Posts tagged with "soundwave" - 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 April 1, 2014 at 12:01 am

Ratbat is an expert at shrewdly spending resources, and so I don't think he'd be pleased by how much I paid just to get him.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I'd be in pretty big trouble.  I'd probably be fired.  

Masterpiece Ratbat comes with Masterpiece Soundblaster, who is Soundwave with his blues swapped out for black.  As I've stated previously, the two kind of look the same if you squint.  It's not a very daring redeco.  I've bought Soundblasters to get exclusive Recordicons before, but the Soundblaster-to-Recordicon ratio has never been quite so staggering.   I paid $20 to get Fall of Cybertron Buzzsaw.  I paid about $70 to get Enemy and Wingthing.  But Masterpiece Soundblaster and his one exclusive little guy is about $150 depending on where you get him from.  I don't expect to see Ratbat released in any other manner -- would Toys"R"Us USA bother with a black Soundwave and a bat?  -- and so a bullet was bitten.  I have to have Ratbat.  And, hey, I have pornlord money now, so pornlord money spent!

And, yeah, it's not like it's going to be lucrative to unload the unwanted 90% of this arrangement on eBay.  Nobody's buying him for the black Soundwave, and if they were, they probably also want, you know, Ratbat.  It was kind of funny to see some folks claiming they'd just buy Ratbat separately, loose, on eBay, from those who only wanted the Black Soundwave.  Yeah.  You try that.  Meanwhile, I'll find Bigfoot.

Anyway, Ratbat himself is pretty great.  WHICH HE'D DAMN WELL BETTER BE, CONSIDERING.  Just like the two condors and Ravage, all his parts are integrated into his transformation.  You don't pop those gold chrome weapons into him at the end -- those parts are built into him from the start.  And, like the condors, it's pretty amazing that it works.  He's just a tiny bit more complicated than them, but not so much that it's annoying.  And he's way less fragile-feeling than Ravage.  

The only thing that bugs me about him is his fake kibble.  He's got little sculpted cassette spools in his chest right next to his actual cassette spools in his shoulders.  I understand why this is a thing that has occurred, but it's still something Ratbat's engineering suffers that the others don't, to the best of my recollection.

And he's leader of the Decepticons.  Have I ever mentioned that?  I probably have.  But I mentioned it again.  Plus he kicked Fortress Maximus's ass.  He's a tiny god.  A tiny accountant god.  

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 March 8, 2013 at 11:15 pm
Out of the entire set of SG Soundwave vs SG Blaster and all their new little dudes, Soundwave was the most surplus to my requirements.  I already had two Shattered Glass Soundwave toys, and one of them already sort of looked like this.  I mean, I understand why they're making him, what with this being a purposeful reuse of the Soundblaster/Twincast reissues, plus this being meant partially for Japan, where they don't have BotCon sets with SG Soundwave in them.  But, you know, personally, he wasn't a big draw.

BUT I STILL LOVE THIS GUY A BUNCH.  I'm not entirely sure why.  Maybe it's the attractive colors?  White with shock blue with hints of green just stands out.  Maybe it's that all of the crazy van deco is brought over as sticker detail.  Maybe it's that SG Soundwave's a fun-ass character.  He's got a headband  and says "righteous" all the time.

And so ultimately I suppose I welcome him.  I think BotCon's Soundwave will be my display version of the character since it remains my favorite; it's an SUV, so it doesn't transform into a simple box representing obsolete technology.  I do lose the interaction with the Recordicons, but I plan on keeping them all displayed outside his chest compartment anyway.  Chest storage is for tape guys you lost the weapons to.

In addition to the stickers which recreate Soundwave's van deco (and it still works, because us old timers remember plugging stickers all over our Walkmans as kids) there's also a sticker provided to give Soundwave his trademark headband.  You fold it over lengthwise, which is kind of tough to do precisely, and then there are perforated slots at strategic points along the headband so that you can loop the whole thing around his head and attach the ends over each other.  It works pretty well.

The only snafu is one localized to my toy.  Apparently some Chinese factory worker got some black paint on his fingers while painting the die cast feet and got his identifying marks all over Soundwave's inner thigh.  It's completely obscured in robot mode, but it was a fun surprise in cassette recorder mode.  I'll probably take some turpentine or something to it later.  Or, more likely, I'll never bother, because, as mentioned, you can't see it in robot mode, and that's how he's stored in the box once he gets put away in storage.
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 January 5, 2013 at 8:04 pm
Instead of finishing up the little Recordicon Data Disk guys, I thought I'd talk about the other toy of the exact same Soundwave I got this past week-or-so.  It's him from the future and/or our present!  And he's lost weight!

Hasbro's new direction for the Transformers Prime toyline is called Beast  Hunters, which was a title that was first used for Beast Machines in its preliminary stages.  The forgotten Predacon race of Transformers dragons has returned!  And the Autobots and Decepticons apparently have covered themselves in spikes and shit to combat them!  I found the new spikey Bumblebee first, and I think he was a pretty successful execution of this concept, but I'll talk about him later.  Soundwave, though, I dunno.

I bought him only for Ravage, as I do, because Ravage is awesome and I ain't not gonna buy a Ravage.  Like the first Soundwave toy's Laserbeak, Ravage does the splits and fits X-shaped into Soundwave's chest.  You can swap him with Laserbeak and vice versa, as I demonstrate in that first photo up there on the left.  And,  yes, Ravage's butthole is placed under Soundwave's nose and Ravage's head is reaching for Soundwave's crotch.  Let's acknowledge this and move on.

Soundwave himself is heavily retooled from the original Transformers Prime Soundwave.  The yellow and dark blue parts on Beast Hunters Soundwave remain from the original tooling, but everything else is new.  The result is kind of a mess, I think.  I'm not really sure what's going on, and it kind of detracts from Soundwave's sleek design.  On the other hand, he does transform into something that now looks less like those things the President uses to kill civilians in other countries!

shit now that's all the comments are going to be about now isn't it oh well

Beast Hunters Soundwave comes with a new grappling claw weapon as well!  It's one of those spring-loaded missile launcher deals but with a string.  It's not pictured because I forgot about it.

So let's sum up: Ravage comes with a Soundwave that's kind of a mess and possibly ultimately forgettable.  He transforms exactly the same way, but he's got more stuff on him.  And he has a grappling hook.  Maybe I'll come around on him later?  Right now, he's just hard to visually resolve.
Posted January 5, 2013 at 12:53 am
Hey, guys, Soundwave's got a new toy where little guys fit into his chest and pop out and you can buy a whole army of the little buggers. There've been other Soundwave toys since 1984 where a guy fit into his chest, but this was always a limited enterprise of one or two dudes. This Soundwave's got six so far, not counting the five upcoming Autobots which also utilize the same interaction.

Soundwave's part of the first wave of Voyager Class ($25) Generations figures.  Who does he share that first wave with?  HIMSELF!  One out of every four figures in the case assortment is actually Soundblaster, a same-character redeco of Soundwave based on his black-gold-and-red Headmasters appearance.  That's right, it's "New Soundwave," as regaled by the infamously terrible English dub of those episodes.  Soundwave comes with Laserbeak (red) and Soundblaster comes with Buzzsaw (gold).

I wasn't super keen on either Soundwave or Soundblaster, honestly, but I can't not buy a Buzzsaw toy.  Buzzsaw is awesome.  (Also, turns out I kind of have a growing nigh-complete Recordicons display, and the inclusion of these guys is perhaps mandatory anyhow.)  So when I found Soundwave and Soundblaster buried deep in the Batman stuff while I was in San Diego, I put Soundwave back where he goes and grabbed Soundblaster for myself.   Besides, I already have a toy of Aligned Laserbeak, so this particular iteration of him isn't super-high priority.  He can wait for sales.

I had already found the sets of the other guys (Frumble/Ratbat and Frumble/Ravage), so I knew I was gonna like Buzzsaw.  Ratbat was the best of those guys, and Ratbat's just a reshell of Laserbeak/Buzzsaw.  The reason why he's the best is that he's the simplest and least irritating.  When  he drops in Data Disk mode onto the ground and the button underneath him springloads him into "vulture" mode, that's it.  That's the end of the transformation.  There's no more left to do.  And he's easy to put back in Data Disk mode.

Plus, y'know, he's Buzzsaw, whose predecessor was a frightening friggin' monster who will kill you with his face.

I will talk more about the gimmick itself when I write later about the other Recordicons, but it will suffice to say this now: WHEN THE INSTRUCTIONS TELL YOU TO PUT THE DATA DISK INTO SOUNDBLASTER'S CHEST WITH THE BUTTON FACING OUT, THIS IS A HORRIBLE LIE.  DO NOT DO THIS.  EVER.  PUT THE DISK IN BUTTON-FIRST, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Soundblaster himself is basically a larger version of the Deluxe Class War for Cybertron Soundwave from a few years ago, but now with a chest that flops open when you press a button on his shoulder.  He's got lots of tightly-ratcheted joints, so he's pretty solid.  I dunno if his vehicle mode is particularly inspiring, as it's a box with wheels, but I suppose that's probably better than a box without wheels, which is what Soundwave usually transforms into.

(Comics return on Monday, btw.)
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 May 4, 2012 at 10:26 pm

Shattered Glass Soundwave's profile card begins, "There is no Decepticon in any universe like Soundwave."  Man, everyone always forgets Cybertron Soundwave.

As a big proponent of Recordicons in general, and Shattered Glass ones in specific, in many respects I was pretty happy to be getting a toy of SG Soundwave!  He's a fun guy!  It did bum me out when he got this particular body in the Club fiction years ago, since I'd already splurged on his original body (Sonic White MP3 Soundwave) and wasn't keen to get a replacement for it, but by 2012 he'd had this body for a while and he'd basically done all of his stuff while in it.  This body had become the character by then.  The old boxy MP3 body had become a footnote.

I do happen to be in the very tiny minority that doesn't mind the Ironhide/Ratchet body.  It doesn't bug me much that his arm transformation zigzags creases across the side of his altmode.  It results in an interesting transformation, so I'm cool with it.  The one thing that did bug me was the engineering error that kept the head from looking forward, and that was something the new Soundwave head for this toy fixed.  They just sculpted the neck at an angle so the head looks forward.  And so my potential complaint about the toy itself had been removed.

However, man, that new head didn't look so hot in photographs.  It was kind of like a hit to the gut.  I was excited about him, and the face sculpt took the air out of my sails.  I am happy to report that it doesn't look that bad in person.  Or I've grown used to it.  Either way, not a big deal, I guess.  What IS way better in person than in photos is his color scheme.  His blue is attractively electric.  ...and it appears to be entirely paint on top of otherly-colored plastic (probably black).  Which is fine, because its matte-ness is part of its appeal to me, I think.  It's an especially great white/blue color combination once you throw in the green highlights.

What's not cool is that headband.  I mean, I guess I'm glad it exists.  The headband is very important to Soundwave's visuals.  Without it, he's like Popeye without his pipe or Bugs without his carrot.  But, man, this headband does not look great.  It's very rough and there's a big line of mold flash across the entire perimeter.  And it's entirely the wrong shade of green.  Hrn.

Still, all together, I was pleasantly surprised.  Just not about the headband.  Everything else is pretty keen.
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