TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON TRILOGY (HASBRO)
Oh man, was my last Soundwave review on the site really Bayverse? Yikes, I can’t let that stick. I mean, at least he wasn’t some stupid sports car or something, but still. Okay, let’s got extra, primo classic with this one then, I guess.
This summer, Netflix dropped a new Transformers cartoon, based on Hasbro’s currently running War For Cybertron trilogy of toy lines. Hasbro corresponded with a set of Walmart-exclusive re-decos of some of their figures, making them a bit more show accurate. With the show’s second part, Earthrise, upon us, Hasbro’s doing something a little different, and actually using this exclusive line to do some slightly reworked sculpts. In the case of today’s Soundwave, that means he actually gets an earth mode this time. Gee, I wonder what it might be?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Soundwave is part of the second assortment of Walmart’s War For Cybertron Trilogy line. He’s one of two Voyager class offerings this round, with the other being Optimus Prime. In his robot mode, the figure stands 6 1/2 niches tall and he has 25 workable points of articulation. As I touched on in the intro, some of the second assortment figures got some new tooling, and Soundwave is included there. He’s got quite a few parts in common with his Siege counterpart, including the head, forearms, hands, feet, and parts of his pelvis. I was a little bummed that the forearms were kept the same, since they were one of my only complaints about the original, but I guess they had to draw the line somewhere. Additionally, much of the inner workings of this figure, notably the articulation, are shared between the two. Siege Soundwave is a very nice figure in his own right, and very strong recreation of his G1 bot mode, so keeping a lot of the parts is fine by me. The new pieces are largely just about changing up some surface level details. Some of the more greebly bits are removed from the arms and legs, and he’s generally just made cleaner and sleeker, bringing him a little closer to his original design. The biggest changes occur on the torso, which is a little wider hand has a slightly different construction at a few spots, as well as removing a number of the moving parts from the Siege mold. The reasoning behind this change comes more into play in the next section.
Boom, here we are in the next section, where we discuss the figure’s alt-mode. Since the ‘80s, Soundwave figures have had to deal with the question of what to do for an alt-mode for a guy who turns into out of date tech. The Siege figure gave him a weird sort of dropship mode, which I didn’t hate, but I also didn’t love. This release just decides to not even try and come up with a more up-to-date mode, so he once again turns into a cassette player. The new torso has been designed to help facilitate this change more fully, and ultimately his transformation scheme isn’t too far removed from the vintage figure. There are a few more moving parts, and the end product’s a touch more fiddly, but it’s overall a set-up that works. In addition to the new alt-mode, Soundwave also gets a new, much cleaner and bolder paint scheme than the Siege release. No silver paint this time, or at least no silver paint where his basic design doesn’t call for it. He’s got all the silver paint he’s *supposed* to have. Soundwave is packed with the shoulder and hand cannons that were included with the Siege release, as well as is gun that folds into a staff. Additionally, he comes with Laserbeak and Ravage packed right in this time, instead of them being separate releases. Both figures get new decos to make them look a bit more like actual tapes (with Ravage’s being the one that really sells it), and Laserbeak also gets a new more Earth-y bird head, which I really like.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like so many Transformers before him, this figure is Max’s fault. Well, okay, it’s mostly Hasbro’s fault, since they, you know, made it. But Max showed me the original leaked photos, and let me know it was a Walmart exclusive, and ultimately hooked me up with this one I’m reviewing here. I love the Siege figure, but I didn’t love his alt-mode. This figure fixes that, and also just makes for a slightly cleaner robot mode. I like that a lot. I don’t know that I’d say he’s definitively better than the Siege release, but I do really like the adjustments made here. He’s definitely a good Soundwave.