Review: Transformers Generations (Fall of Cybertron) Shockwave

So who’s easily the most fan-favorite Decepticon in the entire Transformers franchise? If your answer was anything other than “Shockwave”, you should go and hang around some Transformers fansites for a while. With his distinct purple, boxy, cyclops design, Shockwave was always unique despite his relatively minor role in the 80’s cartoon. What really made him popular was his appearance in Marvel Comics, which made him into a cold, calculating, logical tyrant who challenged and bested Megatron for Decepticon leadership. (Basically, if Starscream were competent.) Since then, Shockwave has gotten a few homages here and there, until he was finally brought back as a full-on character in Transformers Animated, and then a major villain/red herring in Dark of the Moon.

Let’s be honest, this is what he should’ve looked like in Transformers 3.

Pertinent to this review, however, Shockwave was given a new Cybertronian design and included as a preorder bonus/DLC skin for 2010’s War For Cybertron, the first good Transformers game since that Armada game back in 2004. But, despite being a totally kickass design, Shocky’s chances of getting a toy in that form were nonexistant. At least until it was revealed he would be playing a big role in the game’s sequel, Fall of Cybertron. Not to mention that sequel would be getting basically its own toyline in the form of the relaunch of Generations.

First one to say he can’t shoot for sh*t gets a cannon to the face..

Robot Mode

Shockwave’s robot mode is a clear homage to the original G1 toy/cartoon character model, from the delicious purple to stretched-hexagonal clear-plastic chest to boxy cyclops head. However, it is a modernized, “Cybertronian” design with wings to reflect his new, more practical altmode. He has two hands, but one of them (properly the left) can be flipped into the arm as per transformation and be covered by his MASSIVE LASER CANNON (more on that later). His articuation is entirely decent. He lacks any sort of ankle jointage, thigh swivels, and waist articulation. While I can live with the lack of a waist joint, I feel the first two were very much needed. Unlike the in-game model, this toy has toothpick legs when you look at them straight-on. From the side they look just fine, and a thigh swivel would’ve helped pose and create the illusion that his legs aren’t horribly thin.

In addition, I feel he could’ve used a balljointed head instead of a swivel. But I feel every Transformer needs a balljointed head, so there.

“Fear not, Megatron. Cybertron shall remain as you leave it.”

Accessories

Transformers usually don’t come with a wealth of accessories, but usually they’re packed in with all they need. Among the other updates in Shockwave’s video game design, his rather small, nondescript laser-gun-hand-thing has been replaced by a MASSIVE LASER CANNON. As I said, it can snap onto either of Shocky’s arms and look completely natural while attached, which is an excellent feature. Another undocumented feature to this cannon is that the silver “barrel” part can slide off (it’s only held in by friction), and the remaining black gun part kinda-sorta resembles the X12 Scrapmaker weapon from War for Cybertron. Kinda. If you squint.

It’s no Mazda, but it’ll do.

Alternate Mode

The original Shockwave turned into a laser gun a la G1 Megatron. Because it would make no sense to turn into a giant laser pistol on Cybertron, this Shockwave turns into what is basically a big flying cannon with wings. Compared the the in-game model, it’s fairly accurate, though the model is a lot more streamlined and sleek compared to the toy. The front of the “jet” is pretty spot-on, but the boxy chest area should be lower and more streamlined. It matches up to the game fine enough, though. The transformation itself really brings out the intuitive engineering Hasbro continues to improve upon (mostly) with each release, topped off with an awesome head reveal in jet-to-robot conversion.

“Megatron and I are old friends! … and Soundwave, too.”

Comparison

Unfortunately, where Shockwave stumbles is his size. Like all Transformers releases since 2011, Shockwave has been significantly downsized compared to the WFC-styled Generations releases. Unlike the FOC Optimus Prime, Shockwave isn’t dwarved by his allies, but he is noticably smaller than Megatron and Soundwave (I don’t even want to put him next to Bumblebee). Personally, it doesn’t really bug me. This Shockwave is more of a “mad scientist” type character than a warrior (like the DOTM character), so the small and spindly design kind of works for me. Whether or not it works for you is really up to your own taste.

You will not escape the mighty Shockwaves!

Overall

There’s no denying that Transformers nowadays are suffering a bit of a drop in quality due to Hasbro cutting costs and trying to save money. Out of the three new Generations releases so far, Shockwave seems to have been hit the least, retaining metal pins and screws that Jazz and Optimus Prime lack. Even though he’s easily the  best of the three, comparing him with the WFC Megatron from the same line really shows how much was sacrificed. However, this is a Shockwave toy, and the first one to homage the G1 design since Energon Shockblast (and does a lot better job of it). Though the price has increased and the size has decreased, I will still give Shockwave a full recommendation. Because at the end of the day, he’s Shockwave.

Price/Where to Buy

Shockwave retails for around $14.99, and can currently be found in Toys “R” Us and Target (where I got mine) stores, though no doubt Walmart will have his wave in stock soon. For $15, he’s just barely worth it in my opinion. Buy it because it’s a Shockwave toy, not because you’re getting a huge value.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: