Cliffbee.com: Prime Soundwave & Laserbeak Toy Review

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Name: Soundwave & Laserbeak
Series: Prime
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: Spyplane Drone



SPYPLANE DRONE MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 15.5cm Width: 18cm

   A dark bluish grey drone plane with black tail fins. There are some pink painted elements on the wings and some black connection elements here & there. It's a very simple colour scheme and to be honest the utterly dominant grey is boring - but it's accurate enough given that this sort of drone is built to be hard to see in the skies & is essentially a dull bluish grey. The pink bits are I suspect an attempt to give this toy some colour, and while they don't really make any sense they do give Soundwave a little pizzazz here.

   The fuselage is long and thin - the front is bulbous as is often the case on this sort of drone - as it houses the instrumentation such as radar, cameras etc. The front is quite smooth as are his wings which point out to the sides like paddles. The middle & rear of the fuselage have a lot of sculpted detail - which is essentiality robot mode kibble. Laserbeak actually stows under the rear & is essentially not visible in this mode, which is quite impressive.

   The play value here is very minimal. There's a black false landing gear under the front which can fold out/stow away. With this wheel stowed he tilts forward ever so slowly. Laserbeak had detach from the underside without affecting the vehicle mode, which is good to see.

   A very simple vehicle mode. The basically shape & colours are accurate to a drone, but make for a boring vehicle mode. I would have liked to see a little less robot mode detailing her, but it would have been difficult for the designer to hide much more on such a narrow toy. While I understand why there's pink here, I would have preferred it left out.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Lift up the tail section, flip out his head, fold away the rear cone & fold the tail back down. Unclip the wings, swing back & fold into arms, clip into the shoulders to form his arms. Fold out the wingtips to form his forearms, revealing his hands. Split the front to form legs, fold back the nose halves to reveal the heelspurs. Fold the feet down & align the heelspurs. Optionally detach Lasserbeak.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 7.5cm

   A dark bluish grey robot with black on elements such as his hands, waist, knees and waist. There are a couple of pink painted details on his waist & shins. His face is a simple black featureless affair. The colour scheme is again very boring - almost featureless - with a lot of sculpted detail & dull colours looks a lot like a Michael Bay movie Transformer. There's no Decepticon logo here - or anywhere on Soundwave. I think the colour scheme could have done with a logo here for a splash more colour.

   This is a lanky robot with a lot of detail, as mentioned. Laserbeak sits on his chest - and is perfectly integrated. The arms are long & very spindly and his legs are also quite slender. His head has a grey & silver spiky crown adding to the generous detailing. So while Soundwave's colours are very simple, his sculpt makes up for it.

   The play value here revolves around the poseability and Laserbeak. The head, elbows & hips are ball jointed while his shoulders have rotators & hinges on an unusual 45 angle (which works well thanks to the rotators also sitting on an angle). His feet & heelspurs are hinged while the knees are also hinged without rotators. His waist also rotates, although it's quite stiff until you move it past the straight position. Removing Laserbeak (who I'll cover in a moment) doesn't really do Soundwave justice - it leaves a rather unsightly gap in his chest. It's more of a gimmick here but I'd recommend removing Laserbeak from the vehicle mode instead.

   Soundwave treads the line betweeen being lanky and awkward. The proportions are just right. He also manages to be interesting enough in his sculpt to offset the very dull & understated colour scheme. That's not to say this robot mode is perfect - the gap left by Laserbeak is his chest is bad & the poseability is fairly limited - but he manages to pull things off well - better than many lanky Transformers.

LASERBEAK

   More of a chest plate that detaches than a proper Transformer on his own, Laserbeak is a small dark bluish grey bird with two sets of wings featuring some black. There are no painted details on the head, which makes for a rather indistinct face. The two sets of wings would suit a butterfly or dragonfly rather than a bird. There's a post on the bottom that tries to not look like a post (and to be fair, it succeeds), allowing him to plug into a standard 5mm port such as those on the outsides of Soundwave's forearms. An unimpressive Transformer but a decent accessory for Soundwave.

VARIATIONS

   The Japanese version has stickers in place of painted details & has extra ports on his arms.

OVERALL

   Soundwave is most notable for his novel vehicle mode. The drone mode itself is well executed if inherently boring. The robot mode is lanky - which I guess is to be expected given the vehicle mode - without being ugly. Laserbeak is really just an accessory, and he adds some play value without providing a "wow" factor. The colours are simple but work for the vehicle mode. I would have liked a Decepticon logo somewhere. Worth picking up for the novel vehicle mode, but not worth hunting down - 6.5/10

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