Masterpiece Soundwave"Behind his impassive expression, Soundwave is as cold and ruthless as they come. He cares nothing for right or wrong or the welfare of his fellow Decepticons. All he cares about is wielding the power of information to emerge victorious from battle. He spies on everyone, from the lowliest Autobot scout up to Megatron himself. He hoards information the way a miser hoards gold, sharing it sparingly, if at all. No noe knows what the true purpose behind his obsessive data collection is, but all fear him for the secrets he keeps."
That exact same, or a very, very similar, text was also in the good old Transformers comics, in the character pages (and damn, were they cool or what?). Sadly I didn't have any magazines in my hands anymore, so I couldn't go check but that's what my impression was.
Whatever the hell is going on in here?Perhaps I should open this post a bit to explain so all this might make a bit more sense. In the early March I ordered, after a ludicrously long and iterative back-and-forth decision making process, a Transformers toy. I had somehow encountered these Hasbro's Masterpiece series toys (or collectable display pieces, whatever you feel like telling yourselves), naturally via lord Megatron himself, of course. If money, space and reason itself weren't on the way even as speed bumps, I'd bought quite a few of them at a time. My queue contains - at the time of writing this - at least the following: Megatron, Starscream (why not also Thundercracker and Skywarp to round up the original Seekers) and maybe even Optimus Prime, as Prime is just cool.
After less than two weeks later the box had ended up in the uncaring hands of the Finnish Postal services and after yet another week I received a note from them telling me that I had to do a customs declaration. I really wasn't in the mood of paying a sick sum of money to them (and losing a few more extra days) so I did that myself in about five minutes while saving almost 60€, because my own work is always free... Surprisingly and astonishingly, even, Posti carried my packet to our front door the very next morning at eight, instead of dropping their typical "we claim that we tried to deliver something to you even though the deliverable has been sitting on a shelf but how could you know and prove us wrong so come pick it up whenever it's convenient for us" paper slip.
Open it already!The postal box was enormous. The real box inside it was also somewhat insane and I was told I grinned like an idiot while fondling it. And I din't doubt it for a second!
ContentsThe first thing to catch my eye in the box was this small extra-looking cardboard box. It just didnt' feel like it belonged to the normal contents, so I checked it first.
Hah, it was one of these collector's bonuses. A metallic, small Soundwave in his cassette-player form. Cool, but I could've lived without it as well.
But now to the core of the business. Aaaah! Soundwave, five cassettes, Megatron in his gun form, an empty Energon cute, a arm-cannon tip (from the movie) and then the piledrivers for Frenzy and Rumble. These were just great for wasting away some time. Of course my Project Assistant tried to "borrow" them from me but for a change I stayed firm (though I have to say I'm happy she's into these cool things still :P )
About half an hour later...Yes. My first "let's transform Soundwave" took almost half an hour. The original G1 toys were both sillily simple to transform and also much blockier. Now the price of posability, amazing articulation and great details was that the transformation process was also much more complicated. But my, he was awesome!
The cassettesOf course the next thing was to pla... I mean test out how the different cassettes transformed. I had had a G1 Frenzy back in the day (bought from Italy, on the same trip where I got Blitzwing) and that one had been many classes beneath this one in its flimsiness. Now the first three cassettes/minions seen in the cartoon (Rumble and Buzzsaw are, as everyone knows, just different coloured variations of Frenzy and Laserbeak).
LaserbeakThe first of Soundwave's minions we saw was Laserbeak, a robotic bird. I guess it was called a condor or a vulture, most typically. The toy itself was amazing, just like real! That hatch on the forehead was horribly difficult to open, by the way.
RumbleI admit that I was lost with the names/faces of Frenzy and Rumble. The aforementioned souvenir Frenzy was blue but in the cartoon (More Than Meets the Eye part 1) the blue dude was called Rumble. I decided that I'd go along the cartoon, because why not?
Both of these little guys had their own piledrivers that they could use to make earthquakes. The instructions told to turn the arms upwards for the piledrivers but that led to a bit of a silly pose you can see here in the photo. They looked much better and made more sense - not to mention true to the cartoon - when the arms were turned downwards.
RavageSoundwave's third minion / pet / friend (still in More Than Meets The Eye Part 1) was the robotic jaguar, Ravage. Ravage was the strangest of the three models to transform, but after a couple of iterations it made more sense. He was nicely poseable, too.
Test posesOf course I had to spin and fool around with them. And to check out a few poses.
I even carried the whole set to work, because I knew my coworker Kimmo would definitely know how to appreciate this stuff. That was truer than I had even guessed, as he started pondering that "Damn, now I feel like getting one of those for myself... Hey, the S&H is relatively cheaper if you buy more than one at a time!"