SOUNDWAVE: Hasbro Kicks Takara in Teh Ballz for Once

Posted by Gcrush 
I hadn’t paid attention to Transformers for a while, and then I picked up was Soundwave from the TF Prime cartoon. Specifically, the Hasbro version. It’s a cool toy for the price and satisfied me well.

Then I preordered the Takara version because of the cool looking scorpion gun it comes with. When it finally arrived, I was crushed under the weight of my disappointment. It sucks in every possible comparison, even to the point of ruining an otherwise awesome toy. Here’s a review with lots of pictures (note that the lower legs are mistransformed because they’re so rubbery that it’s the only way the figure will stand). Here’s a summary of why it sucks:

- The packaging is ridiculously oversized.
- The sculpt has been modified with bulky 5mm ports.
- The ports correspond to a goofy-assed combining weapon gimmick.
- The goofy assed weapon gimmick is a do-it-yourself model kit.
- The paint applications have been reduced in favor of supplying a worthless sticker sheet instead.
- Much of the plastic is ultra-gummy, holds less detail, and sports more mold-lines.
- At least for Soundwave, the gimmick weapon cannot be fitted in vehicle mode without misaligning the barrel.

All of these “features”, and at only double the price! Oh, when did the tables turn so cruelly on the Great Import Divide of Quality?

I have no idea if this is related or not, but the highly conspicuous copyright info on the figure reads “Hasbro SA” as in “Hasbro Sweden”. Is that why it sucks? Was it made for the widest possible international market as opposed to just Japan?
Wow, I did not realize that the Takara versions of Prime toys were remolded from the Hasbro versions. Does this go for every item in the line?

Also, are those model kit weapons being sold separately? I would totally pick up just that thing...

(By the way, the fact that Soundwave comes with a scorpion reinforces my belief that this toy was originally intended to be Blackout. He looks an awful lot like Blackout...)

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wow, I did not realize that the Takara versions of
> Prime toys were remolded from the Hasbro versions.
> Does this go for every item in the line?

I'm not collecting anything in the line beyond Soundwave, but it looks to be the case. The Takara versions ALL have some parts remolded to fit the Target Master weapons. Which is odd, since Hasbro is notorious for jamming bullshit gimmicks into their toys and not the other way around.


> Also, are those model kit weapons being sold
> separately? I would totally pick up just that
> thing...

I think so, but I have no details.


> (By the way, the fact that Soundwave comes with a
> scorpion reinforces my belief that this toy was
> originally intended to be Blackout. He looks an
> awful lot like Blackout...)

Eh, the scorpion is an afterthought. It really doesn't fit well on the figure because it's clearly part of the tacked-on Target Master gimmick (which appears to have been developed after the original molds were made). Also, the Laserbreak that is in the figure's chest makes it clear that this is Soundwave.

I've watched some of the Prime cartoons and, to me, this is the most interesting incarnation of Transformers I've seen yet - especially Soundwave.
Gcrush Wrote:
>
> > (By the way, the fact that Soundwave comes with a
> > scorpion reinforces my belief that this toy was
> > originally intended to be Blackout. He looks an
> > awful lot like Blackout...)
>
> Eh, the scorpion is an afterthought. It really
> doesn't fit well on the figure because it's
> clearly part of the tacked-on Target Master
> gimmick (which appears to have been developed
> after the original molds were made). Also, the
> Laserbreak that is in the figure's chest makes it
> clear that this is Soundwave.

Ehhhhh. Blackout carries around an animal friend too. And the drone looks almost nothing like Laserbeak. It's just a bunch of fins with no real head or tail.

Anyway, it's a great toy regardless. It doesn't feel that much like any pre-existing character to me.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
To be honest I like the US version of Cliffjumper better. Less kibble, better transformation, and he balances better...Just sayin'...
Are you referring to the regular release vs. the First Edition? I still don't have the First Edition that a friend picked up for me in-hand, but I'm pretty sure the First Edition Cliffjumper was released identically on both sides of the Pacific.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Yeah that is what I meant...But he was released in very limited numbers here...



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2012 07:04AM by fel9.
Right, but the First Editions weren't remolded for Japan the way the current-release toys were, were they??

I still want to find a First Edition Vehicon, which was only released in Japan as far as I know, and I would be disappointed if he had ugly added detail that didn't match the vehicle design just for the sake of extra peg-holes.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/09/2012 01:39PM by asterphage.
asterphage Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Right, but the First Editions weren't remolded for
> Japan the way the current-release toys were, were
> they??
>
> I still want to find a First Edition Vehicon,
> which was only released in Japan as far as I know,
> and I would be disappointed if he had ugly added
> detail that didn't match the vehicle design just
> for the sake of extra peg-holes.


As far as I know, none of the First Edition Prime figures anywhere came with Targetmasters - only the subsequent Japanese versions of the US Robots in Disguise releases include those. And if the figure includes a Targetmaster it will have those bullshit 5mm ports/posts on it somewhere.

The Vehicon didn't do anything for me, but between the two choices the FE version looks better than the RID.





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/10/2012 03:01AM by Gcrush.
Attachments:
open | download - vehicon172.jpg (128.9 KB)
Wellll, the non-FE version has a fat head on a squat neck, but otherwise I like his lanky, cartoony proportions a lot. I still want the First Edition - it looks more like a movie toy - but I think the non-FE looks an awful lot more like the animation model (though his chest is overly slim, his height and general proportions are closer). I like how the design of this non-FE Vehicon, and many of the other recent Prime releases, echoes the animation style the way the TF:Animated toys did.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
I'm not sure about any of the other FE toys, but the Japanese releases (with Targetmaster Minicons) of Starscream and Cliffjumper (well, zombie Cliffjumper) are, I'm pretty confident, the FE versions.

Hasbro is going to release zombie Cliffjumper at SDCC this year, and I don't think he's got 5 mm ports, but I haven't looked at a pic lately.
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