If you had to push me to select my favourite Transformer of all time, it’d be between four. Megatron, Starscream, Shockwave, and Soundwave. If you really pushed me, I’d be choosing between latter two. Shockwave and Soundwave are those characters that are instantly recognisable in all their appearances. Soundwave, in particular, seems to have one the most enduring characterisations, as outside of some comic issues and the Cybertron anime, he’s one of the most competent and loyal Decepticon soldiers. And you get so few of those it’s no wonder Megatron keeps the guy around and is generally one of the few of his soldiers he won’t smack across the room when they forget his breakfast muffin.
Thus there has been a multitude of Soundwave toys over the years, and they’ve all been quite fun. Adding to this the additional play value of his chest minions, and you get one of the longest-lasting cultural icons in the Transformers franchise.
Which made the wait to get him from Hasbro UK INFURIATING. Especially considering I had his children here for a month waiting for him. But he’s here now, along with Siege Starscream who we’ll get to, but for now, let’s see if he was worth the wait.
The answer is yes.
Soundwave’s robot mode is probably the best representation of his G1 form at a smaller size class ever. He’s easily recognisable in silly and with his signature square chest and tape deck with gold trim front and centre. There’s not much to dislike here, even if you’re not a fan of the battle damage as it doesn’t take away from the fact that this is Soundwave. The head sculpt is particularly nice, and while I personally like my Soundwaves with red eyes, the light piping here is brilliant. He really does look like an evolution of the original G1 toy, in terms of design if not materials.
He’s got brilliant articulation as well, but then that does seem to be a staple of the line. As I think should be required of any Soundwave with a chest minions’ gimmick, his arms have enough articulation press his own eject button. And just like the War for Cybertron voyager before him, he has a finger sculpted specifically for this.
Yes, I know this is the War for Cybertron voyager, I meant the voyager from War for Cybertron.
Accessories wise Soundwave comes with his G1 rifle and his shoulder cannon and as always they look great. But he also comes with a second-hand gun for cool dual-wielding shots. However, it also has another feature. It folds open and you can stick his other weapons on the ends!
It is exactly as stupid as it sounds.
Speaking of accessories, let’s have a look at the new Micromaster Laserbeak and Ravage, for what is a Soundwave without his minions?
They’re tiny and fun. Out of the two, Laserbeak is probably the most successful, but then again this is a guy who’s basically transformation hasn’t changed much in 30 years. Legs down, tail up, wings out, head up. The main difference this time around is his more robotic look from the first episode of the G1 cartoon rather than the stylised condor he usually comes as. As such he’s got precisely four (useful) points of articulation, but as a bird, it works.
Brilliantly, Soundwave has some groves on his arm that allow Laserbeak’s feet to slot right in with a decent grip, allowing him to pose on the arm and this is my default pose for him on my shelf.
Ravage is…OK. I mean it’s better than a lot of Ravage toys but considering the last couple were the terrible Titan’s Return one and the spring-loaded circular disk thing from the War for Cybertron game Soundwave design that isn’t hard. Due to the budget, he does end up a bit chunkier than your average Ravage, but it works well enough. I get the feeling he’ll end up being the chest filler for Soundwave for a lot of people, myself included
I’m not going to bother to show their alt-modes because they turn in top rectangles. You can peg them on to Soundwave or other robots use as armour if you are a monster who thinks animals make acceptable meat shields.
Now on to the alt-mode…or the first one. As is well known by now Soundwave has a secret mode, an approximation of his lamp post mode from the first episode of the G1 cartoon. It is daft and I only include it here for this joke:
Anywho, on to the actual alt-mode.
Honestly? It’s fine. But it is pretty much a brick with some jet engines on it. I mean, it’s supposed to be a dropship to justify his deploying minion’s thing but I dunno. It’s not bad and certainly fun to swoosh, but it’s just kinda there. I mean the original Soundwave turns into to a rectangle, so I guess it works in that regard. There’s just not much to say about it.
Happily, there are a few fan modes out there that let you turn him into an approximation of a boombox. This is my favourite version.
So, was he worth it? Honestly, yes. But I am very much a Soundwave fanboy. His robot mode is damn near perfect, he works well with his minions, and despite the alt-mode being rectangle with engines, it’s fun to transform. Worth the wait thanks to horrible distribution? Yes.