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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Clay's review of: Takara #18 Soundblaster reissue

Names: Soundblaster, Ravage, Buzzsaw
Function: Horribly out-of-scale soldiers for Megatron

Well, a bit of nostalgia and a bit of "I always wanted that when I was a kid" kicked in for me, and I picked up my third reissue: the remolded Soundwave and friends. All in all, I've been extremely pleased with the set; the packaging, documention (though I can't read any of it), accessories, and the figures themselves are all top-notch.

Soundblaster - tape deck mode

There's not a whole lot to say about this... it's black where Soundwave is blue, and it's tape tray protrudes a bit more. The eject button does work, but the volume and power buttons on the side are mostly for show. It does have a belt clip on the back, so I've worn it around the house a few times. As far as disguises for robots go, it's absolutely fanstasic. It sits on the shelf next to the camera used for the pictures, and sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing which one is the toy.

Ravage and Buzzsaw - tape modes

I'll lump these two together because they're so similar. Turning into a microcassette may not be the best choice to instill fear into the metallic hearts of your enemies, but it's superb for hiding. Even handier is when you have a larger friend who turns into a microcassette player that can haul your free-loading ass around. Ah, to live the life of a microcassette... Anyway, these two are pretty darn convincing as tapes. When I was little, I always thought they were working cassettes. I was a pretty shrewd kid, so the fact that they fooled even me back then says something.

Soundblaster - robot mode

The old Decepticon mug model himself. Soundblaster's transformation is really simple and straightforward, which is a surprise considering how elegant both modes are. As a robot, Soundblaster's articulation is pretty outstanding for a toy designed when it was. Sure, the knees bend the wrong way, but it's the fact that they bend at all that counts!

Also present is the yesteryear-common shoulder cannon. Transformers haven't really had this accessory since the early Generation One days. Not to say that every new toy needs one, but I do occassionally miss it.

Ravage and Buzzsaw - non-tape modes

Ah, the old über-kitty and super-parrot themselves. Buzzsaw is a bit ungainly at first, but I like him a great deal now. Granted, there's not much he can actually do aside from bob his head up and down, but he sits on Soundblaster's wrist nicely. Ravage is really well done for such an early transformer. Believe it or not, it actually has fourteen points of movement crammed into it, so there's a great variety to the stances it can manage. Of course, Ravage was the main reason I got the set, but that's beside the point...

Transformation: 10. Everything well thought out and very intuitive.
Durability: 9. Having already dropped the whole apparatus on the driveway (that belt loop on the back is mostly for show, apparently), I can safely say that these things are built tough.
Price: X. Depends on where and when you get it. I got mine for around $50, and I'm very happy with it.
Fun: 10. Articulation, great disguises, and the coolness of being vintage toys to boot. Can't beat that combination.
Overall: 10. Pretty much every transformer collector should hunt down this set. There are many aspects that make this set appealilng: posability, design ingenuity in the transformations, realistic alternate modes, old toys reissued, major characters, nostaligia, etc. At least some of them are bound to hit home.
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