I’m assuming Takara went this direction because they didn’t want his sharp pokey bits being too brittle. But unfortunately the plastic they used is a tad too soft, almost like a thick plastic cape you’d find on a DC Classics figure. This makes his forearms bend a little, just from the weight of his Minicon. It also makes transforming his legs more challenging because the soft pieces don’t move as freely. I don’t think the plastic will tear, but resistance they give sometimes feels that way.
The Takara Soundwave comes with Laserbeak and one other Minicon, a scorpion named Zori. Zori doesn’t really transform as much as he straightens out to become a trident like spear. But the reason I was so interested in Zori is because his tail resembles the tentacles Soundwave uses to interface with computers. Definitely a nice attention to detail that Takara showed while designing Zori, which almost makes him as much a part of Soundwave as Laserbeak is.
Going back to the sculpt, the Takara figure does have two new pieces. Both his shoulders have been remolded in hard plastic with Minicon ports that also resemble wing mounted weapons. This is actually my favorite feature of the figure itself. In jet mode these two attachments make him look a bit more dangerous than your average spy drone.
The last two pictures in my review show my current Soundwave. I liked these newly sculpted pieces so much that I decided to cobble the two Soundwave’s together into an Ultimate Soundwave. The shoulders are easily separated at the joints, which makes for perfect interchageability. Since both figures are the same, you don’t have to worry about color issues either. Plus there are no rubbery areas and he has his Micron ports. Ultimate Soundwave is definitely the best of both worlds.