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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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ElectricGecko's Review: Shockwave

Name: Shockwave
Allegiance: Decepticon
Size Class: Voyager Class

Shockwave is the hand that ensures Decepticon plans remain secret from the Autobots. He eliminates evidence and witnesses with brutal, emotionless efficiency.

Yes, Shockwave. Itís hard not to have a soft spot for this guy. As a kid in the 80ís, his toy represented the pinnacle of cool: a light-up super-futuristic ray gun robot with a way-cool single, evil eye that could stare into the depths of your very soul.

Iíd been waiting for a good Shockwave redo for some time, and lo and behold, here he shows up as a primary baddie in the new movie. Time to rejoice! Does the toy hold up to my expectations, though? Read on.

Robot Mode:
Unlike previous movie release toys, this line of voyagers comes packaged in robot mode, and thatís a good thing for sales for Shockwave.

If you were a fan of G1 Shockwave, youíll go wee-wee in your pants with excitement when you see this one. I mean, letís face it: most movie renditions (beyond Optimus) do not resemble their G1 counterparts in any way. Shockwave here is a notable exception. Heís still purple! He still has the single evil eye! He still has an arm cannon! He even has a fat cable-type thing running from his cannon arm to his body! Any child of the 80ís would instantly recognize this dude as Shockwave, and I canít stress how much of a plus that is for me.

The paint application is clean and neat on my toy in both modes, and that red eye glows like no tomorrow when anywhere near a light source thanks to some amazing light piping.

As for poseability, this Shockwave is average. His should joints are a bit high, making him look kind of like heís shrugging. Leg joints are nice and stiff (too stiff at times), but the shoulder joints are rather loose, and thatís a problem here because Shockwaveís (detachable) arm cannon is rather heavy. He has difficulty holding up the cannon without support. The headís on a pivot joint and cannot tilt up or down.

As for the Mechtech gimmick on the cannon, itís kind of fun. You push a lever on the back of the gun and two barrels swivel forward. It changes the overall look of the weapon, and as a gimmick, itís innocuous and doesnít get in the way. On the opposing arm, Shockwave sports a mean-looking removable blade. Both arms now have hands (unlike the G1) version.

Alternate Mode:
Similar to ROTF Megatron, Shockwave transforms into a Cybertronian tank Ö thingie. Also like ROTF Megatron, his head moves down to sit at the front of the tank behind a neat little mask or cage. (For some reason, Shockwaveís mask has TWO eye holes. I scratch my head.)

The tank mode isÖ a tank of some variety. It rolls reasonably well. It looks like a purple Cybertronian chocolate bar without the cannon attached. I canít get excited about this mode, but thereís nothing particularly wrong with it.

Transformation is more complex than I expected, but the joints and pieces all snap together quite firmly in both robot and tank. Both modes are quite solid and durable.

One glaring issue with the toy is the fat rubber cable that runs from the cannon to Shockwaveís back. It theoretically can stay in place on both ends throughout the transformation, but in reality this doesnít work. The body socket thatís designed for the cable is almost unreachable in tank mode Ė and is even hard to reach in robot mode. Fortunately, the designers were smart enough to provide us with many alternate sockets to plug the cable into. Nothing to cry over, I guess.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 6 Ė A bit fiddly, but easy enough to transform once youíve been through the process the first time. Itís a little counterintuitive (the head and back portion disconnect and swivel down on a stalk, and Ö itís just weird) but the results are solid in both modes.
Durability: 9 Ė Both the vehicle mode and the robot mode can be dropped from a height of three feet with little damage. I wonít hesitate to let my five year-old play with this one.
Fun: 8 Ė The fun here really depends upon your love of G1 Shockwave. It youíre a Shockwave devotee, then this figure may score a ten. If you donít care two scats about Shockwave, then this figure might score a six. Iíll round it out to eight.
Aesthetics: 9 Ė This is a mighty convincing homage to G1 Shockwave, and it also manages to keep within the parameters of the movie aesthetic. What you get is a robot that is a perfect blend of G1 and movie elements. And heís purple, gosh darn it! You canít argue with purple!
Articulation: 7 Ė Basic articulation, but nothing special for a voyager class figure.
Value/Price: 6 Ė Voyagers run thirty bucks in Canada, and to my mind, thatís a little high for what you get. Truth be told, this is a pretty basic transformer for the price. Still, itís Shockwave weíre talking about here, so Iím willing to pay a premium.
Overall: 8 Ė A solid figure that does most things right and only a few things wrong. That said, thereís nothing truly exceptional about this one beyond the fact that it drips with G1 goodness. If youíre a fan of Shockwave, itís a must-buy. If youíre not, then Ö not.
 
 
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