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Series: Galaxy Force
Year: 2006
Allegiance: Other Villain
Class: Voyager
Prelude: Takara has never seen a Soundwave figure it did not want to paint black and call Soundblaster and the Galaxy Force version (the Japanese name of the Cybertron line) is no exception. So here comes Galaxy Force Soundblaster, possibly just a cover identity for a guy called Logos prime, who might or might not be one of the original Thirteen and has ties to the Kiss Players, too (but we do not mention Kiss Players here). So arm your shoulder bazooka, prepare to eject your minions, and let’s say go!

Robot Mode: I have already reviewed Cybertron Soundwave, of whom this figure here is a straight-up repaint, but that was seventeen years ago, so I think we can give this figure a fresh review, right? Right. So, Galaxy Force Soundblaster is a Voyager-class figure, quite tall, with huge wings, and rather spindly legs. While there are certain elements to the robot that mark him as a Soundwave/-blaster, mainly the tape deck on his chest, he quite obviously does not transform into a cassette recorder. The wings are a big hint.

Soundblaster has average articulation for a figure from this time. No swiveling hop or twisting wrists, but he can move reasonably well. Being as top-heavy as he is, there are some balancing issues here and there (he has rather tiny feet), but he can still pull off quite a few nice poses. One thing that bugs me a bit: he can spread his legs on ratchet joints, but the individual ratchets are pretty far apart, meaning he is standing either straight or with his legs pretty far apart. Some middle option would have been nice here. Also, he has kibble on both arms (nose of his jetmode on the right, shield/canopy on the left), which get in the way here and there. All of which sounds more negative than it really is, he can still pull off poses quite well.

In terms of colors and details I really like Soundblaster. His main color is black, which does swallow some of the excellent detailing of this mode, but there are enough golden, silver, and red highlights to bring a lot of it to the forefront. Parts of his tape deck, arm shield and weapons are made from translucent red plastic, which looks very good.

Speaking of weapons, Soundblaster has quite a few. In his alternate mode (see below) he carries three large bombs, two of which become weapons. One becomes a twin-barreled rifle, the other a triple-barreled one that doubles as his trademark shoulder bazooka. Of course either weapon can go on his shoulder or he can hold them both in hand, your choice. Folded together in bomb mode, either weapon (or Hell Buzzsaw, see below) can fit into his chest compartment, which opens up when his Cyberkey (or Force Chip, rather) is entered into the slot on his back.

So bottom line for the robot mode: great to look at, decent to pose and play with, and with a fun Cyberkey gimmick that really marks him as a Soundwave/-blaster.

Alternate Mode: Soundblaster transforms into an alien space vehicle that somewhat resembles a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk Stealth Bomber. The transformation is not terribly difficult as such, but getting everything into exactly the right position so that everything fits together solidly takes a bit of fiddling. The resulting space craft looks very cool and intimidating, has a (non-retracting) landing gear, and even has a tiny little pilot’s seat, which you can see by lifting up the canopy. The only slight flaw here is that Soundblaster’s hip, which is made from unpainted grey plastic, ends up on top of the jet, somewhat breaking up an otherwise very cool paintjob.

Soundblaster can store two of his bombs under the wings and the third in his chest compartment, which is now on the jet’s underbelly. The Cyberkey gimmick remains functional here, too, of course, meaning you can enter the Cyberkey into the slot (now on top of the jet near the back) and make Soundblaster drop bombs on whatever unlucky soul he currently happens to fly above of. Very nicely done.

Not really that much more I can write here. A very cool-looking jet mode (mostly) with a fun gimmick.

Partner: As mentioned above two of Soundblaster’s three bombs become his guns. The third unfolds into Hell Buzzsaw, a repaint of Cybertron Laserbeak. This is actually one of my all-time favorite Laserbeak/Buzzsaw molds. It looks great and it is insanely well-articulated. The wings alone contain five hinges each, head and tail move, the legs have articulated feet, simply awesome. Sure, his alternate mode is simply a hexagonal container, but how is that any worse than simply transforming into a square? So bottom line: one of the greatest versions of Laserbeak/Buzzsaw ever.

Remarks: Cybertron / Galaxy Force Soundwave never sported a black paintjob in the cartoon series, nor did we see black versions of him amongst the armies of Planet X. This figure, however, was repurposed to portray Logos Prime, whose convoluted background is way too lengthy to summarize here. Suffice to say that he was mentioned in the Beast Wars Reborn stories from Takara, in Kiss Players, and also has some connection to the Alternity line, but again: very convoluted. Best not to think about it too hard (especially because of Kiss Players).

Way back in 2006 I gave the Soundwave version of this figure a C+. Looking back, I think was a bit too harsh on this guy, or maybe it’s just the nostalgia speaking. Anyway, Soundblaster looks great in black and the figure itself, while certainly having its issues, is an enjoyable and very nice-looking toy. Sure, the Soundblaster repaint is Takara-exclusive and was only available as a Toy’s Dream Project exclusive to boot, so getting him could end up quite expensive. Leaving the money issue aside, though, he is a good figure and I do not regret buying him. Recommended to Soundwave/-blaster and Cybertron/Galaxy Force fans.

Rating: B-
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