Transformers Review – Soundwave (Human Alliance)


Intro:
            Amongst the new characters to have appeared in the Revenge of the Fallen, Soundwave was one of the fans favorites, because of several reasons: he had quite a substantial role in the film, albeit not in combat; synthesized voice (although not as heavily as Soundwave was in the old cartoon series); and of course, especially amongst the Transformers purists such as myself, he was voiced by the legendary Frank Welker, whom I think should’ve voiced Megatron since DAY 1 and be accorded the same amount of respect as Peter Cullen.
            Just as how Optimus Prime is synonymous with the commanding voice of Peter Cullen, Megatron is synonymous with that cracking/ crisp voice that only Frank Welker could bring onto the table. 
            Anyways, enough about the rant and let’s get down to business. Soundwave was previously released in Deluxe-class, but strangely enough, I have never seen them in Malaysia at all? Most likely that it never made it onto our shores in the first place.    Unfortunately, the DOTM Soundwave has been quite high on my WANTED list, so it is inevitable that I had to get at least one version of him. Then I came across this Human Alliance version at a somewhat buffed-up price. 
            I admit, I hesitated at first, but eventually I relented.
            As with your normal Human Alliance figures, Soundwave comes with one or more partners, i.e. Dylan Gould and Laserbeak.

DYLAN GOULD:
            For a small human figurine, he is quite articulated, as with most Human Alliance Human figurines.
            The head rotates; ball-jointed shoulders; hips swing forward; knees rotate and bend.
            Dr. McDreamy… I mean, Mr. Gould can also be placed inside the car’s cockpit, or manning the gun in Soundwave’s robot mode. 

LASERBEAK:
            The accompanying Laserbeak isn’t exactly a gem. I mean, it’s good that the figure is included along with the set, just because he’s Soundwave’s most loyal minion ever, but he isn’t exactly the Deluxe Laserbeak. 
            He lacks most of the articulations that you would’ve expected from a Deluxe-class figure.
            This time around, instead of an unidentified aircraft, Laserbeak transforms into a blaster, that can be attached onto the main robot’s shoulders, which you can have Dylan mounted on it as well. 
            Maybe it’s just me, but having Dylan mounted onto the blaster makes him look like a witch on a broom stick-ish kinda contraption.
SOUNDWAVE:
Alternate Mode:
            Just in case if you don’t know it by now, Soundwave transforms into an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLS-AMG sports car. While the car looks slick and sporty, there is just one problem that HasTak forgot to address – paintjob, or the lack of it. Instead of the car being supposedly shiny chrome-silver, Soundwave is literally covered in dull-grey, which is really bummer.
            Apart from that, the details are all there: the logo, the painted headlights and brake lights etc. Also, I kinda wished the wheels were made from proper rubber rather than normal PVC plastic. 
            The interior of the car isn’t exactly perfect, but there is a steering wheel, proper dashboard and two seats.
            The kibbles are minimal at best, which is very good. At least it hides the robot parts quite well. 
 
            Not to forget, there is also the word “SUPERIOR” on the license plate at the back. I’m not sure if this is official, but for old time fans, if you would remember the old 1986 animated movie, in a scene inside Astrotrain where the Decepticons squabbled to be a successor to the “deceased” Megatron, Soundwave did mention and I quote:
            Soundwave SUPERIOR, Constructicons INFERIOR.
            Like I said, I cannot be a hundred percent certain, but that is my best bet on what it means.
            Overall, if only this figure was properly painted, it would’ve been outstanding.

Robot Mode:
            I wouldn’t exactly say that he’s show-accurate, in fact, from photos I’ve seen on the internet, the Deluxe-class figure has more accurate look. 
            This version of Soundwave looks a bit strange, and only vaguely resembles his movie counterpart. But it’s not that bad, there are some things that they did right on this figure than they did with the Deluxe, for example, there is actually a thumb on each hand, which is good that Soundwave can grab hold of various things when you pose him.
            Another is the head sculpt. Now, while it’s not really screen-accurate, it is actually quite an impressive scary little face. He looks more like the Devil than the actual Soundwave, especially with those red eyes on black background, with an open-able mouth that would make him look like as if he’s giving a Devilish grin. 
            Articulation-wise: the head rotates 360°; shoulders are on universal joints; the arms bend and rotate and the elbows; the two fingers on each hands are in tandem with each other and they have 2 points of articulations; the thumbs moves in and out; the hips are on universal joints and they rotate as well; the knees bend; there is also some sort of an articulation on the calf and also a sideways movement to the ankles; finally, each toe and heel move as well.
            One thing that does irk me about this figure is how loose the hip joints are. On its own, the joint is still okay, but when you attached the gun-mode Laserbeak with Dylan on it onto the shoulders, it’ll start to get tricky posing him, especially with Soundwave prone to performing splits. 
            Standing at almost 7-inches tall, his size is quite satisfying and I just wish that they could’ve made the hip joints a bit tighter.

Overall:
            For most of us here, this is would probably our one shot to a DOTM Soundwave figure. It’s ashamed that we’ve missed out on the Deluxe-class version, which is more screen-accurate, but the Human Alliance version really does offer a whole different experience.
            Of course, this is not a Binaltech/ Alternator, so it’s unsurprising that the vehicle mode doesn’t really have a clean finish, although I was hoping for at least a better coat of paint to make it more exciting and shinier, but that’s probably too much to ask, isn’t it?
            Anyways, this set is still recommended and once you see him, grab him, because you probably won’t get another chance.
            Recommended.

            Final verdict: 8.5/10.

2 comments:

  1. It looks like he's got a pair of amp speakers on each of his arm. A homage to his G1 version?

    Anyway, excellent review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, glad that you enjoyed the review...

    ReplyDelete