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with Laserbeak

Series: Titanium
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Communicator
Year: 2006

Behind every villainous leader is a cadre of shadowy figures who remain hidden, offering vital encouragement, support and advice. These secretive advisers are often the true power behind the leader, for they control the flow of information that motivates his actions. They feed him flattery and lies that allow him to continue on his path of destruction without suffering the pangs of conscience or the depredations of being proven wrong.

Soundwave is one such individual. A creature of secrets and silence, he fades into the shadow of his commander Megatron, all the while subtly steering the Decepticon commander to his own ends. He prefers to remain out of sight and out of the fight, often appearing only as a menacing presence behind his leader, arms folded, inscrutable visage promising nothing beyond cold calculation. Despite his maneuvering to improve his status, he is totally loyal to Megatron. He hides information or lies only if he believes it would be to his leader's detriment to hear the truth.

Prelude: Many thanks to my buddy BlackZarak, who loaned me Soundwave here for this review.

Robot Mode: Many Titanium figures selected rather obscure versions of the characters they portrayed, but certainly not Soundwave. This here is clearly G1 Soundwave, no doubt about it. Same look, same weapons, same tape companion. Sadly it doesn’t take more than a minute or two to realize one thing: despite being over two decades younger than the original toy, the Titanium figure is far, far inferior. The proportions are pretty strange, especially that oversized crotch. The hands sit on a strange right-angled piece, which serves no real purpose in this or the alternate mode. And then there are the legs, which extend when transforming into robot mode, but pretty much refuse to stay extended, giving this figure a very poor balance.

Is there anything positive to say here? Well, the tape deck in his chest works fine and you can store Laserbeak in tape mode inside (more on Laserbeak below). The weapons are okay, no complaints, and the apart from the strange proportions the look is just fine. Still, this entire robot mode looks pretty half-hearted, I must say. So to sum it up: barely tolerable.

Alternate Mode: Titanium Soundwave still transforms into a cassette recorder, but where the original became an almost seamless-looking square, this version here just looks unfinished. This is especially evident when looking at it from the back. Just like the G1 toy, Soundwave can store his weapons in a battery compartment. Unlike the G1 toy, this battery compartment remains open. Now I’m not an electronics expert, but I have yet to see any battery-run household item where the battery compartment isn’t closed in some form. Tape deck still works in this mode, naturally, but once again: completely half-hearted.

Partner / Add-On: Like many Soundwaves, this one too comes with a companion called Laserbeak. It’s basically a flat black square that folds out into a vaguely bird-like shape. While it’s not a bad little partner figure, much like the main figure itself it’s nowhere near as good as the original it tries to emulate.

Remark: The Titanium series was something of a strange bird, selecting iconic characters from a multitude of different continuities and toy lines to pay homage to. And if we’re talking iconic characters, Soundwave certainly fits the bill. Guy’s face is the original Decepticon symbol, after all. Now the Titanium series had its ups and downs when it came to how good the figures turned out and Soundwave here is definitely in the latter region. Strange proportions, an unfinished looking alternate mode, a half-hearted Laserbeak, everything about this toy tells me the designers thought no further than “it’s Soundwave, people will buy him!”. Now I won’t go so far and call this figure a complete disaster, but when it comes to Soundwave toys there are a large number of much, much better figures to choose from than this one. Unless you’re going for Babywave, that is.

Rating: D+


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