The Transformers Prime mainline is finally here, even though it’s being called Robots in Disguise for some reason (because it’s not like there was another toyline/cartoon with the same name…). Either way, like they say, a rose by any other name is still a rose. I’m glad the line’s finally here, even if it took what, a year after the show came out for the toys to hit shelves? And those were just the first editions (which I wish I had…). Let’s hope that despite some potential ups and downs that this line is going to be around for awhile, and the cartoon as well.
One of my most highly-anticipated entries into the Prime toyline was Soundwave. He’s a first in Transformers, changing into a Reaper drone. The transformation is unfortunately not perfect, coming with a lot of visible robot kibble in vehicle mode. I can’t say this is all that surprising considering his vehicle mode. Nothing like this has been done before so there will definitely be some sort of a learning curve for Hasbro and Takara until they get it down.
There’s nothing too fancy about Soundwave’s transformation, but it’s nothing too complicated either. His arms gain quite a bit of length from the transformation, which is probably my favorite aspect of his design.
Even without the long, extended arms, this incarnation of Soundwave is probably my favorite take on the character. You can tell by looking at his creepy, slender form that he’s one of the guys the other Decepticons don’t associate with much. He’s the ‘con who spends all day at his post working and everyone else is too afraid to go near him. The fact that he never says a word is just the icing on the cake.
I love the design of Soundwave’s face, which flips up via an automorph gimmick. What I DON’T like is the fact that he was clearly designed to have light piping, but it got gimped by being painted over. I hate it when this happens, especially when you think of how cool black light piping would be.
Thanks to their weird, spindly design, Soundwave’s arms are VERY pose-able, albeit in some really strange ways. I really like it, and as I mentioned before, it’s my favorite part of his design. He does manage to have 5mm points on his hands that don’t look too out of place, but I’ll get to those later.
However, as great as his arms are, his legs are a total mess. They’re overloaded with kibble and aren’t very pose-able at all. It’s a shame, because they ruin what would be an otherwise perfect figure in my eyes. I really wish I was able to get him into a decent bowing pose.
His sole accessory is, appropriately, Laserbeak, who makes up his chest assembly. He’s… a bird? Sort of? I don’t know how to describe it; he looks like something out of the original Star Fox. But it’s cool, either way, and he fits into the 5mm ports, so Soundwave can actually hold him! However, I prefer to keep Laserbeak in Soundwave’s chest, just because he looks so… bare without him.
Crappy legs are all that keeps me from giving Soundwave my full recommendation. He’s a good toy overall, but the legs prevent him from being a great toy. I’d recommend him if you’re into the design, but if you just want a Prime toy for the sake of getting a Prime toy, get Wheeljack during your next visit to FPNYC.