Toys R Us Masterpiece Soundwave Review
Everyone’s favorite Decepticon Boombox has received the Masterpiece treatment. Is it a well deserved title or should you stick with the KO?
Here’s the basic Soundwave bot mode. Like you would expect from a Masterpiece edition, this Soundwave looks like a classic G1 Soundwave with a bit of the cartoon flair.
Unlike the Takara version, this Soundwave has a yellow visor reminiscent of the original toy. What’s really nice is that the head can look left to right and has up and down motion.
Soundwave’s shoulder cannon is attached to him and folds out from his back (ALA: The Predator) This design does allow for more poseability than the original Soundwave since that one could only swivel left to right.
On the other side of Soundwave’s back we have his handgun. This one just plugs into the back and is not permanently attached. I understand the reason for having both guns add to Soundwave’s bulk but I do kinda miss the Battery role the G1 weapons played on the original toy.
Soundwave’s gun extends out (Similar to the original) but this time the handle folds down and the missile is part of the gun and slides out from the inside of it.
Like all Masterpiece editions, Soundwave has a lot of articulation allowing for a range of dynamic poses, but the one almost everyone (myself included) has to do is the “Ejecting his cassettes” pose
Helping with that particular pose is the articulated fingers Soundwave has. The pointer finger has two joints while the other fingers have one joint at the main knuckle. The thumb doesn’t move.
A word of warning about the pointer finger: As you can see from the picture, the first knuckle joint is held with a metal bar (Also holding the other fingers) but the next knuckle joint on the pointer finger is held with small plastic tabs. Due to how tight the joints are, if you try to move the pointer finger by grabbing the tip of the finger, it will come off (sometimes flying across the room) I’ve found that it’s best to move the finger closer to the metal bar joint and not the tip of the finger
Included with Soundwave is a hand scanner attachment. This piece is based off of a scanner he transformed his hand into on the season 1 episode “Fire on the Mountain” One of the many things the Hasbro instructions left out is that when the scanner is not in use, it can be stored on Soundwave’s backside (Which also makes his butt appear more cartoon accurate)
When you opened the forearm to fold the hand into it, you may have noticed the open panel had some sculpted details on it. In fact both forearms have these “Speaker” details to add a few more weapons to Soundwave’s arsenal (and play factor)
Soundwave comes with a grid patterned chest piece that sits on top of the chest door to simulate when Soundwave would internally scan stuff on the cartoon.
But again, what was not included on the US instructions (but was on the Takara instruction book) were a couple of small computer readouts you could cut out of the instructions and place in between the door and grid chest pieces. Many fans have scanned these to allow people to print off (There’s also a few fans who have made their own unique inserts)
One of the many, many items included is an empty energon cube. The cube has a removable lid. This allows you to insert anything (Like the amazon exclusive Takara paper printout) so you can simulate the energon cube being full of energy. I’d be interested to see how it looks with the Nick TMNT Ooze that’s all sparkly and semi-translucent. But what removing the lid also does is allowing it to be displayed coming out of Soundwave’s chest.
The edge the lid rests on can now fit into the lip of the chest door to simulate when Soundwave would create Energon cubes on the cartoon (Fuel tanker to fill up the cube is sold separately 🙂 )
Soundwave comes with one more must have accessory, Megatron in his Walther P-38 gun mode!
Megatron can disassemble much like his G1 counterpart. The handle slides down to allow a better grip for Soundwave and the stock has two joints so it isn’t in the way of any forearms.
At first, I thought this was the same Megatron accessory we got with the first Masterpiece figure ever, 20th Anniversary Optimus Prime. But as you can see in this comparison picture, the stock has been drastically changed. Also, the bottom of the pistol grip was changed to accommodate the new stock.
Now let’s check out Soundwave in his Micro Cassette Player mode. As you can see, he looks just like a beefed up version of the G1 counterpart.
While we still have the switch and dial on the sides we remember from the G1 version, Soundwave now has a bunch of new details including multiple different ports and jacks.
Also not mentioned in the instructions is the fact that Soundwave can hold 3 of his tapes in his chest! This is done by holding a button on his back down and pressing the inside wall of the tape deck backwards (Typically best to put the tapes in one at a time while holding the button down) Now when you go to eject the tapes, you can hit the eject button like normal, take a tape out, close the door, hit the button on the back (this will reset the inside to fit only the two remaining tapes) then repeat everything you did for the first tape. If your tapes get jammed inside (like I’ve heard has happened to others) just hold Soundwave up (With the tape deck pointing upwards) press the back button and shake a bit. That should re-align the tapes and the back wall (Again, something left out of the US instructions)
Another cool feature is that they designed the tapes and tape deck area to be the same size as all the vintage tapes! Here you can see G1 Slugfest and Beastbox sitting inside Masterpiece Soundwave.
Speaking of Cassettes, this Soundwave came with 5, count ’em, Five Cassettes! All of the first year G1 tapes are represented in one Masterpiece package.
Like some of our previous G1 Soundwave re-issues, these tapes came with the clear cassette cases. This time the Takara mark has been changed to a generic Transformers logo
Let’s take a look at one of my favorites first, Ravage. The paint deco (like most of the others) is very reminiscent of the G1 version but this time there’s some additional details like a Decepticon logo on the shoulder. I do miss seeing the tape reels inside the center window box, but that’s a small, insignificant issue when you look at the amount of articulation Ravage has now. You can make way more poses than ever imagined with the G1 version. Another great addition is that the hip rockets are a part of the sculpt now! I especially like this since Ravage always looked better with the rockets and now you no longer have to worry about losing them when he’s in tape mode.
Next up are the condors, Laserbeak & Buzzsaw. Like all the cassettes, the transformation on these two is radically different so their tape mode looks a little different from the G1 versions, but it was so worth it.
Like Ravage, the Condor’s weapons are included into the sculpt now. Also we have new paint details like the Decepticon logos which gives the condor’s that cartoon appearance flair. The new transformation has also allowed some much needed new articulation (Shown off by Buzzsaw in the top left corner there) I do wish there was one more articulation point in the wings to allow them to be raised, but that’s another small complaint.
One of the coolest (and smallest) additions to the Condors is the inclusion of a pop up camera in their head. This is based on the one we saw Laserbeak showcase in the opening moments of the 1986 Animated movie. It seems to be easiest to just press down on the back end of the camera to get it to pop up from the head instead of trying to pry it up from the front.
Another awesome detail regarding the condors is that Soundwave has perching points on his sculpt for the condors to sit on. The condor’s feet have long grooves in them that fit on a tab on Soundwave’s forearms or on the natural sculpt on his shoulders
Next up are the boys, Rumble & Frenzy (I’ll let you all fight over who is named who, I’m just going to enjoy the toys) Like Ravage, the deco is pretty spot on to the originals in both bot and cassette modes.
Also, like the other tapes, these bots have some massive articulation! Thanks to swivel and ball joints, there is a large range of motion on Rumble & Frenzy (Even their heads can swivel left to right)
Included with the boys are some of the most fan requested weapons ever…… The piledrivers! The ends can be pulled out a little or a lot to simulate earth shattering ground pounding. They don’t really attach to the arms (that I have found) it appears that they just sit on the forearms (with the hands folded inside said forearms)
Now, what’s not mentioned in the US instructions is that the cassette’s typical weapons are stored inside the piledrivers. The blaster’s handle can be swiveled so you have two different sized pegs (The larger plugs into the back, the smaller goes into the hands) This allows them to be used much like the original guns were used.
Another detail left out of the US instructions (and one I didn’t realize until I sat down to write this review) is the that Soundwave has an opening panel in each foot that can house one of the tape’s guns. These panels are on the side of the foot but in tape player mode wind up on the back of Soundwave.
Again, if you only have the US instructions, you might be wondering what that clip piece for the piledrivers is. Well, it’s a backpack that can be used in two different ways. Either by itself as shown above…
…or in conjunction with the piledrivers themselves (It can also be used in this position by itself to give a jet pack look)
Here’s another odd feature that was not shown in the US instructions. The Cassette’s piledriver attachments can be attached to Soundwave’s forearms (Either in the double configuration shown here or you can attach one to each arm)
And one last use for the piledrivers (also not shown in the US instructions) They can combine with the hand scanner/butt to become a data transfer connection (similar to what Soundwave did in the 1986 Animated movie when he downloaded the spy footage Laserbeak returned with)
For a fan of Soundwave, this was a must buy for me. I would say to other Transformers fans that this is a great toy worthy of the price and title of Masterpiece. All of the details and play features add up to a fun time with a great looking toy. For readers who may have noticed I said “not included in the US instructions” a few too many times for their tastes, fear not. Some fans have uploaded the Takara instructions that show off all of the features I showed along with the chest scan cut outs I mentioned. A simple Google search should give you many results to choose from.
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