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Series: Dark of the Moon Mechtech
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2011

Earth is bursting with information. The very air pulses with radio waves. Worldwide computer networks vibrate with digital secrets. Soundwave collects it all. Every voice is recorded, every birdsong remembered, every bit of data analyzed. Information is power and no one knows better than Soundwave how to turn that power into a weapon.

Review by LimeWire:

Prelude: It was an open secret long before the release of the movie that the Mercedes SLS AMG would turn out to be Soundwave. Michael Bay did his usual misinformation stick, but this time it didn’t work at all. And of course the fans were divided once again. Some shouted in joy, others considered their childhood raped all over again and would have preferred a tuned Chevrolet SUV with lots of loudspeakers and stuff.

In the movie Soundwave had a small, but essential role, being the Decepticons advance man on Earth and manipulator of politics. Indirectly Soundwave and Laserbeak helped end the Cold War. Hard to imagine a Con doing good, but they stopped the space program, which was a major part of the atomic military industry.

Alternate Mode: As mentioned above, Soundwave transforms into a Mercedes SLS AMG, usually a very pretty vehicle... usually. Unfortunately even Takara is not immune to DOTM’s “paint-is-for-sissies” syndrome and forgot to paint the car. So instead of silver, the car is an unpainted mouse grey, making it look criminally boring. But that’s the only negative thing about the alternate mode, because otherwise the car is a near-perfect replica of the Mercedes SLS, leaving no doubt what model we’re seeing here. Of course Mercedes has no problem granting license to make war toys (which include Transformers) in their image, seeing as Mercedes is an arms manufacturer in their own right. So a very nice toy for friends of authentic alternate modes, no complaints.

Robot Mode: One thing first: the transformation is an effrontery, super complicated and annoying. You need a good long while until everything is where it’s supposed to be. Once you’re done, though, you get what you expected: Soundwave in all his shiny glory. Shiny? Yes, you heard right, Soundwave’s head actually got paint and it’s a shiny, shiny silver. Unfortunately Soundwave is somewhat back-heavy, making it a bit difficult to pose him. The big rucksack Soundwave carries, composed of the rear and hood of the car (Sideswipe is preparing to sue) is a bit of an embarrassment for the designers of today. Nice detail, though: Soundwave’s sonic attack, which didn’t make it into the movie, can be re-enacted here. So apart from the somewhat limited posing ability, Soundwave won me over. I know, the review reads a bit differently, but once you hold the little tyke in hand, you can’t help but love him.

Gimmicks: Soundwave’s Mechtech weapon is a bit of a mixed blessing. In normal mode it’s a near-perfect replica of the weapon he had in the movie. Transforming it, though, leaves you with a satellite dish. I’ve seldom seen so idiotic a thing. Oh, wait a moment, I have indeed: Que’s saw bench. So my recommendation is this: first, remove the spring, as I’ve done with all Mechtech weapons were you can’t lock them into shape, and second, leave it in normal mode.

Conclusion: Even though the review might read conflicted, I do recommend getting Soundwave. Doesn’t matter whether you buy the Takara or the Hasbro version (assuming there will be such a thing), the differences are slight (blue paint on the arms is missing, the head is grey instead of silver).

Rating: B-
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