TRANSFORMERS PRIME: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE (HASBRO)
It’s been a bit of a spell since I’ve looked at any Transformers, which is something that didn’t used to be a weird thing, but now has become one. What a weird world I live in now. Well, the lack of Transformers should be changing post-haste, as I have some new stuff waiting for review. However, before getting into the new stuff, how about some old stuff? Though I didn’t watch it new, Transformers: Prime is one of my earlier instances of sitting down and actually watching a Transformers show through, and I definitely dig some of the updated designs that came out of it. Obviously, my favorites to come out of it are my favorites to come out of any incarnation of the franchise, so I am just all about this incarnation of Soundwave, who I’m taking a look at today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Soundwave was released in the first series of the Prime: Robots In Disguise “Revealers” line, which was the deluxe-class component of the tie-in line. In robot mode, he stands 5 1/2 inches tall and he has 23 points of workable articulation. As with most figures in this line, he was based on his cartoon appearance, which was a quite streamlined, almost bat-like design. It’s pretty far removed from the classic G1 design, but it still really fits with the spirit of the character, and I feel makes for a much cooler update than what we ended up getting in the movies. His sculpt was all new to this figure, and does a pretty respectable job of capturing Soundwave’s animated appearance from the show. It’s pretty slick and poses pretty well considering how it’s designed. He’s a touch restricted at the shoulders, but for the most part it’s impressive the level of posing you can get out of him. This Soundwave, as with just about every Soundwave post-80s, had to come up with a new alt-mode that wasn’t just a cassette player, what with those being out of vogue these days and all. Instead, Prime Soundwave’s alt-mode is a spy drone, reminiscent of the Predator B drone. Honestly, it’s a pretty solid choice of alt-mode, given Soundwave’s typical characterization as a spy and all that. His transformation process is a little more involved and finnicky than some of the more recent Transformers I’ve picked up, but it’s still pretty easy to figure out, and the end result is a pretty convincing spy drone. Soundwave was packed with his companion Laserbeak, who can either be plugged into one of the 5mm ports throughout Soundwave’s body, or folded into his chest for easy storage. The chest storage is definitely a nice throwback to the cassette set up of the vintage figures, and I really dig it. In 2013, under the revised Beast Hunters branding for Prime, Soundwave’s mold got a slight re-working, a new color scheme, and a new capture claw weapon and Ravage in place of Laserbeak. It’s a fun change-up from the initial figure, with a slightly brighter and bold color, and the new accessories are certainly a lot of fun. Not quite show-accurate, but still kind of nifty.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Since I wasn’t watching Prime when it was first airing, I wasn’t picking the figures up either. However, the Beast Hunters release of this mold was eye-catching enough for me to make my first “modern” Transformers purchase to pick it up. I always dug that one, but when I sat down and actually watched some of the show, I found myself kind of wanting that more standard Soundwave. I never did get around to snagging him…on my own, anyway. It’s kind of been raining Transformers collections at All Time recently, though, and one of them had a lot of Prime stuff in it. Max made it a point of setting aside this guy and one other figure (who I’ll be looking at tomorrow) for me, as a really awesome birthday present. Now I have Soundwave and both of his smaller buddies!