Transformers Music Label Soundwave Review

Monday, October 17, 2011

Soundwave, Superior. Everything else, inferior

Featured throughout Transformers cartoons in the mid-80s, Soundwave is the right hand bot to the evil leader of the Decepticons, Megatron. Acting as the Decepticon Communications Officer, he holds numerous Decepticon spy cassettes in his chest that he deploys on various missions.

Takara initially released Music Label Soundwave in white to match the color of the popular Apple iPod but demand from fans forced Takara to release Soundwave in two more colors: Sonic Blue to represent his original G1 colors and Blaster Black, his future reborn incarnation.

Blaster Black with Sonic Blue Box:

The only telltale sign on the box of the color you're getting is the round sticker

The back shows the original white Music Label Soundwave

If Soundwave needed snow camouflage, this would be it

The packaging includes flap with a window

This is the other way to tell which color you're buying

The box is simple with very minimal writing and elegant black

The inside flap message

"Cries and screams are music to my ears" doesn't sound like something Soundwave would say

The booklets and instructions included:

Music Label Soundwave and the included accessories:

Soundwave's weapons:

The included earphones:

Four additional hands for holding the gun and curled index for pushing the eject button:

The gun hand and the curled index hand look very similar from a distance.

Music Player Front:

Like most mobile music players, Music Label Soundwave lacks speakers.  Music Label Soundwave is surprisingly light which makes him feel cheaply constructed.  Turn on Soundwave by pushing and holding onto the play button.  Soundwave turns off automatically after pausing a song for over 2 minutes.  Songs play in the order they were added to the memory card.

Right and left sides:


A single screw holds the back battery panel in place. A single AAA battery powers Music Label Soundwave.


A grey eject button, the sliding panel to reveal Soundwave's head, and the audio jack



Unlike his G1 toy, Music Label Soundwave cannot store cassettes from the G1 toy line.

Closer look at the mini SD memory card slot:

Unlike your mobile phone that likely takes microSD cards and unlike your digital camera that takes SD cards, Music Label Soundwave takes mini SDs which are physically larger than a microSD but smaller than a regular SD. Music Label Soundwave does not support high capacity SD so you're limited to cards or 2GB or smaller.


Soundwave comes included with 2 closed fists which are the only hands that can be used in alt mode since the area fitting his hands are too small for the other hands.

Left side:

Remember to push those shoulders forward

Right side:


Soundwave's head pops out due to a spring. The spring isn't very strong and his head doesn't lock into place makes posing his head a little frustrating. Soundwave's shoulder weapon slots into the audio jack.


Music Label Soundwave is very stable due to his back heel


Unlike most modern Transformers, Music Label Soundwave doesn't have any back kibble

Changable hands:

You need to yank the hand out of the ball joint from the end of the arm

Soundwave pushing his eject button just like the cartoon!

I'm sure most people buying Music Label Soundwave is for their Classics collection so here is Music Label Soundwave with Henkei Starscream (same mold as Classics and Universe Starscream) and United Megatron (same mold as Classics and Henkei Megatron):

Music Label Soundwave is about the size of a standard deluxe Transformers and fits right in with the Classics line of Transformers

Music Label Soundwave with his rival, Device Label Broad Blast (Blaster):

Blaster is a lot taller than Soundwave, just like the original G1 toys

Music Label Soundwave is highly posable with some limitations due to alt mode panels:

Music Label Soundwave's leg can only bend up to 90 degrees at the knees due to his alt mode panels and 90 degrees at the torso due to buttons on his lower body. His hands are on ball joints. His arm has multiple hinges and swivels .

Music Label Soundwave is expensive for a deluxe sized figure commanding $40 for white and black variants and $80 for sonic blue in the secondary market but this is a sharp drop compared to his original MSRP price of almost $100 (10000 Yen). Sadly he doesn't fit the G1 cassettes in his chest anymore but I don't mind it based on his current scale. But it is a fully working MP3 player. Most Transformers collectors won't be looking at Music Label Soundwave's music capabilities but his perfect fit into their Classics line of toys. If you're one of these collectors then I highly suggest picking up sonic blue Music Label Soundwave. He's a tad pricey but compared to the current high cost of Henkei toys (like Mirage or Smokescreen), Music Label Soundwave is a bargain for a main character in the Transformers G1 world. For others, Music Label Soundwave is a really neat fun transforming toy that doubles as a working basic MP3 player and the price for blaster black or the original white is reasonable.

Finally, Soundwave is remade into a real working music player

Takara did a fantastic job creating a working MP3 player, keeping the original shape of Soundwave, and adding much needed articulation with Music Label Soundwave

Eric Toy Score: 4.5 out of 5

Publisher: Takara
Year: 2007
Price: 10000 Yen


Sleak..I wish to get the blue version, but yes it seems the price does not do justice to my not-so-fat wallet

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