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with Soundblaster

Series: Titans Return
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Leader Headmaster
Year: 2016

Soundwave is the most feared signal-stealer in the universe, and his Titan Master partner Soundblaster is a master of cyber infiltration. He drops a backdoor code into the systems of any bot he unites with, giving Soundwave a way in. With that access, Soundwave can raid any bot's processors -- completely undetected -- and steals a constant stream of information.

Robot Mode: This robot here is Soundwave, no doubt about that. Bigger than most previous incarnations of the character, he nevertheless has all the elements a Soundwave robot needs to have down pat. The big tape deck on the chest, a missile tube on his shoulder, the head looking like the Decepticon crest, the blue and grey coloring, everything is as it should be. Soundwave, no doubt. Okay, his rifle is clearly that of Blaster, just colored blue, but apart from that you can hardly tell that this mold was originally created for Soundwave’s Autobot counterpart.

Character resemblance aside this is a nice robot we have here, though I must say that, for a Leader class robot, he seems a tad too plain. Without some scale reference he’d easily pass for a Deluxe or Voyager class robot, I think. Yeah, he’s big, but that’s just about the only thing. Detailing and articulation are good, but again, I do expect a tad more from a Leader class robot. Also, the feet are not the most stable in the world, being on a hinge that allows them to fold in for the transformation. Soundwave has no problems in most poses, but getting him to stand on one foot for the Kung Fu kick picture was a nightmare.

Like pretty much every Soundwave robot ever this guy here, too, has a tape deck on his chest that can open up to fit cassette style companion robots. And while Soundwave doesn’t have a Laserbeak or Ravage with him this time (sold separately, unsurprisingly), he does come with a … tape thing. Not really sure what it’s supposed to be, other than a part of the base mode (see below). A tape-shaped thing with a sculpted seat for the Headmaster figure. So... yeah, it’s there and fits inside his chest. Moving on.

To close on a positive note: Soundwave is a Headmaster, but you really don’t notice it. So if you’re not a big fan of the gimmick, you can just ignore it (until you’re transforming him, that is). The Titan Master and helmet mesh nicely so that it looks like one solid head. So bottom line: a nice Soundwave robot, but there should have been more to him for my taste.

Alternate Modes: Like most of the G1-based Soundwaves this guy, too, transforms into a blue square with a tape deck on front. The original Soundwave was a micro cassette recorder, this Soundwave here becomes more of a boom box. Here’s where you notice that the mold was originally Blaster, not Soundwave, but it still works. The transformation is relatively simple and somwhat similar to the G1 figure’s. The finished product does look like it’s supposed to, the only slight downside being that there is no place to put or store the Titan Master figure. Apart from that, though, a more than passable alternate mode.

Soundwave’s second alternate mode is a base mode. The layout and transformation resembles the old Power Master Prime trailer base in that the torso forms the center of the base with the legs folding out sideways into auxiliary platforms. Soundwave’s cassette module can be clipped to the top of the base as a command tower of sorts. There are several places with pegs where you can plug in the Titan Master figures, too. This is, to me, actually the better of Soundwave’s alternate modes, given that I am a fan of base mode Transformers. The ramps on the sides are such that they can connect with other base mode Transformers from Titans Return, helping you build a city of sorts if you want to. Little more I can write here that the pictures don’t tell better. So bottom line: a nice base mode.

Partner: Like pretty much every toy of the Titans Return line that’s Deluxe or larger, Soundwave, too, is a Headmaster, or more specifically a Brainmaster. Being a good deal larger than most figures of the line, it’s not Soundwave’s entire head that detaches into a separate robot, but rather just his face. The helmet folds back, the face becomes Soundblaster, a Titan Master. There is some minimal detailing on the figure to make it look like a very tiny version of Soundwave himself (though the speakers on the lower legs are more Blaster than Soundwave, really) and the tiny little head looks like Soundwave’s noggin’, too. Otherwise Soundblaster is just like every other Titan Master figure from the line, possessing but minimal articulation and detailing, but okay for so tiny a figure.

Remarks: Soundwave is no doubt one of the biggest names in the Transformers franchise, so his inclusion in the Titans Return line was pretty much a given. The only slight surprise is that he is a repaint/remold of Blaster this time. Usually it’s the other way around with these two. Like quite a few other characters in the Titans Return line Soundwave was never a Headmaster before (nor is he one in the current IDW comics, though that might yet change), but that’s a mere oddity, really, nothing else.

I didn’t originally intend to get either Soundwave or Blaster, but happened to win Soundwave here at a raffle drawing at CONS 2016. So for a figure that I basically got for free (minus the few Euros I paid for raffle tickets) he’s fully okay. Had I paid full price for it, though (70 Euros here in Germany), I would probably be disappointed. He’s not a bad figure, but for a Leader-class figure at full price, there really should be more to him, I think. As it is he’s a big robot that folds into a box that flips open into a base, basically. Again, not bad, but not good enough for a Leader-class figure in my book. So I can really only recommend him to Soundwave fanatics or those who can get him at a discount.

Rating: C
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