"Soundwave is absolutely devoted to Megatron. He uses his ability to intercept any electronic transmission to ensure the supremacy of his leader, and the eventual victory of the Decepticons over the Autobots."
Let's start off this post by making sure everyone knows that Soundwave and Megatron, according to Soundwave's package bio, are basically married. We got that? Okay, we can move on now.
Soundwave was the guy from wave 1 that I was looking forward to the most. He comes with a little guy! And he was in more than one episode. In the show, he's basically Shortpacked!'s Mike, if Mike were mute, and also if Mike only hated Starscream. Okay, so not very much like Mike. But his function on the show so far is to be a jerk to Starscream without saying a word. And Soundwave is very good at it. It's very entertaining. I hope he never speaks. It would diminish him.
Prime Soundwave turns into some sort of unmanned drone jet. His toy looks more like a convoluted knob of transformation joints, but the wings and nose of the plane remain smooth and alt-modey. The obvious robot mode greebles and hinges everywhere make the jet mode less satisfying than it should be, but like Voyager Megatron they at least are in service of creating a great robot mode.
For all Soundwave's convoluted knob of joints, he transforms pretty simply. The nose splits up to make legs. The rear opens to reveal the head. The wings unfold into arms. Those joints are there mostly for articulation, like the knees and balljointed hips that sit between the wings and the fuselage.
Soundwave's robot mode, also like Megatron, is amazingly faithful to the show's design. I never would have thought you'd get that robot mode out of anything, even a ball of joints with wings. The backs of Soundwave's legs are kind of messy, but that's my only complaint. He has all the articulation you'd need, plus a little extra joint in his tummy to help him hunch over properly.
Speaking of all the articulation you need, Soundwave has his little buddy Laserbeak. You can peg Laserbeak into Soundwave's arm and have Soundwave talk to him all you like. And when Laserbeak's work is finished, you can fit Laserbeak right back onto his resting place on Soundwave's chest. He can remain there in jet mode or plug into the top of the jet mode and look conspicuous there.
I kind of wish Laserbeak had, y'know, a beak. Also I think Laserbeak should talk. That's something Dark of the Moon got right.
Soundwave's only one per case in wave one, unlike everyone else in the assortment. He's shortpacked! So have fun with that. When Graham and I found these guys on Wednesday, we had to go to more than one store to make sure we had one for both of us. Let me tell you, it's much easier to ask an employee to get a box out of the back if you're buying most of the case than it is to ask an employee to get a box out of the back to get the shortpacked guy. Even if I know I'm not doing this to scalp them, it makes me feel a little guilty for no reason.