Transformers Generations: War For Cybertron Soundwave by Hasbro

If you aren’t a Transformers fan and you still managed to muscle through the last week here, I’m afraid I don’t have any good news for you. While I’m going to specify another theme for this week, it’s still going to be mostly about Transformers. I’ve still got a few on my shelf that I need to get to and through the course of this week I’m going to have a whole bunch more rolling in. I’ll try to break things up midweek with something different, but I won’t make any promises. -FF

So, I got sick and tired of waiting for Soundwave to show up on the pegs so I broke down and ordered him online. I seriously had a nightmare that I missed him at retail and the only way he could be had was on Ebay for $50. No joke. These are the things I have angst about. I actually got him quite a few days ago, but every time I sit down to start writing up a post on him I wind up staring slackjawed in wonder at what an amazingly gorgeous figure he is. And just when I think I can’t love him any more, I stand him up next to Universe 2.0 Ravage or some of the Seekers or Galvatron and Cyclonus, and I just fall in love all over again. If you don’t feel like reading a lot of sappy gushing over a little piece of plastic, you can quit now, because that’s all you’re going to get here today.

Awww yeah, War For Cybetron Soundwave even makes the mediocre Generations card look awesome. Amazingly, this is one of the few times I’ve ordered a carded Transformer from Walmart’s website and it didn’t arrive with the card all beat to hell. He comes packaged in robot mode, so you can see him in all his Soundwave glory. If ever I was going to buy an extra Transformer to keep carded, this would be that figure. The reverse panel shows off photos of the toy in both forms and has a little blurb about the character, but he’s Soundwave, what more do you need to know about him?

Even though he comes in robot form, I’m going to start with Soundwave’s vehicle mode. Yep, if you haven’t played War For Cybertron yet, you may be surprised to see that Soundwave now transforms into a vehicle even though his robot form is pretty close to the original G1 version. I don’t know what you would compare his vehicle form to on Earth, because it sort of looks like an angular blob on wheels. I guess it’s like a little van, but with huge ramming teeth on the front and weapons mounted on the sides. The “tape door” has been reworked into his front windscreen, which can be opened and used to store his two weapons. And yep, they still look like a pair of batteries. The alt mode works beautifully. It’s more fun than a tape deck and it sure beats that stupid Cybertron “tower” mode shown in the More than Meets the Eye miniseries.

Moving on to Soundwave’s robot mode. Ahhh. Let me take a minute. Mmmm. Oh yeah. That’s good robot. He’s so damn amazing. The headsculpt is pure G1 Soundwave. It looks great, although I’m puzzled as to why Hasbro dropped a lightpiping plug into his head when his visor is painted. That’s ok, though. His angular shoulders are dead sexy and his chest opens up just like old Soundwave. His blue and grey deco is exactly what you would expect, although I love the only added gold is around his tape door as if to really rub our faces into the fanwank “tape door.” Simply awesome. As with the original G1 toy, you can plug one of his guns into his shoulder and the other can be held in either hand.

Soundwave is a solid figure with excellent articulation. His head is ball jointed. His arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists and hinged elbows. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees and ball jointed again at the ankles. He stands great and he’s tons of fun to play around with and pose.

Ok, I do have one criticism to lay on Soundwave’s door. Hasbro should have found some way to incorporate Universe 2.0 Ravage into his design. I guess he’s too small for that, but that’s ok, Ravage still looks great standing next to him. I suppose I could have asked that he be a bigger figure, but then I love having all of my Classic themed Transformers figures in one size, and Deluxe just works fine. Soundwave here just reminds me that it’s such a sweet time to be a Transformers fan and collector. And with awesome forthcoming figures like Kup, Wreck Gar and Scourge and Laser Rod Optimus, we’ve got some great months ahead of us, that is until the new movie line comes along and… well… you know.

Transformers: 25th Anniversary Soundwave (SDCC 2009) by Hasbro

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.