Last week I was lucky enough to stumble upon a fresh case of the new Transformers Prime: Robots in Disguise. I say lucky because my favorite character, Soundwave, is apparently only one per case and I was able to snag him. Yeah!
One of my favorite aspects of Transformers Prime is Soundwave. I’ve always been a fan of the character, but this show raises him to a whole new level of dangerous and even scary. His robot mode alone is pretty imposing with all its pointy edges, long razor-like arms, and spindly needle fingers. Not to mention the fact that he only has a blank emotionless screen for a face.
But what’s even more intimidating than what Soundwave looks like, it’s how Soundwave acts. Constantly looming in the shadows, he doesn’t just watch, but monitors everyone and everything around him. More than once Starscream has turned around to find his emotionless face staring back silently. And when he does finally choose to talk, it’s not his own voice but a recording of what someone else has said. This mimicry seems to not only be a bit mocking, but also serves as a constant reminder that Soundwave records everything and erases nothing.
Prime Soundwave was an imposing and perfect spy, but it wasn’t until late in the season that we learned he wasn’t just a surveillance bot. Sure characters like Starscream and Knock Out were always cautious around him, but I just assumed it was because he’s Megatron’s right hand man. It wasn’t until the homicidal Arachnid (Black Arachnia) tried to usurp command after Megs was thought dead that we finally got to see Soundwave in action. It’s definitely one of the most badass moments of any version of the Decepticon.
Aside from the size issue, Soundwave’s sculpt is fantastic. His robot mode is just as sleek and angular as the character design. I was really surprised with how well they were able to incorporate those long fingers into the wing design without it looking too strange. I also love his head sculpt, and the fact that it resembles the Decepticon’s symbol. Soundwave also has some interesting sculpting on the inner parts of his body that resemble energy conduits. Most of them are unpainted, but the one’s under his arms/wings are colored purple.
One of the coolest bits of sculpting on Soundwave is his chest area, which is where Laserbeak attaches to him like a piece of armor. This is exactly how the two characters interact in the show, and the figure really did a great job of making it work. When removed, Laserbeak can easily slide off his chest and rest in the peg hole on his arm.
Interestingly, with his pointed wings and tiny head, Laserbeak looks much more like a bat than a bird. I’m kind of curious if we’ll see a repainted version named Ratbat later on. There’s not a lot to his sculpt, but Laserbeak’s larger wings are on hinges for a nice flapping or even a resting effect. The wings also swivel back to give Soundwave his shoulder spikes when the characters are combined. Continue to page 2…