So, this Transformers thing…it doesn’t appear to be going away, does it? Like last month, I am once again bookending a month’s reviews with Transformers. Today’s offering is slightly different, however, because rather than looking at something new, I’m actually looking at something quite old. About as old as a Transformer can possibly be, in fact. It’s no secret that Soundwave is my very favorite Transformer, so it’s probably not a huge shock to see me go back to his beginnings, and take a look at his vintage figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Soundwave was released in 1984, as one of the line’s first Decepticons. He was a re-working of the Microman Micro Change Cassette Man figure, and is actually one of the least changed imports the line had to offer, with only minimal re-tooling and some slight changing of his color palette. In his robot mode, Soundwave stands 7 inches tall and has 15 workable points of articulation. Though his sculpt is certainly boxier and more rudimentary than more modern offerings from the line, Soundwave is probably one of the best sculpts of the 1984 line-up. He’s pretty posable, and maintains that sort of retro robot feel without getting too goofy or basic. He’s also a rather sturdy feeling figure, which is certainly nice to find in a figure that’s 45 years old. I particularly like the metal feet, which help to keep him up and standing. There’s also virtually no kibble left over from his alt form which is downright impressive on such a figure. Said alt form is, of course, that of a micro cassette player. Cassette Man was part of a line of figures meant to be mini robots masquerading as everyday items. While Soundwave in the show had to rely on some weird mass-shifting to go from one form to the next, the toy just sticks with letting him be a realistically scaled player, which is certainly a neat idea. His transformation from one form to the other is pretty straightforward, which was a relief to a relative Transformers novice such as myself, and the cassette player form is a convincing one. I mean, it’s not like it’s super complex or anything; it’s really just a box, but it does that whole box thing pretty well. Soundwave, like many earlier Transformers, foregoes paint for more decals and the like. For the most part, they’ve held up well, but mine is missing his Decepticon logo (which was actually replaced by a rubsign decal for figures released in 1985 and beyond). Soundwave was originally packed with a shoulder cannon, a handheld weapon, and one of his cassettes, Buzzsaw. My figure only has the shoulder cannon, which is really the most important to him personally. Soundwave included an “action feature” of sorts as well; the door on his chest is spring loaded, allowing for a proper ejecting of any cassette-based associates.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
This Soundwave was traded into All Time alongside a larger collection, and spent a good couple of months just sitting back behind the counter, just the see if anyone might as to purchase him. No one did, and I found myself sitting there fiddling with him one night, at which point I realized I kinda didn’t want to put him back. So, home with me he came. He’s somewhat dated, but still pretty darn awesome, and I’m honestly pretty happy I snagged him. I mean, what kind of a Soundwave fan would I be if I didn’t have the original?