Sunday, 27 May 2012

Soundwave and Zartan’s Excellent Adventure

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Before I started typing this, I was thinking about what to write and my thoughts drifted to how much I like Soundwave and even this interpretation of him.  Then they shifted to this year’s Botcon theme and the confusion I feel towards it.  My thoughts then drifted to the characters themselves and the controversy.  They shifted back to Soundwave and my thinking that, like Magnus, I had a character I liked without any issues.

Then, I remembered the headband.


When Shattered Glass Soundwave first made an appearance, speculation was rife as to what body he’d use. I was strangely interested in his headband though.  Not sure why, but I really liked it. It turned out that Soundwave makes good use of the Classics/Henkei Ironhide/Ratchet body.  With a new head.  However, naturally without a headband.   As it turns out a headband was designed for his noggin’ and rather than just drop it into the box sets, TFCC decided they will sell them at Botcon for $5 a pop.  Well, aside from the fact that I have already paid for my toy, I was a bit miffed, as to what those who were unable to make it to Botcon were to do.  I was told that they were ‘working on something’ but taking into account the amount they OVERcharge on postage for orders as it is, I am sure you can understand my reluctance to pay $5 and then probably another $20 to get the damn thing posted out.

Luckily a friend of mine was able to grab one as he was going to Botcon anyway.  However what I find annoying is that they were only allowing 1 per person.  Yet they allow members to order at least two sets (1 boxed and a loose) if they so wish.  WHAT?  Then the Monday after Botcon had finished I see SW Headbands on an online site, with obviously a good supply load selling them, for $50!  Good luck with that you evil scalpers. 

All this grief caused by TFCC not really thinking things through.  Or them just wanting to make a massive profit on something that just look like a piece of dried chewing gum.  Typical.

So, as a result, my Soundwave is currently sans headband.  There is a pretty good review of it over here

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Soundwave is a van.  I have Ironhide and Ratchet already and I think the body is pretty good.   The vehicle mode is very shattered pun intended due to the way the toy transforms.  The robot mode is very good though.  But we’ll keep to vehicle mode for now.

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Blue windows and white body with green lights is all you get.  The plastic is a pretty good white, but the windshield and it’s attached piece are opaque blue with white paint.  The paint is whiter than the plastic which is a common issue with white.  At least it isn’t as bad as Classic Sunstreaker though. 

He has a nice crisp Heroic Decepticon symbol on the hood which gets hidden in robot mode.  But on the back of the van, through the window, you can see another reading to spring up.

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There is some quite detailed artwork on the side, that is for a band, ‘Cold Slither’ which was a bit of a ??  moment for me.  I recognised the face as being Zartan, but had no idea of Cold Slither.  As I covered on the First Day Badge in my earlier post.  Even now after a bit of googling, all I can find is that Cold Slither was a bad created by COBRA using the Dreadnoks from the cartoon and an instrumental version was used in the G1 cartoon.  Obscure reference I guess, shame it isn’t more Transformer related, but there you go.

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You can see the issues with panelling right there!!

I guess because he is mostly white, that allowed other paint applications to be made.  He has some bumper stickers which I quite like and add to the rock n roll theme that Soundwave has.

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Underneath is fairly hollow, but with the weapon stored in there, it is serviceable.
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And I just noticed a big gap next to the last window.  Wow.  I see why it’s there, but wow.
And that pretty much covers the vehicle mode.

Now lets have a look at the robot mode.

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He is quite a fat looking character now, but sturdy!  I was surprised at how much I like this robot mode as it has a lot of articulation and being hollow means not a lot of weight.  In other words, pose pretty much anyway you like! 

I guess as a homage to the 80s glam rockers, Soundwave has a lot of pastel blue on him.  I can dig it.   I was a bit shocked at his face though.  It has a bit of ‘derp’ factor going on.  I guess it looks fairly comic book looking though.

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I guess it fits ok with the chunkier body of this figure, but, hmm, I don’t know…  I will admit that it is growing on me a bit.  I like how they adjusted the head so he isn’t stuck looking down anymore but as a negative, though he can’t look up or down.  However with that panel behind his head, I now question how well a hard plastic headband is going to stick on.

His weapon is the same as Ironhide and Ratchet’s.  It is spring loaded with a blade in one end and a gatling gun on the other and just clips onto the wrist once his hand is folded down.   I think it would have been cool if you mount it onto his shoulder somehow.

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Now that I have his weapon out, let’s mess about with his posing!!

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I think that Soundwave would be my second to favourite figure from this year’s set.  I knew I liked the toy it uses and I dig the ‘sonic white’ Soundwave (inspired no doubt by the Music label Soundwave).  the only variable for me was the head sculpt, which is ok really. 

In a surprise shock, his Bio is actually not bad!  I know right!  he is quite powerful stat wise and although I see the rock thing as being an opposite to normal Soundwave, has there really been any indication as to what normal SW would listen to?  I guess, SG SW is more like a Decepticon Blaster at the moment.  Anyway, have a look at the card.

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The first thing that made me chuckle, “I have no mouth, yet I must rock!”  A direct homage to the scifi story (later mad into a point and click game) “I have no mouth, yet I must scream!”  There are also references to Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  And a little nod to Wayne’s World to I see.  Quite clever.  Well done TFCC!  (About time…) I kid, I am happy to give them praise when they get something right.

So in the end, I actually quite like this figure.  I thought I would and I do.  That’s a plus.  Another plus is the rather cleverly written bio.  Nice work.  the colours work well and the feel of the character is in tone with how Soundwave should be.  So now that the two faves are out of the way, is it downhill from here? 

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