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Old 2012-08-29, 04:25 PM   #1
Blackjack
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Default TF: Prime Soundwave [uploaded]

Name: Soundwave
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Transformers Prime -Robots in Disguise Deluxe Class
Accessories: Laserbeak

Soundwave's design has always been problematic to translate into modern media. While Starscreams and Optimuses can simply take whatever new jet or truck that look similar to their G1 persona, Soundwave's alternate mode has always proven... problematic.

See, G1 Soundwave turns into a microcassette player, a tape deck, if you will. It's doubtful that any kids now even knew what a cassette is, let alone be interested in a transforming cassette player. While Megatron's gun mode could simply be changed into jets and tanks without much fan backlash, Soundwave's shtick was that he was able to eject his little troops out of his tape cavity which ended up on his chest. The problem is how to keep the minion gimmick whilst still retaining the 'communications' angle of the tape deck.

So Soundwave had sat on the backburner, probably the only major first-season character not to get a new toy until 2006 (Machine Wars is a repaint and the bat/crocodile Beast Wars Mutants don't really count), during the Cybertron toyline. And even then it was basically the G1 design with wings that folded into an awkward-looking 'stealth jet', with Laserbeak reimagined as a bomb. Animated did their own spin with Soundwave, turning him into a bulky robot with a Scion van alternate mode, and the minions are... just there. Flying around him. And he's a music van, sort of.

Revenge of the Fallen did the simple and creative solution of making Soundwave a cybertronian satellite that never adopted an Earthen alternate mode, and by being a satellite it can retain the whole Decepticon communications officer/hacker angle. And he totally shot Ravage down from space. Dark of the Moon finally had Soundwave adapt the Earthen mode of a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG, with Laserbeak again simply reporting to him instead of popping out of him.

Transformers Prime reimagined Starscream into a lean, skeletal-yet-aerodynamic figure that screams 'sneaky weasel'. Soundwave was even more radical. Like Starscream, he was skinny... his arms were flat, two-dimensional affairs ending in claws, he was all angles and silvery surface, and... he had no face. Just a blank expression. And he doesn't speak, just repeats everything he overhears other people say.

I wasn't sure if I'd like this iffy design of Soundwave at first, but when he actually moved on screen, oh man! And the very angular, origami-esque design transformed into a MQ Reaper Drone Jet, those awesome-looking jets seen in the first two live-action movies as a fast-response spy. I immensely fell in love with the design, and even more so with the character... despite the fact that he never says anything! He's a loyal Megatron supporter, he manipulates things for the good of Megatron, and when he does do battle, he lays the smackdown on other characters with ease. He is awesome.

Of course, the Reaper jet is a very sleek, sleek affair, while the robot is full of details and spikes. And to make matters even more complicated, Soundwave's bra... er, chest armour, turns into a new Laserbeak.

It seemed rather madness to replicate this into a toy. I mean, obviously the paper arms turn into the wings, but what about the rest of him? And he's going to come out as part of the 'Robots in Disguise' subline, which is slightly smaller than the First Edition toys, which means less plastic. I'll be damned if they could make him even transform into a likeness of both modes, let alone make him a good toy.

Looks like I'll be damned, because Prime Soundwave is the bomb.

Alternate Mode
Soundwave, as mentioned before, transforms into a MQ-3 Reaper Drone Jet. It's basically a long cylinder with a bulbous front and tailwings, and two very long, flat wings extending from the center of the cylinder. And Soundwave seamlessly replicates the Reaper's distinctive silhouette. Bulbous 'cockpit', a long body, long thin wings, up to the two jutting tailwings and a little cone at the rear of the jet... it's a great representative of a Reaper jet. Of course, there are quite a bit of join lines visible, but those are mainly in the center of the jet, and are easily passed off as mechanical details. The rear of the jet is quite heavy in moulded sculpting, because the heavy molded details -- all the spiky wings and everything, they double as detailing for Soundwave's back. The distinctive flat wings are near-seamless, with only one join line.

There are, of course, a few visible robot mode ques... Soundwave's front feet is cast in black, and while they do try their best to blend in with the underbelly's curves, they still stick out. The thigh ball joints are visible as well, although they are surrounded by the wings and the relatively busy center of the jet, so they aren't very distinctive.

It's a relatively detailed and yet streamlined jet. It's not quite as perfect as some toys I could name, but more importantly it is lacking in any undercarriage kibble or limbs stuffed around its sides. The rather busy look of the non-wing parts help to disguise any remaining robot mode details. Even Laserbeak's wings that are visible jut out and masquerade as lower tail wings!

Soundwave is mainly a rather fetching shade of metallic blue, with black being the secondary colour, colouring parts of his main wings, the two large rear wings, and random assorted parts in his main body. Two small pink stripes are painted on Soundwave's wings, and on several parts of his front end. It's a rather muted shade of pink, thankfully, not the type which catches your attention forcibly, and it's in very small amounts. It helps to break apart the two-toned colour of metallic blue and black. While pink may not be my first colour of choice, it functions pretty well, and it's not too distracting. The actual Soundwave CG model has a dark purple in place of pink, which would look better... but probably someone in Hasbro thought pink would look more attractive to ADD kids. Thankfully, it's not very distracting.

Where the jet meets in the middle, be extra careful. Parts of my Soundwave had already eroded there due to the multiple pegs and whatnot coming into contact. It's a minor problem, but I thought I should mention it.

The Reaper is a spy drone, which fits well with the whole 'spy and communicator' angle for Soundwave. It's also silent, as well as alien-looking, added bonuses which increase the suitability of the alternate mode for Soundwave. It's also very distinctive compared to Starscream's F16 Falcon alternate mode, a great show of how different their characteristics are. And by being a jet, it allows Soundwave to dump the anachronistic alternate mode that is the tape deck, without resorting to turning into ground vehicles.

What about minions, you say? Well, Laserbeak can detach from Soundwave's underbelly, and can fly around. The instruction tells you that you can peg Laserbeak onto the hole on Soundwave's top, although it looks pretty silly. More on Laserbeak later.

It's a very beautiful alternate mode, especially compared to Starscream, who doesn't hide his robot kibble.

Robot Mode
The transformation is not at all fiddly. It's rather simple, and feels very organic. Pretty obviously, the long flat wings unfold to reveal joints and hands and turns into the long origami arms for Soundwave. A simple swing and they move up to form the shoulders and join with the rear to form the chest. The front of the jet unfold to form the legs. Finally, open the rear of the jet, and, like the rest of RID's Deluxe class toys, the head is revealed dramatically. With a spring, activated when the hatch is opened fully -- no chance of the spring going off randomly or screwing up articulation! Put the engine or whatever that vehicle mode bulb is into the cavity, and you have Soundwave's robot mode.

The legs, mind you, are a bit bulkier and kibblier then what I'd have liked, but the mass is shifted backwards so from the front Soundwave has a perfect, skinny origami silhouette. The long, flat arms, skinny backwards-jointed legs, rather broad chest, two tiny wings sticking up from his back... and the face.

Soundwave is faceless. You know how the Decepticon insignia was originally a stylized version of the original Soundwave's face, because it's more expressionless than the other Transformers? Yeah, the same thing happens here, but they removed Soundwave's eyes and mouthplate, making him even more emotionless. Soundwave's distinctive head crest is still present, albeit spikier than before, but the rest of his face is a black screen, which replays whatever he's showing others. He looks so delightfully emotionless and menacing at the same time. Combined with the weird arms, spikes extending from his back and chest, the shoulders and elbows that jut upwards, and his inhuman legs, Soundwave displays an aura of someone you could easily underestimate, but could royally screw you over. Or maybe that's the character talking, I don't know.

Soundwave's primarily still metallic blue and black, but the aforementioned purple appear in small amounts on Soundwave's chest and in the inner side of his arms. His head crest is silver. There are more pink which appear on his lower legs and waist, but again they're minor applications and not very distracting.

Being a RID toy, he's relatively shorter than my FE Starscream, but is about as tall as Knock Out, Wheeljack and his fellow RID buddies. Just as well, because Soundwave is shorter than Starscream.

Origami Soundwave can assume almost any pose you want him to. His head is ball-jointed, he's got a double-jointed shoulder, a double-jointed elbow, the lower arm is hinged in the center, he's got a waist joint, thigh joints, the knees are double-hinged and the ankles are jointed. He may look top-heavy, but the kibble deposited on his foot helps him with balance, and the arms are light enough not to unbalance him. Soundwave is awesome. He is show-accurate, he looks good, he transforms well, he's balanced and articulated... but there is more! Yes, it's our favourite killer spy bird, reimagined alongside his master.

Laserbeak
Not named in the show itself until Season Two, Laserbeak had nonetheless appeared since the opening five-parter of the show, being deployed as Soundwave's battle drone of sorts. Unlike past appearances (except maybe Cybertron and Animated) apparently Laserbeak isn't a living Transformer but merely a drone. I'm a big Laserbeak fan and I'm a bit disappointed, but the great Soundwave is a bit of a consolation.

Instead of a cassette door that flips open -- which would ruin the whole 'spikes and plates' origami deal, Laserbeak instead transforms into Soundwave's chest plates and spikes, in a concept originating from the Japanese-exclusive Victory series, in the hilariously-named Decepticon combiner team 'Breastforce', whose members all have chest armour that would transform into little animal robots and then into guns. Yes, ridiculous name, ha ha ha.

But anyway, Soundwave's bra, er, chest armour, unfolds and detaches into a similarly origami-looking bat-bird thing. Laserbeak is less avian this time around, and looks much, much more like a drone. He has two large wings and two smaller one under it, a tail and what's supposed to be a beak-like face which is lost because the toy has a peg which kind of obscures the molded downward-pointing beak. Like Soundwave, Laserbeak is mainly metallic blue with black accents. He can flap his large wings with two hinges, and can peg onto Soundwave's hands or anywhere with a 5mm peg.

Soundwave does look a wee bit naked without Laserbeak, but not so much that he looks weird.

He isn't the perfect Laserbeak toy, but considering they could've just set Soundwave out with a non-transforming chest and an obligatory weapon and called it a day... but no, they gave us a fully interactive Laserbeak. It's a great, bold finish to a toy that's awesome in all aspects.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 10/10 Superb. It's something that I could've sworn would never work on a toy, let alone a deluxe-class one. And the fact that both modes are reasonably screen-accurate, and there are no compromises in either mode... credit where credit's due, the designers nailed this one.

Durability: 7/10 When transforming him into jet mode, watch out where the lower leg pieces peg to the upper leg ones, the pegs rub into each other and it has been pretty eroded by friction there when I tried to force them to attach. I also have some slight stress marks straight off the bat one of his arms, but my second Soundwave didn't have this, so it may just be mine.

Articulation: 8/10 Part of the legs may be a bit stiff due to the chicken-leg thing, and he lacks a waist joint. But he makes up for it by being extremely stable, and being able to pull off loads of poses without falling down, despite looking back heavy.

Aesthetics: 9/10 He looks just like the show design, and the show design looks awesome.

Fun: 10/10 Soundwave's loads of fun to transform, he's got a great character and a great accessory.

Price/Value: 9/10 Oh, he's worth your bang, certainly. Considering that I met certain difficulty due to local retailers importing Soundwave's wave in rather small numbers -- and to boot whenever I find Wheeljack, who shipped with him, Soundwave is invariably gone -- so the hunt for him makes him feel sweeter.

Overall: 10/10 One of the best toys of the Prime line... I'd go as far to say that he is one of the must-have toys of this year. Soundwave takes a rather impossible design and worked it into a Deluxe class toy which not only has the same range of articulation and playability with its contemporaries, it also looks a great deal like his show models, and comes with Laserbeak to boot. Definitely recommended.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2012-09-08 at 04:31 AM.
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Old 2012-08-29, 04:28 PM   #2
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Old 2012-08-29, 04:31 PM   #3
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He is that good a toy. He may look iffy, but they took a ridiculously impossible design and made it work into a good toy. Plus you get Laserbeak. Alongside Breakdown, probably the high points of the Prime line, which offsets the sub-par Knock Out and the completely rubbish Airachnid.

Knock Out isn't that bad per se, but there's so much more Hasbro could've done for Knock Out, but no, all the paint applications for the wave went from Knock Out and Airachnid to shitty ol' Dead End.
 
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Old 2012-08-29, 05:41 PM   #4
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Nice review! His supply is really short. I only saw him in person in stores, twice.

Shall you mention WFC Soundwave? Another truck but a very G1 look robot mode and a fine toy. Chest can open too but oh, no Laserbeak . Never mind.
 
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Old 2012-08-30, 10:10 PM   #5
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Between this guy and Starscream, the Prime character designers must be huge Evangelion fans.
 
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Old 2012-08-31, 09:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul053 View Post
Nice review! His supply is really short. I only saw him in person in stores, twice.
Around here, scalpers got to Soundwave rather quickly when his wave hit the shelves. So I saw his wavemates Bumblebee, Cliffjumper and Wheeljack often but very few Soundwaves.

It doesn't help that he's shortpacked, too.

I eventually ordered him slightly overpriced from one of the scalpers... and then he apparently shipped in with either the Knock Out/Hot Shot wave or the Airachnid/Dead End wave. What.

Quote:
Shall you mention WFC Soundwave? Another truck but a very G1 look robot mode and a fine toy. Chest can open too but oh, no Laserbeak . Never mind.
I completely forgot about WFC Soundwave! It was a horrible-ish toy. It should be updated in the sited review itself.
 
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Old 2012-08-31, 10:25 AM   #7
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He does have a waist joint. Trust me. It's where the black part meets his pelvis.
 

Few stuff in the UK to trade/sell. Measly sales thread.
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Old 2012-08-31, 10:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjack View Post
He is that good a toy. He may look iffy, but they took a ridiculously impossible design and made it work into a good toy. Plus you get Laserbeak. Alongside Breakdown, probably the high points of the Prime line, which offsets the sub-par Knock Out and the completely rubbish Airachnid.

Knock Out isn't that bad per se, but there's so much more Hasbro could've done for Knock Out, but no, all the paint applications for the wave went from Knock Out and Airachnid to shitty ol' Dead End.
Knock Out's from the previous wave, with Vehicon and Hot Shot.

By wave 05 or so, hasbro's been repacking wave 1 figures so by the time that wave's out, almost everybody is going to be around on the shelves.
 

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Old 2012-08-31, 11:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
He does have a waist joint. Trust me. It's where the black part meets his pelvis.
I'm a muppet, because in the review I described his waist joint but by the time I reached the 'marks out of ten' section for some reason I forgot it existed.

Changing it right now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knightdramon View Post
Knock Out's from the previous wave, with Vehicon and Hot Shot.
Knock Out's paint goes to Vehicon and Hot Shot, then... Knock Out isn't as horrible as Airachnid, nonetheless. I've had low expectations for him, and was pleasantly pleased by him other than the arms. Now that I've found a relatively fine and stable configuration (the instructions are rubbish) I like him a bit more. With a little extra paint, maybe, but he isn't as bad as some people say he is.

Quote:
By wave 05 or so, hasbro's been repacking wave 1 figures so by the time that wave's out, almost everybody is going to be around on the shelves.
Ah, that makes sense. Probably missed the others on account of Soundwave being displayed among new wave 4 and 5 toys, while any repackaged Bumblebees and Cliffjumpers probably sat among their shelfwarming ilk.
 
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Old 2012-08-31, 11:02 AM   #10
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Great review!

I really love this figure - I only picked him up because I had to know how he transformed, and I was not at all disappointed.

He's kicking about Hamilton supermarkets (Sainsbury's and Asda) in short-supply. If he's hard to find your way (anybody), PM me and I'll pick one up for you (they cost around 13 GBP if I recall). In fact, I'd be tempted to pick up Wheeljack myself, in which case if I bought someone a Soundwave too I can take advantage of a multi-buy deal, which would be 10 each. Anyway, anyone interested, PM me.
 


New sale thread added with a range of Transformers including Masterpiece, Botcon, CHUG, RID, Movies etc.

Looking for MP-11T Thundercracker and MP-9 Rodimus v2 (Takara version with as few QC issues as possible).


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Old 2012-08-31, 11:07 AM   #11
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Wheeljack
If you're wondering if to get him, He's a gorgeous toy. Probably has a wee bit of a shorter wings and too-silver swords, but otherwise he's a great, great toy in all aspects. Great robot mode, great car mode, great weapons... He's certainly one of the higher points of the line. Unless the thought of a swordsman Wheeljack character bothers you, he's probably a keeper. Absolutely love the way his legs transformed.
 
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Old 2012-08-31, 09:09 PM   #12
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I really love this figure - I only picked him up because I had to know how he transformed, and I was not at all disappointed.
I was exactly the same. It just doesn't seem like something that should even be possible, and the fact that they pulled it off as well as they did is a miracle.

I don't know if I'd rate him quite as high as Blackjack did, but he'd be a solid 8 or 9 in my books easily. He and Wheeljack are the best of the "RID" Prime stuff by a mile.
 
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Old 2012-08-31, 09:15 PM   #13
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He does transform into a winged dildo.

I'd say he's a great toy of Prime Soundwave than a great toy outright, IMO. It helps that the character doesn't do anything physically dynamic - the same restrictions to movement on Bee or Arcee would be quite irritating.

I'd love Wheeljack eight and a half times more if he didn't have a mask moulded on - somehow retractable would be best, but if it's one or the other give us the one we see on screen 99% of the time (note that Optimus is exempt from this law).

Good buncha reviews Blacky-Jacky

EDIT: All of the first wave of Revealers seem to be seriously shelf-warming around here, especially Cliffjumper. IMO releasing Cliff on the back of a minute's screen-time when there was already the FE to sate the fans (it's not like the kiddies are up in arms about the lack of Tailgate, is it?) was a big mis-step - but then the actual organisation of the Prime line seems to be moronic even if most of the figures have been pretty good.
 
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Old 2012-09-01, 07:05 AM   #14
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I don't know if I'd rate him quite as high as Blackjack did, but he'd be a solid 8 or 9 in my books easily. He and Wheeljack are the best of the "RID" Prime stuff by a mile.
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I'd say he's a great toy of Prime Soundwave than a great toy outright, IMO. It helps that the character doesn't do anything physically dynamic - the same restrictions to movement on Bee or Arcee would be quite irritating.
Mmm, the fact that they did make the impossible-looking transformation possible was probably why I rate him so high in my books. Also, the fact that, well, it is a great Soundwave toy so making the leap from 9 to 10 isn't quite that difficult to imagine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffjumper
Good buncha reviews Blacky-Jacky
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warcry
EDIT: All of the first wave of Revealers seem to be seriously shelf-warming around here, especially Cliffjumper. IMO releasing Cliff on the back of a minute's screen-time when there was already the FE to sate the fans (it's not like the kiddies are up in arms about the lack of Tailgate, is it?) was a big mis-step - but then the actual organisation of the Prime line seems to be moronic even if most of the figures have been pretty good.
Releasing two separate Cliffjumper moulds within two or three waves spacing boggles my mind, even though he appears for all of ten minutes. And then the second mould is crap, while the first mould is difficult to track down.

Over here, Cliffjumper doesn't shelfwarm as badly as Bumblebee, mostly because while Prime Bumblebee looks cute, he's sitting next to pegs filled with leftover Bumblebees from Dark of the Moon and TF2010, and they really do look alike. So while Arcees, Soundwaves and even Wheeljacks move rather quickly off the shelves, Bumblebees and Cliffjumpers stay.

Voyager-wise, the second Bulkhead mould, the one with the ginormous weapon, seem to become a royal shelfwarmer, while his first mould, as well as the two leaders, are moving on quite well.

I'm also not sure if releasing so much repaints this early on is a good move. Hot Shot looks fine, but the fact that Bumblebee's shelfwarming means that blue-Bumblebee-with-a-new-head, as well as the obligatory Stealth Bumblebee repaint would probably stick around as badly as him. Dead End, at least, got redecoed off the great Wheeljack toy, although I'm not sure if his crazy bright colour scheme would attract kids to buy him or not.
 
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Old 2012-09-01, 04:43 PM   #15
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And it's interesting no body here at US can get FE Cliffjumper, nor FE Bulkhead.
 
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Old 2012-09-01, 06:32 PM   #16
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And it shall stay that way, Cliffjumper [regular version] isn't stated for a FE rerelease after all. Bulkhead is.

At this point, I think it's fair game though. I mean, only collectors\fans knew of their existence [FE figures, that is], everybody who wanted one got one before the mass panic-hysteria of their cancellation, and had versions to choose from to boot.

Through quite minimal fuss and searching, I've aquired Hasbro's Cliffjumper, Bumblebee and Arcee, with a takara Bulkhead and Starscream, an AM Purple Cliffjmuper, a takara clear Optimus and FINALLY a japanese FE Optimus on the way [that thing rocks so hard]. Only thing left is a FE Megatron which is in relative abundance thanks to the AM release, and the FE Vehicons I'll amass when they're released stateside.

Bottom line is, you wanted one, you could scour for one, you nailed one.
 

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Old 2012-09-01, 10:14 PM   #17
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Seems you guys elsewhere in the world have a much easier time picking up the figures at retail.

All we have the north of england is waves one and two of prime. The voyager prime and megatron toys are shelf warning everywhere (hardly surprising - they look terrible), deluxe stock is practically non existent. Only tru have any deluxe figures around my way and its just... Cliffjumper and bumblebee! With the ratio of case assortments heavily featuring bumblebee,i'm getting the impression that the likes of tesco and asda just don't think its worth their while carrying the stock in any significant numbers anymore. They've already had to but their losses with the dark of the moon toys which were all reduced to clear (and predictably had hundreds of varying shades of bumblebee to spare),so i can't say i'm surprised to see the cyberverse stuff getting much more of a look in. The figures benefit from both a better ratio of characters per case and more generous paint applications and are cheaper options - but there doesn't appear to much in the way of replenishment,certainlly by supermarkets anyway. A couple of boxes arrive and only at the point the last figure has gone do orders for more go in. Asda recently put the remaining waves 1 & 2 deluxes into clearance, and shows no sign of restocking with bot shots and kre-o replacing all other tf product.

I haven't bought anything from argos as i feel weird asking for repeat customer views for different toys sold under the same sku, so don't know whether they've got anything beyond waves one and two.

Local branches of toymaster just have wave 1 (so loads of pegs of bumblebee) leaving just forbidden planet...whom have waves one - three,but are stuck with a silly amount of cliffjumpers and bumblebees as a result.

And no first edition toys seen anywhere around here (if they ever made it up this end of the country).

As a toyline,prime seems to be out of reach for me. Sure, there's online, but i'm looking at 25+ for a deluxe rid vehicon and around 20 for anyone who isn't bumblebee or cliffjumper. Thats just too much to ask for a deluxe for me.

Sometimes, i do feel priced out of an interest of mine. I don't mind it so much when its for auctions on ebay or stuff that does have some value, but for a current line to have silly prices attached to it because of badly judged case assortments and poor distribution just makes me wonder if i should bother anymore. Its a shame,as soundwave,wheeljack,knock out and ratchet have all been excellent toys, and i'd like to be able to pick up some more, but everything else is now the reserve of collectors. I'm glad i'm not a child anymore or i'd be seriously disappointed!
 
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Old 2012-09-02, 01:55 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Skyquake87 View Post
Its a shame,as soundwave,wheeljack,knock out and ratchet have all been excellent toys, and i'd like to be able to pick up some more, but everything else is now the reserve of collectors. I'm glad i'm not a child anymore or i'd be seriously disappointed!
I feel exactly the same way! My wife and I watched through the entire first season on DVD and after that I was ready to run out the door and collect the entire on-screen cast only to find that -- whoops! -- Bulkhead is gone already and the second version won't be out for a long time, Knock Out, Ratchet and the Vehicons still aren't available, Airachnid is a piece of shit, Breakdown isn't even getting a toy, etc, etc. That was in April. It's ****ing September now, and you know what? Still no Bulkhead. Still no Ratchet. Still no Breakdown, etc, etc, etc. I haven't seen one single new TF Prime toy in five long months, and any interest I had in collecting the line has withered on the vine. So, uh...good job with that, Hasbro!

Seriously, it's not like this is Armada or Cybertron where you're trying to push dozens of characters at a time. Prime has, what, about a dozen characters? Maybe eighteen if you count one-shots like Cliffjumper or Skyquake? I should be able to walk into any toy store in the world and find at least one version of any given character, and the fact that I (and most others) can't is a huge failure on Hasbro's part. They know that retailers over-order the first wave of a line, and by now they should be trying to mitigate that somehow so that later stock doesn't rot in a warehouse while Bumblebees, Cliffjumpers and Wheeljacks sit around unsold for months on end.

Maybe I'm a crazy person for thinking like this, but considering how this problem comes down to one thing -- retailers having more of a given figure than they can sell -- wouldn't the easiest solution be to front-load the first wave with new characters? Instead of having three Bumblebees, two Cliffjumpers, two Wheeljacks and a Soundwave in a case of first-wave figures, they should have shipped cases with two Bumblebees and one each of Cliffjumper, Wheeljack, Soundwave, Arcee, Ratchet and Knock Out. I realize the economics don't quite add up but if it leads to more units selling in later waves...
 
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Old 2012-09-02, 09:37 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Warcry View Post
Still no Ratchet.
Deluxe RID Prime Ratchet's around Hamilton in plenty just now (although all are flying off shelves - we've been Transformer-less here for the last four months or so since DOTM Bumblebees finally ran out...), in Scotland at around 13 GBP.

Is he actually good? I thought he looked a bit average, but after reading a few reviews (I still avoid video review if I can - they spoil the transformation and tend to be some fanboy showing off how great his new toy that nobody else has is rather than being particularly objective) I almost talked myself into buying him. Almost.

Anyway, if you're after Ratchet PM me and I'll see if I can pick you one up (at cost of toy + P&P).
 


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Old 2012-09-02, 09:54 AM   #20
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That seems sensible to me. Case assortments seem to be a big part of the probelm - doubly so in Europe where we don't seem to benefit from the same assortments as the US. Frequently, stores are jammed with Waves 1 & 2 which frequently start haemoraging sales as large numbers of individual characters (lets say Bumblebee, it usually is these days) flood the shelves, leaving no room for anything else. With every modern TF line, later waves with 'rarer' characters frequently end up at discount chains sold for a song. It seems a massive missed opportunity to me. Maybe I'm wrong, and it is all about numbers and children will quite happily have endless bumblebee toys to the exclusion of all else, but if I were a kid, I'd find that really boring.

Transformers now seems to be a simialr place to Spider-Man and Batman toylines - i.e. loads of versions of Spider-Man and Batman, and maybe one per case of anyone else. The new Spider-Man 3.5" toyline is a good example - loads of variantions of Spider-Man and there's just one villain toy - The Green Goblin, and he seems to be packed by himself at a ratio of 1:8. Transformers has never been about Bumblebee, but now subsequent incarnations are just concentrating on a 'core cast' , I can't understand why there's resistance to making the core cast more widely available. Does it keep interest in the line? Very probably, but not when the only available product is waves 1 & 2 - which is all stores seem to be able to restock.

Years ago, when Hasbro had its own independant arm in the UK/ Europe, the assortment of product was much more balanced than it is now. Now, we just get what America decides is best for us (just like everything else in the Western world, it would seem...) which leaves us, in this instance, in a sea of repetition. I'm also puzzled that even for the domestic market, Hasbro is pointing consumers in the direction of expensive Japanese imports for what is supposed to be its core Transformers product. That's just weird. Or are projected sales of Transformers toys just not enough to support further interest from Hasbro? Is it enough for them that they've made a TV show and are showing it on their dedicated channel? Has Prime just not lived up to expectations?

Whatever is going on, i think we've now reached the point where regular consumers have no interest in another version of Bumblebee that looks the same as the last.

@Numbat - Ratchet is an excellent figure let down but next to no paint applications and the two most wretched weapon accessories - rubber daggers that are too squishy to plug into his hands or vehicle mode.

addenum: just checked some till receipts. Most of the deluxe prime purchases i made came from late Feb, early March. rathcet I picked up in April and Knock Out I bought online in August. That's no new deluxe and up Prime product since April at general retail.

Cyberverse has fared better, purchases made in Feb, March, April, June and just recently with Ultra Magnus in August. Again though, even figures like Cyberverse Commanders aren't easy to come by. I've not seen Dreadwing and Ironhide beyond their intital release and Ultra Magnus was the last one on the shelf on a very bare Transformers section in a large out of town Tesco.
 

Last edited by Skyquake87; 2012-09-02 at 10:11 AM.
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