If you have never seen Headmasters and hope to someday watch it spoiler-free, just skip this post altogether and, seriously, go watch it already. Sheesh, it’s already been 24 years and, oh, how you are missing out on some grand Transformers history.
If you have never seen Headmasters and have no intention to, watch this until at least the 2:19 mark to give you some context:
If you have seen Headmasters, go back and watch that clip anyway because it’s brilliant.
So, yeah. Soundwave and Blaster (or Broadcast) are both dead. Only death is a fickle thing in the earlier parts of the franchise and to quote Monty Python, “I’m not dead yet!”
Thus was born, or rather re-born, Soundblaster. Redone in a lot of black, his original G1 Takara exclusive (understandably being from a Takara exclusive cartoon series) toy added a new chest case that was expanded to hold two of his cassettes at once. After seeing a Takara reissue of Soundblaster in 2005, this larger capacity mold would go on to be used in Hasbro’s 2007 Commerative Series reissue of G1 Soundwave. I missed the 2005 reissue of the Soundblaster mold in actual Soundblaster colours, so I jumped when he was re-reissued as part of Takara’s Encore line this year.
With most of his stickers turned into tampographed detailing, he is gorgeous. There is a sort of consensus that Takara should have taken this opportunity even further to turn his blue-stickered area into a more logical and cartoon-accurate black, but I can appreciate a certain slavish attention to original toy-release accuracy.
You can’t have a Soundwave related release without providing him some cassette troops, but the problem here is that if you own the originals plus all the reissues of Soundwave/Soundblaster you already own four Buzzsaws, four Laserbeaks, three Ravages, a Ratbat, and a Rumble. Just to toss things up, Takara could have chosen to go with Frenzy, Slugfest, or Overkill, but if you have been getting the reissues that only involve the Cassettes as well your total of Decepticon Mini-Cassettes goes up to four Buzzsaws, five Laserbeaks, three Ravages, two Rumbles, two Ratbats, one Frenzy, one Slugfest, and an Overkill. Needless to say: they have done these guys into the ground and Takara recognized that. Instead they decided to go in two directions no one was expecting.
In a move of sheer brilliance, Takara plucked these two from relative obscurity. Enemy previously only existed as two pieces of G1 merchandise. First attached to an AM/FM radio and then as only a head as the “Voice Changer”.
Less obscure, but just as awesome, Wingthing was an orange bat-like creature and partner to Action Master Soundwave. Though I don’t really have interest in getting Action Master anybody, I am now on the hunt for G1 Wingthing, thanks to this repaint of my favourite G1 Mini-Cassette, Ratbat.
I can honestly say, these two were the deciding factor when it came to whether or not I was going to pay to import the Encore Soundblaster release. So glad I did. Everything about this reissue has made me extremely happy.