Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Monday, December 16th, 2019 12:38am CST

Categories: Movie Related News, Toy News, Reviews, Site Articles
Posted by: william-james88   Views: 30,958

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I'll cut to the chase, this is the best representation of movie Soundwave we have ever gotten. I have comparison images to the on screen character below and looking back I am baffled that we were all so laissez fair about what came before. I know I love the Human Alliance mold (you will see it below in the comparison shots as the Movie the Best redeco) but it doesn't really convey the proportions of the character properly, definitely not as good as this new deluxe does.

The car looks fine. I really like how everything tabs in well. Everyone will be very happy that the car is covered in the appropriate silver paint (no more off white plastic, yay!). The clear windows do mean we see some of the robot junk in there, but I am fine with it. The clean interior and opening doors lead to lots of sacrifices on the Human Alliance toy so I prefer that the designers chose to favour different aspects this go around.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

And it pays off, boy does it pay off, because the robot mode looks perfect. Soundwave was a stocky guy in the films, and while he had a large torso, it wasn't immense compared to some teeny tiny legs. He was more Wolverine than Johnny Bravo and we finally get that here. What impresses me most with this toy is how few steps there are to the conversion to get from two modes that look nothing alike. People often think that more steps may equate to a better design/engineering, but I never did. There can be beauty in simplicity. In fact, I would argue that it is much harder to get to a good looking and accurate robot mode, especially of a movie bot, with fewer steps. Toys can be overcomplicated just as much as they can be oversimplified and this one is just right.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

The designers picked their battles well here with the alt mode integration and what parts should be real (like the chest) and which can be designed to look like alt mode detail (the front of the legs). I love how the arms are half car detail and half robot detail and each mode orients it just right so taht you think it can only belong to one particular mode. It's just a very efficient design. The car lights reorienting to give him the side panels framing his chest are the best example of that.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

In terms of articulation, I didn't notice until comparing these to the new Cyberverse toys, but it's lacking for today's standards. Unlike deluxes in the Siege and Cyberverse line, this toy and many other Studio Series deluxes do not have wrist swivels, ankle pivots or even waist articulation. Which is kind of ironic since the movie look has them sculpted to make it look like they are made up of a million moving parts. Kudos to the designers for at least tricking me into thinking it is made of more parts than other lines (and I mean that sincerely).

He comes with a very important accessory, Laserbeak. While I never liked the skeletal chicken look, I can't fault it for looking the part. It latches well onto wither or Soundwave's forearms and can even tag along in the back of the vehicle mode. Those are two different type of latches and the mini figure will slightly convert to fit in whichever scenario.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

It's odd how objectively, this toy may not be offering much as much as other Transformers toys at his price point (for instance, he has less steps, less height, less accessories and much less articulation than the new Cyberverse toys), but subjectively I feel more satisfied by him than many other toys. He always had a unique design for a car bot and he did not get as much representation in the movie lines in the west, and unlike Siege and Cyberverse this isn't retreading the same G1 design, so he feels more fresh. He surprised me, and I loved discovering the efficient conversion, and sometimes that's all I need for a toy to stand out. I would thus recommend him to any Transformers fan, regardless of their feel for the Bay aesthetic.

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave

Transformers News: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave


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Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047084)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 16th, 2019 @ 4:24am CST
That Soundwave's only flaw is the obligatory car roof backpack. But for a deluxe of a normal price point, it's forgivable. If my local TrU or Walmart end up finally having new stock on the shelves, he's a sure buy.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047097)
Posted by EvasionModeBumblebee on December 16th, 2019 @ 9:07am CST
Great review! I always enjoy reading pictorial reviews.

Soundwave does look really good, my chief complaint I think is that the chest doesn’t convert more, but the rotating headlight pieces do help with that.

I’m also going to have to figure out how to paint rubbery plastic (since I think his head is rubbery plastic and as I learned with Barricade my current paint I’m using doesn’t work).

What’re your thoughts on the new Bumblebee, william-james88?
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047105)
Posted by BERSEKAEL on December 16th, 2019 @ 11:41am CST
I need that laserbeak perfect for my legion class collection :x
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047108)
Posted by Stargrave on December 16th, 2019 @ 12:38pm CST
That was an awesome review.

To be honest I don’t have plans to get this figure, but damn you make a hard argument.

Thanks William like always really well done. ;)^
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047111)
Posted by william-james88 on December 16th, 2019 @ 2:49pm CST
EvasionModeBumblebee wrote:Great review! I always enjoy reading pictorial reviews.

Soundwave does look really good, my chief complaint I think is that the chest doesn’t convert more, but the rotating headlight pieces do help with that.

I’m also going to have to figure out how to paint rubbery plastic (since I think his head is rubbery plastic and as I learned with Barricade my current paint I’m using doesn’t work).

What’re your thoughts on the new Bumblebee, william-james88?

Its fine but I am a bit sick of that samey transformation we've gotten for Bee ever since TLK. Fatigue has definitely set in. But he does look good in both modes. Review coming tomorrow.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047124)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 16th, 2019 @ 6:34pm CST
He looks so good, stoked for him!
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047151)
Posted by william-james88 on December 17th, 2019 @ 12:23am CST
Am I the only one getting a bit sick of Studio Series Bumblebee toys? Not in the fact that there are lots of them, but more that it's the same functional design every time. Unlike Optimus, where movie toy designers kept reinventing the transformation throughout the years, Bumblebee toys suffer from just changing incrementally every time. And that's been the case since the first deluxe toy (which you can see in a comparison shot below). That doesn't make them bad toys, it just makes them predictable and rather boring in terms of transforming figures.

That's what this toy suffers most of. It's based on the same movie Bumblebee transformation we have gotten since The Last Knight (TLK). Meaning, the car roof folds up and gets stuffed into the torso, the arms with no wrist swivels are tucked at the base of the car, you get that back window flip for the double wings, the middle of the car hood is separated from the sides and under it is a fake kibble piece for a more accurate chest and the legs unfold through a series of 90 degree pivots with the feet doing a full 180. These are all ok steps to go from a good looking car to a decent looking robot but they are all steps we did before. And the fact that it's the same steps results in robot modes that look about the same from one toy to the next, as you can see below.

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I will repeat, none of that makes this a bad toy, it just makes for a boring experience. If this is your first movie Bumblebee toy, then you will probably be satisfied. What is frustrating is that this toy only comes with the battle mask, meaning that if you want a Bumblebee toy looking closer to his movie one appearance where all the Autobots meet up the first time with Sam, then you are gonna fork out some money again for another incremental change.

The car mode is fine. It's apparently not a perfectly accurate alt mode, but I can't tell. I have it compared to the alt mode his first movie toy had, which is said to be a perfect representation in car mode. Looks fine to me though. I will say that I much prefer how the car mode tabs together than other Bumblebee toys with this transformation, like the one from TLK or the one from the Bumblebee movie.

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The robot mode looks great but I would have really liked to have a normal face, it feels a shady not to include it. While the transformation is a rinse repeat of other toys, design wise this does make it the first Bumblebee with that now iconic Camaro alt mode to have those extra little wings in the back, along with a very nice looking chest and even those small clavicle-like details next to his neck (pretty sure those are supposed to be his mirrors). I would have loved them to paint those yellow though. I mean it would go a long way and highlight the novelty to the sculpting. His robot mode is the best looking transforming deluxe representation of this Bumblebee design.

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He has an arm cannon accessory which covers his hands. It feels really cheap though since it's just all in black and clashes with the rest of the deco. I mean for a line that is all about movie accuracy, the sole accessory to come with the figure looking like this is a bit lame. In terms of articulation, while he is missing some (like wrist swivels), there is a transformation joint on the leg that you can use to make up for a lack of ankle pivot.

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The best thing I can say about this figure is that nothing falls apart, it tabs in as it should, nothing feels too loose and you can pose him with little issue. While this should all be a given for a toy of passable quality, it's almost a miracle for a movie Bumblebee toy of recent years. Still I'd wish for more articulation because right now even Cyberverse has surpassed Studio Series in terms of articulation for the deluxe class. Also I would have liked that additional face and some kind of effort for the cannon's deco.

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Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047154)
Posted by -Kanrabat- on December 17th, 2019 @ 5:02am CST
This Bee would be awesome... for someone who doesn't have a full hive already.

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Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047156)
Posted by EvasionModeBumblebee on December 17th, 2019 @ 8:22am CST
Thanks for the review!

I’m super excited to get this Bee, I love the reworked chest design and how the wings can rotate up now. Really glad that there aren’t any loose parts that fall off!

I wasn’t initially thrilled about how they did the plasma cannon on this one, but honestly it’ll be kind of nice not to have a spare arm floating around when you have the cannon attached. I’ll have to see what I think when it’s in-hand!
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047158)
Posted by william-james88 on December 17th, 2019 @ 8:49am CST
EvasionModeBumblebee wrote:I wasn’t initially thrilled about how they did the plasma cannon on this one, but honestly it’ll be kind of nice not to have a spare arm floating around when you have the cannon attached. I’ll have to see what I think when it’s in-hand!


I much preffer how they did it here than have to pull off the arm. Which is why it's a real bummer they didn't give it a decent deco treatment.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047159)
Posted by Mindmaster on December 17th, 2019 @ 9:32am CST
I found the new Voyagers during my Christmas roadtrip across the American Southwest. Megatron was in Barstow, California, and I finally chanced upon Mixmaster in Las Vegas. Megatron’s weapon is kinda disappointing since it’s not made of the flexible plastic. Mixmaster’s neat, I don’t mind the partsforming into head mode so much since it’s only one part and it helps stabilize the rear of the face.

Can’t wait for the remainder of the new wave!
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047160)
Posted by FigureGunplaFan on December 17th, 2019 @ 10:48am CST
Well, at least this saves me from hunting the Premium Series BB...
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047167)
Posted by Ironhidensh on December 17th, 2019 @ 1:35pm CST
My god, I never realized how tiny the figure was. :( Pre order is cancelled, I’ll be waiting for a sale or discount. I can’t justify full price for that.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047169)
Posted by carytheone on December 17th, 2019 @ 1:39pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:My god, I never realized how tiny the figure was. :( Pre order is cancelled, I’ll be waiting for a sale or discount. I can’t justify full price for that.
It's not the size of the bot, but the duration of the transformation that matters 8-)
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047171)
Posted by blackeyedprime on December 17th, 2019 @ 2:13pm CST
Soundwaves looking small as well, the car mode is a bit too panelly for my liking but it should go well with Cogman. Hopefully they will hit retail over here as the only studio series I tend to pick up are those on sale.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047174)
Posted by william-james88 on December 17th, 2019 @ 2:21pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:My god, I never realized how tiny the figure was. :( Pre order is cancelled, I’ll be waiting for a sale or discount. I can’t justify full price for that.


Which one are you talking about? Soundwave or Bumblebee?
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047180)
Posted by Ironhidensh on December 17th, 2019 @ 3:26pm CST
william-james88 wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:My god, I never realized how tiny the figure was. :( Pre order is cancelled, I’ll be waiting for a sale or discount. I can’t justify full price for that.


Which one are you talking about? Soundwave or Bumblebee?


Bee. I still want it, but I'll wait for a lower price.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047182)
Posted by Short Circuit on December 17th, 2019 @ 3:29pm CST
Well crud, who at hasbro didn't realize that the alt mode is way off in the front? Did GM send them a cad model of the production car and not the concept? Or NOT want the concept design? Between that and SS MV1 megatron having a the wrong chest it seems like studio series is losing track of what they set out to do. I'm kinda sad I got rid of my 07 bee now because he really is way better in alt mode. Oh well... guess I could always get a model car and add the stripes. :-( Still gonna get him for my movie bumblebee "timeline" display.
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047205)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on December 17th, 2019 @ 6:52pm CST
That Bumblebee looks pretty good! I'm excited to get him here soon
Re: Pictorial Review of Studio Series SS 51 Soundwave (2047230)
Posted by william-james88 on December 17th, 2019 @ 9:42pm CST
Ironhidensh wrote:
william-james88 wrote:
Ironhidensh wrote:My god, I never realized how tiny the figure was. :( Pre order is cancelled, I’ll be waiting for a sale or discount. I can’t justify full price for that.


Which one are you talking about? Soundwave or Bumblebee?


Bee. I still want it, but I'll wait for a lower price.


Now this surprises me. Since with their whole new scale for the line, we saw straight off the bat with the first wave how small Bee is in the line. We've had a bunch of bees and they were all small and all transform similarly. So him being the same size as those other SS Bees was the least surprising thing for me.

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