Series: Revenge of the Fallen Stationed in orbit above Earth, Soundwave swiftly taps into every satellite within range. Within minutes, communications, data traffic, weather information, and high-resolution spy photography flood his sensor net. The spill of data fills him with pleasure, and one by one, the humans' systems come under his complete control. From his seat on high, he is in a position to control the destiny of mankind without their knowledge... or to run their civilization into the ground.
Once again, many thanks to LimeWire for loaning me his Soundwave for this review.
The first Transformer that Soundwave reminded me of was, interestingly enough, not any previous version of Soundwave, but rather the Beast Wars character Tigerhawk (or Universe Razorclaw
in lighter colouring, if you will). The panels and kibble hanging off his back and shoulders look almost like wings, so you can easily imagine him as the pre-Earth, Cybertron-mode version of that character (not that Tigerhawk ever had a Cybertron-mode, but that's another story).
But let's look at the actual figure. Like most Movie characters Soundwave's resemblance to his G1 Incarnation
is marginal at best. The head looks like a sleeker, elongated version of G1 Soundwave's noggin', but that's pretty much it. No tapedeck on the chest, I'm sad to report. Once you get past the resemblance-thing, though, Soundwave here presents himself as a pretty cool robot. He's very posable, highly detailed, and his look is pretty cool, too. I especially like the 'winged' look and the blades on his forearms. Very nice.
Apart from the blades Soundwave also has a missile launcher which is built into his back and fires 'upward' when he's in robot mode. It's more a feature for the vehicle mode, really, but I guess he could bend over and use it in robot mode, too. Anyway, Soundwave makes for a pretty dashing robot. No complaints at all.
I'm not a big fan of alternate modes where you can never really be sure whether or not you've transformed it right. Soundwave transforms into a kind of interstellar spacejet or something similar, but because of the many, many ways you can position his wings/panels and assorted kibble, there are about a dozen or more variations as to how this jet could look like. I've settled for the look that closely matches Soundwave's promo pictures, but like I said, you can vary this mode a lot.
There is some resemblance to the vehicle mode of Megatron
to be found here, which sort of makes sense, of course. Why use vastly different configurations for the same purpose, which is flying through space. And, just like with Megatron, you can't help but notice that there's a head highly visible on the vehicle mode, jutting out the rear in this case. Interestingly enough it's not the robot mode head, but rather a kind of alternate head, which leads us directly into Soundwave's third mode, if you can call it that.
Some promo pictures I've seen have called this the "satellite" mode. To me, though, it looks more like a secondary robot mode. There is the second head I've mentioned, an alternate chest plate (formed by the legs of the robot mode) and you could even go so far as to fold out the arms of the robot mode on the sides, leaving you with a complete robot that has no legs. Something like a hover mode, maybe? I'm kind of reminded of Beast Machines Jetstorm
So the bottom line is, I'm not sure what to think of Soundwave's alternate mode(s). It/they look pretty cool, but I'm never quite sure what goes where and what it's supposed to be in the end. So thumbs up for the look, but some points deduction for the vagueness of the whole thing.
Many people were disappointed when Soundwave was dropped from the first Transformers Movie. Considering, though, that he was supposed to fill the role of Blackout
, who died, we can probably be thankful that it was so. Now Soundwave appears in the second movie. Of course Revenge of the Fallen is still several months away, so I have no clue what role he'll play. So far he's made a cameo appearance in the prequel comic "Alliance", that's it. Let's hope he'll have more of a role in the future and that they'll remember to give him his signature voice.
As a toy Soundwave is part of the so-called 'Preview Wave', together with a new Deluxe version of Bumblebee, and will be out in stores ahead of the other ROTF toys. Will I pick him up once he's in stores? Yeah, probably. I'm not a hundred percent sold on this toy, but he's a Soundwave, he's got a superb robot mode, and while the vehicle mode(s) are not completely to my liking, I can't call them bad, either. So yes, I think I will pick him up.