While it would be much more impressive if the Android-looking tablet the San Diego Comic-Con exclusive Soundwave transformed into actually worked, turning something so flat into a robot with such presence is still quite a feat.
If he looks familiar, that's because this tablet version of Soundwave began life as a collaboration between Chinese electronics company Xiomi and Hasbro. The China-exclusive toy made the rounds back in April. This is not that toy, technically, as it shares the same basic design but is unaffiliated with the Chinese company. Plus the Chinese figure was more gold than silver.
He's still a little flat, which can't be helped. The head is actually two pieces the connect together, front and back, which is a pretty good indicator of just how flat the tablet is. The basic design doesn't shout Soundwave, but I love the idea of a tablet taking the place of his original cassette recorder form from the '80s — something people carry with them all the time that's become so pervasive it's basically invisible.
It's all kibble, but it's really flat kibble.
So how do we get from this:
Here's a video of the Chinese version of the toy, showing all of the folding and tucking required. The minimalist Lazerbeak that clips onto its back is a nice touch.
Incredibly flat tablet Soundwave will be available next week at Hasbro's booth #3329 at San Diego Comic-Con. Fans lucky enough to get in line will be able to snag him for $US39.99 ($52), while a small number will be made available after the show at HasbroToyShop.com.
I won't be at the show myself, so if someone could please pick me up one of these, a Titans Return Fortress Maximus, the special Titan Returns three pack — basically one of everything at Hasbro's booth — I would greatly appreciate it.