What with the SDCC going full guns as we speak, I thought it would be cool to take at my favorite SDCC Exclusive from last year’s Con: Hasbro’s 25th Anniversary Soundwave. I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that Soundwave was one of my all time favorite G1 characters. He was cold, calculating, had a cool voice, and he was the only Transformer that carried his own menagerie of pets around wherever he went. Sadly, Soundwave hasn’t gotten all that much love in the post G1 years. He got turned into a missile truck for G2, a jet in Energon, and the closest he’s come to appearing in his G1 likeness was as a goofy little guitar playing robot in Transformers: Animated. Yep, poor Soundwave.
The packaging on this set is absolutely stellar. The deco is definitely G1 inspired, and the silver Anniversary tab makes the package really stand out. The back shows great photos of the toys as well as a complete biography. The figures are all packaged in their robot forms, which makes for a striking presentation, with Soundwave centered and his cassette minions: Buzzsaw, Laserbeak, Rat Bat and Ravage flanking him on all sides. What’s more, the packaging is completely collector friendly, which is awesome because in the past year, I’ve had this set in and out of the box more times than I can count.
Soundwave is exactly as I remember him, albeit just a tad looser than I would have expected a new toy to be. His stickers come already applied, which is fine because they were applied pretty well. He’s simple enough to transform and while his alt mode may be hopelessly outdated, his robot mode always did a fine job resembling his animated counterpart, which was more than a lot of the original Transformers could say. Soundwave comes with a gun that has three chromed rockets and a shoulder cannon, both of which convert into “batteries” for his cassette player mode. And of course, any of the cassettes can be stored in his spring loaded chest compartment.
Buzzsaw and Laser Beak are of course repaints of the same figure. Buzzsaw was the tape that came with the original issue Soundwave, although Laser Beak was the one that got most of the screen time in the cartoon. I’ve always been impressed with their robot bird modes, as they look great and even offer a fair amount of articulation. Each figure comes with the two chromed thruster-gun assemblies that mount on their backs.
Ravage is still a cool little figure, but unlike the birds, he’s just as two-dimensional in his jaguar mode as he is in his cassette mode. His two chromed side pieces do help to add a little depth, but as a figure, he’s always come up a little short, especially when compared to the newer version that came with Classics Hound.
Rat Bat is a really nice treat in the set, since this is the first time he’s been available in the US market. Needless to say, this is the only tape in the set that I never owned as a kid. He has a really solid robot mode, with gold plated attachments that make him stand out from his fellow cassettes.
Each of the cassettes also come with a little plastic storage case too!
This Soundwave set was a real bitch to get for those of us not attending the Con. Hasbro put it up on their site at $49.99 and it sold out almost immediately. Since they have a habit of letting their exclusives out a little at a time, I just happened to check the next day and hit the very small window when more were put up for sale and I was able to get one. Considering all the set includes, I thougth fifty bucks was a steal. In fact, the only thing I would have done differently was include Rumble instead of Buzzsaw. Apart from that, this set was a great pick up for my collection, especially since Soundwave is pretty much in scale with Classics Megatron and the Decepticons.