TRANSFORMERS HERO MASHERS
If there’s one glaring omission from the numerous figures I’ve covered on this site so far, it’s Transformers. Transformers was a huge hit in the 80s, and it’s one of those toys that kind of forged its own path. The thing about Transformers is, they’re kind of their own thing. While the name technically refers to a very specific set of figures, it also loosely defines an entire genre of figures. There are “transformers” of practically everything. And none of that seems to have hurt the main brand, which doesn’t seem to be in any danger of falling out of popularity. That’s pretty impressive.
Amazingly enough, actual, name-brand Transformers make up about 0.14% of my action figure collection. That’s FOUR figures. Out of 2800. And only one of those actually transforms. Transformers thoroughly missed me. That said, I do like some of the characters, specifically Soundwave, the one that used to turn into a cassette player. He amuses me (three of my four Transformers are Soundwave). Recently, Hasbro has been getting into the “mix and match figures” idea, under the heading Hero Mashers. The line started with the Marvel brand and then expanded to Transformers. Soundwave was amongst them, so I picked him up.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Soundwave is part of the second assortment of Transformers Hero Mashers. He’s part of the regular assortment of figures, rather than a deluxe or multipack. He’s based on Soundwave’s original design (referred to as his G1 design), though I’m certain there are a few design changes that a more die-hard fan than I could point out. The figure is about 6 ½ inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation. As far as I can tell, the sculpt is wholly original to this figure, but I don’t have any others to check. It’s a well sculpted figure, though he’s definitely been adapted so as to fit the style of this line. Most of the work is on the simpler side, with no really fine detailing, but that seems to be in line with the rest of the line, and it’s done well. The figure has a few ports here and there for various add-ons and accessories to be plugged in. While it’s fairly evident that they are there, they meld pretty well with the rest of the figure. I’d be interested to see if that carries to the non-robotic designs in the Marvel line. The paintwork is roughly on par with the sculpt. It’s rather straight forward, with no real fine detail work or anything. There’s also a little bit of bleed over in a few spots, though nothing atrocious. Soundwave is accessorized with his standard shoulder cannon, as well as a handheld missile launcher (because Hasbro), two gold rocket add-on thingies, a gun of some sort, and an alternate left hand (which, going by the Colossus pieces included with a few of the Marvel characters, I’m going to assume is from another character). In addition to the accessories, Soundwave also has the main point of the Hero Mashers going for him: interchangeability. He comes apart at the elbows, neck, hips, and knees (but not the shoulders, curiously). The pieces are a bit of a tight fit and some, such as the neck/head joint, are really hard to get back in place once they’ve been removed.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Soundwave was purchased from the Kmart nearest the place my family and I stayed over the holidays. In all honesty, he was something of an impulse buy. Well, the closest that I come to an impulse buy, anyway. I had seen him a few times before and passed him up, but I was at Kmart, and they had him and I hadn’t seen anything else I wanted and I sort of caved. As just an action figure, he’s fun, though not the greatest figure I’ve ever owned. As a figure built for swapability? Hasbro’s got a little ways to go before they’re on par with something like Minimates. It’s a neat idea, and the toys are good, but the joints are just a little too tight for frequent swapping.