"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Soundwave Toy Review
Release Date: November 2017
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
Experience the excitement of instant conversion with figures that change between modes in 1 step. Convert this 1-Step Changer Soundwave figure from robot to vehicle in 1 quick, lift-switch motion. Imagine charging into battle in the blink of an eye with Transformers: Robots in Disguise Combiner Force 1-Step Changer figures. Scan the Decepticon shield on this Soundwave figure to unlock a token in the mobile app (see below for app details).
Soundwave is the ultimate spy, capable of locating any enemy. The treacherous signal stealer can detect any Autobot transmission and mask his own signature to avoid detection. The Autobots may not realize the Decepticon has targeted them until it’s too late.
Join the battle with this figure based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series.
Includes Soundwave figure and on-box instructions. Ages 5 and up. App content ages 9 and up. Available through June 30, 2019. Transformers: Robots in Disguise app works with select iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. Check Transformers.com for details. Updates may affect compatibility. Not available in all languages. Hasbro is only responsible for Hasbro-generated content. Please refer to third party terms and conditions for further information.
During the "Combiner Force" arc of the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon the character of Soundwave returned from his banishment during the events of "Transformers: Prime". This led to several figures of the character being made (including an Activator Combiner). Given that it was not surprising when Soundwave joined the One Step Changer assortment at the end of 2017.
After a few years of using the same style of 1-Step Changer packaging Hasbro has changed things up this year. In a move that (I assume) saves some money, the figure is no longer sealed inside a bubble on a card. Instead, there is a backing card that wraps around a plastic tray that the figure sits inside in vehicle form. The vehicle is tied down with a cardboard tie onto the plastic tray. The card still features character art and the back shows the toy in both modes. The packaging calls the figure out as a part of the "Combiner Force" line since he has compatibility with Mini-Cons.
Taking a cue from previous "Generations" versions of Soundwave, this vehicle form looks like a futuristic armored truck. Most of the details come right from the animation model in the show. These design elements include:
- The general shape of the vehicle is thick and boxy looking.
- The front wheel wells angle up from front to back, giving the boxy vehicle a stylish appearance.
- The windshield has a unique shape that calls back to Soundwave's chest compartment.
- On either side of the rear section are vents sticking out a bit.
- The front of the vehicle features designs that resemble buttons from a boom box, a callback to G1 Soundwave's alt-form.
Soundwave is mostly made up of dark blue and red plastic. Most of the vehicle is dark blue. The wheels and rear sections are red. Yellow paint is used on the front to outline the grille (which is a callback to G1 Soundwave's chest/cassette compartment). The windows are painted red and on top of the vehicle is a Decepticon symbol you can scan in the official "Robots in Disguise" app. This does not unlock the character in the game. Instead I received a few crystals when I scanned the figure and that was it. The deco is not particularly cartoon accurate, but the colors work for the character and the combination looks good.
Soundwave rolls well on his wheels. There is also a 5mm port on the top of the vehicle that allows you to attach weapons or Mini-Cons in weapon form (hence the "combining" aspect of the "Combiner Force" title).
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Holding on to the top of the vehicle, swing it back. This will reveal the robot mode parts. Push the legs and arms down. Separate the legs.
Like other versions of "Robots in Disguise" Soundwave, this figure has several elements that are based on the design of G1 Soundwave. These include:
- The head sculpt, which bears a heavy resemblance to the Decepticon symbol complete with a two pronged crest and antennae that angle outward and up.
- The chest has a panel that looks like a stylized cover to a tape deck, calling back to G1 Soundwave's distinctive chest design.
- On the right shoulder area there is a cannon suclpted into the figure complete with small circles inside.
- The knee armor comes over the thighs, though these are thinner and more stylized looking than the rectangular G1 knee armor.
Overall, Soundwave's sculpt really calls back to the original character nicely while bringing some modern flourishes to the design. I love how bulky he looks while having some sleek looking design elements.
This mode mostly shows off the dark blue plastic. The red wheels contrast heavily on the arms and legs, but they somehow just wind up adding to his bulky, dangerous look instead of being obtrusive. Red paint is used on Soundwave's blank (and creepy) face. The chest has the yellowish details around the edges of the central panel. Grey is used on the end of the shoulder cannon, thighs and feet. For a One Step Changer I appreciate the variety of colors and the deco pattern spreads them out, giving him a much more detailed look than one would expect of this size class.
Soundwave has two main points of articulation: the arms. They can swing up and down. They also have 5mm ports in the hands, allowing him to hold Mini-Cons in weapon mode or any other weapon with a 5mm peg.
As One Step Changers go, Soundwave is pretty great. He looks cool in both modes, the design has most of the critical design elements of the animation model and he looks bulky and powerful. I really like the way the shoulder cannon was integrated into the design on a hinge too. If you're into One Step Changers at all, this figure is definitely recommended!
- Good sculpt in both modes with design elements calling back to G1 Soundwave and the "Robots in Disguise" animation model.
- Weapons can be attached in both modes.
- One Step transformation works well without any issues.
- Lack of articulation.
- Not a lot of deco.