"Robots in Disguise" (2015) Warrior Class Soundwave Toy Review
Release Date: January 2017
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Walmart, Target etc.)
Accessories: Shoulder cannon/blaster
*Images and text below from Amazon.com:
Transformers: Robots in Disguise Combiner Force Warriors Class figures are made for fans of classic Transformers conversion play. This 5-inch Warriors Class Soundwave figure changes from robot to tank and back in 14 steps. Figure also comes with 1 baster accessory. Fans can collect some of their favorite Autobot heroes and Decepticon villains from the Transformers: Robots in Disguise Warriors Class line (each sold separately), choose a side, and prepare for battle.
This Combiner Force Warriors Class Soundwave figure brings home exciting Transformers play, but the action doesn’t stop there. The Transformers: Robots in Disguise mobile gaming app creates an interactive play experience that brings the characters of the show to life. Download the Robots in Disguise app, and 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. Kids can imagine joining the battle with this figure based on the Transformers: Robots in Disguise animated series.
"Robots in Disguise" is very different in tone than the previous Transformers series "Prime". However the two are linked in terms of continuity, and one of the strongest links was the appearance of the Decepticon Soundwave in the last season of the show. Soundwave was set up as a "big bad" of sorts, so in 2017 he received the action figure treatment several times. I have already reviewed three versions of the character: the One Step Changer, Three Step Changer and the Activator Combiner. however, older fans may be happiest with the Warrior Class, which does not rely on any gimmick other than transformation.
Soundwave is packaged on a blister card. The backing card features the character's artwork. If you are facing the card you will see the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. The figure is packaged in robot mode inside the bubble. The insert has a photo of the vehicle mode and the art for the character on the side. The insert features a red border with Soundwave's name on the border. Also in this section is the "Combiner Force" logo. The back of the packaging has photos of the figure in both modes indicating 14 steps needed to transform the figure.
In Transformers: Prime Soundwave had a very unusual design for the character. Instead of being a bulky, boxy looking robot he was very thin with a very angular design. You can see this in my review of "Prime" Soundwave. When the character returned in "Robots in Disguise", he had changed his form which appears to pay homage to "Fall of Cybertron" Soundwave. Now the character is bulky with some details that callback to G1 Soundwave as well as his "Fall of Cybertron" design. These details include the boxy chest which features what looks like the classic Soundwave "cassette door" but is really more of a grille for the robot mode. He also has a G1 inspired head design that heavily resembles the Decepticon symbol with a triangular face. His shoulder armor and arms help add some bulk to his upper body, and his legs are thick as well. Everything about this sculpt feels like it is meant to make Soundwave look formidable and it looks great.
Soundwave is cast in dark blue, grey and translucent red plastic. The blue makes up most of the figure, with the grey making up smaller parts like his forearms and feet. The translucent red is used for the wheels on his shoulders and legs as well as the face. This allows for some pretty great light piping since the translucent red also makes up the back of the head. These plastic colors are visually supported by several paint applications. The most beautiful paint color is a metallic blue that you'll find on his lower legs, waist/hip area and his weapon. Under the right light this color sparkles and looks great. A dull beige color is used on the details around his "chest window" while red is used for his wrists. Soundwave has a scannable Decepticon symbol in the middle of the chest area that unlocks some crystals and a slot machine ticket in the official "Robots in Disguise" app. Finally, some grey paint is used on his lower legs. Overall I'm very happy with the deco. It looks great on its own, but it also calls back to G1 Soundwave nicely.
There are sixteen points of articulation on this figure including four on each arm and three on each leg. Soundwave includes a weapon that looks, in part, inspired by G1 Soundwave's shoulder cannon. This can fit into either hand or attach to 5mm ports near the head to recreate the G1 "over the shoulder" cannon look. Even better? The weapon can tilt back too, allowing it to look more dynamic.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set them aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the chest panel forward, then swing the head down.
- Swing the back panel forward, revealing the windshield and side windows.
- Swing the legs back at the waist hinge.
- Swing the legs out a bit, then swing the rear wheel wells out. Then push the feet back.
- Rotate the lower legs around, then tab them together in the middle.
- Rotate the sections with the forearms up.
- Swing the shoulder armor pieces forward so they form the front wheel well covers.
- Push the shoulders down and in.
- Tab the arms into the sides of the vehicle.
- The weapon can be attached to the 5mm ports on the top of the vehicle.
Soundwave's vehicle mode is also inspired by his "Fall of Cybertron" form. It looks like the designers started with a Humvee and then turned it into a Cybertronian/scifi style vehicle. I love this design. It looks aggressive and powerful yet somehow at the same time it manages to evoke G1 Soundwave's tape deck form thanks to its boxy shape and the "grille" in front. I also love the smaller details like the vertical headlights in front and the design of the wheels which have treads with a very distinct pattern inside the wheels thanks to the translucent plastic.
The newly revealed parts in this mode center around the cabin section which features the windshield and side windows. The rest of this piece is painte dark blue to match the plastic on the rest of the figure. This mode also makes the metallic blue and grey combination from the lower legs more prominent since they make up a lot of the top portion of the vehicle. One of my favorite parts of the decos are the wheels, which are cast in translucent red plastic. The rims are painted black. The results are wheels that look like they are "glowing" with energy which was a key part of the aesthetic for the "Robots in Disguise" cartoon.
Soundwave has four 5mmports on the top of the vehicle mode, allowing you to give him some heavy duty firepower.
The Warrior Class continues to deliver fun with this figure. The figure looks great in both modes and I appreciate all the ways you can attach extra weapons to the figure in both forms. Recommended!
- Fun G1 homage.
- Great sculpt in both modes.
- Cool deco.
- Good number of attachment points for extra weapons.
- One more weapon would have been nice to have.
- It would have been cool if the robot fists tucked away into the forearms for the vehicle mode.