Cliffbee.com: ROTF Soundwave Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Soundwave
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Satellite, Plane

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Soundwave for this review



SATELLITE MODE
Height: 18.5cm Depth: 4.5cm Width: 17cm

   A grey satellite with grey panels at the bottom and sides, navy blue "arms" on either side and shorter grey panels on the top above the arms, Soundwave has some transparent blue in the centre and a sort of face above this with a transparent blue eyestrip. There's silver paint on the blades at the bottom as well as on the pseudo-face. The colours don't have more than a passing semblance to his G1 namesake, but the silver and blue provide some link at least. There are no allegiance symbols here.

   There's a fair hint of "it's a satellite because we say so" here, since Soundwave isn't your traditional cylinder with solar panels neatly arranged on the sides. Having said that, this alt mode has it's panels and certainly looks more like a satellite than any other sort of vehicle. I should point out that this satellite can only lay flat on its back (although third party stands exist), so the "height" I mentioned above is effectively a length measurement.

   The play value here is minimal, which is to be expected, I suppose. The various panels and arms can all move around, but this is really for transformation. There's a tiny grey button under the chin which fires a single black missile up from behind his head. Otherwise Soundwave pretty much lies on the table - unless you have a 3rd party stand of course.

   A very straightforward, underwhelming satellite mode, but then there's not much that can be done with a non-Earthen satellite mode, and that's basically what the film gave us. While I'm not critical of the toy designer here, Soundwave's satellite mode is rather poor.

TRANSFORMATION TO PLABE MODE

   Pretty arbitrary, really. Swing the side panels up and out to the sides, swing forward the navy blue arms and you're done.

PLANE MODE
Height: 4.5cm Length: 18cm Width: 24.5cm

   While the satellite mode clearly looks like it's meant to be a satellite, this is your classic intermediate mode. There's really nothing about this toy that's dedicated to this mode, and it's really just the satellite with wings. The colours are essentially the same as the satellite mode, of course.

   There's no real play value here aside from the rear-shooting missile. Nothing really holds firm here, and while he can kind of get away with this in satellite mode, in plane mode it's worse and makes less sense.

   A pretty poor third mode really - it's not much of a plane, and while the satellite mode is a little indistinct, this one is only a plane because we're told that's the case. Easily his weakest mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Surprisingly involved considering how insipid his alt modes are. It's quite hard to describe since most of the satellite/plane mode aspects don't really have descriptions, so I'll summarise. The centre of the satellite splits to become his legs, the torso unfolds from underneath the false head (and the real head is also under there). The arms fold out from underneath panels at the top while all three large panels of the satellite mode end up on his back.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 13cm Width: 16.5cm

   A grey robot with black ankles, navy thighs and navy head, Soundwave has transparent blue on his chest and extensive red painted details, including on his chest, wrists and his eyestrip. The face is painted silver and there are no Decepticon symbols here (that I can find) - or anywhere else for that matter. This is a really bland colour scheme, since it's dominated by the very neutral grey. I can accept that the grey colour fits the satellite mode and (more or less) his portrayal in the movie, but the choice of so much "Hasbro grey" was a mistake.

   For all the folding in his transformation, Soundwave's robot mode isn't especially distinct - mainly because his features are all very generic. There are a few features here, mind you, such as the navy spines hanging off his arms and the three blue circles on his chest - but there's more grey panelling really - over his shoulders and visible hanging behind his back. He's quite wide and stocky, with long arms, wide shoulders and a short body.

   The missile launcher on his back yet again fires the missile up into the air, and I really have to question why they even bothered to include this feature. The poseability is good, and is probably the best aspect of a disappointing toy. His head & shoulders are ball jointed while the elbows are double hinged with rotators. The hips swing and lift out to the sides while his knees are hinged with rotators - the rotators pop off far too easily. The feet and heelspurs are hinged - curiously the two toes on either foot each have their own hinge, giving Soundwave three hinges per foot. There are no holes in his fists.

   While it's his best mode, this is a generic looking robot mode with more kibble than defining features and boring colours. His poseability is good, but it's an indictment on this toy that this is his best feature. The missile launcher is again pointless.

VARIATIONS

   There is a blue Gathering at Nemesis repaint, sold with The Fallen, ROTF Megatron, a limited black repaint sold in Japan and another blue repaint, sold as "Infiltration Soundwave" sold with Battlefield Bumblebee.

OVERALL

   A very uninspiring toy, and while the concept itself was never going to be easy to pull off, the choice of grey plastic, pointless missile launcher and weak forced third mould really dilute the concept of Soundwave as seen in Revenge of The Fallen. Really the only mode worth worrying about here is the robot mode - the satellite mode is passable for that seen in the film, but it just displays poorly. I'd recommend the Legends toy over this - 3/10

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