"The Last Knight" Tiny Turbo Changer Soundwave Toy Review
Release Date: April 28, 2017 (Official Street Date)
Price Point: $3.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Tiny Turbo Changers are a new series of figures intended to cater to the market for "blind bagged" figures. Each figure is about 1.75 inches (approximately 4.4 centimeters) long (with the robot mode sizes varying of course). The style of these figures are similar to Japanese Super Deformed caricatures based on designs of characters from the live action films. While he does not seem to appear in "The Last Knight", Soundwave appeared in "Revenge of the Fallen" and "Dark of the Moon". When mining for Decepticons to include in these assortments this made him an ideal choice.
The Tiny Turbo Changers are blind bagged figures. From what I have seen each box contains roughly two sets of figures. The box itself has some cute artwork featuring the characters inside along with photos of the various figures included in the assortment. Fans hoping for codes on the bags will be disappointed. There are no codes associated with individual figures. Instead there is a tiny window at the bottom of each bag on the back that allows you to catch a glimpse of the figure inside. The window is big enough for instance that I could see a corner of Bumblebee's face, so it works fairly well to identify most of the figures in the assortment. The front of the packaging features the vertical Transformers logo on the right with a "Series 1" logo above it. The other corner tells you to collect all 12 figures. Under that is artwork featuring Optimus Prime and Bumblebee in both modes. Below that is the "Tiny Turbo Changers" logo along with the logo for "The Last Knight". The back of the packaging features legal information in various languages along with GM and Western Star logos on the bottom.
In the live action films, Soundwave was first introduced as a space bound Decepticon who transformed into a satellite and spaceship. When he came to Earth, he took on a new form, transforming into a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. There have been figures of Soundwave transforming into this figure before. However using any licensed vehicle comes at a cost, and for a cute little figure like this it was unlikely they would pay for that license. Instead, Soundwave's vehicle form looks more like a Lamborghini. It has angled and smooth lines in the front and sides all leading to a spoiler section that angles upward. The rear tires are larger than the front tires, giving it the look of a vehicle that has some racing potential in it.
Soundwave is cast in grey plastic, which makes sense given the "Dark of the Moon" version was silver. The wheels and side windows are painted black. Unfortunately for whatever reason (possibly because there is a moving part in the area), the windshield is unpainted, giving the car a very unfinished look.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Flip the front of the car up, then rotate the lower body of the robot around. Pull the arms out to the sides gently and swing them up.
While his vehicle mode is a made-up vehicle, Soundwave's robot mode is based on his appearance in "Dark of the Moon". He has a lot of the key details of that form including the head that resembles the Decepticon symbol (a holdover from the G1 days), a chest that looks like it is formed from the front of a car and discs sculpted into his arms that resemble speakers. The sculpt looks fantastic.
In terms of paint, after having reviewed Grimlock and Optimus Prime before this it was disappointing to see just how little paint there is. All this mode has is red on the eyes and that is it. Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like this iteration of Soundwave had a ton of deco detail to begin with, but something on the chest or arms would have been nice given the relative lack of paint in vehicle mode.
Thanks to the transformation, Soundwave winds up having three points of articulation in this form: the arms and his waist. Since the front of the car forms his feet they are fused together in one piece.
Soundwave's strongest quality is the sculpt in robot mode. Other than that the grey color and lack of deco make for a relatively boring figure in this assortment.
- Nice sculpt featuring many of the key details from the movie.
- Waist articulation (as opposed to the usual arms-only articulation).
- Limited articulation.
- Deco is very limited.