Blog #110: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Soundwave Headband

I should warn you, I might rant a little.

I keep seeing this listed as a bandana.  I’m honestly not sure if that is correct as well, but according to my Google searches, headband is more accurate. I’m going to call it a headband, but whatever you call it, it’s still crap.

I have not seen any official info on how many of these were made.  An ebay auction says there were 750, so I’m going with that until I hear otherwise.  They sold out rather quickly at I believe $5 each and were sold with an trading/autograph card.  They are currently selling for $30-$40 on ebay.

The logic of putting a headband on a robot escapes me.  Headbands have two purposes, fashion, or to keep sweat out of your eyes.  Somehow I don’t think Shattered Glass Soundwave is all that fashion conscience and the last time I checked, robots don’t sweat (or for that matter have eyes sensitive to sweat).  We are talking about toys, and not everything has to make sense (lord knows Hasbro and Fun Publications have proven that) but they really couldn’t come up with a better idea than this?  I don’t know who came up with this idea, but it was at best silly.

When I bought mine (on ebay for $40) it came in the mail with a note from the seller saying that they were very delicate and should be used for display only.  I’ve heard they tend to break.  They were only $5, but that doesn’t excuse poor quality.  It honestly looks like something someone made in their garage.  It seems they were trying to make it look like cloth, and parts of it sort of do, but other parts look like plastic that was melted and then hardened.  It is plastic, I’m not expecting a miracle, but it should at least be uniformly textured to look like cloth and it’s not.

I don’t know exactly how many Soundwaves were made.  There were 1800 Primus Sets.  Add in Iacon and loose sets, and let’s say there were 3000 of them.  3000 Soundwaves sold missing an accessory.  (I know that’s debatable, but that’s how I look at it.)  How do you possibly only make enough of these accessories to complete 25% of them?  Sure, not everyone is going to bother, but you’ve got at least expect 75% will.

The Botcon Twitter account made the following announcement today: “We are doing a second run of headbands.  Do NOT over spend on these online.  Just hang tight…”  Now, while this is great for 2250 people with incomplete toys, they should have made enough and packaged it with the toy to begin with (or at least allow it to be ordered).  It would have been nice if they had made this announcement before I and so many others paid high prices for them, but that’s life.

What really pisses me off about this, is that they sell product, much of which is purchased for the expressed purpose of reselling it, and they KNOW that.  They have no right advising people against purchasing them from their own customers.  Who the hell do they think they are?  They did this before, telling people not to buy Over-Run and Drift on ebay since they were still in stock.  This is typical of Fun Publications way of doing business.  It’s not any different than having their own store open at Botcon before the dealer room is open taking sales away from the dealers who have paid exorbitant prices for tables.

What I really don’t understand is why Hasbro would have approved this at all.  Fun Publications specifically stated that it was made here rather than by Hasbro.  In the past (I’m talking back in the golden age of Botcon, before the dark times) Hasbro would not let 3H make any toy accessories.  They wanted to do a Matrix to fit in G1 Optimus’s chest and Hasbro wouldn’t let them (as I recall, it was a long time ago).  I assume this hasn’t passed any safety testing.  What’s really funny to me is that this is essentially a third party item that they made the same year they banned third party items.  They would have been smart to get one of the third party companies to make the headband.  There stuff is much better quality.

Okay, enough ranting.  Hopefully I’ll have some more reviews this week which will be much more positive.

Here is my full review of Soundwave.

Update: here is a picture of the toy with the headband.  Also, my friend Zabgoth noticed something about his Tech Spec.

Thanks for reading!

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About lmb3

I’m 36 years old, and I work in network tech support for a public school system. I am a huge fan of Star Trek, Transformers, Harry Potter, and Marvel Comics as well as numerous other fandoms. I’m a big sports fan, especially the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. I collect toys (mostly Transformers but other stuff too), comic books, and Red Sox baseball cards. I watch an obscene amount of television and love going to the movies. I am hopelessly addicted to Wizard Rock and I write Harry Potter Fanfiction, though these days I am working on a couple of different original YA novels.
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2 Responses to Blog #110: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Soundwave Headband

  1. Pingback: Blog #135: Toy Review: Botcon 2012 Soundwave | lmb3.net

  2. Dom says:

    Telling people not to “overspend online” was more a favour to people who had not yet bought the crappy headband than for people who had bought them with the intention of selling them.

    You are right that Fun Publications knows (or at least *should* know) that many of the people buying their toys are planning to resell them. But, if Fun Publications resents this, it sucks to be them. If they really want to make more money on what they sell, they can use (easily researched) auctions from previous years to establishe a new price point for their toys, and find a medium between keeping toys “affordable” for more people and making more money on them.

    The headband would makes sense for Shattered Glass Soundwave (whose personality is like regular Blaster or Jazz, and would thus be thinking fashionably). But, there really was no excuse not to include a small piece of rubberized plastic in a ~$300 boxed set. Even assuming that the $5 that Fun Publications charged covered operating/manufacturing costs, they could have folded it in to the cost of the box set at minimal costs to themselves. Selling an incomplete toy is bad enough. Selling an incomplete toy as part of a $300 box set is inexclusable.

    Dom
    -understands why so many people dislike Brian Savage.

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