"EarthSpark" 1-Step Soundwave Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: January 2023
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from Walmart.com:
Fun in every flip! Experience a Transformers conversion like never before with the Transformers: EarthSpark 1-Step Flip Changer Soundwave action figure! Transformers: EarthSpark introduces a new generation of Transformers robots - the first Transformers bots to be born on Earth. Together with the human family who welcomes them in and cares for them, they'll redefine what it means to be a family.

1-Step Flip Changer action figures feature popular characters as seen in Transformers: EarthSpark animated TV series (each sold separately, subject to availability).

Convert Soundwave toy from robot to jet mode by flipping the bot into the air! When the robot toy sticks the landing after an excitingly fun 1-step flip motion, the conversion to jet mode is complete. With only 1 step of conversion back to robot mode, the toy offers fidget-fun kids can do over and over again!

  • FUN IN EVERY FLIP: Get in on the action like never before! Exciting Transformers conversion in 1 flip step!
  • 2-IN-1 TOY WITH FLIP-TO-CONVERT ACTION: Convert Soundwave toy from robot to jet mode in 1 easy step by flipping the bot in the air! The conversion to jet mode is complete when the toy sticks the landing. Manually converts back to robot mode in 1 step for fidget-fun kids can do over and over again!
  • 4-INCH SOUNDWAVE FIGURE: Soundwave action figure is 4 inches tall
  • TRANSFORMERS: EARTHSPARK CHARACTERS: Soundwave toy inspired by the loyal Decepticon spy from Transformers: EarthSpark, a co-produced animated series from Nickelodeon and Entertainment One!
  • INSPIRED BY NICKELODEON AND ENTERTAINMENT ONE SHOW: Transformers: EarthSpark animated series centers on two human kids as they forge a connection with Transformers robots like never before and work along fan favorites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee!

Soundwave is one of the most popular and enduring characters in Transformers lore. EarthSpark's first episode clearly placed it in a G1 inspired universe, so it makes perfect sense that Soundwave would exist in this universe. This was confirmed in the first season of EarthSpark when Soundwave appeared and caused a ton of trouble for the forces of G.H.O.S.T.!

Soundwave is packaged in a similar fashion as the Cyberverse 1-Step Changers. Instead of being on a bubble card, the figure has a cardboard card wrapped around it, forming a kind of box around part of the figure. The card art features the cartoon's animation model. The graphics in the front show off the figure in both modes calling out a "1-Step Flip" transformation. The EarthSpark logo is set to the right. In the corner is a callout of "Plastic Free Packaging", something Hasbro made quite a big deal of in 2023. The back of the packaging shows Soundwave in both modes as well as a "mid transformation" step while calling out the 1-Step transform of the figure.

Vehicle Mode:
Soundwave's EarthSpark vehicle mode is a futuristic riff on the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Bomber. Like the B-2 the vehicle has two long back swept wings with a small cockpit section in the middle. On top of that however, the designers added in angled vents flanking the cockpit and stabilizer fins in the back that angle outward. There are also sharp points that lead to the rear engine. The figure also has a lot of line details sculpted into the wings that come straight from the animation model. Now, there is some undercarriage junk, which is inevitable with may Transformers who transform into aerial vehicles. That said, I do not find it particulary intrusive looking.

Soundwave is made of dark blue plastic, the same primary color used in the cartoon. Red paint is used on the cockpit windows, just like the cartoon, though here they are thinner than they are on the animation model.

Transformation to Robot Mode:
Soundwave comes with the ends of his wings folded in. You can fold them out and snap them into place and leave them that way for his transformations. Pull both wings towards each other until they snap into place. . As you do so the robot parts will fold out and down to form the robot mode.

Robot Mode:
Soundwave's sculpt is heavily based on his animation model, featuring a lot of the details from the cartoon including:

  • Head: The head sculpt riffs off the G1 Soundwave head but exaggerates features such as the top part of the head, extending it out to the sides to form horn-like protrusions. This gives it an extra sleek look and visually calls back to his vehicle mode's wings at the same time.
  • Chest: One of G1 Soundwave's most iconic features was his "cassette compartment door" on his chest. This version of Soundwave also has this feature, but it is a ten sided shape instead of a rectangle. Like the TV show model it features two distinct tabs on the sides overlapping it as if to keep them extra secure.
  • Arms: Soundwave's shoulders are triangular in shape and his forearms have circles on them that call back to speakers from other incarnations of the character.
  • Legs: The legs are really sleek, with faux wings sculpted onto the sides. The thighs also have notches in the sides. All these are details seen in the animation model.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the animation model and this figure is the lack of a shoulder cannon. In the show this is one of his primary weapons, but here it is absent.

Soundwave's blue plastic makes up a majority of the colors on this figure. Red paint is used on his eyes. The chest features an orange outline on the "cassette door" and the "V" shape under it is a bright red. The chest also has a Decepticon symbol. Black paint is used on the crotch area and his fists. Finally, silver is used on his elbows and thighs. Aside from some smaller red details this figure is pretty accurate to the animation model. The orange and red colors in particular really pop against the blue.

There is zero articulation in this mode, which seems to be the case for most (if not all) the 1-Step figures in EarthSpark so far. This was disappointing, especially since the fists have 5mm ports. The focus of the figure appears to be on the transformation. Push the figure forward and as it hits the ground a button on the chest is pressed, activating its transformation into vehicle mode. It's a fun action to watch and I can see this very much being a fun Transformers desk toy.

Final Thoughts:
I like this figure quite a bit. The aesthetics are spot on and the transformation is really fun. However, the initial asking price for this figure was round $11.99 which I think is way too high. I did notice when I purchased this figure Target had lowered the price down to $9.99 which is at about the highest price I'd pay for the figure. I personally used my Target Red Card to knock the price down a tiny bit more. For most fans however, I'd say try to get this on sale if you can. I do recommend it, but not at full price if possible.


  • Very nice sculpt in both modes.
  • Cool deco for a 1-Step figure.
  • Fun transformation action.


  • I would have liked some type of arm articulation so he could hold weapons up.
  • A shoulder cannon sculpted into the figure would have been cool. I think they could have fit one in without affecting the transformation.

Lightbox Gallery