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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
Robot Mode:
Alternate Mode:
Box Art:
Technical Specifications:

Reflector's review of: Shockwave

Name: Shockwave
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Military Operations Commander
Sub-Group: NA
"Clarity of thought before rashness of action."

Cold, brutal, scientific approach to war. Seeks to overthrow Megatron as leader of Decepticons because he believes logic says he would be better. As laser gun, can emit lethal beams of energy from anywhere on the electromagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, x-rays, light, infrared rays, radio waves, etc. Flies in laser gun or robot mode. High fuel use but can be powered by nuclear sources. Often confounded by initiative, emotional thinking.

It's sad, really. Even if you've just heard of Shockwave by the profile above, he sounds like a bruiser, doesn't he? And yet, the cartoon made him such a sad old man... Shockwave made his first appearances in later 1984 as the first Transformer to have a Cybertronian alternate mode. He was also the second (and last decent, except Browning) gun in the line, and he would have made a much better toy for the Decepticon leader had he actually been able to blend in on Earth. Anyway, love him or hate him, here he is.

Alternate Mode:
Big, purple laser gun. Judge that as you will, Shockwave is one awesome figure. His gun mode is pretty darn huge, measuring from butt to muzzle at about one foot. As an adult, this thing is just the right size for me to pretend to play Lazer Tag with friends I surely don't have, though I'd imagine it's a little big for a six-year-old... His color scheme is almost entirely purple, with accents of silver on the handle, trigger, barrel, and a few other points in between. There are cool details on the top of the gun: lots of lines and circles and trapezoids, the functionality of which I'm hesitant to assume I can imagine. One of the fancier details is the transparent purple flip-up target near the rear. This makes you feel like you're really shooting aliens or your dog or something, if you can get past that it's partially obscured by the rubber tube in front of it. Pulling the trigger will cause the noisebox to activate one of two really irritating sounds, which can be controlled by a little switch on the rear of the gun. The noise is accompanied by a hypnotizing purple light in the barrel. Even if this guy didn't transform, he'd be a lot of fun.

Robot Mode:
But he does! Shockwave's robot color scheme is just about identical to his gun mode, except that there's more silver (shoulders, legs) and more transparent purple (hands, chest). He was an enormous robot for his time and still ain't too bad today, coming in at 9". His face/head design is classic, one of the most memorable and unique Transformers ever, and it really gives some flavor to your shelf. The feet and upper legs are made of die-cast, giving Shockwave a much sturdier look and feel. (The upper legs also have embedded springs. I have no idea what their divine purpose is.) The proportions are rather good for a giant robot, but his legs are just a bit too thin. If you pull the trigger on his chest, the shrieking ensues and his left hand/gun will light up similar to gun mode. Shockwave has a surprising ten points of articulation - shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, neck, and wrist - which will allow you to put him in some neat poses if you're careful balancing the weight. I also really dig the Decepticon symbol: his only sticker is a huge faction logo on top of his chest. Like the forty-foot purple cannon, no disguise for this guy's humanoid form. If not for the thin legs and the poorly placed trigger on his chest, I'd say this is the perfect robot mode.

Transformation: 6 - You probably could have designed it.
Durability: 6 - One of the most notoriously breakable Transformers, from the hose to the gunarm to the electronics. Mine's only missing the semi-spheres under the arms (???); he's like a rock if you're cautious.
Fun: 10 - If I could only have one Transformer, I'd be really tempted to save this one from the flames.
Price: 5 - Mine was a steal at $100 with the box. A complete will usually go for that much without.
Summary: 8 - Despite the low ratings in other categories, this toy really should be part of every collection.

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