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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Tahukanuva's review of: Soundwave (Hasbro Reissue)

Name: Soundwave
Function: Communications
Sub-Group: Popular non-characters (Hi Boba!)

Cries and screams are music to my ears.

It is said Soundwave can hear a fly sneeze. Uses anything he hears for blackmail to advance his status. Opportunist. Despised by all other Decepticons. Sensors can detect even lowest energy radio transmissions. Able to read minds by monitoring electrical brain impulses. Acts as radio link for others. Locates and identifies Autobots, then informs Decepticons. Carries a concussion blaster gun. Often target of retaliation by his comrades.

Ah yes, 1984, thirty minute commercials were everywhere, and Transformers was right up there near the top, and I, was still just a "thought" swimming around in my dad's "head". Ok, so I'm not actually old enough to have seen the original series, and thus own an original Soundwave. I am, however, old enough to have seen the G2 episodes with that damn cube, and that's where I fell in love with "that blue tape thing," so this is a toy I've been waiting on for about two-thirds of my short life, so that's a lot of expectation to live up to. As to whether he does or not, we'll get to that later. For now, this being a retro review and all, I'm going to discuss how I got into Transformers in the first place.

It all started about ten years ago when my uncle gave me his PM Prime and Getaway, whom I used as Megatron, being as he was somewhat grayish or something. I was five okay! Later, I acquired a Groove, who I used as Prime's one troop, then I got a Doubledealer (!) at a garage sale, and a Gears at a flea market. Unfortunately, the only one of those I have left is Prime, though I've since replaced Groove.

I stayed with Transformers through the first half of RiD, losing interest until Armada came out, my interest died again halfway through, this time lasting halfway through Energon, and I've been here ever since, which allowed me to purchase Cybertron Soundwave, who, while awesome, didn't satisfy my need for the original. Then the reissue came out, which led to a pleasant hunt. About four weeks prior to writing this, I was about to purchase my Soundwave, when my Mom had to go home for some reason, the next weekend, I was staying at my grandparent's house, so I couldn't get him. The next weekend, I was at my other grandparent's house, who took me to Toys R Us to buy my figure, we got there, and found an empty area where he should've been, the TRU employee called the TRU across town to see if they had one, (they didn't) and told me they'd be getting a shipment Tuesday and to call early in the morning to reserve one. So I did, and upon arriving at the store, the clerk promptly got him and proceeded to the checkout, he complimented my on my purchase, and discussed the new movie with me for a bit. The moral of the story: TRU employees > KB employees.

Alternate Mode

Soundwave is, of course, a micro cassette recorder, says so right there by the buttons even. In fact, he's an almost perfect replica of one (the main fault being that door, more on that later). There on lots of details that add to the realism of this mode like: the turning volume knob, moving power switch, the control buttons, belt clip, and my favorite, the "batteries" formed from his weapons, they're the exact same size of a real AA battery! Of course, he can use his cassettes in this mode, though if you put both in there, one hangs completely out of the mechanical part of the recorder, not good.

Ravage and Laserbeak are both, well, cassettes of course, what else would they give a cassette player? Both are extremely detailed, on the front. Ravage being completely blank on the other side, and Laserbeak having his kibble there. They're both convincing as cassettes however, both having molded teeth for the tape wheels, and labels telling which side they're on (A) and running time (60 min.)
Ravage however, comes of more convincing due to having painted teeth, and the fact that Laserbeaks mold is warped, so he doesn't fit together very well. Interestingly, Ravage is in his Soundblaster deco, with Fort Max's weak points, and JAPAN printed on it.

Robot Mode

The thing about simple transformations is that, usually, one mode or the other is absolutely terrible. Just look at, well, most of the Pretenders. Luckily, Soundwave gets off more like Shockwave did, and ends up with two spectacular modes. Soundwave stands face-to-face with a current voyager, and is one of a few toys that actually looked like the character on TV, and with a slight color change, like the one in the comic. Unlike most of the original toys, Soundwave has posing capability, with joints that aren't even needed to transform 'im! Soundwave has neck, shoulder (2x), elbow, hip (2x), and knee, though the knee is facing the wrong way, and is utterly useless. You can still get some good poses out of him though, such as: holding his arm out for Laserbeak, aiming his rifle, cheering at a sports game, sitting down, laying on the ground with shattered kneecaps, and, with some careful posing, Ravage leaping out of his chest.

Here I'm going to mention that this is not the original Soundwave as the box (mis)informs, but is, instead, a repaint of the Takara Soundblaster reissue, which means, among other things, his chest now holds two cassettes at once, which, honestly, looks better in robot mode, as it gives him more depth to go with the bulk.

Ravage and Laserbeak both have great, err, animal modes. Laserbeak looks just like he did in all of the media, and Ravage has fourteen friggin points of articulation! Laserbeak is free of any glaring faults, and even hides his cassette mode well, giving him a solid bird mode. Ravage however, looking at him directly from the side, he looks amazing. When you look at him from the front, however, you see he's still the thickness of a cassette. However, his articulation and appearance in profile make him the better of the two cassettes.

Transformation: 10, they all have spectacular transformations that gives them excellent robot modes.
Durability: 9.5, The only parts that would probably break are his joints, but they made them our of die-cast, so...
Fun: 10, it's Soundwave with his main two cassettes, what more do you want?
Price 9, 'bout $30 bucks at TRU, around $50-60 on eBay right now.
Overall 10, unless you already have 'im, or the double door bothers you a lot, he's well worth it.

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