Posts tagged with "laserbeak" - 1
Posted December 6, 2020 at 10:48 pm

Some of Stege was a little too stegey, y'know?  Just so much molded surface detail that they looked like a popcorn ceiling all over.  Many toys escaped that look, but some did not.  For example.... Stege Soundwave.  Sure, he transformed into a sci-fi drop ship which kinda looked like Soundwave's robot mode taking a nap, but honestly his worst quality was that he looked like a gravel road.  Just, like, entirely too much detail.  He looked like somebody loaded up an image of cartoon Soundwave into Photoshop and just hit the "Add Noise" filter like 30 times.

Which is a huge reason why I'm more into the new Walmart exclusive Netflix Soundwave, which really exists as an excuse for Hasbro to retool Stege Soundwave into a version of himself that can become a microcassette recorder again.  But they removed a lot of the steginess and replaced them with new parts that aren't so greebly, and now he's not nearly so much of an eyesore.  I mean, the parts that are left unretooled, like his forearms, kind of stand out a bit amongst the new parts, but that's honestly fine because what was so bad about the greebly was that it was uniformly greebly EVERYWHERE.  So if it's just on his arms or whatever, that's an improvement, even if it sticks out.

Anyway, yeah, Soundwave's a tape deck (microcassette recorder) again.  He comes with Laserbeak and Ravage, who also have a small bit of retooling and some updated deco.  Both get new heads -- Laserbeak gets an Earth condor head instead of his Cybertronian head, while Ravage gets the same head design but snarling.  Laserbeak gets more paint on his wings, while Ravage has his microcassette tape detail painted on him.  I collect Ravages, so I was kinda stuck getting this set regardless, even though I'm happy to have the less Stegey Soundwave.  

He does have the cartoon red eyes now instead of my preferred yellow toy/Marvel eyes, but I might be able to swap those.  We'll see.

Now I'm asking again, Hasbro, where's my gaddang Buzzsaw?

Posted September 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

There comes a time in a man's life when he's willing to buy limited-edition Linkin Park crossbranded Transformers robots.  Generally that time comes after he's drawn a bunch of official comics about tape cassette guys and these new gold tape cassette guys either fill in some blanks or offer potential for the future!  See that gold Laserbeak/Buzzsaw?  Totally SG Buzzsaw.  Collection hole filled. See that gold Ratbat?  Totally civilian-mode SG Ratbat. Collection hole filled.  See those other guys, including the duplicate Laserbeak/Buzzsaw?  I have the ability to make them new characters, though the magic of of a certain corner of canon which I uniquely wield.  

Of course, no matter way you slice it, I still have this group of expensive butterscotch-colored Transformers.

Man, what a weird thing this is.  Linkin Park got the chance to design their own color scheme for Soundwave and four of his friends, and they went for solid gold plastic.  I will never understand them.  And because this set comes with both Buzzsaw and Laserbeak, and because everyone is solid gold plastic, it means you get two identical guys.  Who's Buzzsaw?  Who's Laserbeak?  WHO KNOWS!

The whole thing comes in a special packaging that looks like a larger black Soundwave with a cassette player inside that says "LINKIN PARK/TRANSFORMERS MIX" on it.  Inside the packaging is the usual plastic tray that the toys sit in, but this plastic tray is flocked in purple so it looks like velvet.  Yes, this is that ridiculous.

There's a fold-out instructions booklet that features recolored Soundwave's box art in gold and simple instructions for everybody, because everyone's pretty simple, because these are 1984 and 1986 dudes.  I'm guessing the many, many stock image photographers did not get a copy of these instructions, because there is a myriad of hilariously mismatched guys-and-accessories image sets.

My Ratbat came misassembled, with his tippy-toes pointed inside his own cassette mode torso in such a way that you can't flip them out for bat mode.  And so I spent the first few minutes of opening this guy unscrewing him open so I could set things right and then screw him back together again.  Man, no wonder everyone loses this guy's ears.  They are held in by nothing more than teensy-tiny bumps and friction.

Anyway, I already have identities figured out for the non SG Buzzsaw/SG Ratbat guys in this set, so I guess look forward to those, if you're a Transformers Collectors' Club subscriber.  

(Can I just unilaterally declare this toy is SG Buzzsaw and have it officially be so, or so I have to do a new strip where he's a little golder than he was previously?)

Posted August 2, 2013 at 3:10 am

People are still scrambling Toys "R" Uses this week to get their hands on Masterpiece Soundwave. He's scarce and tends to be bought up in the first five minutes of whatever store he appears at. It's been a mad dash, and hopefully more will continue to filter into stores. I got mine at Comic-Con, from Entertainment Earth's booth, thanks to some help from Phillip Donnelly and his magical mug. (Brandon Bird also owes PD some thanks, as the mug was not only magical but transferable.)

How is the toy? Well, long story short, it's the best robot toy you'll ever own that folds up into a box. And man, does it fold up into a box! I know there's something in my brain that pumps happy juice through my body when I know a robot can transform into something, but damn if that Box Mode ain't superfluous. It's not like you can't do all the stuff you can do with his box mode in robot mode! That mini-cassette door still opens and everything. And it's not like Box Mode actually looks like a micro-cassette recorder -- he looks like a box with a very tiny window in it. This is entirely because his cassette door is still the same size as the original's to accommodate identically-sized micro-cassette toys, but the robot mode which surrounds that door is a chunk larger, and so you have this ridiculous... thing. Like Soundwave's altmode got elephantiasis.

The door still opens when you press the eject button on the top/shoulder. This time around, there's room inside him for three Recordicons. The back wall of the cassette storage area can slide in by pushing on it, and a button on Soundwave's backside will reset this wall to the usual one-cassette-deep width, so long as he's not full of dudes at the time. The arrow buttons on his crotch also depress, but those don't accomplish anything. There are ridges on both Soundwave's shoulders and his forearms that Buzzsaw or Laserbeak's feet can plug into, all perch-like.

He transforms about as simply as you'd expect -- very similarly to the original toy -- but with a few added wrinkles of some additional fold-out panels to cover up his articulation. His shoulder-mounted missile launcher and hand-held rifle are also included, but this time they don't transform into his batteries and store inside a battery compartment. Mind, they still transform into the same battery shape, but you don't put them inside him like batteries inside his battery compartment anymore (that's where his head goes) and instead they kind of just peg behind him and fill up space easily viewable from behind. D'oh well.

Soundwave also comes with a plethora of additional accessories, other than the five Recordicons and their stuff. He has a little vacuum cleaner attachment for his wrist, he has a digital-readout screen which you can plug into his chest door to make it look like he's computing stuff, he has an energon cube which you can pull the lid off of and plug into his chest door to make it look like he's making energon cubes -- all things he did in the cartoon. I'm not a big cartoon guy, so those won't get much play from me. He also comes with a nontransformable Megatron rifle. I think it's the same one that came with earlier MP toys.

Tiny Blaster not included. You gotta buy a Giant-Ass Jetfire for him.

Unlike the Japanese release, though, this Soundwave has yellow eyes instead of red, which reflects more his original toy and early comic book appearances. I welcome this change! I was happy to learn he was getting yellow eyes. On the other hand, his Frenzy seems to be purpler than the Japanese Frenzy, in order to make him look more like cartoon Rumble, even though the packaging still calls him Frenzy. Buzzsaw's accent color is now more yellow than orange, and I think there may be some other very slight color differences all around.

IMPORTANT: Be careful with Soundwave's dang index fingertips. Seriously, this piece will drop from him like ripened fruit. The only thing keeping the fingertip on the rest of his finger is the tiniest bit of friction, and trying to articulate it without it sliding out of "joint" (I use this term loosely because there is barely a set of bumps in there to keep it in place) will almost always cause it to go diving for whatever floor or table or couch you're over at the time. You will be looking for this finger constantly. Years from now, there will be no Soundwaves with complete index fingers. I prophesy this.


Posted January 12, 2013 at 12:25 am
Yay, I have my Frenzy (red guy) again!  I left him in Memphis, and so Alan had to mail him to me.  Also, now I have Laserbeak (and Soundwave).  I had a $5 Rewards coupon at Toys"R"Us and figgered oh what the hell.  Besides, as of the most recent issue of Robots in Disguise, this data disk form is now repurposed as G1 Laserbeak's current body.  Guess he's gonna replace the GDO Skystalker redeco in my display.  It was fun having you around for a few months!

So here's how this thing is supposed to work.  These guys are these little cylinders, right?  And there is a button on the bottom of them that triggers an auto-transform when it's depressed.  And so you cram up to three of these dudes inside Soundwave or Soundblaster's torso, and use a chunk of kibble on his back to push these disks out through the front of his chest like he's taking a front-poop.  One by one, these disks hit the ground and land on their buttons and spring-transform and you're done.

EXCEPT IT KIND OF DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY.  Mostly these guys get stuck and then you push and push and push and use excessive force and then when finally one of them gives they all explode out of his chest at the same time, usually hitting you in the face no matter where your face is and then you have a scattering of half-transformed things everywhere.  It would be perfect fun if it worked as advertised, but it really, really doesn't.  Some folks have said sanding down the insides of their Soundwaves helps smooth things over.  I may try that?  But, man, it's hard to accept that these things reached stores with their main gimmickry being dead in the water.

Not helping at all are the instructions, which demonstrate you putting the disks into Soundwave with the activation button facing outwards.  oh jesus guys don't do this ever   I nearly lost a Ratbat by trying this.  They will not come out.  I had to get a screwdriver or something to jam into one of Ratbat's crevices to get some leverage to yank him out.  It is a testament to the plastic they make these guys outta, though.  These guys are fortunately made of sturdy stuff.

The flying guys are my favorite.  Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, and Ratbat all transform fully by having their buttons depressed, and they do this little flip, and it's easy to put them back in disk mode.  Laserbeak and Buzzsaw are obviously redecoes of each other, and Ratbat's a retool.  He's the same engineering, but reskinned to be a bat instead of a bird.

Frenzy and Rumble are middle-of-the-road to me.  They require a few extra steps to get from "hey i've auto transformed" mode into their completed transformation.  You gotta swing down the arms so they're not doing the wave and fold out their feet.  It takes a little extra time to get them back into disk mode, too.  You have to rotate their pelvis around and maneuver their pelvis and legs down and around at the same time.  A little annoying, but not a dealbreaker.

Ravage is infuriating.  He pops out half-transformed, and then you have to open his back and flip out his tail and then set the back down loosely on top of his body and then open up his hind legs and maybe fiddle around with those a little.  And the result is this awful-looking thing.  He's got a longer torso than Mike Turner's Supergirl and an ugly little rat face, with tiny little limbs at both ends.  He is not an attractive thing.  To get him back into disk mode, first you have to let go of the concept of being happy again for the rest of your life.  Then you spend the next several minutes trying to negotiate him back.  Certain parts won't move into place unless certain other parts are in the middle of whatever they're doing.  There's no one-two-three step to him.  It's all at once and also never at once.  If I could explain it, I could do it, and I can't do it.  I mean, I can.  After way too long.  And cursing and threatening to destroy all humanity and probably pushing some things in ways they are not meant to be pushed.  It's not often I am tempted to take a sledgehammer to something I just paid money for.

To add insult to injury is the realization that this toy is this way because of a gimmick that doesn't work properly.

Let that sink in.

Posted June 23, 2012 at 12:44 am

I've been realizing that in these past few months that, hey, I have toys of Soundwave in his briefly-appearing satellite form from Revenge of the Fallen, but I don't have one of him in his Earth mode in which he did stuff with other characters. The tiny Legends Class toy reached the United States, but not the two larger toys.  I'd have to import them from Asia.

And so I did.  I had to choose one over the other, and that took a bit of research and photo-staring.  The "normal" DOTM Soundwave is likely considered the Deluxe Class toy, but it didn't come with a Laserbeak and would likely be smaller than I'd want versus most other characters.  I don't want Bumblebee to tower over Soundwave, after all, and worse than that is having a Laserbeak be as big as he is.  Placing Deluxe Laserbeak on Deluxe Soundwave's shoulder seems like it would be an impossibility.

On the other hand, the Human Alliance version of Soundwave, which comes with its own Laserbeak, might be too big!  The biggest Megatron that came out for DOTM was the Voyager, and the Human Alliance toy would likely dwarf that toy in mass.  Plus it costs more!  And so I had to determine my priorities.

Eventually, I decided I prioritized Soundwave's scale versus Laserbeak and (secondarily) Bumblebee over his scale with Megatron.  So Human Alliance it is!  Plus, dudes, I have been seriously craving a McDreamy Dylan Gould toy.  How can you say no to that.  Since Transformers toys have been shrinking a little over the years, the Human Alliance version of Soundwave is actually not too badly scaled next to Deluxe Bumblebee.  He's bigger than Bumblebee by a little bit, which is fine, because that's how I prefer my villains.  (It probably helps that most of his mass goes to kibble behind his arms, which doesn't add to his height.)  And, obviously, the Laserbeak he comes with isn't too big for him.  Laserbeak clips to his forearm or can transform into a hilarious missile-launching vehicle for McDreamy to ride.


Soundwave himself is... intimidating.  If you don't like complicated toys, stay far away from him.  He's a bit of a mess.  Just orchestrating the layers of car parts on the backs of his arms is work enough.  He's seriously a chore to transform.  It's not that there's any terrible parts, it's just that there's so damn much of it.  Fortunately, he looks nice in both modes.  And I'm amazed at how efficient his... leg transformation is?  The entirety of both his legs fit into his rear bumper.  They unfold out of an area the size of a Chicken McNugget.  His legs are admittedly stumpy, but I recall DOTM Soundwave's robot mode was pretty gorilla-like in proportion anyhow, so.

Plus, again, he comes with McDreamy.
Posted February 5, 2012 at 11:32 pm
"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.
Posted July 5, 2011 at 9:54 pm
"Scrawwwk, I say, scrawwwk!"

There will be some really minor spoilers in this review.

And watch me frontload them:  Laserbeak was a surprise for me in Dark of the Moon.  Not that he'd be in it, but rather that I'd enjoy him so much.  I'm not super big on Laserbeak usually.  I'm a Buzzsaw fanboy.  But, well, when Laserbeak talked, I got like the hugest boner. Early Marvel Comics-style talking Recordicons represent!  And all his dialog fleshed out Laserbeak as a character in his own right, rather than "that guy hanging out on Soundwave's arm," for maybe like the first time in ever.  What an enjoyably creepy friggin' dude.  Man, if only Ravage had gotten to talk.

You can just ignore this.

Second minor spoiler: Laserbeak transforms into basically anything electronic and small in the movie.  A laptop, a television set, a photocopier... But this is definitely not the case for his Deluxe class toy.  No, just like last movie's Ravage toy, Laserbeak has a beast mode and a... well, what the hell else can we make this thing? mode.  Laserbeak's toy altmode is a jet.  It's not a terribly good jet.  In fact, it's just a terrible jet.  I'm not sure why anybody would want the toy in this mode ever.  Which is just as well, since I like the bird mode a lot.  It's a pretty good likeness, plus he's articulated all to hell, with multiple joints in his neck and tail, hinges and rotational places on his wings, and slightly useful joints in his somewhat oversized legs.  And his mouth can open!  Because, y'know, he can talk.

He comes with two MechTech cannons.  If you shove one into the ass of the other, the barrel of the "catcher" swings around to become a differently-shaped barrel.  Also, now the gun is twice as long, what with it being two guns.  Interesting, but meh!

Man, it's been forever since I've bought a movie character and liked the toy MORE after seeing the film!
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