Sunday, October 13, 2013

Takara Transformers Masterpiece MP-13 Soundwave Review

Since the day I began collecting Transformers figures, a G1 Soundwave has always been on my must have list. I couldn't convince myself to buy the original G1 version or any of the reissues because I felt like those figures lacked some sort of appeal. Masterpiece Soundwave is a perfect fit for me, but the problem was the inflated prices of the first run that weren't quite compelling. Luckily, this year (Summer/Fall 2013) Takara issued a second production run of these toys, while Toys R Us exclusively sold Hasbro's Masterpiece version that included Soundwave with all five cassette tapes. These business moves bumped down the price of a Masterpiece Soundwave, a lot more comfortable with my budget.

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Soundwave not only does the cartoon justice, but this toy is blazing with tons of detail. Besides Soudwave's typical blocky structure, the body has an ample amount of panel lines, vents, hydraulics, and other mechanical elements molded on the body; things that aren't considered or overlooked.

The paint can't get better than this. Soundwave's entire body is primarily blue with a silver paint job, gold and red trims, chromed cassette player buttons, and a Decepticon insignia on the chest. Soundwave's red eyes are not rigged with light pipping, but that isn't a problem.

Soundwave has all of the basic articulation that comes with Transformers toys and more. Case in point, Soundwave's ability to extend his index finger out and reach his tape eject button to unleash his army of Mini Cassettes. However, be extremely careful, when handling Soundwave's index fingers because they can easily pop off. Those digits snap on by a small peg and any overexerted force will pop them off. They can be popped in again, but the idea is to decrease the chances of wearing down those peg joints.

One cool aspect about this toy is that Soundwave's chest cavity is big enough to fit up to three cassettes at once. To add more room for those cassettes, simply push the panel inside the cavity back until it clicks. The panel clicks on one cassette increments, so there is an option to fit two to three cassettes at maximum capacity. Then, press a lever on Soundwave's back to reset the space inside the cassette holder back to default.

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Because this is a Masterpiece toy set, Condor is given a superb upgrade in looks and transformation. The wings comes out to the sides, then unfolds twice, which makes Laserbeak look much closer to the cartoon.

What makes Condor more handy is the grooves under his feet, which allows him to stand on Soundwave's shoulder and forearm very securely.

Condor is made out of black plastic that has been painted with silver and red. The eyes are yellow and his beak is a dark metallic grey. There are two Decepticon insignias located where the stream of cassette film is. There is one extra detail on Condor in cassette form; just a tad below the top edge of the tape, there is some kind of meter on the red paint.

As an added bonus, Condor comes with his own translucent pink cassette case.

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Out of the many accessories included, perhaps the coolest extras are Megatron (gun mode) and Soundwave's own gun.

Megatron (gun mode) comes with a scope, an extended barrel, and a stock. There is a Decepticon symbol painted on both sides of the barrel.

The scope, barrel, and stock are removable, for those who prefer Megatron as just a pistol.

Soundwave's gun, when not transformed into an extra battery, has a chromed tip, wonderful panel lining, and a tab on the handle, so Soundwave could hold his gun securely.

Other accessories included in this set are:

  • An energon cube that snaps on Soundwave's chest. Takara did provide a pink paper insert to make the energon cube look full.
  • A display grid. Takara provided paper inserts located on the back of the instruction manual, but I didn't want to cut them out.
  • A sensor that pegs in any one of Soundwave's wrists.

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Soundwave transforms into an 80's style cassette player; and this disguise simply looks stunning. Those, who love meticulous details will love what is on this stereo.

This cassette player has:
  • A Rec/Batt light indicator.
  • Press-able Rewind/Fast forward buttons.
  • Tape eject button.
  • Adjustable switches and knobs.
  • Recordable and other plugin ports.
The silver, metallic blue, and gold trims really goes well together. The tape door works just the same as in robot mode; and the Micro-Cassettes are able to enter and eject out of the chest cavity also.

The back of the box does expose some remnants of robot mode and there are some gaps, but they aren't too distracting.

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Fans of G1 era Transformers cannot go wrong with this toy. There are a few slip-ups, like the index finger popping off, but they aren't serious enough to warrant a negative review. Although I prefer keeping Soundwave in robot mode, his disguise has a lot of "wow" factor in the amount of details and colors used on the cassette player. The accessories are a neat addition to this set and Takara did a great job in commemorating Soundwave from the G1 cartoon.

I am aware that Hasbro's version has more to offer because they included all five cassettes with Soundwave. Takara did produce all five cassettes for Soundwave also, but they are sold separately, meaning we end up paying more money than it takes to cover USA's release.

However, if anyone still desires Takara's version, I strongly recommend this toy. The prices did drop because of the 2nd run, and to some, is worth taking advantage of. 

1 comment:

  1. hey there is something in rumble's instructions showing how to connect rumbles gears to this figure
    whats with that, i cant figure it out


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