Titanium Soundwave

Another crappy review with downscaled images by someone who knows nothing about the art of toys

(in a review about a toy with some serious flaws therefore potentially negating that art)

(if any)


Tell someone to recite the names of five Decepticons and you shouldn't be surprised to find Soundwave among them. A loyal toady to Megatron, Galvatron, Shockwave, Bludgeon, Scorponok and just about anyone with a position of leadership, he's not exactly a great demonstration of personality. He uses exclamation marks in the Marvel Comics, believe it or not, but that's as far as his monotone, heavily-processed attitude goes to, really. Yet everyone loves him! And I admit I'm the same. I'm a victim to popular opinion.

Despite this, the poor guy hasn't got an extensive slew of accurate figures. There was his original toy, and then an Action Master that didn't transform (or even come with a cassette, for that matter!) and afterwards he just got a bunch of horribly coloured figures that didn't transform into boom boxes so forget them. And then came the Titanium series!

Using a combination of metal and plastic, it's more aimed towards collectors and those who want it more like the good old days when you could club someone with a toy car and it'd genuinely hurt. However, like every attempt to make things like the good old days, it's been met with criticism and nagging, which I admit is pretty understandable. But first, a real review! At least, as real as it gets when I'm doing the writing.

Firstly, the alternate mode. Due to Soundwave no longer being as tubby as his first look, his alternate mode has been upgraded from a simple cassette player to a music player with stereo sound system built in, the speakers composed of his calves. This actually works out pretty well; the folded feet help in portraying the image, and as mildly awkward as it is to have blue speakers, who's heard of a red microscope? The back, naturally, exposes the folded arms, but the battery placements help in hiding his tucked-away head, which is actually pretty rad.

Transformation to robot mode is surprisingly simple. Fold the legs out and inward, connecting the waist and allowing the legs to stretch and the feet to fold out. The arms are then folded out, the head can be raised back into place, and all that's left is to remove the batteries and use them as his guns, whether one be on his shoulder or both in his hands. The choice is yours!

However, robot mode is where the downfall kicks in. The aesthetic design is true to his animation model and holds over elements from the original toy, which is very pleasant; the head's accurate, the shoulder cannon still exists and it'd be sacrilege to forget he has a giant tape compartment in his chest. He even has a very small Laserbeak inside him! The problem, however, is what line of figures he comes from.

See, the figures are a combination metal and plastic. However, all the metal is used in his legs. And his legs have to collapse into themselves for his transformation. What this means is that it's incredibly difficult to get this bumbling tape-filled idiot to stand at full height!

Admittedly, at full height he looks like a bit of a doofus. His upper body is perfectly swell, aside from slightly short arms and a body three times the size of his head, but no fault there. But his legs... good grief. His sagging crotch adds a great distance between his body and his legs, and his legs themselves are ludicrously huge; his torso is almost a third of his composed height, his waist and legs practically dominating his shape. And this time he has no chunky torso to make up for it!

Additionally, his arms are shown to be hilariously short, meaning if he had fashionable jeans he'd barely be able to reach into his pockets; their range of motion is fairly extensive, especially with the revolving hands, but the legs are not so fluid. See, Soundwave's thighs are barely existent - see that grey part? That's his thighs. Below that is his lower leg, and all that is effected by his knee joints. This means that he can't do the totally rad "crouching with a gun raised" pose that a majority of my poseable Transformers can do, which totally ruins everything. You can turn his legs forward, backward and outward, but they have to go at 90 degree angles, meaning you can't pose him with much subtlety, sadly.

Not only are his legs unstable, but his feet are unsuitable for standing; they provide little standing space for such bulky legs, and a lot of the time it's just better to keep them folded in and let his brick limbs do the standing. Even so, he has a habit of leaning forward when standing, which does give a looming image to any foe smaller than him, but otherwise looks rather dopey.

Sadly, this all has to do with his transformation. His giant saggy crotch is for his legs to part and turn into speakers, and the collapsing legs part is self-explanatory; the thighs are short because they are really only used to point the legs upwards to make them look like speakers, and admittedly the feet could have been enlarged slightly and still maintain the image, but yeah, a bit late to say that now! Since his body only has things folded away and nothing is flipped or whatever, his torso remains functionality. Sad truth.

About the only part that is unflawed his Laserbeak; although a bitch to get out of his chest, the fiendish avian has a simple transformation, has a stylish-looking bird mode and barely looks like a cassette in disguise mode, but I won't hold that against him. It would've been nice to have the jets the original had, but it's such an adorable little thing that it holds well enough on it's own for being an inch in width.

What this all means is that you have a Soundwave figure whose chance of touching his toes is laughable, can barely move his legs without falling down, looks permanently intoxicated with his slouched posture, and is actually one of the few toys I'd prefer to keep in alternate mode rather than in their robot form. Yet, I'm still very glad I have the figure.

Maybe it's because I got it for a ridiculous 6 (while it normally goes for 20+) and how I've recognised how difficult it would be to alter the transformation to make his robot mode less dippy, but it's almost hard to hate the figure (never mind the fact that's precisely what I've been doing for the past six paragraphs). Considering Soundwave's blocky alternate mode, it's still pretty rad that they managed to keep him slick and slender like the animation model, though it'd probably just make more sense for a Soundwave Revoltech to be made. His size makes him suitable for the figures I prefer collecting - the Classics, the Mega SCFs, Robot Masters and so on - and since he's never exactly a dynamically posed character, his downfall in that area isn't all that bad.

And 6. Come on. Can't beat that price with a stick.


Well, if you really need a smaller Soundwave figure, then I suppose so, but the fact it's impossible to get without costing an arm on a leg on a figure that's genuinely flawed is a bit of a deterrence. Then again, every Soundwave costs a packet, so that's life.