Masterpiece Soundwave was my number one figure of 2013. Can a black repaint of my favorite figure of 2013 contend for a top spot in 2014? Well let’s slow down a bit there. Soundblaster is the latest Transformer in the revitalized Masterpiece line from Takara (well mostly from Takara, some of it makes its way to Hasbro … not much, but some!). Soundblaster doesn’t do anything wrong, and in fact he has some cool parts and accessories. But the main focus of this release is one thing:
The reason that probably 90% of the people will buy MP-13B Masterpiece Soundblaster is for that little Ratbat cassette. This isn’t to say that Soundblaster isn’t a cool character. It’s just that large-sized Masterpiece figures are expensive. Collecting Soundwave and his tapes has never been cheap either. The only way you could get them all in one swoop is to hunt down the Toys R Us version, but then you would be stuck with yellow eyes Soundwave.
The import Soundwave came only with Laserbeak. You then had to buy two $60 two packs of Frenzy/Buzzsaw and Rumble/Ravage. So after that $300 investment you will have to drop about another $150 if you want Ratbat.
I’m a little curious as to where it goes from here? Do they plan to do another couple of two-packs? Slugfest and Overkill? Possibly a Ratbat repaint like Wingthing paired with Garboil? I guess anything is possible. I bet it would also make some people happy if the Ratbat mold gets used again in a cheaper pack. Sure it won’t be official Ratbat, but most people would be willing to fudge it. Then in 2044, Toys R Us will do a giant gift set with every Masterpiece cassette ever, Soundwave and Soundblaster. Only then will they finally move on to the Autobot cassettes.
The recolor of Soundblaster is fairly simple. For the most part where there was blue on Soundwave there is now black on Soundblaster. The one exception to that rule is Soundblaster’s feet which are all black so that they look like sneakers! His cassette window is now a clear red and has little techno parts around the corners. The clear red works really sticks out when paired with the black, especially around his eyes.
We’ll get to his companion in a second, but first I’ll go over the accessories you get with Soundblaster. He comes backed with a new clear red Megatron gun, a clear cassette case, a sensor hand attachment, the concussion blaster, a purple extension chest unit, and a red energon cube that can plug into his chest. I think it’s a bit odd they decided to go with the clear case instead of the pink that the first set of cassettes came in. It matches a little better with the TRU version, but I would assume people who imported this most likely imported the first one too. The chest extension with the Decepticon logo looks great, and like his normal chest has additional techno parts sculpted into the plastic. He’s a little plain without the chest extension so I display him with it on.
So on to the final accessory, Ratbat!
Like all of the previous Decepticon cassettes, Ratbat is a great representation of the G1 character. His transformation is fairly simple: you pulled his wings out, flip his chest and head around, and then flip the jets back behind him. He has a great wingspan, and they are articulated enough to put them in a great amount of poses. Ratbat has little indents in his feet that allow you to use the parts in Soundblaster’s (or Soundwave’s) arm to clip him in. Even if you don’t use the clips he’s pretty sturdy.
I can’t say much bad about Ratbat. He exceeds all expectation like most Masterpiece figures do. I think the only complaint would be that you currently have to buy Soundblaster to get him. I’ll join in on that sentiment as well even though I am pretty happy to have a black Soundwave variant, $150 is not an easy pill to swallow any time of the year! If you want to get one though I would import because it will save you a few bucks, check out HLJ as they still have him in stock.