There is a Transformers series that is set in a futuristic Detroit, and that series is Transformers: Animated. The art style is less realistic than many, and the story is definitely targeted to a younger audience. The human friend of the Autobots, Sari, is actually both competent and relatable to the target audience. I really enjoyed the Easter eggs and one-shot callback characters that appear throughout.
Unlike in most of the Transformers timelines, in this one, Soundwave doesn’t begin as a Decepticon. He begins as a robot toy of Sari’s, and begins to develop into a full-fledged transformer after coming into contact with a shard of the Allspark. This sort of process can be seen in later shows and movies, like the first Bayverse live-action movie.
As per usual, Soundwave is accompanied by his mini-con/drone/whatever, Laserbeak. And this time around, Soundwave turns into something akin to a Scion xB, while Laserbeak turns into a flying V electric guitar. There’s also an “electrostatic” version of the toy, with a dark gray and red color scheme rather than blue, and Ratbat as a keytar rather than Laserbeak. In the secondary market, this version is much harder to come by, despite any and all whining I may have done.
This is the second iteration of this toy that I’ve owned, and both have had extremely loose knees (much like me). That makes posing a lot more difficult than it could be, but not impossible. I’m very happy to have this one back in my collection, and am now on the lookout for a copy of the Animated series to add to my DVD/Blu-Ray collection.