Despite appearing in the preview wave we’ve yet to see any movie footage or CGI rendering of how the final Soundwave will look like. Given that the first movie used protoform / reentry mode figures, it may even be the case that in the movie Soundwave is barely seen, or looks substantially different from the design used here (in which case we can expect another toy).
So unlike most reviews where we compare the toy’s accuracy to the on screen model, we can take the time for a more in depth discussion of the overall movie Soundwave design. The most obvious similarity and, simultaneously, difference to Soundwave’s of christmas past, is the blue and grey colour scheme, present here but reversed to a primarily grey with blue as a secondary colour. Additional bright and clear blue sections help redress the balance and give Soundwave a more ethereal quality, suggesting weird and wonderful electromagnetic radiation signals.
In satellite mode, Soundwave retains the blue energy “nodes”, but the grey/silver colour is even more predominant. The instructions and official photos show one particular configuration, whether this is movie accurate remains to be seen but the various antenna and solar panel like structures are highly articulated and can be arranged in a wide variety of configurations. An angular visor shape hints at Soundwave’s being covered by some kind of blast shield, but still watching over the battlefield from a very safe distance.
The third official mode bears more than a passing resemblance to various cybertronian space cruiser designs (especially Vector Prime), as well as to Megatron and The Fallen’s jet modes, while carrying the more intricate detailing seen in the movie style. It’s not a complete afterthought by any means, as the rear engine and wings do lock into each other in order to hold correctly in place. However it remains to be seen if it’s really a mode Soundwave uses.
Soundwave includes a jet black missile and obligatory launcher gimmick. The intricate detail on the missile however makes me think – could this actually be Ravage in reentry mode? In that case, kudos for finding some small way to have Soundwave include an ejectable Ravage!
At this time it’s unclear whether Soundwave takes on an earth mode of any kind, whether traditional satellite, pickup truck or something else so it’s not yet possible to say how accurate this figure is or whether there will other versions of Soundwave at Deluxe or other sizes. While it has some playability limitations, it is, despite the heavy modifications of the movie stylisation, still immediately recognisable as Soundwave. If you only pick up one of the preview wave of figures, then this is the one to get.