Cliffbee.com: Soundwave Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Soundwave
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Communications
Alternate Mode: Microcassette Recorder



CASSETTE DECK MODE
Height: 8cm Depth: 4cm Width: 10.5cm

   A small blue and silver microcassette deck, Soundwave has a rather dated alternate mode now. He's an old style recorder that you wont find nowadays. He's mainly blue, although the front is largely silver. At the centre of the front is a smoky transparent cassette door - which opens and can hold a microcassette Transformer. He has a button console below the door with four chromed silver buttons (none functional), and a button above the top left corner of the door which opens the door when pressed down. The right corner has a tape counter sticker and a small protrusion simulating the reset button.

   The area immediately surrounding the door is blue, although most of the face is a silver plastic. The speakers are moulded into the top corners of the face, in silver, and are labelled "R" and "L". There's blue stickers on the sides towards the bottom, the left one says "STEREO MICRO CASSETTE RECORDER", the right side saying "REC/BAT" with a simulated red power LED.

   There's more controls on the sides of Soundwave's recorder mode - there's a dial on the left, presumably volume, and a slide switch on the right, most likely power. Neither actually do anything of course, but they both move, which is enough to keep me happy.

   The back of the recorder is almost entirely blue. It's largely robot mode kibble with one notable exception. The central piece is a battery cover - slide it off to reveal the "batteries" - the robot mode shoulder cannon and missile launcher. This is a really cool feature, since the missile launcher actually compacts to form a battery.

   Overall, this is a good alternate mode. It's certainly distinct amongst Transformers, and despite being a dated device, it's a well done mode. Being able to carry a cassette and having a battery compartment are two features that really make this a good mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold the sides down and rotate forward to form the legs. Fold down the feet. Swing the arms out to the sides from behind, lift up the head and rotate forward. Slide out the fists. Lastly, remove the shoulder cannon from the battery compartment and mount it on his right shoulder, extend the missile launcher, load a missile and place in his hand.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 18cm Width: 11cm

   A boxy blue robot, Soundwave has silver forearms, thighs and a silver groin. The central blue section from the recorder mode is now his chest - and the door makes up most of the chest. The button console forms his groin. The door button is on his left shoulder, his cannon on the right. Again in this mode the door can open and a cassette can fit inside.

   He has a blue head with silver mouthplate and yellow eyes. It's worth pointing out that Soundwave was portrayed as purple in the comic. Having said that, the comic Soundwave was otherwise pretty much toy accurate.

   Soundwave has good poseability for his time, the shoulders rotate 360į, the elbows bend and the head turns. The hips can swivel, allowing his feet to point outwards. Most of these joints are really there for the transformation, but essential or not, the end result is still a really poseable Transformer for 1984. The knees only bend forwards, so the legs aren't all that poseable, but overall itís still good. The missile launcher fires only a token distance, but it also looks pretty good as a gun, so I can forgive the weak launcher. This was pretty standard for 1984 anyway - the missiles were really for show.

   The feet are die-cast metal, as are the pegs connecting the shoulders and the hips (although this is less obvious). Combine this with the fact they bothered to design a battery compartment for his weapons and it's obvious they paid attention when designing Soundwave.

   A good robot, very show accurate, although the comic colours were a little off. Soundwave almost personifies G1, so this mode has a real familiarity about it, even when you first get him.

VARIATIONS

   Sold originally with Buzzsaw in most markets but sold in Japan with Frenzy. The mould was modified and used for Soundblaster in Japan in the late 1980s. The door hinge modifications made then have been retained on the 2003 TCS Soundwave (which comes with Laserbeak.

OVERALL

   A good, if dated, alternate mode, and a good robot mode. The colours work well, there's thought put into this design. And of course, it's Soundwave - a core G1 character, so I recommend getting this toy if youíre a G1 fan. The fact that there's 10 different Decepticon cassettes that can fit inside his chest is also cool. The only real negative I can find is that the legs aren't poseable. But overall, Soundwave is a good toy - 9/10

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