You can never have too many Soundwave in your collection.
Or at least, I can never have too many Soundwave in my collection.
As a lifelong Transformers fan who has repeatedly touted Soundwave as being my favorite of all the Transformers, whether Autobot or Deception, when the news broke about the R.E.D. (Robot Enhanced Design) line being released with Optimus Prime, Megatron and Soundwave in the first wave, there would be nothing stopping me from adding these to my shelf, with Soundwave naturally being at the top of my priority list.
Now I’m sure some of you may be of the mindset of, “but these R.E.D. figures don’t transform! Where’s the play value?” To that I say get out there and find a G1 reissue, or Siege or Earthrise, there’s plenty of opportunities to find some transforming robots either online or in the wild. If you’re anything like me however, you generally transform your Autobots or Decepticons every once in awhile for some toy photography, or if you’re doing your own review, but most of the time you’re displaying them on your shelf in all of their robot glory.
R.E.D. Soundwave is glorious in his own right, if for no other reason than he’s Soundwave, but that isn’t to say he isn’t without some unfortunate flaws that could have easily been avoided.
The first and most glaring issue I have with this figure is the peg that connects his shoulder cannon to his shoulder is too short. Mine came out of the package with some stress marks which immediately irked me, but since I’ll be displaying him on my shelf and have no reason to remove and reattach the cannon, I can deal with it. Like I said though, the port is way too short. If you move Soundwave’s head to pose it, the shoulder cannon will get bumped and fall off way too easily. A couple of millimeters longer and maybe a little thicker to make it more snug and secure would have gone a long way.
Speaking of snug though, Soundwave comes with two sets of hands. He comes out of the box with clenched fists already installed, along with another set of hands. One to mimic Soundwave opening his cassette deck on his chest to release Laserbeak, and the other to hold his concussion blaster. This is where in the case of the shoulder cannon not being snug enough, these fists are too snug, specifically the weapon hand.
The molded plastic of the hand is super stiff, and while you can get Soundwave’s weapon in his hand with some force that; thankfully doesn’t seem to cause any stress damage, you may want to run the hand under some hot water to loosen it up. Or, Hasbro could’ve made it a little more pliable.
While it is neat and much appreciated that they included an in scale version of Laserbeak in his cassette mode, another issue is the spring loaded cassette deck on Soundwave’s chest doesn’t respond particularly well. You can push down on Soundwave’s eject button…and it barely opens. It’s not exactly difficult to grab the edge with your fingernail and open it the rest of the way, but it’s these little things that keep this figure from being exceptional.
That said, we’ll switch to the positives. It’s a very well sculpted and well painted, cartoon accurate Soundwave in a 6″ scale. The paint on Soundwave is well done, with no smudges, blemishes or errors to be found. The head sculpt is a perfect representation of G1 Soundwave, and while Laserbeak doesn’t have a ton of detail, he’s also well done as far as paint application is concerned, and since Laserbeak doesn’t transform, the lack of significant detail is fine.
Articulation is pretty good on the figure with double jointed knees, thigh rotation and some major ankle tilt to get Soundwave into a variety of poses. Arms move 360 degrees, as does the head, but as mentioned careful you don’t bump the shoulder cannon, you’ll be reattaching it a lot. If you’re like me though, get Soundwave in the pose you want, place him on your shelf or desk, and then never touch him again.
These R.E.D. figures are a Walmart exclusive and are worth picking up, with a reasonable price point of $19.99 USD, or if you’re a north of the border resident like myself, $29.99 CAD, and I plan to go back and add Optimus and Megatron to my shelf as well.
I give R.E.D Soundwave 3.5/5 Wizard Stars