"Reactivate" Optimus Prime & Soundwave 2-Pack Toy Review


General Information
Release Date: December 2023
Price Point: $62.99
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Hasbro Pulse, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Sonic Cannon, Concussion Blaster, Ion Blaster, Energon Axe and Matrix of Leadership

Official images and text in italics are from Amazon.com

  • OPTIMUS PRIME & SOUNDWAVE ACTION FIGURE 2-PACK: These 6.5-inch (16.5 cm) Optimus Prime and Soundwave toys feature deco and detail inspiration from the video game, Transformers: Reactivate
  • 2-IN-1 CONVERTING TRANSFORMERS TOYS: Optimus Prime Transformers action figure converts from robot to truck mode in 37 steps. Soundwave figure converts from robot to SUV mode in 15 steps
  • AWESOME ACCESSORIES: This 2-Pack comes with Sonic Cannon, Concussion Blaster, Ion Blaster, and Energon Axe, and Matrix of Leadership accessories
  • BATTLE DAMAGE DECO: The Optimus Prime and Soundwave figures feature premium metallic battle damage deco
  • ARTICULATED FOR PLAY AND DISPLAY: Transformers figures feature articulated heads, arms, and legs for action poses
  • BASED ON TRANSFORMERS: REACTIVATE: When a new threat to humanity arrives, Earth’s last hope is the Autobots. Transformers: Reactivate is a multiplayer online action game, developed by Splash Damage (video game sold separately)
  • GIFT TRANSFORMERS COLLECTIBLES: These video game-inspired action figure toys makes a great collectible figure gift for any Transformers fan

Bring the post-apocalyptic action of Transformers: Reactivate into your collection with the Transformers: Reactivate Optimus Prime and Soundwave 2-Pack! These 6.5-inch action figures feature metallic battle damage deco inspired by the Transformers: Reactivate video game. The Optimus Prime figure converts from robot to truck mode in 37 steps and the Soundwave figure converts from robot to SUV mode in 15 steps. Transformers: Reactivate action figures feature special packaging inspired by the video game. TRANSFORMERS and HASBRO and all related trademarks and logos are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc. © 2024 Hasbro. SPLASH DAMAGE and its logo are registered trademarks of Splash Damage Ltd. All rights reserved.

In December of 2022 game company Splash Damage announced a new game: Transformers: Reactivate. The game is set on a post-apocalyptic Earth. The trailer (which you can see below) seems to show an invading force that does not discriminate between humans, Autobots or Decepticons. In a desperate attempt to fight them, the human resistance "reactivates" Transformers characters to fight the aliens. Check out the trailer below:



The trailer is quite impressive, but unfortunately little else came out of Splash Damage all year long until a recent post on their Instagram noting that 2023 would see no further updates while the company works to utilize the Unreal Engine 5 to create the game. Delays in the gaming industry are not new, but the world of toys moves a bit differently and so the end of 2023 saw the release of four figures from the game. Preorders went up for these figures in November 2023 and Hasbro Pulse shipped limited quanitites in December 2023. As of December 2023, other retailers such as Amazon and Entertainment Earth have February 2024 ship dates listed for these figures. One of these sets features a two pack with a Voyager Class Optimus Prime and Deluxe Class Soundwave figure.

The Transformers: Reactivate packaging is really impressive. The two sets released so far each feature two figures. I hesitate to call them "versus packs" since it seems like the humans and Transformers all have to team up to fight the alien horde in the game. The boxes are mostly rectangular with angles on the sides, giving them a distinctive shape. The box features a large window in the middle that lets you see the figures inside tied to a cardboard backdrop. For the first time in a while, the window is covered with a transparent plastic film! This used to be the norm with Transformers toys but fell by the wayside the last couple years. It is really great to see this style of packaging return. The box features a lot of blue and grey colors including a grid graphic on the top section that feels like a bit of a G1 throwback. On the left side is Sounwave with photos of the figure in both modes and artwork from (presumably) the game on the angled section. The other side features Optimus Prime with a similar arrangement. On the bottom is the "Transformers: Reactivate" logo which really stands out with its striking blue and white colors. This also makes this one of the few Transformers boxes out there right now that does not feature the vertical Transformers logo on the right side which has been a standard for years now. This entire line falls under the "Reactivate" banner with no other sub-headers (ex: Generations or Studio Series etc.) which is kind of refreshing!

The back of the box features both figures in both modes set against a backdrop from the game. Optimus Prime has a 37 step transformation called out while Soundwave's is 15 steps. Near the right side is the Splash Damage studio logo next to Hasbro's own logo. Towards the bottom are two images that appear to be screen shots from the game or imagery created with game assets. One features Optimus Prime and Soundwave in the game in their robot forms while the other shows them in their vehicle modes. Overall, this packaging is beautiful and really striking!

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime includes three "classic" accessories often associated with the character:

  • Ion Rifle: This is a version of Optimus Prime's classic weapon, going back to the original G1 toy. It features several of the same design elements including the vertical section in the back, a long barrel, and a magazine attached to the bottom. This weapon is all black plastic with no paint applications. The weapon features a 5mm peg on the bottom and on the right side to attach to Optimus in vehicle mode. The front of the barrel has an opening that does fit Blast Effects, which was a nice surprise after seeing the Bumblebee/Starscream set does not accommodate Blast Effects.
  • Energon Axe: Optimus' other classic weapon is his Energon Axe. In past toys this often just takes the form of an orange axe but this time out it is made of clear plastic with a spiked base (maybe to look like energy popping out of the base) and the axe blade has several line details running through it. The axe blade is orange and black paint is used on the base and some of the raised line details on the blade. The base has a 5mm peg set sideways, so you need to rotate Optimus' fists to position the axe blade in the traditional position.
  • Matrix of Leadership: When I first saw the Matrix of Leadership accessory I thought it was the same one included with either the Holiday Optimus Prime or the Earthrise Optimus Prime. While very similar in size and design, it is not exactly the same. This Matrix has a thicker sphere section than the one included with Holiday Optimus Prime and Earthrise Optimus' Matrix does not fit snugly into Reactivate Optimus Prime's chest (it fits in, but falls right out). The Matrix is nicely colored with silver on the handles, gold on the sphere and translucent blue in the middle. These may seem like insignificant details to fixate on but they really do show an attention to the smaller aspects of the deco that I really appreciate.

Robot Mode:
This Optimus Prime figure is a brand new sculpt and not a redeco/retool of a previous figure. It does borrow some tricks from Earthrise Optimus Prime, but even then it's one specific part of the transformation. This figure is also quite a bit larger than Earthrise Optimus Prime (who was basically a Voyager Class figure with a trailer). Earthrise Optimus stands at about 6.6 inches (about 16.7cm) and weighs in around 4.4 ounces. Meanwhile, Reactivate Optimus Prime is about 6.75 inches (17.1cm) tall and weighs in at 5.8 ounces. I was both surprised and very happy with this difference.

The design of this Optimus Prime uses the classic G1 design as its foundation, then it amps things up. His silhouette is very classic, featuring his traditional head design with antennae sticking up on the sides. His arms feature smokestacks on the sides and his body is very blocky, mostly made up of rectangles and squares. Like G1 Optimus he features details like a grille on his "abdominal" area and vents on the front of his lower legs. However, instead of the very smooth look some fans may associate with G1 Optimus Prime's animated appearance, this figure has a lot of sculpted details that break up the smooth surface of his armor. Among these details are angled lines on his shoulders, layers of armor over his ankles and pistons sculpted into the back of his thighs. Another favorite detail of mine is a rocket pack built into his back! Almost every inch of this figure is covered in interesting sculpted details and I was very impressed.

Optimus is made up of red, silver, dark blue and translucent blue plastic. Paint colors include heavy use of silver, red and metallic blue. Silver is used for most of the detailing including the smokestacks, the mouthplate, parts of the torso, arms and legs. Red is used to paint the chest panels while the eyes are painted metallic blue. This deco sounds very simplistic but it actually looks really good. My only reservation is that this is supposed to be a post-apocalyptic Optimus Prime who has been rebuilt by humans. You would expect some more battle damage or "dirty" details given that, but he looks super "clean". Now, if you're not into the battle damaged aesthetic, this is perfect for you. Personally I would have liked a bit more "visual grit" represented on this figure.

There are twenty two points of articulation on this figure. This includes five in each arm and leg. The joints are also tight, which is great. Optimus has eight 5mm ports in this mode. Two on the lower legs, two on the bottom of his feet, the fists and two on the back. You can open up the chest panels to reveal Optimus' Matrix chamber. The Matrix accessory can be removed but it is too tiny to hold in his hands (though you can kind of prop them up in them).

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. On each lower leg swing out the back panels.
  4. Swing the feet towards the middle using the ankle rocker joints.
  5. Rotate the lower legs up and swing the feet over the knee area on each leg.
  6. Swing the back panels back in place.
  7. Swing the rectangular silver pieces in.
  8. Push the legs together, forming the rear of the vehicle mode.
  9. Pull the back panel out.
  10. Swing out the red panel in the middle and extend out the middle piece carefully.
  11. Swing the silver panels on the sides out.
  12. Raise the arms up.
  13. Swing the panel that forms the abdominal area forward slightly.
  14. Swing the chest up, lifting that section away from the main body.
  15. Under where the chest section was, you'll see the front wheels of the vehicle mode. Swing the front bumper pieces out, then swing the wheel wells down and connect the bumper halves together.
  16. Push the abdominal panel up in between the two front wheel wells.
  17. In the chest section, swing out the panels behind the Matrix Chamber and unfold them.
  18. Rotate the head around and push it down. It will not sit flush against the back, instead it will sit at an angle.
  19. Unfold the panels that make up each forwarm.
  20. Rotate each arm around at the joint between the shoulder and elbow.
  21. Swing the arms in at the elbows, connecting the forearm panels to the shoulders.
  22. Swing the arms back at the shoulder joints, then swing them down to push the arms in, forming the sides of the truck cab.
  23. Swing down the front section of the truck to cover up the robot arms and fists. Snap this piece into place by connecting it to the front bumper.
  24. Swing the panel on the top down, covering up the robot head.
  25. Swing the silver panels on the sides down, connecting them to the front of the rear wheel wells.
  26. The weapons can be attached to the 5mm ports on the rear wheel wells.

Vehicle Mode:
Optimus Prime's Reactivate vehicle mode looks like his G1 form with extra armor and machinery added on and I love it. The front end has a custom bumper on it that looks almost like a cow catcher on a train - with teeth! The front headlights have armor plating over them and the top of the cab has a raised roof section that has vents in the front. The rocket boosters from the back of the robot mode wind up under the smokestacks here, implying Optimus can use them to give himself a speed boost in vehicle mode (which is awesome!). Overall I love the look of this truck mode.

This mode features the same colors as the robot mode. Two deco points that I really appreciate are the sides of the wheels (which are painted silver) and the front bumper which has a beautiful battle damage pattern on it. I wish more of that gritty looking pattern appeared on the rest of the figure!


Soundwave includes two accessories, both based on G1 Soundwave's weapons:

  • Concussion Blaster: This blaster features the triangular barrel at the end (which in the G1 toy was actually a separate projectile accessory). The main body of the blaster is a cylinder and the triangular barrel sticks out at the end. This piece is blue plastic with silver paint at the barrel end. The weapon features a 5mm peg at the bottom and the barrel end is designed to fit Blast Effects. In a fun nod to G1, the designers sculpted a tiny (non working) button on top of the blaster, a nod to the button used in G1 Soundwave to release the missile/projectile.
  • Sonic Cannon: This weapon is the one traditionally seen resting on Soundwave's shoulder. In some fiction it is a rocket launcher, but it is officially known as the Sonic Cannon. This piece is cylinder shaped but unlike the Concussion Blaster it has many more layers of mechanical detailing on it. The front has the holes normally associated with the G1 version of this weapon, but there is also a small peg sticking out that lets you attach Blast Effects. A 5mm peg is found at the bottom of this weapon.

Robot Mode:
Each of the Reactivate two packs features a Voyager and Deluxe Class figure. In this two pack, Soundwave is the Deluxe Class figure measuring about 5.5 inches (about 13.97cm) tall. This is a new figure but it takes inspiration from previous incarnations of the character such as Generations Soundwave, Authentics Soundwave and Cyberverse Soundwave. Like those versions, this Soundwave has a vehicle alt-mode that resembles a scifi off-road vehicle. This means a good amount of vehicle mode bulk winds up in the robot mode. Here, a lot of that bulk makes up his torso area where a good chunk of the vehicle mode sits on his back as a big back pack. That sounds bad, but honestly I don't mind it at all. His bulky torso area offers a big contrast to his limbs, which are more angular and sleek looking. Several details come right from G1 Soundwave including the "tape cassette door" chest, buttons on his waist area and the shape of the feet. The sculpt also features a lot of cool mechanical details such as cage like details on his shoulders and a grille like structure under the chest section.

Soundwave is made up of dark blue and black plastic. Paint colors on the figure include silver, red and gold. A purple Decepticon symbol on his chest rounds out the deco. I really like the way the silver and red in particular are distributed. It helps break up the darker black and blue plastic colors.

There are twenty points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each arm and five on each leg. The shoulder joints are ball joints, allowing for a good range of motion. There are six 5mm ports on this figure: one on the back, one near the right shoulder, each fist and one on the bottom of each foot. The Sonic Cannon's handle is set on a hinge so it can be swung up and down. This lets you point it forward since his "back pack" is set at a slight angle.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Rotate each leg around.
  4. Swing out the panels on each lower leg.
  5. Swing the wheels out from the lower legs, then swing the panels back in place.
  6. Push the lower legs together.
  7. Swing the robot head back.
  8. Extend the back piece out.
  9. Swing the front wheels that are against the back down.
  10. Swing the front wheels out and connect them to the robot hips.
  11. Swing each arm under the back pack and clip the forearms against the tabs on the sides.
  12. Swing the back pack over the legs and clip them into place.
  13. Push the chest compartment down to form the front of the car.
  14. Swing the radar dish on the back up.
  15. The weapons can be attached to the 5mm ports on top of the vehicle.

Vehicle Mode:
Soundwave's vehicle mode reminds me a lot of other Soundwave figures such as Authentics Soundwave. For the most part it is a pretty generic looking scifi off road vehicle, but the front of the vehicle shows off his "cassette window" which calls back to the robot mode and the character's most iconic feature. I love a lot of the details on the top of the vehicle including the radar dish. While this figure is a Deluxe Class, the designers did their best to give it some details that give it a bulky look such as large wheels and armor over each wheel well.

The deco in this mode carries over the same colors from the robot mode. I do wish there were some type of battle damage in this form, but the vehicle is rather "clean" looking. I would have also liked some red on the rear lights but they are unpainted. The vehicle looks good, but I think it could have looked better with only a bit more paint.

Final Thoughts:
Without a doubt Optimus Prime is the feature piece in this set. He's chunky, fun to play with and I love the sculpt and colors. Soundwave is a good figure but it is clear most of the effort (and budget) in the set went to Optimus Prime. Of the two Reactivate sets released so far, this is the one I would recommend fans go for first. Recommended!


  • Excellent sculpts on both figures (with Optimus being the stronger one).
  • Good decos.
  • Fun and intuitive transformations.
  • Good articulation with tight joints on both figures.
  • I appreciate the G1 influenced accesssories for both figures.


  • I would have liked additional "battle damage" deco on both figures.
  • Soundwave is a bit underwhelming, but he's not a bad figure.

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