TRANSFORMERS WAR FOR CYBERTRON: KINGDOM (HASBRO)
While the main Transformers line has largely shifted back to the G1 line’s “classes are dictated by the character’s scale within the overall set-up”, there have long been other lines that give us the characters in actually different scales. The smaller, more affordable set-up is a particularly recurrent one, gathering a few differing names over the years, including Basic Class, Spy Changers, Legion Class, and Legends Class. For the latest version, they’re now the “Core Class,” which has taken over the main line price point previously held by the Micro Masters in the last two main lines. There are a few new characters, but the main focus is the heavy hitter G1 characters. And, if I’m reviewing one, you know that means there’s gotta be a Soundwave.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Soundwave is part of the third Core Class assortment for Transformers War For Cybertron: Kingdom, alongside the brand new Dracodon. In his robot mode, Soundwave stands about 3 inches tall and he has 15 practical points of articulation. Soundwave is an all-new sculpt, patterned on his G1 cartoon design. He’s rather similar thematically to the two Voyager Class releases from this trilogy, but is of course about half their size. To facilitate this, his articulation is a little more rudimentary, but that doesn’t stop it from working pretty well from a practicality stand point. The new sculpt is a very clean and sharply detailed recreation of the classic Soundwave. It doesn’t have as much going on as the larger versions, but that doesn’t stop it from getting the feel of the character. Moreover, it gives it a nice, basic feel, which I very much dig. The paint work is like wise very clean and to the point, which I’m totally down for. Soundwave is armed with both his handheld and shoulder cannons, as well as Laserbeak, who, much like the R.E.D. version, is permanently in cassette mode. Speaking of cassettes, while it took three tries at the larger scale, this guy gets his cassette player alt-mode right out of the gate. It’s a pretty simple transformation, as expected, but the end result is generally pretty decent. The feet don’t quite fold down enough for the proper clean angles, but otherwise it looks nice, and it’s less fiddly than the larger version. I do miss the spring loaded door, though.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When Core Class was unveiled, it looked cool enough, but I stuck to my guns and swore to only get my two go-tos, should they be added to the line. Sure enough, Soundwave got added pretty quickly, and I was onboard from day 1 for this guy. The Earthrise version was really nice, but something about the simplicity and pure fun of this release really appeals to me, and he’s probably my favorite modern Soundwave release.