"Generations" War for Cybertron: Kingdom Core Class Soundwave Toy Review

07/26/21

General Information
Release Date: July 2021
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Blasters x 2, Laserbeak cassette (non-transforming)

Official description in italics below & Images are from BigBadToyStore.com
This Soundwave collectible figure stands at the new Core Class scale! The 3.5-inch mini-figure allows fans to collect a mini version of the iconic character to pose out with other Soundwave toys at larger scales! (Each sold separately, subject to availability.) This Core Class Soundwave figure converts to G1-inspired cassette player mode in 8 steps and comes with missile blaster and shoulder cannon weapon accessories and non-converting Laserbeak mini cassette figure that can fit inside the Soundwave figure in cassette player mode.

Beastify the battlefield! Worlds collide when the Maximals and Predacons join the fight, coming together with the Autobots and Decepticons in an epic battle that will alter their destiny forever.

It is not exaggeration to say that Soundwave is one of the most iconic Transformers characters from the G1 era. His cassette recorder mode, the ability to eject troops out of his (seemingly TARDIS like) chest compartment and his voice work together to make the character a fan favorite. In 2021 fans were presented with a new version of the character in Kingdom. Unlike recent releases he is not a Leader Class, Voyager or even a new Authentics figure. Instead, this version of the character belongs to the new Core Class, offering up Soundwave in a scale he has never been in before!

Accessories:
For a small scale Core Class figure I am surprised by how many accessories Soundwave has. The first two are related: his weapons. One is his shoulder mounted cannon, a blue plastic tube that features small round rocket end details in front. The rocket ends are painted red, an unexpected level of detail in such a small figure. The other cannon is the one Soundwave traditionally holds in one of his hands. The end towards the barrel has an indented strip painted red. The barrel in the front (actually based on G1 Soundwave's missile accessories) is painted silver. As a bonus, the end of the silver barrel can accommodate Blast Effects from other figures!

The final accessory is the most unexpected one: Laserbeak! Now, this is not a transforming figure as I'm sure such small parts would not have passed safety tests in the United States. However, what you do get is Laserbeak in cassette form! This piece is very intricately detailed, featuring design elements like the tape reels inside and even the outlines of Laserbeak's feet. This piece is black with red and silver paint on it and I absolutely love it.

Robot Mode:
While other Soundwave figures over the years have tried to reinterpret the character into new forms, this figure fully embraces the G1 era. Soundwave looks blocky made up of a lot of boxy shapes from the torso to the feet. Many of Soundwave's classic G1 design elements appear including the head (which served as the foundation of the Decepticon symbol), the tape "eject" button near the left shoulder, the tape compartment on his chest, the cassette player buttons under the chest compartment and even smaller details like stripes on either side of the chest. There are also some amazing tiny sculpted details on this figure including small detailso n the shoulders and the horizontal lines on the back panel that are also seen on the G1 toy. I absolutely love this sculpt. He looks absolutely fantastic and I really appreciate the attention to detail on such a small figure.

Soundwave is made up of blue, silver and black plastic - all colors taken from the G1 version of the character. The deco on this figure rocks. Silver is used to paint several parts including the legs, the "buttons" and parts of the head. Red paint is used on the shoulders and eyes. Gold is used on the chest, a callback to the G1 toy (the animation model used yellow in the same place). A tampographed Decepticon symbol on the chest rounds out the deco. There's just so much love here you can practically feel it radiating off the figure!

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure, and many are ball joints which allow for a good range of motion. In true G1 fashion, Soundwave can attach one of his weapons to the slot to the right side of his head and hold the other weapon in his hand. You can pull the chest panel open to reveal Laserbeak inside! I have nothing but love for all of this. Good articulation, classic weapon placement and his iconic chest compartment as a play feature? This is pure awesome in a small package.

Transformation to Cassette Player Mode:

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the fists into the forearms.
  4. Rotate the head around and push it down.
  5. Swing the arms back.
  6. Rotate the lower legs out.
  7. Swing the lower legs up and press them against the sides of the torso, using the tab in it to connect to the legs.
  8. Push the feet down so the toes are pointed up.
  9. Attach the weapons to the ports on the back of the lower legs.

Note: In my photos of this alt mode I chose to flatten Soundwave's feet as I was not crazy about the "cat ears" look of having his feet point up. Now, this does leave a gap on the sides of the cassette player, but I'm willing to live with that if it means the top portion is flat. You can see the "official" transformation in the official photos from Hasbro in the gallery below.

Cassette Player Mode:
The original Soundwave transformed into a rectangular Micro Cassette recorder/player and that is the form this version of the character takes with this figure. Most of his details come right from the original including the rectangular shape, the cassette compartment in the center, the buttons underneath and even smaller details like a series of horizontal lines on either side towards the top. The details aren't just in front. The back has plenty of sculpted details as well. I absolutely love the design of this alt-mode!

All of the colors from the robot mode carry over to this form. You see a lot more silver paint on either side of the cassette compartment with the colors clearly inspired by G1 Soundwave.

Final Thoughts:
Core Class Soundwave is absolutely fantastic. I love everything about this figure. Do yourself a favor and add one to your collection today!

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt representing G1 Soundwave.
  • Includes three accessories and has an opening cassette door (an unexpected bonus).
  • Intuitive and smooth transformation.
  • Good deco.

Cons:

  • The leg joints are a tiny bit more loose than I would normally prefer.