Monday, February 4, 2013

MP-13 Soundwave

Ah, Mr. Un-charismatic Bore himself, Soundwave. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anticipating this release with baited breath. Soundwave has always been one of my favorite Decepticons; right up there with Shockwave and Thundercracker. His voice is instantly recognizable, his alt-mode ingrained in everyone's mind. Who still doesn't grab a Soundwave and Rumble and say "Rumble: eject. Operation: sabotage." or something similar while imitating that voice?

Soundwave's personality varied a little between the cartoon and the comics. In the cartoon, Soundwave was as loyal to Megatron as the Autobots were to Optimus. Even his cassettes were loyal to Megs. I still remember seeing Rumble carrying Megatron's canon while Soundwave carried a badly damaged Megatron in Transformers: The Movie.  In the Marvel Comics, he was still a loyal right-hand bot, but it didn't matter who was in charge.  Megatron is dead?  Soundwave will serve under Ratbat, no question.  The same went for Scorponok, and later, Bludgeon.  To me, that's a little closer to his profile: ensuring that nothing interrupts the position that he's worked so hard for.  Then we have the IDW comics where Soundwave is back to being a loyal to Megatron, but still a bit of a schemer.  I actually prefer the IDW version the best.

My Masterpiece Soundwave arrived on my doorstep Tuesday and I opened him up immediately.  I've spent the past few days just playing with him.  There is so much that I love about this figure.  The first thing that I noticed about Soundwave right out of the package is that he contains some die-cast metal.  His feet are metal, and there are various small parts that are as well.  This was a pleasant surprise as I expected an all-plastic construction a la Sideswipe/Red Alert.  The die-cast add a nice heft to Soundwave that just adds to his bulk.  He has a big frame, and as such, deserves the heft to match.

Soundwave has a lot of great features.  His shoulder cannon, while permanently attached, swivels.  His concussion blaster has the silver missile built in.  I have trouble getting the silver tip all of the way out.  It looks like it should slide out easily, but I have to use a little force to pull it out.  Hopefully this won't continue to be a problem as it play with the concussion blaster more.  At any rate, there is a great storage space for the concussion blaster when not in use.

Soundwave also comes with pegs on his forearms so his beloved Laserbeak can perch there after returning from a spying mission.

The grooves on Soundwave's shoulders also serve as more than decoration - they're for Laserbeak, and later Buzzsaw, to perch on as well!

Where Sideswipe and Red Alert come with one accessory each, Soundwave comes with four.  The first is the scanner attachment that Soundwave apparently used in the cartoon.  I have no idea when this was ever used, but according to the booklet that came with Soundwave, he did.

When the scanner isn't in use, it also conveniently stores on his back.

The next accessory is a bit of a letdown.  Often, in the G1 episodes, Soundwave would display information on anything from the Ark, to the Pentagon's bathroom schematics on his chest display.  To replicate this, a second tape deck window with grids is provided as are a couple of pictures that you can cut out of the instruction booklet.  I'm not going to damage the instruction booklet for a couple of pictures.

As a result, the effect that I get is just the grids.  It looks rather good, now that I look at it.

The next accessory is the Energon cube.  Soundwave made lots of Energon cubes in the series, so to be able to do that is pretty cool.  The cube is clear, but if you go to the Tomy website, you can download some paper craft to make it pink, which is the color of a filled Energon cube.  I still haven't done that yet.  Too busy playing with Soundwave.

The final accessory is one that should be familiar to everyone: Megatron is gun mode, also known as the Mandatory Masterpiece Optimus Prime Accessory.

Up next is the cassette player mode.  I adore this mode.  The transformation is simple and intuitive.  It's reminiscent of the original's scheme.  There are a few twists to the transformation, but, to me, it's essentially the same. 

You'd think that once you got Soundwave into this mode, that would be the end of the story.  You would be wrong.  There are great little features in this mode that just show the kind of accuracy the designers were striving for.  Soundwave's scanner accessory attaches to the side port.  Just like when he needs to attach to Teletran-1 to steal information.

Just look at the details on the side of the deck.  The knob even works!  Also, there is a jack on the top of the deck that will allow you to plug in your headphones!  It's a nice throwback to the Micro Change version of Soundwave that had the headphones. 

If only there was music.
All in all, I'm very impressed with this figure.  The playability factor combined with the great features and sturdy construction just make Soundwave outstanding.  This is my favorite Masterpiece figure released to date.  I know I haven't actually said anything about Laserbeak, but I'm saving that for another post.  If you don't have this figure, you need to get him.  I know that he's being released as a Toys R Us exclusive in Australia, so there's hope that he shows up stateside.  If that happens, I'm actually curious on what color scheme they'll use, comic colors?  At any rate, enjoy a few final pictures.


  1. Great review! I didn't even realize you could plug in the little sensor to the data jack! Nice!

    1. Thanks! I want to say I saw the sensor thing in one of the posts on TFW2005 about Frenzy. I could be wrong.

  2. I'm so glad it was announced that Soundwave (and his cassettes) are U.S. bound! I just couldn't swallow that expensive import bill.

    1. I've had this discussion internally, actually. My worry with waiting for the Hasbro version has been my inability to find MP-10 locally at Toys R Us, or Hot Rod, coupled with the fact that by time they are available locally, the price has gone up. By the time I found Thundercracker, he had gone from $50 to $75. Add in the different accessories, and I'll stick with Tomy. Unless that changes.