Bootleg Oversized Soundwave

"Soundwave, superior".

At least that was the opinion of the Decepticon Communications Officer during the 1986 animated feature film, The Transformers: The Movie (not to be confused with 2007’s Transformers). He must have had balls of adamantium, too, because the son of a bitch prefaced the phrase with “Constructicons, inferior.”

Not that the self-assessment wasn’t right on the money. Soundwave was the robot bad ass. He had the huge blocky body, that sick vocoder voice, and a personal fire squad. He even turned into what was by far one of the most fun alternate forms of any transformer: a micro-cassette recorder. By my reckoning, Soundwave could have kicked all the Decepticons’ asses.

In plastic form, Soundwave’s had a whole lot of versions over the years. The first version though (which dropped in 1984) has always been the best figure. It was sweetly square, with delicious right angles all over. His entourage, who transformed into micro-cassette tapes, could fit inside his recorder mode. His eject button worked. And his weapons could transform into AA batteries (fake ones of course) and fit into a compartment on his back.

In 2007, Hasbro re-released a re-tooled version of the original Soundwave toy for the Classics line. It was a re-color of the black “Soundblaster”, only with the original blue. The Japanese release had a different chest piece, which this Classics version shared: the cover to the recorder was made bigger to accommodate another cassette minion.

This bootleg is based on that commemorative Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive.

I was surprised that this bootleg is just as playable as the original. Normally, these knock-offs cut corners subtracting detail, paint, materials quality, or points of articulation. They don't really stand up to the normal stresses of transforming or with any regular play.

Yet all the points of articulation of the original are here, down to the backwards knees that lock him in the standing position. The design is virtually identical to the Hasbro one, even up to the moving volume dial and power switch, as well as the weapons that convert to batteries and store in the compartment in the back (though one has an attachment that's been glued to the front so it won't fit inside any longer). The toy transforms exactly the same way as the smaller Hasbro version and it has a working eject button.

I do wish they'd painted the face right though. If they had added some silver to his facemask and gotten rid of that ugly red stripe, he'd be near perfect. Other than that, the color scheme is pretty Generation One, or near enough not to matter to the casual collector.There's no real paint: it's all cast in color, but done nicely.

It's even got decals. Albeit they're kind of simple and they couldn't use the Decepticon logo. he's got a funny facsimile instead.He could use some replacement decals that are closer to cannon, but other than that, he's pretty damn great.

Just like Soundblaster, this Soundwave can fit 2 cassette spies in his chest. That's pretty convenient, since he happens to come with 2. There's a replica of both Ravage (the jaguar) and Laserbeak (the red bird). What's more is that he has a cardboard cutout that fits into the housing's window so when the two minions are away from the nest, it still looks as if Soundwave has more waiting in line.

Sadly,  while Laserbeak is great looking and has all the parts of the original, Ravage gets left out. He has his rocket launchers just as birdbrain has his afterburners, but he lacks the ankle joints the original had. Without them, there's only one position you can display him in. Sitting down at his master's feet.

Plus they didn't paint his eyes right (they're far too low on his head) and they're decals aren't the best. They don't fit properly for the space they sit on and look as if the adhesive will dry up soon.

Transformation is probably among the easiest of any Transformer at anytime. That's not to say it isn't satisfying.

On the contrary, the 6 or 7 steps it takes to convert Soundwave into a recorder is less than 5 minutes. It's so intuitive you'd have to be a blind, traveling nomad from the Dark Ages NOT to get it the first time. Flip his arms back, push the hands in, drop the head and bring up the legs.


And best of all? It's to scale with the Masterpiece Class Seekers!

How awesome is that?!

It really is sad that Hasbro never thought to do this themselves. The scaling up was just a brilliant idea. Almost as good as the idea to  Then again, I doubt a Masterpiece version could compete with this figure.

If you're getting this, try and pick up one with good sticker alignment.You'll also need to shop around for the price. I got mine for relatively cheap since he was picked up in the city and just shipped to me in Rizal. I've seen it go for as much as Php 550.00 in a reseller store I frequent.

If I didn't have it already, I'd gladly have paid that much.

1 comment:

  1. Is there any place where I can buy this? I saw it on eBay months ago, but now it's gone :(


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