front looks so good I don't even care.
Plus you can totally have Soundwave peak out and see what's going on .
Soundwave alone would have been a fantastic toy, but we also got the bonus of him including all five of his cassette molds as well. Each one comes in a tiny jewel case which are clear, unlike the Japanese purple ones.
First up is Ravage. Ravage is probably one of the more ambitious designs of the cassettes, as he tries to change into an actual three-dimensional form instead of just pulling off some cassette-origami like the other figures do. You end up with a very articulated little Ravage. You can have him either be just straight or have a bit of a hunch in his form.
All of his legs are articulated with the front ones being on ball joints. This makes him perhaps one of the most expressive cassettes with loads of personality and presence despite his size.
Laserbeak has ended up the fan favorite of the cassettes by many, and with good reason. The transformation is simple and elegant, and you end up with a very good looking robotic bird who can flap his wings, move his legs, and even tilt his head in various ways. And on top of that he has his tiny little camera from the movie as well.
Buzzsaw is just a recolor of Laserbeak, but I dare say I like his colors even more. The yellow is the perfect shade of industrial yellow that brings the figure to life Compared to Laserbeak's good but simple red paint, Buzzsaw's colors just really seem to shine.
The last cassette mold is the Frenzy and Rumble mold. The blue one here is probably my favorite as he has the best shade of purple to him that just really pops for me. The transformation is simple but fun and you end up with a tiny little posable robot man. Everything moves that needs to on this little guy: shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, neck, and ankles. Although his articulation may feel a little funny at first, it does everything it needs to and is effective as an articulated version of the original.
Now unlike the other cassettes, this mold comes with some extra accessories in the form of these two stacks of stuff. You can do a couple of things with this such as use it as a backpack, which is silly but a nice touch.
More importantly, you can pop the two stacks off and open them to reveal their guns. These can peg into their backs or can be used as handheld guns like the original toy. The stacks can also be clipped onto the arms to mimic their pile drivers. Just fold up the hand and make sure the screw side of the pile drivers are facing the back, and click them into place.
The pistons can actually telescope and it looks awesome.
The red one's color scheme serves as an excellent complement to the blue one. The softer and toned down shades of the blue one are accented well by how vibrant and poppy the red one's red and black are. It really helps solidify the two as a pair and makes them incredibly characterful toys.
Of course Soundwave can interact with his little minions in several ways. First off you can store up to three cassettes into Soundwave. You can also eject them by pushing a button on his back. Now the cassettes do have a tendency to get jammed though, so take care when putting them in. It tends to be an issue with clearance on the top of the cavity, so make sure the flatter ends of the cassettes are on the top when putting them in.
You can also use a few of the other accessories in different ways. Soundwave's vacuum piece can be used to peg into the side of the cassette mode, which can then be used as a sort of adapter for Frenzy and Rumble's backpacks. It makes a sort of external battery thing which looks incredibly silly. But hey, you can do that.
They can also be clipped onto his forearms in robot mode to give him his own pile drivers of sorts.
The vacuum looking piece can also be pegged onto Soundwave's arm while his hand is folded up.
The vacuum piece can also be stored on Soundwave's butt in either mode.
You can also open up a small set of panels in Soundwave's feet. What's the purpose of this compartment? You can post Frenzy and Rumble's guns in there if you want, although it's a real tight fit.
Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are able to clip onto a few points on Soundwave as well. The ridges on his forearm and shoulders peg in with their feet to make them perch on top of their favorite buddy.
Soundwave also comes with an extra panel that clips onto his chest. This was more for the Japanese release, which included some extra cutouts that let you put schematics and information in Soundwave's chest. None are included with the set but scans are available online if you look around.
An energon cube is also included so that you can have Soundwave shoot energon out of his chest like he did in the show. This also has a cutout originally, but I think it looks alright in clear too.
And like all Transformers Masterpiece releases, Soundwave has a Megatron gun. Not much to say other than it looks good, and he can hold it too.
That's Soundwave in a nutshell. He is a fantastic toy of an iconic character that fans have been waiting for for years, and he does not disappoint in the slightest. He's imposing, beautiful to look at, and is loaded with more accessories than he could ever hold at once. Considering all that he comes with and the fact that he includes all of his minions as well, makes this an incredibly desirable set and worth hunting down. This truly is the superior Soundwave toy to all, and a gem in any Transformers collection.
|Posted 19 September, 2013 - 17:41 by Dkun|