Sunday, February 10, 2013
Before I even played Fall of Cybertron, I wanted to pick up this version of Soundwave. I had passed on the previous version from War for Cybertron, which was a deluxe sized figure, but the addition of a minion which can be stored in his chest (and upgrade to voyager size) was enough of an incentive for me. I quite like the design of Soundwave in this version. It's got a very clear connection to his G1 appearance, and it doesn't go too far in the direction of weird spikiness that a lot of newer designs have. He's also really tall, which is a nice change from a lot of the downsizing that Transformers toys seem to be suffering from recently. Soundwave includes the traditional shoulder cannon, which can also be held in one of the hands. The packaging shows a different blaster that was planned for inclusion but unfortunately never made it to production. So that might be a bit confusing if you buy it and wonder where the second weapon is.
As I mentioned earlier, this Soundwave includes Laserbeak, who can fold up and fit inside his chest. Since cassettes are out, Soundwaves minions turn into data disks. There is a cool auto-transforming gimmick where you drop it, causing a button to be compressed which flips the disk out into Laserbeak. There is a play feature where you put Laserbeak into Soundwave's chest, then push a button to eject him, and then the auto-transform feature kicks into effect. Unfortunately, the fit is too tight, so Laserbeak won't eject properly. It's actually pretty hard to get Laserbeak back out of the chest.
Soundwave's altmode is a communications truck, because there are no tape players on Cybertron. It's pretty cool looking and is fairly sizable as well. It's well engineered in that all four wheels touch the ground without something on the undercarriage scraping along the ground as well, which is always a plus. The shoulder cannon mounts on top of the roof, and there is even a seat for a gunner up there. The seat wasn't on the previous version of the figure, so I wonder where it comes from. I'm not sure who it's meant for, since this is a Cybertronian mode, so there weren't any passengers.
Official word is that the War for/Fall of Cybertron games are in the same continuity as the cartoon Transformers Prime. So both of these figures are the same character. Soundwave sure lost a lot of weight when he got to Earth!