Thursday 29 September 2022



Christmas morning of 1984, tearing paper of off random boxes under the tree, unearthed the bestest Transformer toy of my childhood, Soundwave! Up until then I had a couple of Mini-Bots and the odd Go-Bot, but having Soundwave felt like I’d finally got a proper Transformer. For the longest time I kept his box, returning him to it every night after I’d finished playing with him…

Okay, so there’s obviously some big nostalgic shoes to fill here, and I know it’s not a G1 figure in the strictest sense, and we’ve had a Masterpiece Soundwave before from Takara. How’s Acoustic Wave going to compare? Let’s see what this unchrasimatic bore has to offer shall we.

Box & Accessories

The box is very nice, and aside from the obvious re-branding, it’s pretty much the standard Fans Toys quality. I like the artwork, and if I’m not mistaken, it appears to be the initial design for Acoustic Wave when it was still a Fans Toys release. Figure and accessories are housed in a polystyrene inner box with the slip of plastic sheet over the figure like a shroud. Fans Toys have even gone to the trouble of producing branded tape for the box. I still don’t know why it was released under this branding, maybe someone could let me know, and are they planning on more releases under the ‘Robot Paradise’ moniker.

Accessories are plentiful, and for a change they are useful! Granted, most of them are to convert ‘toon’ Acoustic Wave to ‘toy’ Acoustic Wave. A move which I’m sure has gone down well with most collectors, it saves double dipping and buying another figure down the road. The rest of the accessories include Acoustic Waves weapons, an empty Energon Cube and Fibrir (with pile-drivers, alternate heads and cassette case). A nice glossy instruction booklet and two collector cards round everything out.

Alt Mode

It’s a micro-cassette player, what much more can I say? Okay, being slightly less glib the alt mode is good. It’s more compact and better proportioned than the previous MP-13 from Takara, with less on show to the rear also. It manages to cover up most of the internal well, unless looking at it from below. The tape eject function works well, the tape staying in place in the cassette door when opened. The second cassette movement mechanism on mine works well, free and easy, however I have seen reports of others finding theirs stiff or not functioning at all. The function buttons are also made from die-cast, that’s a nice touch. The only thing I would change, or maybe have included as a swap out, would be the chromed cassette door accents. This would suit the ‘toy’ version mode better. In ‘toon’ mode, a flat yellow would look more suitable. Dial and slide buttons on the side are for show and do not posses any movement.

Robot Mode

I procrastinated over this part of the review, not through lack of ideas. More I did not really know where to start, and I found it difficult to put this figure down, literally I could not stop playing around with it. The opening of this review has probably in some way, indicated how I’m going to conclude this review. But for the time being, I’ll try keep the illusion of impartiality. Acoustic Wave is an amazing looking figure. Possibly one of the best representations of a cartoon accurate figure to date. True, there are one or two paint application choices that distract from that but overall, Fans Toys have nailed this one. There’s plenty of die-cast in this figure, which gives it some good heft and balance. Articulation is good, some good poses are achievable but it can struggle slightly when kneeling, crouching or attempting some of the more adventurous action poses. But that said, Soundwave wasn't really the action guy so he looks more than comfortable in an A-stance.

Acoustic Waves best ‘gimmick’ if you will, is the ability to “transform” him into his G1 toy counterpart, making use of the included attachments. In this mode he looks every bit as good as before, with just that added nostalgia to sweeten the deal. Whilst not a complete look, it does just enough to make it feel separate, almost another figure entirely. Articulation remains the same, nothing changes there.

In robot mode Acoustic Wave is not alone, he comes with one of his minions, Fibrir! I’ve no issue with telling you where I stand on this issue, it’s Rumble. It’s been a long standing debate within the fandom, is he blue? is he red? … but now’s not the time for that.

Rumble is a solid little figure, quiet literally so, he’s pretty much all die-cast which makes him heavy. They’ve done a good job too, as there is some articulation in this thing. Most of it is down to the transformation but can be used in robot mode to pose and not look out of place. Standing slightly taller than the Takara offering, Fibrir is 100% painted too. Accessory wise he comes with his blasters, two pie-drivers and two swap out heads with varying facial features. The pile-drivers are spring loaded, offering a small amount of play value. I’ve taken the decision to not review the RP-01B set separately, so I’ll briefly cover them here and now. Corvus (Laserbeak), Shadow (Ravage) and Firrib (Frenzy) come as a separate offering. All are die-cast like Fibrir, with Firrib having the same accessories as the former. Transformations are quite simple and they make effective additions, however of the 3, Shadow I would say is the weakest in terms of looks. I tend to display my Soundwave with the MMC cassettes of Riot, Furor and Jaguar, passing on Volture due to scaling issue. The packaging is the same quality as RP-01, swapping the poly’s for a plastic clam tray with lid.

Closing Thoughts

So yeah, I’ll be honest and say that Acoustic Wave is one of the better MP’s I’ve bought in a long while. That’s down to the actual quality of the figure and also the nostalgic love I have for the toy and character. Fans Toys, sorry, Robot Paradise have produced an amazing version of Soundwave, one which I think will be a while before it is topped, if ever. For those that have not bought one yet and still have MP-13 then don’t despair as I think that is still a good figure and the Hasbro version with all the tapes is great value for money. I said it then and I’ll state it now, MP-13 would’ve benefited with more die-cast content to heft it up a little, make it feel more solid. It compares well with Acoustic Wave, but being more of a mid point between the toy and cartoon version, maybe leaning more towards toy. Acoustic Wave is firmly influenced by the cartoon.

Do I have any criticisms? Actually no, not really. There’s little I find on this that I’d state as an actual negative. Maybe save one, and that is Buzzsaw. Where is Buzzsaw? I think he should have been included with the RP-01B set, without a doubt. But I have a theory, and that is I think we may see him with the inevitable black repaint into Soundblaster, we could also see Ratbat too!

So I’ll leave it there I think, I’m off now to have another play around with Acoustic.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and catch you all soon.

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