Last month, Hasbro unveiled its new Masterpiece series (MP-01 Acid Storm & MP-02 Soundwave) on Malaysian shore. It comes with new packaging and only available in Toy R Us stores.
Hasbro has totally revamped its packaging for the Masterpiece series and should appeal to the collectors. It definitely able to rival Takara Tomy's Masterpiece packaging.
Soundwave's biodata is on the box. Frankly, I still prefer the collector's card which Takara Tomy offers. He got full marks in term of skill but I did not recall he is that agile and skillful in the cartoon series.
Removing the box cover sheet, the mainly purple colour box is still impressive. There are a few Chinese characters all over the box, which is pretty unusual for a Transformers toy line.
In term of comparison, the Hasbro MP-02 size is exactly that of Takara Tomy's MP-09 & MP-10 (as well as MP-13 itself).
Even the storage of the figure and accessories that come with it depart from Hasbro's traditional way and streamlined to how Takara Tomy's packaged their Masterpiece toys. It comes with the 5 cassettes, scanner, rifle, Megatron's alternate mode, 2 pairs of pile driver, energon cube, scanner and chest display.
Masterpiece Soundwave is about the same size (just slightly shorter) than Masterpiece Rodimus Prime and Optimus Prime.
Soundwave is Megatron's most loyal soldier and regularly gathered vital
intelligence for Megatron's schemes with the aid of his faithful
In Hasbro version, Soundwave has a yellow visor as oppose to red as we seen regularly in the cartoon series. Frankly, I prefer it to be in red too.
Soundwave is able to detect and jam transmissions across a wide energy spectrum. He is armed with a shoulder mounted radio wave sensor (which looks like a missile launcher pod) and hand held concussion blaster.
The Megatron's alternate mode also fit nicely into the hand's of Masterpiece Optimus Prime. Unfortunately, the gun just don't fit into the small palm of Masterpiece Rodimus Prime.
One of his arm can be attached to a scanner. In the animated series, the scanner was only used once in Season 1 when locating Jetfire at the Artics.
This figure has a few great articulation including his signature move of pressing the button on his left shoulder to eject the cassettes.The figure is capable to store a maximum of 3 cassettes at a time.
His chest also can turn into a graphic display to present the information to his fellow Decepticons.
Soundwave is also the source of energon cube in almost the entire animated series and this figure is able to reproduce those moment by projecting the crystal clear energon cube from its chest.
Both Rumble and Frenzy's pile drivers can be attached to Soundwave's arm for added fire power although this is rather unofficial as it is never seen in the animated series.
His alternate mode is a micro cassete deck (or walkman). Within the tape compartment, he stores a variety of Decepticons spies, all of which take the alternative form of a micro cassette. These spy characters include Ravage, Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Rumble and Frenzy.
Using the combination of the scanner and pile driver, one can depicts the micro cassette connected to the computer's mainframe as seen in the 1986's Transformers: The Movie.
Hasbro includes all the 5 cassettes with Soundwave, saving the trouble from collector to get their hand on all the cassettes as in the Takara Tomy version. It definitely add more value to the package although I would love to see Buzzsaw been replaced with Ratbat.
Laserbeak is probably the most recognizable and loved cassettes of all and the details on it is just amazing.
The spy camera at Laserbeak's forehead as seen in the 1986's Transformers: The Movie.
The annoying Rumble and Frenzy are also pretty cartoon accurate. Both figures are armed with a pair of gun and pile drivers.
Rumble/Frenzy size is slightly taller than the Targetmaster Offshoot (from Hasbro's Masterpiece Rodimus Prime).
Ravage is probably the least cartoon accurate figure in this package.I have problem putting both part of his head together. Maybe it got to do with some QC issues which resulting Ravage has its head split apart and it ain't a pleasant sight.
The cassettes are pretty fun to play with and fit nicely with Spike Witwicky figure.
His minions are quick to serve and defend Soundwave in a crisis. In theory, he would be hard to defeat by any Autobots.
Hasbro Masterpiece Soundwave is definitely worth to get. At RM 599.95 (I believe Hasbro won't jack the Masterpiece series above RM600 for present and future issues), it is definitely a bargain considering it includes all the 5 cassettes and accessories as compare to the Takara Tomy version. Hasbro quality is also on par or even better (as proven by Masterpiece Rodimus Prime) with Takara Tomy.