Vault Review: Transformers Prime
Soundwave (Robots in Disguise)

Soundwave’s alt mode is based on an unmanned aerial reconnaissance drone, which is fittingly perfect for the character.  Ironically, even though his bot mode is shorter than FE Starscream, Soundwave’s alt mode is actually a larger plane.  One thing I like about this alt mode is how it’s not made for direct human interaction like the other vehicles most of the robots choose.  Another nice touch is that Laserbeak can dock to the top of drone, although I do wish he sat a bit further down.

Soundwave’s coloring is very simple.  He’s molded almost entirely out of a dark bluish gray plastic, with accent parts molded in black.  There are a few dabs of color on him though, like dark purple or dark pink, and a little silver.  The most interesting part is probably his face shield, which has been painted a very deep metallic red.  The color is so dark that I couldn’t actually capture it with my camera, and it mostly turned out looking black.

One of the things I love about the Prime toys is their articulation, and Soundwave is no exception.  His head, lower shoulders, and hips are all ball joints.  His upper shoulders, biceps, waist, and thighs are swivels.  His elbows, abs, and ankles are hinges, while his knees are double hinges.  This gives him a fantastic amount of movement, but ironically I just want him to stand there and look frightening to my other Transformers.

Aside from Laserbeak, Soundwave comes with no accessories.  I was fine with this, until Takara announced all their Prime figures will come with brand new Targetmasters.  In addition to Laserbeak, Soundwave will come with a scorpion that can double for one of his tentacles or change into a trident-like spear.  Now I kind of want that…  Oh Hasbro, why you gotta make me import my Transformers?

I don’t know if his case ratio will change in the future, but Soundwave may be a bit difficult to find for a while.  So if you’re really interested in him, don’t pass him up in the store.  Even though he doesn’t have the height I’d like, his design and articulation is superb.  I’m not a big fan of some of the new Robots in Disguise remolds, but Soundwave lives up to most of my expectations.


24 thoughts on “Vault Review: Transformers Prime
Soundwave (Robots in Disguise)

  1. Vault, I dunno. As a freaky looking alien transforming robot I dig it, but Soundwave? Man, Soundwave is a Walkman, baby! Or a boombox if you prefer to upgrade his size some.

    Maybe I’d feel different if I could ever find any of these in a store.

    1. I dig what you’re saying. WFC tank Soundwave was enough of a variant for me, but I never did get his G2 tank version.

      This guy does nothing for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t seen a single frame of Prime or not, but these designs leave me cold. Maybe it’s the constant turn-over of formats the last decade, but I guess I’ll be sticking to the Classic/Generations line.

      I don’t keep up with the announcements, but the early Toy Fair preview pics of BRUTICUS has me a bit giddy, even if they are barely recognizable.

  2. The fact Hasbro cancelled the First Edition wave and the smaller overall size of the RID figures made me want to stop buying Prime figures, but Soundwave looks great! And the upcoming “Powerizer” Megatron looks fantastic, too!

    Now, if Mattel can deliver a compatible Optimus without a huge truck-panel backpack, I think I can get into this line.

      1. I think he meant Hasbro. So glad I ordered this guy on TRU when I had the chance. Prime Wheeljack is also an incredible figure, don’t let RID Cliff and BB fool you into thinking otherwise!

  3. I’m liking the new RID figures more than the First Edition figures, with the exception being Voyager Prime. Hopefully they’ll start showing up around here.

    Fingers crossed somebody stateside will be distributing the little target master mini-bots stateside. Japan will be getting a slew of little TF: Prime mini-bot capsule toys. That’s something else I’m hoping BBTS will be able to distribute as well.

  4. EEEeeeh… he looks okay. I dig the drone alt. mode. Much better than the satellite. Still, I don’t know if I really need it. I do love the head though. I thought the WFC Soundwave was a nice upgrade that can even fit in with the Classics figures. I think if I was planning on collecting Prime figures I would want this a lot more, but this just leaves me a lot to be desired.

    Is the Human Alliance Soundwave ever going to come out, or is that scrapped?

    1. there is a lot of things i like about the whole WFC toys/game mainly the fact that they looked like the transformers I know and love with a modern twist. All the spikes and angles on the prime figures look like they are from cartoon that was too heavily inspired by the movies. transformers seems to move in cycles so i’m sure some bots I like will come around again and until then there is always IGear those boys sure do make some killer stuff

    2. I ended up ordering the Takara Human Alliance Soundwave from BBTS. A bit costlier, but as a Soundwave-focus collector, I thought it was worth it. Bloody cool toy, too.

  5. Soundwave has always been one of my favorite Transformers, and Hasbro continues to impress. I have Takara’s Encore Soundwave and the two Cassette 4-packs, as well as the WFC Deluxe figure, but I’m also eager to pick this version up.

    I like to think I’m a pretty rational Transformers fan. No Transformers series is perfect (Beast Wars is close, though the TRUKK NOT MUNKY crowd may disagree), but you gotta take the highs with the lows. Each new attempt to reinvent the franchise–no matter how much fans may think it will RUIN TRANSFORMERS FOREVER–is a “necessary evil” to bring new fans in. A fan may hate the movies with a passion, but what about those older fans who moved away from Transformers over the years, saw the films, and they reignited a passion for the G1 series in them?

    And what are you going to do 25 years from now when today’s kids are fondly remembering “Dark of the Moon” as “the best Transformers, because those are the ones I had when I was a kid, and all this new stuff sucks.”

    1. Perfectly stated. He-Man never did fully respect your intellect.

      No Animated Soundwave for your shelves? As a fellow Soundwave fan, I’d have thought the idea of a Soundwave with his own musical instruments to be irresistable.

      1. I know there was a reason I didn’t pick up Animated Soundwave, but I can’t remember what it was. I passed on him several times in stores and even turned down a friend when he was selling off his Animated collection. It may have been an articulation issue or something, I don’t know.

        1. really? i thought you gotta take the highs with the lows! i love the TFA soundwave. i even picked up soundblaster or whatever it was called just for the keytar! tbh i don’t really consider articulation when buying tfs. as long as they have the big five. the head is the only minor letdown, but that is more due to character design than anything.

          personally i’m just not jazzed by this figure.

          1. Of course you have to take the good with the bad, but by no means was I calling Animated Soundwave “bad.” He just didn’t interest me, and I’m not going to buy a figure of a character I like “just because it’s there.”

            Like those 4″ Street Fighter 2-packs they have at TRU. I love Street Fighter, but that alone isn’t enough to make me want to plunk down the cash for some average-quality figures. I’d rather save up the cash and buy the SSFIV Play Arts. But I know not everyone can/would want to spend $75 on a single import figure, so if you buy the domestic figures and love ’em to death, hey, more power to you.

            I’m not going to say “you’re wrong for liking something I don’t” (unlike some Power Rangers/Transformers/GI Joe fans out there). Liking the Star Wars prequels doesn’t make you “inferior” to a fan who hates them; hating on the Bayformers movies doesn’t make you “better” than someone who enjoys them. When you take a step back and look at the big picture, doesn’t matter if your favorite Optimus was voiced by Peter Cullen or Gary Chalk, we’re all TRANSFORMERS fans.

            The yin and the yang, y’know?

  6. I like this figure a lot. Everything about him seems to add to his function (spy) and creep factor. He has no face, and as a UAV is silent, is always watching and is always a precursor to something more ominous to come. The matte texture of the figure is a nice touch to complete the whole stealth look.

    Someone on the TFW boards made an interesting point that the best RiD figures so far are the ones that DON’T have First Edition counterparts (Soundwave and Wheeljack); I certainly agree that both those figures are the standouts of this wave. I’m hoping that the upcoming RiD Arcee and voyager Starscream buck that trend. FE Arcee, like most of the FE figures, will be a hard act to follow.

  7. WANT! NOW!

    Excellent review, as always. As a Soundwave-focus collector, I look forward to getting one of these. Somehow. Living in a shopping-deprived area of England, that’s going to be tricky. Also, chances are good I’ll never see the “Prime” show, either, so I’ll have to take other people’s word for it that it’s cool.

    1. Having said all that, I then found this flimsy-but-nifty Soundwave (as well as Cliffjumper and Wheeljack) first thing in the morning after work on the 15th, in a supermarket of all places. So, if anyone in Britain is looking for this guy, try the toy section of a Sainsbury’s superstore.

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