Monday, June 25, 2012

Transformers Music Label Soundwave




This is "Transformers Music Label Soundwave", a transformable simple MP3 player in the form of classic 80's radio cassette player into a robot mode of Decepticons Soundwave.

The "Transformers Label" series is a line of the Transformers series by "Takara Tomy" released exclusively in the Japanese market. The toys in this line consist of transforming robot figures with certain themes such as working electronic devices or crossover licenses with other brands and franchises.

List of models released in this series ;

- Convoy iPod Docking Bay (all white deco)
- Soundwave Playing Audio Player ("Sonic White" deco)
- Frenzy & Rumble Playing Earphones
- Soundwave Playing Audio Player ("Spark Blue" - classic G1 deco)
- Soundwave Playing Audio Player ("Blaster Black" Soundblaster homage deco)
- Optimus Prime iPod Docking Bay (classic G1 deco)
- Exile Perfect Year 2008 Convoy iPod Docking Bay (red and orange deco)


In my opinion, this is one of the most practical, useful and certainly one of the most enjoyable transformable toys from the popular Transformers series franchise and thus I feel so excited to get this item and certainly it doesn't disappoint.


So for now, let's review this Soundwave...


The box/packaging;








The manual and some product information brochure, you will also get a "character card" which give additional information about Soundwave but they are in Japanese text though;






And of coz you will get all these - the Soundwave in MP3 player form, headphones, several extra hands, a rifle and a canon;







First, let's have a look at the MP3 Player before transformation;










I think the looks is quite neat and simple using the popular 1980's radio cassette players as reference.


And now, let's have a look at Soundwave robot mode but before that, I would like to highlight that this time around I can easily understand the manual and after about 10 minutes, I managed to complete the transformation process which is way much easier and if compared to the Mitusoka Orochi Skywarp.












Articulation is surprisingly very good for this Soundwave robot mode. The usual kneeling pose is not a problem which means playability value is quite great as well.





The weapons, a rifle and a shoulder mounted canon;





The rifle name is "Wave Blaster" and the shoulder mounted canon is "Electric Launcher";






This is how you mounted the canon... on his right shoulder of course - the same place where you will plug in the headphones;





As for the rifle, no explanation needed, you can put it on either his right or left hands by using the extra hands provided;






After that, feel free to do action pose or play around with this Soundwave;









The head sculpt is quite nice, since I'm not a hardcore Transformers fan so I cannot say much about the face - is it the same with those from the animation series or not or does this one looks better than the other... I'm sure many a hardcore Transformers fans out there can give their opinions but for me, it's looks nice, simple as that. The one and only complain that I have on this Soundwave is happen to be on the head part. It feels rather flimsy, it's pretty hard for me to stabilize the head every time I adjust the body to perform certain kind of pose, kind of annoying actually.





The beautiful Decepticons or Destrons logo right at the middle of the chest;






So now, let's get back to the MP3 player mode and try the MP3 player function;



The gave you that headphones, just a normal quality type, not a high end type. You can always use your own high end headphones or you can even just use your PC speaker if you happen to have them. Sound quality is decent, there is no such thing as "Mega Bass" or any other type of equalizer tuning options but then again, it works, how often you can get the sound of music from a Transformer toys?





I would love to use this with my Panasonic RP-HT223 headphones;





You need to press this button to open up the Mini SD Card storage bay;






And obviously you do need Mini SD Card;





Unfortunately, its pretty hard for me to find a decent Mini SD Card nowadays. One of the shop that I visited said they have 1 unit only but the capacity is only 256MB so get the fuck outta my face with that shit. They then recommended to me this Micro SD Card with 2GB capacity and a "Micro SD to Mini SD Adapter" at the total cost of only SGD 10.00 (about USD 7.90 / 626 Yen) for both items which is more sensible to me;





Once you have the card, go ahead and load all your favorite MP3 files into the card and after that, insert the card into the Soundwave;





Just press and hold the "Play/Paused" button for about a few seconds (2 to 3 seconds, somewhere there) and you ready to rock!!!!! - you should see a small blue light blinking on your left side near that Decepticons (or Destrons?) logo.





As for the control layout, we only have the basic control of "Previous track", "Next track", "Play/Pause" button which also serves as On/Off button. The "Up" and "Down" button on both side of the "Play/Pause" button is volume control - up and down - simple as that. As I mentioned earlier, you need to press and hold the "Play/Pause" button for a few seconds to start playing the music which also means to power up the device. So if you want to power off the device, the same procedure applies, just press and hold the "Play/Pause" button for a few seconds and the blue light will stop blinking, that means it's off




That's all you get for the MP3 player control, no LCD screen for your to see and in fact nothing else anymore, that's all about it. This is a very basic or simple MP3 player that happen to be there for novelty purpose only but at least it works. They never promise anything like Sony Walkman or Ipod like quality but what they are offering instead is a transformable simple MP3 player into Soundwave, simple as that.

MP3 files are played in the order they were put onto the card - not based on the file name. So for example if I have these 6 MP3 files;

1) 2NE1 - Lonely - Studio Reggae Version
2) Ailee - Heaven
3) Secret - Love is Move
4)T-ara - Cry Cry
5) T-ara - Lovey-Dovey
6) T-ara - Roly Poly

And I want them to play based on this order: 6,4,5,3,1,2 - that means I have to transfer them one by one (using either the traditional Cut/Paste or Copy/Paste procedures) onto the card based on that order one after another.

If I transfer all 6 of them together at once onto the card, I have to rely on the assortment decided by "Soundwave" - depending on which files he think is the first and who is the last, something like that.

At the end, this is maybe just a minor issue to some people - maybe some of you is OK with random order, but for me, based on my preferences, if possible, I want to decide who will be the first and the last. Imagine if you were to transfer 100 of MP3 files.... it can be daunting - unless of coz if you are OK with random order.

Another thing to note, when next time you restart the MP3 player again, it will start playing from the very first MP3 files again - which is why I like to make sure that this or that song will be the first - naturally its the song that I like the most. So you must understand that there is no such thing as "Resume play from the last stop" thingy.

As for the power, the MP3 player is powered by only a single AAA size battery so no issue what so ever on that. You can easily get this battery anywhere at cheap price. You can also consider using those rechargeable type.







My 2 purple devil - Soundwave side by side with the Mitsuoka Orochi Skywarp;





Soundwave side by side with the Mitsuoka Orochi Skywarp - in robot mode;





Overall, this is a very fun and enjoyable transformable simple MP3 player by Takara Tomy. I love the novelty idea of having a transformable simple MP3 player that actually works. You really can use this as your daily music companion - while jogging or while enjoying a walk at the park. The MP3 player have basic control layout and no other fancy stuff. The sound quality is decent, no other fancy stuff or sound effect tuning what so ever, but then again, it works fine. I love the concept of this product and surely for me, this is one of the best and practical Transformers toys I've ever had. I love every bit of it, no doubt about it.

Maybe, someday in the future, Takara Tomy may made something similar but with more spectacular electronic features so that maybe we can have a Soundwave that also have LCD screen and many other blings of typical modern MP3 players but I'm sure when that happen, price will be an issue as well, how many of us are really willing to pay for it? For a hardcore Transformer fans who happen to have the cash all the time, maybe they have no problem and surely it is something a must get for them.

However, if you want a nice MP3 player with reasonable price, there are many other options out there that offers great value for your money. Nowadays, everything is made in China and most things (especially those electronics or computer related gadgets) started to become cheaper than they used to be on monthly basis.

If I'm not mistaken, there are another Transformers toy which fit to my perception as "practical and useful" and that is that one model where it can transform from a tiger mode into a USB pen drive mode. I don't really know the name but I guess if you are a Transformer fan, I'm sure you know which model/item I'm referring to. I would love to get that someday if the price is decent.

As for typical hybrid collectors like me, I'm not a hardcore Transformer fan but I do like them, I love the unique concept of this product both as a toy and as MP3 player. In fact, since Mascot Robo Sergeant Keroro talking Japanese clock that I reviewed here way back in 2010 and the DX Toraidovender transformable vending machine into a big bike for Kamen Rider OOO in 2011, this is one of the best toys that excites me a lot while doing the review and the excitement continue even after the review is done and uploaded. That means I really love this guy.

Some collectors might want to keep this item in the box or maybe just display it on their shelf or cabinet but for me, I would love to bring this around for meal or any other outings and showing them off to make those young school kids jealous LOL... what an evil person I am hahahahaha....






end

5 comments:

  1. Very nice merchandise must be expensive >_< like those transformable flash drive

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  2. Aya, the price from HLJ website during the first release period in 2007 was USD 124.00 (10,000 Yen) - indeed it was expensive at that time, so if you just want a crappy basic MP3 player, it's just a waste of money. Then again, this item is targeted at those Transformers collectors so they are kind of willing to pay for such price.

    As for me, I only paid SGD 80.00 (about USD 63.00 / 5,041 Yen), so I guess its a good deal.

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  3. I saw years back this version of soundwave goes so low as SGD$50.00. But it is a very good G1 and practical soundwave.

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  4. another new line for me =O... i mean, this particular Soundwave, because i knew about the white Convoy docking bay... you got a good deal in the price paid but i feel it’s still kinda expensive even for a collectible with extra electronic features... the packaging is very nice, also the figure has the correct resemblance of the original G1 character, but the paint job is delicate so it can be scratched easily specially if you plan to use it as MP3 player... on the poseability department there is a great job here plus the fun factor... not my kind but a nice rarity for TF fans... =)

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  5. This MP3 Soundwave is a well balanced toy of retro concept to today's technology. Though it's more of a toy, still is cool having some element of practicality. Enjoy your rock and roll and I think the last pic is awsome.

    ReplyDelete