Transformers Animated: Soundwave by Hasbro

Slowly I’m chipping away at the pile of TF Animated figures that I’ve picked up over the last few weeks. I’ve commited myself to opening all of these by the end of the week, so I should be caught up soon. Today we’re looking at Soundwave. He’s one of my favorite characters in the G1 continuity and as for Animated… well, he makes an appearance, doesn’t he? Let’s see what we got going on here.

Standard Animated packaging. Soundwave comes packaged in his auto mode. Yes AUTO mode. We haven’t seen a proper Soundwave toy in ages and all of the sudden he gets the auto mode treatment no less than three times (I’m counting War For Cybertron and the Stealth Forces line). He comes with his huge surfboard-sized guitar mounted on his rooftop, because there’s absolutely nothing conspicuous about that, is there? The back of the card has the usual bio blurb. I actually did get to see the episode of TFA that introduced Soundwave. Too bad they turned him into something of a joke. But I try to take the series with a grain of salt.

I do like Soundwave’s SUV mode, mainly because it’s just loaded with homages to his G1 tape deck mode. There’s a power button pattern on his roof and the sides are made to resemble cassettes. He has black painted windows and a gold Decepticon logo on the hood. The gold buttons on his grill are clearly an homage to G1 Soundwave’s cassette mode and the light aqua colored detailing makes him look a bit like a Tron vehicle. The roof has a place to peg the guitar in, although it really does look pretty silly and out of place there. At least we have somewhere to store it, though. Soundwave makes for a solid vehilcle, holds together really well and rolls along great.

Despite his SUV alt mode, Soundwave has a lot of his G1 tape deck features in his robot mode. This stuff is mostly on his chest, complete with an opening tape door and the buttons under it. His head sculpt is also most definitely reminiscent of the Soundwave we all know and love. Unfortunately, Soundwave is pretty tiny and despite his familiar design, it’s hard to take him very seriously with these proportions.

For a little guy, Soundwave has decent articulation. His head turns. His arms rotate and have lateral movement in the shoulders. His elbows are hinged and have ball joints leading into the forearms. His legs have ball joints in the hips and hinges and swivels in the knees.

Soundwave’s huge guitar transforms into Laserbeak. It isn’t much of a transformation, as the back half of him is still just the guitar’s neck. It’s a cool idea, but it could have used just a bit more tweaking in the design to make it really worthwhile. Soundwave has indentations in his arms to allow Laserbeak to peg into.

By all reason I should hate this figure, but I find myself kind of digging him. The homage is decent enough in robot form and it’s nice to see Soundwave with a modern, useful alt mode. It’s a totally silly figure, not at all to be taken seriously. If you can embrace that fact, then you might learn to love him as much as I did.

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