Soundwave - Beast Wars Mutant - Figure

One of the most popular Decepticons of all has been recycled as a Mutant. But "Soundwave" is actually rather appropriate for this toy. Bats use echolocation to find their prey and alligators produce low frequency bellows that can be heard from over a mile away.

Bat Mode
If there are bats in Hell, they probably look like this guy. Soundwave has a head only a mother bat could love, with sharp fangs, piercing red eyes, and a big flattened nose. Mostly a caramel brown, with yellow streaks on his wings, and an inverted bat symbol on his chest, partially covered by his faction symbol. Originally, this toy was to be coloured green, but someone at Hasbro had the sense to make it brown instead. A brown alligator is quite acceptable, but a green bat (or wolverine!) looks silly.

Soundwave measures 14.5 cm (5.7") from head to tail, with a wingspan of 18 cm (7.1"). His fangs and claws are metallic silver, and look sharp and dangerous. He also has a long curved tail, longer than any proper bat should. It's actually neat though, since he can hang upside down from hooks, or your finger, using his tail. And compared to other TF bats (Sonar, original Optimus Primal, Mindwipe), Soundwave is rather well articulated. Each leg has five joints. His tail is attached by a swivel and hinge joint, making it possible for him to stand upright. His wings can flap. On that note, his wingtips, formed from the alligator's front feet, don't attach to the rest of the wings, so it looks as though he's got rips in them. His fur is nicely sculpted.

Opening the large panel on his chest reveals a metallic gray robotic torso plate. And by pressing one of the scales on the back of his head, Soundwave's mouth drops open and the robot face thrusts forwards, in a very creepy manner. The robot face is coloured metallic gray and silver, with maroon eyes and teeth fixed in a snarl. Grrrrr.

Very easy. The bat's chest flips up and rotates around to reveal the alligator head, and the wings fold up to form its front paws and belly.

Alligator Mode
At 18 cm (7") long from the tips of its front claws to the bend in its tail, this is clearly an alligator, judging from its broad snout. Aside from his red eyes and the four metallic green stripes along his back, Soundwave is all brown. Alligators are actually black in colour, but will do in a pinch. And the detailing on this guy is really quite superb. With the exception of the undersides of his tail and head, he's covered in a network of realistic scales and scutes. His back is especially well done, and the green stripes complement the look.

Unfortunately, this alligator has its problems. First and foremost, there's the ridiculously huge front paws. I really wish Hasbro had found some other way for his bat wings to fold in, since he comes off looking like a gator with a couple of gecko arms grafted onto him. How Soundwave can walk with such feet, I have no clue. Perhaps they'd be of some use when he's swimming? Another problem lies in his mouth. It can't open. It can open during transformation, but once the head is locked in place, it remains clamped shut. This really brings down play value in my book. Possibly to compensate, Soundwave's front legs have four joints apiece (kinda floppy at the shoulders), and his back legs have the aforementioned five. His tail can slam down to produce the seismic shockwaves described in his tech spec.

Suspsy Sez: I would rate Soundwave the second best of the Mutants, after Poison Bite. The alligator mode has better detailing to it, while the bat mode has better play value. His gimmick is the best of any Mutant, which isn't saying much, mind you. Overall, I'd say he's worth it.


"From the sky to the sea, they will respect and fear me." -Soundwave

DateJanuary 30th 2002  
Score 8 stars (8 out of 10)  

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