Review – Transformers Robots in Disguise Soundwave

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Line: Transformers * Manufacturer: Hasbro * Year: 2007

I’m an old and cranky traditionalist when it comes to Soundwave. If he’s not a cassette player then there’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to complain. Yes, cassette players don’t make a hell of a lot of sense these days, but that doesn’t stop me from always thinking of Soundwave as a tape deck. After all, if he’s not a cassette player then where will he carry his army of cassettes?

Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.

Spaceship Mode

This tiny spaceship toy — less than 3-inches long with a wingspan under 3-inches — is clearly meant to be inspired by the F-117. A deformed flying wing that’s way to thick, Soundwave’s spaceship mode is ugly and the transformation process is clunky and unappealing. And when you flip Soundwave over and look at the underside you can see his face; a disgusting problem with some Transformers and a problem I thought Hasbro had solved years ago.

I know this was intended as a low price item, but that doesn’t excuse the clunky and hideous design. This toy was going to have to be awesome to get me to accept it — remember, Soundwave has to be a tape deck to keep me happy — and what we have here is a terrible chunk of plastic that’s inexcusable in today’s market. Hasbro can make better Transformers action figures at this size — the G1 Series Bumblee (reviewed here) proves that small Transformers toys don’t have to suck.

And this spaceship completely sucks and blows.

Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.

Robot Mode

A little better than spaceship mode, Soundwave’s robot mode at least tries to mimic his classic design. The gold chest plate echoes the old cassette player chest design, even going so far as to include a few etched details that look like the buttons. The head’s not an exact match for the original but it’s similar. Unfortunately, all of these minor attempts at making this Soundwave look similar to the original is wasted because of the toy’s cheap construction; his arms keep falling off!

Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.

And the problems go deeper than parts falling off. Articulation is practically nonexistent — the arms are on balls and the legs swivel/hinge where necessary for him to transform — and the paint’s a little sloppy in places. Just because a toy’s inexpensive doesn’t mean that it has to be cheap. Well, this one’s both inexpensive and cheap. Plastic junk is probably an accurate description.

Click to enlarge the image.
Click to enlarge the image.

Closing Thoughts

An ugly spaceship mode, lousy construction, and the simple fact that Soundwave should be a cassette player all add up to make this one of the worst Transformers toys I’ve seen in the last few years. This is the only toy in this subline that I own, and after how bad this one turned out I’m going to ignore the other pieces in this series.

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Philip Reed has to go play with his Encore Edition Soundwave now, just so that he can wipe the filth of this terrible piece out of his memory. The toy may have been priced at around $3 when he grabbed it, but Philip wishes he had the $3 back.

10 thoughts on “Review – Transformers Robots in Disguise Soundwave

  1. What the!? I bought this thing for $3 at Big Lots just to review it for this week xD

    I actually love this thing, I’m not attached to any particular era of TFs.


    Seriously, complaining about legends class figures is not allowed! Everyone knows they suck — in fact, I’m pretty sure Hasbro makes them suck on purpose. Mommy buys legends Soundwave for little Johnny, he cries Decepticon-sized tears, Mommy buys voyager Soundwave for little Johnny to shut him up.

    There are a few cool legends figures, but they’re all minibots — like the Bumblebee you mentioned. Nobody cares if they’re tiny and lack articulation, ’cause at least they’re in scale! And there are some — like Cosmos and Warpath — that I have yet to find in stores and would give up a finger to acquire. (Not really, of course.)

    Still, Phil, I was quite amused by this scathing review of a legends class figure. Will you be blasting bootleg spychangers next? 😉

  3. Boo on this Soundwave. Stop recreating things from my childhood. Kids these day need to learn that my toys are better than theirs, and just deal with it.

  4. How much are these? $4-$5? I think the flaws in Soundwave are so unpalatable because for $2 more, you can get a decent scout-class toy, and for $5 more–well, not anymore unless they’re on sale–you could get a deluxe, which I’d argue is (much) more that two times the value of a legends class toy. It wouldn’t make sense to buy a toy of this quality at this price with increasing marginal rates of return.

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