Posts tagged with "soundwave" - 2
Posted March 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Blue Soundwave and black New Soundwave

America retired Soundwave's toy around 1986 or so.  But Japan wanted to still get some use out of him, and so they re-released him in black as "Soundblaster."  That sentence of setup only really exists so that I can tell you that in the Hong Kong-produced English dubs of Japan's Headmasters cartoon, in which Soundblaster appears, he is called "New Soundwave."  That is his actual name.  And that hilarious fact is the only reason I'm not completely bored out of my mind owning this toy.  (I bought it nominally to get the new Mini-Cassettes he comes with.)

Soundblaster (aka New Soundwave) is Soundwave with his blues changed to black.  No other deco is changed at all.  No new stickers, nothing.  Let's face it.  That's not a very striking change.  You can achieve the look with a Soundwave toy by just squinting at it in dim lighting.  So colors-wise, he's not a very compelling redeco.

Added functionality AND eyesoreness!

What does make Soundblaster stand out is the one molding change done to him.  Instead of the original flat cassette door, Soundblaster's door is an extruded box, making it possible to fit two Mini-Cassettes into his chest at the same time.  This is neat and it is also ugly.  He's already a giant mini-cassette recorder, but now he's one with a weird-ass bulbous door.

This "Encore" version of Soundblaster (meaning this is at least the second time they're reissued him) has some additional changes done to his deco versus the original reissue, which was a more faithful recreation of the vintage release.  My favorite change is the conversion of nearly all of his stickers into tampographed deco.  It's a little anti-climactic to pull Soundblaster out of the packaging and not get to put stickers on him, but I think it's worth it in the long run to not have stickers drying up and peeling off.  Some of the converted sticker deco works way better as paint, like the tiny analog time stamps on his upper right chest, since you're not covering over sculpted detail with a flat decal.

Yeah, those blue "sticker" areas should be black.

However, TakaraTomy didn't take the opportunity to "fix" some of  his deco in the conversion from stickers to paint.  See, original Soundblaster's stickers were unchanged Soundwave stickers, meaning there are these areas of blue that are meant to be continuations of Soundwave's blue surfaces.  But even now, those parts still remain blue, even though now they're painted on.  Durp.

Another thing they changed was the paint on Soundwave's face.  It's an attempt at show-accuracy, so not only does he now have red eyes instead of the original yellow, but he also has the rest of his face painted silver, as well as larger portions of his "sideburns."  This makes him more different from Soundwave than before, so I'm in favor of it.

Mostly, I'm in favor of him being New Soundwave.  And coming with the super-exciting two new tape guys who I'll talk about tomorrow.
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 April 5, 2011 at 12:03 am
I may have put this on my head at some point.

Hello, everyone! I'm sitting in SFO airport, where I'll remain until 10:30 tonight. I had a really great time at Wondercon this weekend!

Yesterday (Sunday) was my birthday. I turned 32! It was a weird birthday for me, what with me being at a convention instead of lounging around at home taking it easy. Not that most of my days are grueling fights to the finish anyway, being a webcartoonist, but you know what I mean. I was a little apprehensive blowing my birthday weekend at a convention since my birthdays have a Routine. They've always had a Routine. They're not a difficult Routine, I mean, they usually involve leaving the house for Taco Bell at some point, watching a movie I like, and drawing a comic, all things I enjoy. Even back when I had a Real Job, I had a semblance of the Routine, albeit smooshed into a smaller portion of the day. But this year I wouldn't have the Routine! I would be "stuck" behind a table in a strange city far away from my home.

By Sunday, I was starting to run out of blacks.  Helloooo 70% gray!

This was a good idea! It was a very different birthday. I got to spend it with a very, very different group than I would have otherwise, like the Blind Ferret folks, Kel McDonald, Becky and Frank, Matt Boyd, Alina Pete, George Rohac... the list goes on. And since this was one of a half-dozen weekends of the year in which I am inexplicably a celebrity, it was really amazing. Folks kept on throwing cookies and cakes at me. I amassed so many baked goods that I still have some stuffed inside my backpack on my way home.

The only sore spot is that my wife wasn't here! She did happily end up on the phone with me on Saturday night when I got sung "Happy Birthday" to for the first time, which was incredibly fortunate, but she wasn't with me, which bothered me. We've only lived together for a few years! She was not yet a firmly established part of the Routine. I kind of want her to be part of the Routine forever. This was a misstep.

I was asked to draw approximately 30 million Soundwaves this weekend.

But enough of my #FirstWorldProblems. Since I had an extra day to goof around (I booked my flight waaaaay too late to get out of San Francisco at a reasonable time), I made sure to walk around the city for hours and hours and take lots of photos so I can use them as reference in the strip. After doing Dumbing of Age for over half a year (is that right? Over half a year? My brain is probably fried, so please check my math), I've grown a passion for making the environments more real. So look for that. I might even put my characters outside sometimes! Oh my God!

And look for a new character soon. That is all.
Posted September 9, 2010 at 2:01 am
So exciting.

... it's important that you all know that in Transformers: Prime, Cliffjumper is going to be voiced by The Rock and that this is incredibly awesome.

My next batch of Generations toys got in from BigBadToyStore today.  And by "today" I mean "8 fucking pm."  Jesus, UPS. It's not a terribly exciting wave, consisting of my fifth iteration of the Sideswipe/Sunstreaker mold (and my third this year) and War for Cybertron Soundwave. I've been kind of lukewarm on him since his design isn't terribly interesting.  And he transforms into a box.  And he looks kind of awkward.

Laserbeak was busy that day.

He's not the only transforming Soundwave toy who doesn't come with a little dude, but it still feels like something is missing.  When your schtick is transforming into a box, even a box with wheels, you kinda need that extra little Mini-Con-esque interaction to work up some interest.  His chest does open and you can fit his two weapons inside.  Since they're cylinders and they both go in face-first, they do kind of look like cassette spools through the translucent chest window.  That's a consolation prize, I guess.

But seriously, that altmode is hella boring.

Tomorrow morning/afternoon/whenever I'm hitting the road for Intervention The Webcomics Convention in Rockville, Maryland.  I'll be at booth 53 and I'll be doing a panel on Saturday at 7!  Friday, the first day of the con, is the thirteenth anniversary of me webcomicking, so I guess it's only appropriate that I spend it shilling my webcomic wares in foreign lands.

But I'm sure I can come up with even extra way to celebrate it.

In the meantime, enjoy this Hijinks Ensue comic spawned by a conversation Joel and I had at AnimeFest last weekend.  There is a veritable sea of abs.
Posted May 5, 2010 at 12:56 am
No, don't hold that there! Don't-- oh, bother.

Yesterday I mentioned that Soundwave was the first of five nominees for the Transformers Hall of Fame.  Nominee number 2 is Grimlock, who is equally unsurprising.  I mean, yeah, once voting opens, Soundwave has this locked up, but Grimlock is the only guy who could possibly ever steal it from him.  Even though he won't.

Just like Soundwave's Hall of Fame bio, Grimlock's also drops some new information about him.  His speech impediment has been explained various ways before.  In the Marvel stuff, he didn't talk right because talking right was for prissy losers.  He talked badly because he wanted to.  In the original cartoon, he didn't talk very well because he was a primitive creation of Wheeljack.  (In fact, one could say that without a trip to Vector Sigma to endow him with life, he wasn't actually truly alive, but merely a complex machine.)

The Hall of Fame bio claims that his speech is fucked up because Scorponok damaged his voice processor during a battle.  Well, okay, let's add that one to the pile, I guess.

Hopefully, Dinobot will be tomorrow's nominee.  If not, I may be kind of fucked (I'll explain later), but if he is revealed to be a nominee sometime this week, I wonder what crazy retconned trivia we'll learn about him.  Is he Megatron's son?  Did he earn his rigid grill structure for pulling off a successful heist?  Will we finally learn what a steses pod is?

Who knows.  Other than us, potentially sometime tomorrow morning.
Posted May 4, 2010 at 2:01 am
Now we just need four smaller ones in various colors.

Oh my merciful lord, I actually have a new toy to talk about!

My Recon Ravage arrived in the mail today, the one I sent away for with my proofs of purchase and shipping and handling and what have you a number of months ago.  Yay, mail-in toy exclusive!  (For the US, anyway.  Elsewhere he's exclusive to Toys"R"Us.)   He comes in a big white cardboard box with N.E.S.T. markings, with a letter from Optimus Prime and a coupon inside.

They're fighting, not mounting!

He's friggin' pretty, is what he is.  The colors are stolen from the Voltron Black Lion, and used to great effect with the chrome-plated silver they gave him.  This is just plain-ol' vaccum-metalized chrome with no additional coloring, so I can rest easy that it's not gonna spiderweb and flake off.  Other chrome-related hazards may happen in due time, but flaking is crossed off the list.

(Oh, hey, and he's retooled a tiny bit.  There used to be an extra joint in his tail, a tiny balljoint just above the middle hinge.  It's gone now.  Guess tails were popping off too much?  It was kind of an inconvenience on the original version of the mold, and the articulation added little.)

And, hey, guess what, he's a Mini-Con.  What, you say!  Today Hasbro began unveiling the five fan-choice nominees for their new Transformers Hall of Fame, and Soundwave was nominee #1.  (Surprise!)  He got a entirely new bio for the occasion, and, uh, hey, his little animal partners are apparently Mini-Cons now.  Ha ha.  Weird, but not something that bothers me.  In fact, the impotent rage from others who ARE bothered will be fun enough in itself.  I'm an asshole like that.

So.  Biggest Mini-Con toy ever?  Naw, I guess that'd be Alternators Ravage.
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