There have recently been a couple glaring contradictions in my usual rules surrounding toy-centric versus fiction-centric names. To recap, this is Frenzy:
Despite the fact that this is Rumble:
Of course, in that same episode of the original series, this was also Rumble,
We’ll all be better off if we just pretend that never happened. As I pointed out at length in my “Rumble is red, Frenzy is blue” post, I adopted a toy-centric view mostly because I was exposed to the toys well before I was exposed to the cartoon. So, in my world RiRFiB (Rumble is Red, Frenzy is Blue) because that’s what the toys told me.
And this is Fall of Cybertron Rumble,
Which means so is this,
It remains to be seen if this is a decision to officially reverse RiRFiB for toys moving forward, but Hasbro at least ok’ed the FiR part as far back as 2011 with the eventually cancelled “Demolition Rumble” release of United Frenzy.
Though the Fall of Cybertron and Prime releases have continued making Rumble blue, it might just be because the game itself went that direction and as far as I know Hasbro is still pretending that Prime and Fall of Cybertron are all the same continuity (despite glaring evidence to the contrary).
This does nothing to change the fact that, despite what the packaging may read, I will never be able to think of this guy as Frenzy,
Ugh. RiRFiB/RiBFiR. Derailing conversations/threads/posts since 1984. Back to the only reason there’s new Frenzy and Rumble toys to fret about in the first place: Fall of Cybertron Soundwave.
At Botcon 2012, we got our first look at the return of voyager class toys to the Generations line. Quite a surprise — and to many, a disappointment — was the announcement of Fall of Cybertron Soundwave. Disappointment because rather than getting a new toy, we were getting a supersized version of a toy we already got once. War for Cybertron Soundwave, even at deluxe scale, was an awesome toy. As great as Fall of Cybertron Soundwave looked, he was effectively surplus to requirements. Left at that, this would have seemed a very bad idea on Hasbro’s part, no matter how popular Soundwave was. So, why release him?
The return of Soundwave’s army of Decepticon Mini-Cassette minions? Wonderful. Laserbeak comes with Soundwave, Buzzsaw with Soundblaster.
Of course, there’s the aforementioned misnamed Rumble and Frenzy.
Each comes packaged in a two-pack. We couldn’t have a set of deployers without loyal Ravage.
My favourite of the set just so happens to be my favourite original Decepticon Mini-Cassette, Ratbat.
And not just because his box art is absolutely adorable.
Of course, we can’t have a bunch of random little dudes running around pre-Earth Cybertron as cassettes. The answer? Cybertronian data discs complete with disc cases for the two-pack sets.
The return of Soundwave’s army of Decepticon Mini-Cassette minions as Data-Disc minions? Genius!
What started as an apparently risky proposition for Hasbro turned out to be quite the opposite. At this point I knew I was going to need this mold for the “deployers” alone, an annoying proposition when I already had a Soundwave I was quite happy with (and who fit in better scale-wise with the rest of the War for Cybertron/Fall of Cybertron display shelf). Then Hasbro announced that we were getting a repaint as Soundblaster and my annoyance levels dropped considerably. Though the amount of work I had to go through to secure a Fall of Cybertron Laserbeak without buying Soundwave was tremendous, it worked out monetarily quite in my favour and I even ended up with Soundwave’s weapon out of the deal. Fall of Cybertron Soundblaster is actually a wonderful homage.
And Soundwave didn’t even have to die this time around to get upgraded… or did he? An oddity from Soundblaster’s toy bio gives the impression that Soundwave doesn’t really fare too well after the end of Fall of Cybertron:
Restored to a fully functioning state by the loyalty of his minions and
the arcane science of an alien world, Soundwave takes a new name to
reflect his new lease on life.
Alien world? Arcane science? I am intrigued. What happened? Will we ever know what the bio writer was talking about?
Beyond the inclusion of his chest being able to contain and eject up to 3 of his deployers at a time, there’s really no overall difference — other than size, naturally — in either mode from the original deluxe release. Originally described as just “Armored Vehicle Mode”, he is now labelled as transforming into a “Communications Truck”.
The ejection of the deployers can also be done in Alt mode, which is a nice addition.
The aforementioned “Operation: Ejection” gimmick is rather hit-or-miss. First and most important: the instructions show the data discs going into his chest with their little auto-transformation buttons facing out. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES EVER DO THIS. EVER. They are meant to go the other way around and will almost certainly get jammed in there if put in backwards. That is not to say that putting them in the correct way is entirely pain-free. The tolerances on these things are razor thin, meaning… well, I can’t put it any better than David Willis over at Shortpacked did,
“Mostly these guys get stuck and then you push and push and push and use excessive force and then when finally one of them gives they all explode out of his chest at the same time, usually hitting you in the face no matter where your face is and then you have a scattering of half-transformed things everywhere.”
Most of mine fit pretty well, but the birds and bat are the ones that stick the worst. Speaking of the ejection gimmick, the homage does go a step further on the Fall of Cybertron figure than the original War for Cybertron. He has an ejection button on his shoulder that opens his chest compartment, exactly like the placement of original’s tape door eject button. A splendid step further, there’s molded detail in his right hand that I initially mistook for a trigger finger. Nope, just like in the G1 cartoon, he can reach up and push his own eject button.
Another oddity from both Soundwave and Soundblaster’s box, also shown in their instructions, is a second gun. Though no second gun was included, the gun depicted is actually G1 Optimus Prime’s.
So yeah, other than packaging photo strangeness and the mostly-not-working main gimmick, it’s an excellent mold. Had I not already owned the deluxe version, I would have happily bought both Soundwave and Soundblaster. Besides, even if it weren’t a good mold by itself, the new mold Deployer army alone would make it more than worth it.
Thanks to the Soundblaster repaint, no need to buy Soundwave again, I pretty much figured I had Hasbro beat on this one. Then they announced Fall of Cybertron Blaster. Oh, screw you Hasbro.