Dark of the Moon Cyberverse Soundwave Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Cyberverse, Dark of the Moon, Decepticon, Legion Class, Revenge of the Fallen

Dark of the Moon

General Information:
Release Date: October 2011
Price Point: $5.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Photos marked with an asterisk and text below in italics are from The Official Transformers Web Site:
From the ground, SOUNDWAVE does not have the total access granted by orbit, but the high top speed of his new vehicle mode allows him to intercept and interfere with AUTOBOT communication like never before.

Its speed versus skill with this detailed SOUNDWAVE robot-to-vehicle figure! When this bot detects the slightest interference, convert him into MERCEDES–BENZ SLB mode for “crushing” velocity. Will it be enough to defeat his AUTOBOT enemies? Their fate is yours to decide! Ages 5 and up.

"Revenge of the Fallen" introduced audiences to the on-screen version of a classic Decepticon warrior: Soundwave. However, his involvement in the Decepticon activities focused on subversion and technical wizardry in that film.

In "Dark of the Moon", Soundwave has come to Earth to participate in events directly. In the process, he took on a new form as well. This Legion Class figure is the first release of Soundwave in this form, although a Deluxe version is out in Japan now (as of January 2012) and due out in the US soon. Later, a Human Alliance version will be ocming out as well.

Robot Mode:
Soundwave's new robot form clearly alludes to him being a car in his alternate mode, with the chest being the component that gives it away since it's made up of the front of the car mode. The rest however was a very complex series of panels overlapping on top of gaps with machinery layered underneath - a look common to live action movie Transformers. For the sake of a Legion Class figure howeve,r a lot of these details wound up being toned down into a more "solid" looking figure that doesn't have tons of open gaps between panels. The chest for instance clearly looks like the front of the car mode with no openings or gaps at all.

All that said, Soundwave clearly still has some of these overlapping gaps and sections sculpted into certain areas. For instance, on his shoulder area are panels that overlap with a claw like end point at the top of the arm. On his lower legs, he has curved panels with tubes sculpted into them leading to his feet.

Having the name "Soundwave", you need some links back to the iconic G1 character. Two details on this figure make that connection. First is the head sculpt, which is an exaggerated design based on the Decepticon symbol itself. G1 Soundwave's head was part of the inspiration for the actual Decepticon symbol itself, complete with a crest with two points, two V shaped points sticking out the sides and a pointed chin. With some extra details worked into the design it looks fantastic and a bit creepy. The other "Soundwave" styled details can be found on his arms in the form of circular details on the top and insides of his arms. These represent sonic blasters or more to the point: speakers - alluding to G1 Soundwave's form as a boom box. These two elements work well together to keep this from being some random robot that the Soundwave name was assigned to and from this long time fan, they are much appreciated.

Soundwave is cast in dark silver and black plastic. Silver makes up most of the body. Black is found on the shoulder and hip joints as well as the wheels. There are four paint colors used in this form including red, dark metallic blue, light blue and black. The red is found on his eyes, matching his onscreen appearance. The dark metallic blue is actually part of his vehicle mode, but here they show on the windows that wind up on his lower legs. Light blue outlines the speakers facing front on his arms and the black paint is used for the gaps on the vehicle mode's grille on his chest. Overall the color scheme works well and matches up nicely with his on screen appearance.

There are six points of articulation on this figure, four in the legs and two on the arms. The arm and hip joints are both ball joints while his legs can swivel in and out. The wide range of motion is appreciated on the legs especially since his lower legs curve a bit, making standing the figure take an extra second of fiddling than normal. Soundwave's right hand is sculpted in curved position allowing you to equip him with a Cyberverse weapon. His other fist is not able to hold a weapon, but instead is balled into a fist. I wish both his hands were capable of holding weapons, but it's not a dealbreaker by any means.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. On each leg, swivel the foot sections up into the top of the lower legs.
  2. Swing the robot chest up.
  3. Rotate the legs around and connect them together to form the back of the vehicle.
  4. Push the arms in to form the sides of the car.

Vehicle Mode:
Once he came down to Earth, Soundwave took on the vehicle form of a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. This sleek luxury car was a great form for Soundwave in the movie since it was rather unexpected and when he revealed himself, it had a very dramatic effect. The SLS AMG is a thin car with a very long front end and a shortened back end. Soundwave's sculpt reflects this shape, but he also has many of the key details of the real life vehicle including:

  • The iconic "propeller" Mercedes Benz logo in the grille.
  • The grille has the trademark top and bottom sections divided by the section with the Mercedes Benz logo.
  • The top of the hood and the area behind the front wheel wells both have stylized vents.
  • The back of the vehicle has an area for the license plate flanked by two thin rear lights.
  • The lower section has rectangular gaps representing where the exhaust pipes would be located.

As cars go, this is a really nice combination of sporty and luxury. I do have to say that nothing about this vehicle mode says "Soundwave" to me, but in the context of the element of surprise used in the movie, it fits just fine and also expands the range of vehicles we have seen Transformers become in the series.

The same plastic colors from the robot mode carry over here with appopriate emphasis on the silver. This form allows us to see a lot more of the dark metallic blue on his windows. A bit more black is found on the front end underneath the headlights and the rear lights are painted red. His headlights are painted metallic light blue, continuing the subtle "blue" theme carried over from G1 Soundwave. Overall there isn't a ton of color here - but there doesn't need to be. The Mercedes Benz car that Soundwave represents basically is made up of these simple colors, which is part of its elegance.

Final Thoughts:
Soundwave is a great Legion Class figure. He has a distiinct look in both modes with a good level of detail. Add to that the detailing carried over from his CGI model and this guy is definitely worthy of being part of your Decepticon army!