Alternate Mode: Microcassette Recorder
Height: 8cm Depth: 4cm Width: 10.5cm
The area immediately surrounding the door is blue, although most of the face is a silver plastic. The speakers are moulded into the top corners of the face, in silver, and are labelled "R" and "L". There's blue stickers on the sides towards the bottom, the left one says "STEREO MICRO CASSETTE RECORDER", the right side saying "REC/BAT" with a simulated red power LED.
There's more controls on the sides of Soundwave's recorder mode - there's a dial on the left, presumably volume, and a slide switch on the right, most likely power. Neither actually do anything of course, but they both move, which is enough to keep me happy.
The back of the recorder is almost entirely blue. It's largely robot mode kibble with one notable exception. The central piece is a battery cover - slide it off to reveal the "batteries" - the robot mode shoulder cannon and missile launcher. This is a really cool feature, since the missile launcher actually compacts to form a battery.
Overall, this is a good alternate mode. It's certainly distinct amongst Transformers, and despite being a dated device, it's a well done mode. Being able to carry a cassette and having a battery compartment are two features that really make this a good mode.
Height: 18cm Width: 11cm
He has a blue head with silver mouthplate and yellow eyes. It's worth pointing out that Soundwave was portrayed as purple in the comic. Having said that, the comic Soundwave was otherwise pretty much toy accurate.
Soundwave has good poseability for his time, the shoulders rotate 360°, the elbows bend and the head turns. The hips can swivel, allowing his feet to point outwards. Most of these joints are really there for the transformation, but essential or not, the end result is still a really poseable Transformer for 1984. The knees only bend forwards, so the legs aren't all that poseable, but overall it's still good. The missile launcher fires only a token distance, but it also looks pretty good as a gun, so I can forgive the weak launcher. This was pretty standard for 1984 anyway - the missiles were really for show.
The feet are die-cast metal, as are the pegs connecting the shoulders and the hips (although this is less obvious). Combine this with the fact they bothered to design a battery compartment for his weapons and it's obvious they paid attention when designing Soundwave.
A good robot, very show accurate, although the comic colours were a little off. Soundwave almost personifies G1, so this mode has a real familiarity about it, even when you first get him.