“He hoards information the way a miser hoards gold, sharing it sparingly, if at all. No one knows what the true purpose behind his obsessive data collections is, but all fear him for the secrets he keeps.”
~from Soundwave’s Masterpiece release bio
I can only barely handle the fact that I can now stage the following scene after having made a single, Hasbro Masterpiece purchase.
In fact, were it not for Masterpiece Ratbat’s absence, this would be point at which I believed there could be no further Soundwave merchandise of any kind sold in the world. As it stands, I already have mixed feelings about G1 Soundwave in general. Though many lament that we have never received a true Generations update of Soundwave, I actually question what that could ever be. There have been homages aplenty, from a couple different SUVs, to a dronewarplane, to a Mercedes SLS AMG and (most fitting) a communications satellite. However, there’s never been an appropriate update of the original. Why is that? I don’t honestly know, but I think I am fine with it. Lately I have come to realize that for all of the myriad updates that G1 Megatron has received, I don’t really see any of them as Megatron. Because G1 Megatron transforms into a gun.
When I got Masterpiece Megatron, I was done really with needing any future G1 Megatrons.
Likewise Soundwave transformed into the unlikely, mostly pointless alt mode of a tape deck (more accurately a microcassette recorder) and we loved it.
He’s done. This is Soundwave. As a sidenote: before anyone points out the Music Label Soundwave, let me just go ahead an stop you. An MP3 player is not even vaguely a suitable replacement for a Microcassette recorder. That’s without even going into the fact that they made him look virtually identical to the original tape-deck.
Turns out, all we needed was a Masterpiece release that takes cues from both the original toy and a heavy dose of the cartoon.
He, like his army of minions, really exemplifies the term Masterpiece.
Where the original could hold a single cassette, and his Soundblaster update could hold two, the Masterpiece release takes Fall of Cybertron Soundwave/Soundblaster’s lead and incorporates space for three with a mechanism in his chest.
Just like his predecessor’s chest mechanism, Masterpiece Soundwave’s is a finicky, sensitive thing. Unlike his predecessor’s, once you get the hang of it, it works quite well. The “hang of it” involves making sure the door is parallel to the floor when opened before pushing the eject button, then making sure you remove a cassette and close the door again before pushing the button on his back that moves the next cassette forward.
His chest is sized appropriately to hold the original G1 tapes as well.
I would have preferred that his shoulder missile launcher and handgun had a battery compartment like his G1 counterpart, but the space needed for his head transformation and the mechanism for his gimmick makes that pretty impossible. Instead, though, having his shoulder launcher pivot up and not have to detach is a really nice touch. It allows for articulation of the launcher to provide one very essential thing his G1 toy is missing. The ability to look to his right.
The odd high pegging on his handgun is quite annoying.
He is covered in details, some visible, some not so visible, such as the speakers inside his forearms. Another detail is his sensor attachment seen in Fire on the Mountain (incidentally from the same episode as the cartoon image above).
They even provide a place for the sensor to stow on his back. Episode-specific accessories are kind of the norm with these Masterpiece releases; what makes this one even better is it doubles as a connector used together with Frenzy and Rumble’s piledriver accessories to form a cable connection like the one he used to plug into a monitor in Transformers: The Movie.
The piledrivers can also be attached to his forearms, presumably as cannons?
But the accessories don’t stop there. There’s an empty energon cube to recreate his ability in the cartoon to generate them from his chest.
Takara had even provided a .pdf of a printable papercraft insert to fill the cube with energon.
He also includes a screen overlay for his chest for playing important recorded scenes.
Just in case you want to recreate that or any other scene of Soundwave holding Megatron in gun mode, he comes with a remold of the small Megatron in gun mode that came with the first Masterpiece Optimus release. It has a slightly different handle and a completely different stock.
He also has the ridges necessary to allow his winged menagerie to perch securely on his forearms and shoulders.
Just a beautiful toy and an unexpected release.
Now he can go hang out with only other Soundwave release truly befitting his G1 legacy.