Cliffbee.com: Shockwave Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Shockwave
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Military Operations Commander
Alternate Mode: Laser Gun



GUN MODE
Height: 16cm in hand Length: 31cm Width: 9cm

   A big, purple laser gun. He's got a grey barrel, grey grip on the handle, a transparent purple scope (as well as transparent purple bits on the barrel)i. Oh and he's got a black rubber hose on the left side, which houses the wires leading to the globe in the front. The trigger has a panel on the front to make it easier to grip it, almost like a pedal from a car. The battery (a 9V) fits inside a panel (the all-too easily lost battery cover) just behind the start of the barrel.

   It's a _big_ gun. In fact you can hold him in your hand and he's bigger than a pistol. He's easily bigger than Megatron. He's of the sort of size that he looks good simply due to his size. What's more, he's got light and sounds! Yes, that's right, pull on his trigger and the globe inside the barrel will glow and the speaker at the back will screech. There's a switch on the back, flick it to the right and the noise and flash period is slow, the left it's rapid. The slow period results in a rather awful, ear piercing sound, the fast period is far easier on the ear. But both are fun.

   The only real drawback to Shockwave's gun mode is that the hose has a tendency to crack and decay, which affects it pretty badly since it's very prominent on the top. Mine came to me with bad decay, I had to take him apart and guide some heatshrink tubing (which can be purchased at Dick Smiths/Tandy/Radio Shack) over what was left of the hose, which has done a pretty good job of restoring it. It won't _replace_ the hose, but it'll fix the appearance of it, somewhat.

   Ignoring durability, the fact that he has two parts which can be lost (the barrel & battery cover) can ruin the toy somewhat. But it's hard to fault a toy for incompleteness. So, overall, it's a very good gun mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Remove the gun barrel & set it aside - it plays no part in his robot mode. Fold the sight down and fold the back end of the gun up onto his battery compartment. Fold down the handle and split it to form the legs, extending the halves to reveal the thighs. Fold out the feet. Split the front section and fold the halves out to form the arms, the head will automatically pop up. Fold up the ears and position the arms as desired.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 22.5cm Width: 12.5cm

   Like the gun mode, Shockwave's robot mode is primarily purple. His shoulder struts & ears/antennae are grey, as is his rather suggestively located trigger. His thighs and his feet are a gunmetal coloured die cast metal. His eye (he's a cyclops, in case you were unaware) is gold painted. This eye is the only feature of his face, so it stands out. His right hand and the barrel he has in place of his left hand are transparent purple, as is a strip across his chest.

   He's fairly skinny in the legs, since they're the two halves of his handle. But otherwise it's a very well formed robot mode. The torso, which is one piece, is very well proportioned. What's more, he's close to the most poseable G1 toy - more poseable than an Actionmaster. His head turns, his shoulder have two joints which allow him to move his arms out to the sides, his elbows have both hinges and swivels allowing full movement - although the attachment of the hose to his left forearm hinder this arm a little, though his right hand can swivel around. His hips and knees are hinged, but the poseability of the legs is somewhat hindered by the fact he's top-heavy, since the battery, speaker and other electronics are housed in the torso.

   The electronics work in this mode, too. Pulling his ... trigger .. makes his right arm light up and produces sound. Again you can choose from fast or slow period - the switch is behind his head in this mode (it's the same switch). Inside the clear window in his chest you can see a couple of electrolytic capacitors (those cylindrical things you see on circuit boards). I'm not sure if this is intentional, but it looks rather cool. Above the window is a nice big Decepticon logo - in fact this is pretty much his only sticker aside from the rubsign off to the left of his window. Shockwave is proof that simplicity can be a good thing - he's got one sticker and he looks good without lots of stickers.

   Poseable, well shaped & a good looking, well coloured robot mode, with excellent play value by virtue of his electronic gimmicks and fourteen points of articulation. Minor flaws such as top-heaviness and a hose that can get in the way do little to drag Shockwave down.

VARIATIONS

   None as such, although there's a _very_ common & well known knock-off, known as Shackwave, which is grey and has no plate on it's trigger. Shackwave is often confused for Shockwave.

OVERALL

   Well, as you can probably tell, I think this a very good toy. What's amazing is that the design is 20 years old. Even stacked up alongside more modern toys like Laser Rod Optimus Prime and RiD Optimus Prime, he holds his own. The only negative that really bothers me is the tendency of the hose to crack. A fun toy, with a cool gun mode and a great robot mode. Even Shackwave (whom I had once) works well, I give this toy 9.5/10, and the 0.5 is lost only because of the hose

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