#5Generation 1 Soundwave (1984) – Tape Guy, yeah!
Voting Percentage: 26%
Average Ranking: 8.85
Are you surprised that Soundwave is here? Really? The guy with the cool voice who shoots other guys out of his chest? The guy whose friggin’ face was the blueprint for the Decepticon symbol? The guy without whose cassettes the bad guys would have been outnumbered 4 to 1 instead of just 2 to 1? Well, I’m not surprised. I fully expected the original G1 Soundwave toy to be somewhere up here. Sure, the original 1984 Optimus Prime toy may be the most recognizable of the early TF figures, but Soundwave is a close second, I believe, and (as we can see here) the more popular one to boot.
Like most of the early Transformers toys Soundwave originally hailed from a previous Takara toyline, in his case the Micro Change line from 1983, where he was sold under the highly original name “Cassette Man” (I guess “Tape Guy” wasn’t available). Like most toys originally hailing from that line Soundwave transforms into a 1:1 scaled household item, in his case a Micro Cassette Recorder. The big kicker of this figure is, of course, his ability to interact with his cassette minions. Buzzsaw, a cassette that turns into a bird (Eagle? Buzzard? Falcon? Take your pick!), was the one who came with Soundwave, but quite a few more were sold separately, both in the toyline’s original year and in the years to follow. Add to that an iconic look, above-average articulation for a 1984 toy, and the fact that you could clip him to your belt to take along wherever you wanted to go, made him an instant fan favorite. And his fame hasn’t lessened since.
Much like Powermaster Optimus Prime Soundwave scoots into these lofty regions of our Top 30 Countdown by a good mixture of votes and ranking, showing that his appeal hasn’t lessened much these past 30 years. So, yeah. Soundwave: Superior!
Honorable Mention: Soundwave was later retooled into Soundblaster, who was black and could hold two cassettes in his tape deck instead of just one. Soundblaster... okay, didn’t get so much as a single vote. Still wanted to mention him here, mostly because quite a few of the many, many reissues of Soundwave tend to use the Soundblaster retool instead of the original mold.
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