35th Anniversary Siege Soundblaster

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Skyquake87
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35th Anniversary Siege Soundblaster

Post by Skyquake87 » Sat May 09, 2020 9:53 am

Name: Soundblaster
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Voyager
Accessories: M2 HI-KEP Concussion Blaster, M2 LR-HD Sonic Cannon, M2 EMTX Blitz Charge Blaster

What's cooler than Soundwave? Soundblaster. This is Soundwave after an extreme makeover, with his enhanced chest and jet black outfit,. He looks fierce and way more sinister than his blue boy days. My first exposure to the character was in the Transformers Collection series of reissues from the early-mid 2000s. He was instantly one of those characters I didn't feel the need to know much about because he just looked so bloody cool. He's turned up in Siege to celebrate 35 years of the Transformers, retaining the battle damage look, rather than cartoon colouring of some of the other 35th Anniversary figures. I approve!

Robot Mode: Soundblaster is quite the bulky chap in robot mode, with proportions not too far removed from the classic Masters Of The Universe figures. If this guy were fleshy, he'd just be muscles all over the place, like those lads. The sculpted detail is as usual, phenomenal. Paint apps aren't plentiful, but he's got them where they're most needed – silver around his face and knees, red on the weapons and vehicle mode, plus some painted up dial things on his knees, as well as that glorious proud chest (I didn't think Soundwave needed to go up two cup sizes personally, I thought he looked lovely as he was). The light piping is excellent, giving his eyes a nice evil red glow, and I like it on his chest door, which can accommodate two of his cassette minions, although it is a bit of a squeeze. He also comes with his signature battery blaster and shoulder cannon, as well as some frankly rubbish hinged hand gun that can combine with the blaster to make a silly looking ultimate weapon.

Vehicle Mode: Sadly another dismal failure for both Soundwave type toys and the Siege line in general, Soundblaster transforms into what can only be charitably described as a shipping container with skids. It's utter rubbish and for the life of me I've never understood why Soundwave/ Soundblaster can't just transform into a computer console. You know like Mainframe was supposed to, instead of this pile of Cybertronian nothing or another rubbish looking vehicle. The over-riding need to retain Soundwave's iconic look means any iteration of the figure is inevitably saddled with a terrible vehicle mode. Crap as this is, it's still better than turning him into a bloody lamppost. Included here as an 'Easter egg' which whiffs more of being the actual intended alternate mode, to match the f**king cartoon people can't walk away from.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: Does Soundblaster transform? This more the sort of yoga movements the Action Master Elites or those Cyberverse things that half-transform do, but without the 'fun' of a spring loaded gimmick. Plus hollow forearms. Ugh. Not impressed. On top of that, the chest compartment doesn't really have enough clearance to comfortably fit his little pals, which do tend to get jammed in, requiring a bit of coaxing to get out. 3/10

Articulation: Where Soundblaster excels is in being a fantastic action figure. He's missing some wrist swivels, but that's about it. He's got his pointy finger for pressing the eject button, which is a nice touch too. 9/10

Durability: Generally a solid piece of work with nothing that feels fragile. The back mounted boosters or whatever are held in place on moulded nipples, rather than pinned into place. One of these likes to pop off all the time on my example when you move it, which is really very annoying. It's one of those things that once done will then happen all the time. 8/10

Fun: As an action figure, Soundblaster is brilliant, no question. As a Transformer, he's only 50% there, having no real alt-mode to speak of, just this lump trying to pass itself off as ...a hovercraft?! Really? The interactivity with the cassette robo for the Siege line is also lacking, as mentioned above. 5/10

Price: These 35th Anniversary editions were a bit on the pricey side, for what amounted to brighter paint jobs and 2 new figures (albeit repaints and retools) in Bluestreak and Soundblaster. Soundblaster here set me back £45.99, which is the same as Ultra Magnus cost me. I like him, but I can't say the price felt right. 6/10

Overall: I'm really torn with Soundblaster. He is a fantastic looking figure with an awesome deco and robot mode. I just never feel I'm getting the most from a Transformers toy when the alternate mode is such tripe. I'm really pleased to see the Takara-originated figures show up in the Western line (more please), but I can't honestly recommend him to anyone other than diehards with some appreciation of such exotic fare. Everyone else can settle for the less expensive disappointment of Siege Soundwave. 6/10
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