#3268: Soundwave – Shattered Glass

SOUNDWAVE

TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: SHATTERED GLASS COLLECTION (HASBRO)

I’ve discussed “Shattered Glass,” the Transformers equivalent of the Mirror Universe concept, once before here on the site.  That time, it was in regards to my favorite Autobot, Ultra Magnus, as his evil alternate self.  But, I can’t just look at an evil Autobot and leave the poor heroic Decepticons out in the cold, can I?  Well, as luck would have it, they just so happened to also do the alternate version of my favorite Decepticon, Soundwave, who in this reality trades his usual cold and calculating persona for a laid back resistance fighter.  Totally radical!  …Right?  Because, he’s like, cool and stuff?  Yeah.  Okay.  I’ll stop trying to be cool now.  Let’s just look at the figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Soundwave is figure #10 in the Shattered Glass Collection.  He wraps up the second batch of figures, and appears to wrap up the sub-line as a whole, at least as far as we know.  He actually stuck pretty close to his expected release, arriving in mid-November.  In his robot mode, the figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 25 practical points of articulation.  Soundwave’s mold is predominantly shared with the Walmart-exclusive War For Cybertron Soundwave.  It’s the most straight forward update to the G1 Soundwave mold we’ve gotten at this scale, and it’s thus far only had the one other use, so it makes a lot of sense here.  My only real issue with the mold remains the forearms, which still feel just a touch greebly for the rest of the sculpt.  Other than that, it’s really strong.  His head sculpt has been modified to include SG Soundwave’s signature headband, which gives him that more laid back feel.  It’s a minor change-up, but I dig it.  As with all of the SG figures, the color scheme marks the biggest departure for this release.  He’s predominantly white, and the sections of blue that remain are a much lighter (and metallic) shade.  He’s just much brighter than usual, which makes for a great contrast compared to the standard look.  The application is generally pretty clean, with the only (small) issue on mine being that his Decepticon emblem is *ever so slightly* off-center.  It’s not the worst I’ve seen, but it’s a little off.  Also, not a real issue on my figure, but some Soundwaves are arriving with a lot of yellowing on the white plastic.  Thus far, mine’s a little discolored in his right arm, but it’s very minor for me.  Soundwave gets the same accessory selection as the last one, with the two styles of blaster (in proper matching colors for the figure), as well as Ravage and Laserbeak.  Ravage and Laserbeak are both using their Siege molds (in contrast to Laserbeak getting the Earth-mode head for the WFC release), and they both get updated colors, with Ravage matching up with Soundwave, and Laserbeak getting an inverted palette.  Since he’s re-using the updated WFC version of the mold, his alt-mode is once again the mini cassette player.  The transformation scheme is pretty straight forward, and the end result is pretty great…when viewed from the front.  The back’s a different story, but honestly, that’s not the end of the world.

Like the Ultra Magnus, Soundwave is packed with an issue of IDW’s Transformers: Shattered Glass II, specifically issue 5.  It wraps up the story.  I missed the four issues between the two I got, but I honestly didn’t feel any more lost here than on the prior issue.  It’s a little better than the first issue, but it’s still just sort of there.  It does again showcase Soundwave pretty well, so that’s cool.  It’s also the final Transformers comic to be published by IDW, ending their 17 year run with the license.  So, you know, there’s that, I guess.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure is, once again, Max’s fault.  It’s a Transformer, and it’s a Pulse exclusive, so he’s got no escaping the blame.  I already had Magnus, and there was no way I could pass on Soundwave.  Max, knowing this, immediately contacted me as soon as this guy was shown off to verify that I indeed wanted one, so that he could throw one into his order.  Here he is again, being all helpful and stuff.  The nerve.  He’s not quite as impressive as the Ultra Magnus, but he’s still very fun, as are the two updated cassettes.  And thus ends the venture into Shattered Glass, I guess.

#3187: Ultra Magnus – Shattered Glass

ULTRA MAGNUS

TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: SHATTERED GLASS COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Welcome to an alternate universe where the bad guys are good, and the good guys are bad…Shattered Glass is a mirror universe where Optimus Prime and the Autobots are the evil conquerors and ruling class of Cybertron, opposed by the noble Megatron and his heroic Decepticon rebels.

Ultra Magnus has become bored with warfare.  Having ended more sparks than he can count, he sets his sights on something greater: the destruction of the universe.”

First appearing in 2008 as the inspiration for a Botcon-exclusive boxed set, “Shattered Glass” is the Transformers version of a pretty classic sci-fi trope: the alternate universe where all the good guys are evil and all the bad guys are good…you know, kinda like it says in the italicized text above.  I guess Hasbro’s kind of okay at explaining that one too.  While all the tie-in toys were initially just handled by Fun Publications, the group in charge of both the Transformers and G.I. Joe Collector’s Clubs and their respective exclusives, and therefore not part of any of Hasbro’s proper Transformers lines, Hasbro officially brought “Shattered Glass” into their line with a Generations Select two-pack featuring the evil counterparts to Optimus Prime and Ratchet, in 2020.  In 2021, they launched a full sub-line, the Shattered Glass Collection, which was exclusive to Hasbro Pulse.  Personally, I’m not deep enough into Transformers to really need the Shattered Glass stuff, but…well, as you can see, there’s kind of an Ultra Magnus.  And, uhh, I kinda tend to just buy everything Ultra Magnus.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Ultra Magnus is figure #6 in the Shattered Glass Collection.  He’s the first of the second batch of figures for the line, and started arriving to those who pre-ordered him at the beginning of September, which was about a month ahead of his original projected release date.  Hey, it’s not as drastic as *some* of Hasbro’s recent date changes, right?  Right.  In his fully built up robot mode, the figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 20 workable points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s mostly the same as the Kingdom Magnus.  It’s a good, classic Magnus mold, and genuinely my favorite Magnus, so I’m certainly not hurt by seeing it turn up again.  There are a few quirks to this particular use of the mold, but they’re largely to do with the paint, so I’ll get to them in a moment.  Before that, I’ll discuss the one new part of this mold, which is the head.  The original BotCon Shattered Glass Magnus had a unique head sculpt, which gave Magnus a skeletal visage and a more sinister shaping to his helmet.  It’s certainly a different design for the character, and it’s kind of the one signature part of SG Magnus, so this figure gets a new head to match that look.  Personally, I feel it clashes just a bit stylistically with the rest of the body, but it’s not a bad piece in its own right.  The paint work marks the biggest change-up for this figure, as has been the case for all of the Shattered Glass releases.  While a lot of the palette shifts for the Autobots are more centered on giving them more classically evil colors to mess with, in Magnus’s case, he actually gets a throwback to his history, with the colors of Powered Convoy, the original toy Magnus used the molds from (which were almost Magnus’s colors as well, had Hasbro not decided to shift his colors before Transformers: The Movie‘s release).  It’s honestly a sensible choice for an alternate universe Magnus, since it involves reversing his color scheme, making it feel all evil and stuff.  Unfortunately, this color scheme winds up requiring some paint where there wasn’t on the first use of this mold, which messes with the tolerances on some of the moving parts just a bit.  On my figure, the prime offenders are the inner wrist guards and the shoulder rockets, neither of which really wants to sit just right.  Beyond that, though, they look pretty solid.  It’s worth noting that in the Transformers canon, the Powered Convoy colors have been made into a separate character, Delta Magnus, and in order to facilitate this guy pulling double duty, he also includes the standard Kingdom Magnus head colored to match the core body.  He’s also got his blaster rifle (now in red), as well as the sword, axe, and Matrix of Leadership from the Legacy Laser Prime.

As a re-use of the Kingdom mold, SG Magus has an inner bot under all of the outer armor.  His mold is totally unchanged, which is honestly just fine by me.  He does get a drastically different color scheme, however.  While the outer robot could pull double duty as Delta Magnus, the inner robot uses the original Powered Convoy inner bot colors, thus allowing him to serve as a third character, Magna Convoy.  I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know anything about Magna Convoy, and reading his wiki entry didn’t really help much on that front, but I do like the look of the color scheme he’s got.  Not enough to ever display this figure sans armor, but such is the curse of any inner Magnus bot.  The inner bot turns into the same truck cab as the original Kingdom release did, just with the updated colors, and just like that one, you can reconfigure the armor pieces into a trailer for the cab.  It’s still a little bit slapdash, but I still don’t really mind that.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It’s Max’s fault.  No, really, it’s totally Max’s fault.  He completely enabled me on this one.  I didn’t even know it was coming, he told me about its existence, and he even let me jump in on his Pulse Premium membership to help me get one.  How dare he?  Downright unreasonable.  In all seriousness, I’ve been wanting a Delta Magnus re-deco since Siege, and that only increased with the Kingdom mold in play.  I wasn’t expecting the Shattered Glass angle, but I can’t say I’m upset about it, since it just means extra stuff.  He’s gonna stay in the Delta Magnus mode for my display, but I’m always down for more options.

Oh, and there’s also a comic.  Right.  Genuinely forgot.  Was gonna do a bit and then I actually forgot.  He comes with the first issue of IDW’s Transformers: Shattered Glass II, which gets a special exclusive cover for this release.  It sure is a comic.  There are words.  Illustrations.  Colors.  Events occur.  Not sure I’d say it has a plot, but it’s sure got a lot of Magnus.  I can’t say it’s good or bad.  It just…is.